University of Cambridge

Increasing Awareness - Raising Aspirations

Meet the Team

Think archaeologists are old bearded men in funny jumpers? Think academics are boring? Think again! The members of the Cambridge Access Archaeology team have travelled the world, been on TV and one even rides a motorbike. Our team are here to help you get the most out of your Field Academy or Discovery Day experience and can help answer your questions about archaeology, university and Cambridge. Find out more below!


Carenza Lewis MA, ScD, FSA

Carenza has been interested in archaeology since childhood, she graduated from Girton College, Cambridge in Arch and Anth and then went to work as an archaeological investigator for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. There, she was lucky enough to work on a huge range of sites, including Avebury Stone Circle and the site where the Mulberry harbours used in the D-Day landings were built, while specialising in medieval settlements.

In 1993, she was asked to be part of the first Time Team, a new TV series that had then just been commissioned by Channel 4. Time Team revolutionised the way archaeology was shown on TV, following the action rather then just reporting on it. Over the last 15 years TT has produced hundreds of programmes spanning half a million years of human history, from every corner of the UK and many places beyond.

In 2004, Carenza left the series and began working for the University of Cambridge, combining lecturing in Medieval Archaeology with setting up a new outreach and widening participation programme. This now includes the 'Higher Education Field Academy', which brings together research and outreach, aiming to raise the academic aspirations and achievements of young people via active, individual involvement in new university excavation and research into the origins and development of rural settlement.


Catherine Ranson Bsc, Msc

Catherine was born and raised in Hertfordshire and attended The Meridian School in Royston for her GSCE's and A-levels. Catherine gained both a BSc degree in Archaeology and a MSc in Forensic and Biological Anthropology from Bournemouth University.

After working for a few years as a field archaeologist, Catherine joined HEFA in 2006 and now works full time on the project as an Archaeological Supervisor. Her particular interest lies with the study of biological anthropology and the archaeology of death and burial.

Outside of work Catherine is a keen photographer, her other interests include travel, reading, football and athletics.




Paul Blinkhorn BTech (Hons)

Paul was born and raised in Merseyside. He went on his first dig aged 14 while on holiday with his parents in Yorkshire, and later studied Archaeological Sciences at Bradford University. After university, he spent 2 years digging at various sites in Spain, England and Ireland, and has since spent around 25 years as an archaeologist specializing in the study of Anglo-Saxon and medieval pottery, but also taking part in and running excavations and landscape projects in Britain and Italy.

He has appeared as a guest expert on Channel 4's archaeology series Time Team since 1998, and also presented an archaeological magazine programme 'PastFinders' for Meridian Television in 2002. His interests outside archaeology include art, music, football, rugby league and motorbikes.



Jessica Rippengal

Jessica has been the Chief Technician and Manager of the Zooarchaeology laboratory in the Department of Archaeology at Cambridge. She was educated at Hawnes Schools, Bedfordshire and Hedingham Comprehensive, Essex. She studied applied biology whilst working as an analytical chemist and then moved on to do research into animal behaviour.

Her interest in Archaeology began when she dug up human bones (not in the graveyard!) whilst staying at Deerhurst Priory in Gloucester aged 11. She has been fascinated by the Middle Ages ever since. She has three horses including two rare breeds, two terriers and two hens. She lives in a thatched cottage and tries to avoid the 21st Century as much as possible.




Clem Cooper BA (Hons)

Clem is originally from Norfolk and attended Spalding High School in Lincolnshire for her GCSEs and A-Levels. She has a degree in Geography from Cambridge University and is currently studying Archaeology part-time at the Institute of Continuing Education, having researched Fenland environmental change during the Bronze Age for her undergraduate dissertation.

Before joining ACA as Administrative Assistant, she was Access Officer at Pembroke and St. Catharine's Colleges in Cambridge where she worked with students at schools in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire and Suffolk. Outside work, Clem enjoys producing and performing amateur dramatics and is learning to play the piano.

© 2009 Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ