Photograph of ET Leeds
Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A

The Life and Work of Edward Thurlow Leeds

Leeds working at Swarling, Kent
As an archaeologist and scholar, E T Leeds was best known for his contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies. He was the first to integrate documentary and archaeological evidence to study the historical past with particular reference to Oxfordshire. He was also the first to excavate an Anglo-Saxon site at Sutton Courtenay and he invested much time in the study of Anglo-Saxon settlement in Britain.
Leeds was also a prolific excavator in Oxfordshire after the First World War and is considered instrumental in establishing modern archaeological research in the Oxford district. He was responsible for helping to refound the Oxford University Archaeological Society after the First World War.
Leeds working at Cassington, Oxfordshire

Leeds was interested in other archaeological periods and wrote many papers on Neolithic and Bronze Age subjects, the Iron Age and medieval periods, and later archaeology. His medieval and early modern work included studies on Oxford where Leeds researched taverns in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and established a system for dating early English glass wine bottles.

Leeds was also very interested in numismatics and was able to put his proficiency with Chinese and many European languages to good use in cataloguing and arranging coin collections.

Leeds was the author of four major works:

  • The Archaeology of the Anglo-Saxon Settlements (1913),
  • Celtic Ornament in the British Isles down to AD 700 (1933),
  • Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology [Rhind Lectures] (1936),
  • A Corpus of Early Anglo-Saxon Great Square-headed Brooches (1949).

He also published numerous other archaeological and scientific papers, notes and reviews.

Bibliography of the works of E.T. Leeds

To find out more about the work of E.T. Leeds on sites in Oxfordshire follow these links.

Find out more about the life of Edward Thurlow Leeds
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