HMS Council

HMS council meets twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn, to discuss the business and general running of the society. We are keen to welcome new members to council from the full spectrum of interests that the society currently serves

Meet your council

HMS President

Mike Cowell

Formerly at the British Museum, Department of Scientific Research. Worked on analytical studies of a wide range of materials and artefacts but particularly coins.

Formerly at the British Museum, Department of Scientific Research, and retired in 2004 but maintains links with the Department. Worked on analytical studies of a wide range of materials and artefacts but particularly metalwork and especially coins. Specialised in ED-XRF and AAS techniques. Former Treasurer of HMS (1991-2013) and supports the current Treasurer by preparing the gift aid claims and other matters relevant to the accounts. Chair of the Grants Committee. Non-academic interests include bell-ringing, amateur dramatics, early American blues recordings.
HMS Chair

Paul Rondelez

He obtained his thesis on Iron Age and Roman iron smelting in Belgium and his PhD degree based on research into late medieval iron production in Ireland.

Paul has a life-long interest in mining and metal production through his father's mineral collecting hobby. He obtained his Master's Degree in Archaeology at Ghent University (Belgium) with a thesis on Iron Age and Roman iron smelting in Belgium and his PhD degree based on research into late medieval iron production in Ireland. His interests also include non-ferrous metal mining in Ireland and the Irish charcoal-fired blast furnace.
HMS Secretary

Jonathan Prus

His principal interests are the unresolved aspects of bloomery technology, especially relating to draught, furnace thermal properties and slag chemistry.

Born 1950. In teaching for 10 years. Subsequently ran a company providing learning disability services. First degrees in History and Politics, then Life Sciences. Then Ph.D. at Cranfield University. Then an MBA. (The last three by part-time study.)

A member of HMS Council since 2014 and Hon. Gen. Secretary since 2017. An active member of the Wealden Iron Research Group.

Principal interests: unresolved aspects of bloomery technology, especially relating to draught, furnace thermal properties and slag chemistry. A recently developing interest in the interrelated issues of skill, cognition and ideology among ancient ironworkers.

HMS Journal Managing Editor

Matt Phelps

Matt recently finished his PhD in Archaeological Science at UCL and currently conducts freelance work on archaeological remains as a metal, slag and glass specialist.

Matt Phelps joined HMS in 2010. From 2012-2017 he was part of The Crucible editorial team before joining the Web Team in Summer 2017. Matt recently finished his PhD in Archaeological Science at UCL and currently conducts freelance work on archaeological remains as a metal, slag and glass specialist.
Joint Editor HMS Journal

Justine Bayley

Specialising in non-ferrous metal and glass working, and continues to lecture and research on various aspects of Roman and medieval metalworking.

Justine has been a member of HMS Council since the early 1980s, serving as Treasurer from 1986 to 1991 and as Joint Editor since 1990. For many years she was also a member (later chairman) of the Archaeology Committee. She led the Technology Team at the Ancient Monuments Laboratory, which became part of English Heritage/Historic England, specialising in non-ferrous metal and glass working, and ran many ‘slag days’ that offered field archaeologists hands-on training in identifying metalworking debris. She is now an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and continues to lecture and research on various aspects of Roman and medieval metalworking.
Joint Editor HMS Journal

Tim Young

Works as a consultant to supply specialist archaeometallurgical services and analyses in the UK and Ireland.

Treasurer

Peter King

Peter King's main interest is in the history of the iron industry. He has recently published A Gazetteer of the British Iron industry 1490-1815 (BAR Publishing: BAR British Series 652, 2020, click here for link). His present area of research concerns river transport in the Severn valley.

Peter King's main interest is in the history of the iron industry. He has recently published A Gazetteer of the British Iron industry 1490-1815 (BAR Publishing: BAR British Series 652, 2020). His present area of research concerns river transport in the Sev
Crucible Editor

Lorna Anguilano

Lorna has a PhD in Archaeometallurgy from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and she is a Research Fellow at Brunel University since 2012.

Lorna Anguilano joined HMS in 2015. Since the spring of 2016 she is co-editor of the Crucible. Lorna has a PhD in Archaeometallurgy from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and she is a Research Fellow at Brunel University since 2012.
Crucible Editor

Gill Juleff

Her primary research interest is in the early ferrous metallurgy of Asia involving fieldwork in Sri Lanka, India and China.

Gill Juleff has been a member of HMS for many years. Gill first served on Council in the late 1990s and was Chair for a term. In recent years Gill returned to the Council and took over as joint editor of the Crucible in 2017. Gill’s primary research interest is in the early ferrous metallurgy of Asia involving fieldwork in Sri Lanka, India and China. Gill teaches at Exeter University and has supervised a wide range of archaeometallurgy PhD projects.
Events Officer and Web Manager

Eleanor Blakelock

Has an interest in metallurgy of the Anglo-Saxon period, having worked on iron knives for a PhD and the metals from the Staffordshire Hoard.

Eleanor Blakelock received her PhD in 2012 from the University of Bradford studying the technology of iron knives. As part of her sandwich degree course she worked for six months with the English Heritage Technology Team studying a range of ancient materials. She was the main scientist analysing the precious metals of the Staffordshire Hoard. Her main research interest is in the archaeometallurgy of the early medieval period.
Web Team

William Hawkes

Is a professional conservator and trained jeweller, who has worked on very wide and varied projects, from Roman jewellery to napoleonic field carriage guns.

William Hawkes is a professional conservator and trained jeweller. His conservation practice has encompassed a wide array of work on very wide and varied projects ranging from Roman and Anglo Saxon stone-set jewellery in both precious and copper alloy metals to napoleonic field carriage guns and a D-20 howitzer from the first gulf war. Additionally, Bill regularly provides consultation services to various organisations in relation to researching historic objects and their metallurgy, providing reports for the purposes of preventative and remedial conservation.
Web Team

Rachel Cubitt

Is a registered finds specialist, assessing and reporting on metalworking debris and individual objects made of metals and non-metals.

As well as serving on the HMS Council Rachel Cubitt is a member of the Archives and Collections Committee and the Web Team. She has worked for MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) as a Registered Finds Specialist, assessing and reporting on metalworking debris and individual objects made of metals and non-metals. She studied Archaeology at Durham University before completing a Masters in Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford.
Chair of the HMS ACC

Vanessa Cheel

Applies metallography, optical and electron microscopy to a variety of archaeological metals.

Vanessa studied Engineering and Materials Sciences at first degree level and has a doctorate in Metallurgy & the Science of Materials which involved using light, x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons and electrons to investigate copper. Since the techniques were mastered, they’ve been applied to a variety of archaeological metals. Metallography, optical and electron microscopy are current pursuits. Small scale experimental metal working takes place in the back garden.

Her academic interests in Materials Characterisation have been blended with education and public outreach; committee experience was gained on the local Parish Council.

HMS Twitter Officer

Sophia Adams

An archaeologist specialising in later prehistoric metal artefacts with a background in fieldwork.

Dr Sophia Adams is an archaeologist specialising in later prehistoric metal artefacts with a background in fieldwork, with recent projects on examining chronology of Iron Age brooches and archaeological evidence for non-ferrous metalworking in Britain and Ireland from c.2500 BC to AD 50. She holds a PhD from the University of Leicester undertaken as a collaborative doctorate with The British Museum; and a MA and BA from University College London. Sophia is also on council for the Prehistoric Society and the Later Prehistoric Finds Group and is Branch Assistant for the North Downs Young Archaeologists Club.

Peter Halkon

His main research interests, apart from early iron production is in landscape archaeology, of the later prehistoric (particularly the Arras Culture) and Roman periods.

Dr Peter Halkon has had an interest in early iron production since his childhood, picking up Iron Age and Roman iron slag, known as “nosmun” by the farm workers, on his father’s farm at Hasholme, Holme on Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, Department of History, University of Hull. His main research interests, apart from early iron production is in landscape archaeology, particularly of the later prehistoric (particularly the Arras Culture) and Roman periods. He has directed award-winning fieldwork, co-run with Professor Martin Millett (Cambridge University) in the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire, where discoveries included the Iron Age Hasholme logboat, large scale Iron Age iron production sites and Roman settlements. Dr Halkon continues to lead archaeology projects in the region. Formerly a teacher of history and archaeology, he was Education Officer for the Council for British Archaeology and York Archaeological Trust, taught part-time at Leeds and until recently ran the part-time Archaeology BA at Hull.

Eddie Birch

He spent his working life first in steelmaking research and then in aluminium master alloy development before transferring to a role in quality assurance.

Eddie Birch has been a member of HMS since the early 1970s, and has served on Council since the 1990s in a range of capacities He spent his working life first in steelmaking research and then in aluminium master alloy development before transferring to a role in quality assurance. For the past 15 years he has consulted on laboratory quality assurance systems. His current project aims to help record and raise the profile of the history of the British foundry industry.

David Cranstone

Peter Northover