Pieterjan Deckers

Postdoctoral researcher and MEDEA project coordinator

Senior researchers Brussels Heritage Lab (BREL) History
  • Current position Postdoctoral researcher and MEDEA project coordinator
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of Art Studies and Archaeology
    Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
    Building C - Room 5.432
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 (0)2 629 24 41
  • E-mail
  • Website www.vub.ac.be

Following Archaeology studies in Leuven and York, Pieterjan Deckers attained his PhD in 2014 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with a study of settlement and activity in the coastal plain of northern France, Flanders and Zeeland in the Early Middle Ages.

Currently, he is the coordinator of the MEDEA project, which aims to set up a web platform for the recording of artefacts collected by metal detector hobbyists in Flanders. His recent research is on archaeological metalwork from the Early and High Middle Ages (ca. 500-1200) found in western Flanders, focussing on its iconography and social and cultural roles. In addition to this, he has studied sociological aspects of leisure detecting as well as responses and attitudes of the heritage profession towards the hobby.

Another strand of his research is the development of cultural landscapes in a coastal setting, not in the least coastal urbanism. From this perspective, he has studied the emergence of coastal towns in 11th-/12th-century Northumbria and the urban characteristics of early and high medieval settlements on the island of Walcheren (NL), including the major trade centre of Walichrum.

Key publications

P. Deckers (forthcoming) Legislation, policy and practice of a hobby: archaeological metal detecting by amateurs in Flanders, in: S. Campbell, S. Thomas & L. White (eds.) Competing Values in Archaeological Heritage, Springer.

P. Deckers (in press) The maritime cultural landscape of early medieval Northumbria: small landing places and the emergence of coastal urbanism, in: J.H. Barrett (ed.) Maritime Societies of the Viking and Medieval World (Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph series). 

D. Tys, P. Deckers & B. Wouters (in press) Circular, D-Shaped and Other Fortifications in 9th- and 10th-Century Flanders and Zeeland as Markers of the Territorialisation of Power(s), in N. Christie & H. Herold (eds.) Fortified Settlements in Early Medieval Europe, Oxbow.

P. Deckers (2014) ‘Productive sites’ in the polders? ‘Griffin brooches’ and other early medieval metal artefacts from the Belgian coastal plain, Medieval and Modern Matters 3: 21-43.

P. Deckers (2010) An illusory emporium? Small trading sites around the North Sea: De Panne as a case study, in: A. Willemsen en H. Kik (eds.) Dorestad in an international  Framework.

Previous education

2014: PhD in Art Studies and Archaeology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

2007: MA by Research in Archaeology, University of York, United Kingdom

2005: licentiate in Archaeology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Previous positions

2014-2015: post-doctoral researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

2007-2011: PhD fellow of the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO)