Patrick Ottaway

I am Patrick Ottaway, manager of PJO Archaeology, an archaeological and heritage consultancy based in York. My projects have been located in towns including Bristol, Leicester, Southampton, Winchester and York, and in rural areas around the UK including the new York University campus at Heslington, and a number of wind farm sites. I provide a range of services for commercial clients relating to archaeology and the planning process including chapters for Environmental Statements, briefs for evaluation and mitigation fieldwork, project management and control, applications for Scheduled Monument Consent, and witness statements for Public Enquiries. I also work on archaeological publication projects as author, academic editor and specialist consultant for local authorities, public bodies and archaeological contractors.

Professional career

Until April 2006 I was Head of Fieldwork at York Archaeological Trust with responsibility for all the Trust's fieldwork projects and associated reporting. Before taking this post I had been a Senior Project Manager responsible for a number of excavations in York including sites on the Roman fortress defences and in the Roman civilian town. In addition, on behalf of the Trust, I worked as an archaeological consultant in respect of the development and planning process for commercial institutions in London and other English towns including Norwich and Peterborough.

My professional career began in Winchester (Hants) where I was Assistant City Archaeologist from 1976 to 1981.


I have a first degree from Oxford University and then took a Masters in Economic History at Leeds University (studying 16th - 17th century village plans) followed in 1990 by a DPhil in archaeology from York University (thesis on Viking Age ironwork). 

Societies and Institutions

I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. I was Hon. Editor of the Archaeological Journal, one of Britain's principal peer-reviewed academic archaeological publications (2007-12). In 2010-2018 I was Chairman of the York Archaeological Forum which advises City of York Council on its archaeology and the historic environment policy. 

I have been Chairman of the Council for British Archaeology Yorkshire Group (1997-2001) and of the Yorkshire Archaeological Research Framework Forum for whom I was joint editor (with T.G. Manby and S. Moorhouse) of The Archaeology of Yorkshire: An Assessment at the Beginning of the 21st Century published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in September 2003 as part of the Yorkshire section of the English Heritage sponsored programme of regional resource assessment.

Research Interests

I have a particular research interest in the archaeology of towns and in 1992 published Archaeology in British Towns (Routledge 1992) - shortlisted for Archaeological Book of the Year at the British Archaeological Awards. Another of my research interests is Roman Britain and the north of England in particular. I have written books for the general reader entitled Roman York (2nd edition, Tempus 2004), Roman Yorkshire (Blackthorn Press, 2013) and Julia Velva, a Roman Lady from York: her life and times revealed (Pen&Sword 2021). My published excavation reports include The Roman Cemeteries and Suburbs of Winchester (with K. Qualmann et al.; Winchester Museums, 2012), Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Suburbs of Winchester (Hampshire Cultural Trust, 2018) and Excavations and Observations on and adjacent to the Fortress Defences, 1971- 1990, The Archaeology of York 3/3. I also excavated the Roman signal station at Filey, East Yorkshire (report published in Archaeological Journal 157 for 2000, 79-199).

 I have a specialism in archaeological ironwork and have published numerous reports including Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork from 16-22 Coppergate, The Archaeology of York 17/6 (1992) and (with Nicola Rogers) Craft, Industry and Daily Life: Medieval Finds from York, The Archaeology of York 17/15 (2002).


I have a keen interest in archaeology and education and was responsible for setting up and co-ordinating a Certificate in British Archaeology programme, run jointly by the York Archaeological Trust and the University of Leeds (1996-2003). I have also been a freelance tutor in archaeology for the School of Continuing Education at Leeds University (1993 - 2003) and in 2010 was tutor for the History Department at Hull University. From 1995 - 2018 I was a tutor for the annual European Studies Programme (Classical World option based at York University) run by Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee and The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee U.S.A.

Media projects

I have been involved in a number of media projects including the Channel 4 archaeology programme Time Team Live broadcast from York in September 1999 and BBC Timewatch programme ‘The Mystery of the Headless Romans’ screened in April 2006. I am particularly proud to have been the manager (in 2000-1) for the British contribution to a tri-lingual web site The Normans : A European People developed in conjunction with the Museum of Normandy, Caen, France, and three Italian institutions, and part-funded by the European Union.

Popular publications

My popular publications include 2000 Years of York (an introduction to archaeological discoveries in York - jointly with R.A. Hall; 1999), Romans on the Yorkshire Coast (an introduction to the Roman signal stations; 1996) and a Roman York trail leaflet produced for visitors by the City of York Council (2004).

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