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Dr Adrián Maldonado

Dr Adrián Maldonado
Dr Adrián Maldonado
Galloway Hoard Researcher
Responsible for: Supporting the delivery of academic and public engagement outcomes as part of the AHRC-funded research project Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard as well as contributing to the wider research of the Galloway Hoard project.
Research interests: Early medieval Scotland, the Viking Age, early Christianity, the archaeology of death and burial, medievalism in pop culture.

Dr Adrián Maldonado is Research Assistant for the Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard project.

Adrián joined NMS in 2018 as Glenmorangie Research Fellow for the fourth phase of the Glenmorangie Research Project. This included a three-year reassessment of the collections relating to the ninth to the twelfth centuries AD, including the Viking Age, the decline of the Pictish kingdoms, the emergence of the Gaelic-speaking kingdom of Alba and the kingdom of Scotland. The project culminated in the book Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom (2021).

Before joining NMS, Adrián was a lecturer in archaeology at the Universities of Glasgow and Chester. He received his PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a thesis entitled Christianity and burial in late Iron Age Scotland, AD 400-650. He has published widely on early medieval burial practices and landscapes of early Christianity. Since 2012, he has been involved in various projects around the archaeology of the monastery of Iona, reassessing legacy excavations using archival material and museum collections.

He is an avid promoter and advocate for archaeology, contributing to various regional and thematic panels of the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework and appearing on numerous TV, radio and podcast programmes. You can catch up on many of these by exploring the links on the NMS Repository.

He has written several blogs and Explore Our Collections pages for NMS, ranging from Viking swords to video games. His personal blog, Almost Archaeology, explored ways of bringing archaeology into popular culture, work he is continuing to do on social media, online videos and more.

His current research focuses mainly on Viking-age silver and hoarding practices as part of the Galloway Hoard project.

Maldonado, A. & S. Rothwell. 2022. Experiment, experience and enchant: knowledge sharing between museums and contemporary practitioners. Silver Studies: The Journal of The Silver Society 38: 116–26. Available online at:

Maldonado, A. 2021. Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland. Buy in the NMS Shop:

Maldonado, A, Campbell, E, Clancy, T O and Forsyth, K 2021. Iona in the Viking Age. Current Archaeology 381 (December), 18-25.

(2020) ‘The Pictish cemeteries’, ‘Excavations in the Churchyard (Site Q)’ and ‘Discussion’, in Campbell, E. and Driscoll, S. (eds) Royal Forteviot: Excavations at a Pictish Power Centre in Eastern Scotland: SERF Monograph 2. York: Council for British Archaeology (CBA Research Report 177), pp. 67–80, 91–93, 119–122.

Campbell, E., & Maldonado, A. 2020. A new Jerusalem “at the ends of the earth”: interpreting Charles Thomas’s excavations at Iona Abbey 1956–63. Antiquaries Journal 100, pp 33–85.

Maldonado, A. 2020 Keep the Dark Ages Weird: Engaging the Many Publics of Early Medieval Archaeology. In Williams, H. and Clarke, P. M. (eds) Digging into the Dark Ages: Early Medieval Public Archaeologies, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp 20–30. Available to read online via Archaeopress:

Maldonado, A. 2019. Early medieval burial in European context: log coffins in Scotland, in A Blackwell (ed.), Scotland in Early Medieval Europe. Leiden: Sidestone: pp 117–133. Available to read online via Sidestone:

Maldonado, A. 2016. The serialized past: archaeology news online (Digital Reviews). Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(4): 556-561.

Pierce, E, Russell, A, Maldonado, A, and Campbell, L (eds) 2016. Creating Material Worlds: The Uses of Identity in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Maldonado, A. 2015. The Early Medieval Antonine Wall, Britannia 46: 225-45.

Maldonado, A. 2013. Early medieval burial in Scotland: new questions, Medieval Archaeology 57: 1-31. Winner of the 2013 Martyn Jope Award.

Maldonado, A. 2011. What Does Early Christianity Look Like? Mortuary archaeology and conversion in Late Iron Age Scotland, Scottish Archaeological Journal 33(1-2): 39-54.


Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard

This 3-year project aims to challenge our understanding of the process of hoarding through an interdisciplinary study of one of the best-preserved hoards found in Britain.

Find out more

Find out more

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