I studied Ancient and Medieval History at Birmingham University, with Anthony Bryer and Philip Rahtz, and went on to study Byzantine archaeology at Newcastle University with Martin Harrison, writing a thesis on the late Roman fortifications on the lower Danube, having spent 9 months in Sofia in 1975. I was later a research fellow at the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, and was subsequently director of excavations for the National Trust on Hadrian’s Wall from 1982-1989. After a year as lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology at Warwick University, I was appointed to a lectureship in Archaeology at Newcastle University in 1990. I taught at Newcastle until 2007. My family and I moved to Edinburgh to take up my current post in the summer of 2007.
I was Hon. Secretary of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies from 1996-2006; I have a long association with the British Institute at Ankara and I’m currently a member of the research committee. For many years I was on the Hadrian’s wall management plan committee and currently I’m a member of the Antonine Wall research framework panel.