Helen Geake
Geake in 2012
Born1967 (age 56–57)
Wolverhampton, England
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of York
ThesisThe use of grave-goods in conversion-period England c.600–c.850 A.D. (1995)
Doctoral advisorMartin Carver[1]
Academic work
InstitutionsNorwich Castle Museum
Portable Antiquities Scheme

Helen Mary Geake FSA (born 1967) is a British archaeologist and small finds specialist. She was one of the key members of Channel 4's long-running archaeology series Time Team.[2]

Early life and education

Geake was born in Wolverhampton in 1967 but grew up in Bath. She originally trained as a secretary. However, reading archaeology books and attending lectures by Mick Aston led her to study medieval archaeology at University College London. Subsequently, she took a DPhil at the University of York in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries contemporary with the spectacular ship burial at Sutton Hoo.[2] Her thesis was titled "The use of grave-goods in conversion-period England c.600-c.850 A.D." and was submitted in 1995.[1]


Geake looking at small finds during a Time Team excavation in Lincoln's Inn Fields

After university she worked as assistant keeper of archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum before joining the Portable Antiquities Scheme, first as their Finds Liaison Officer for Suffolk and then as Finds Adviser for post-Roman objects, based at Cambridge University.[3] In 2014 she became the PAS's adviser to its voluntary finds recorders, based at the British Museum.

Geake is a member of the Department of Archaeology Advisory Board at the University of York and previously acted as a regional member of the Council of Rescue: The British Archaeological Trust.[4][5]

In January 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[6]


Geake with Stewart Ainsworth while filming an episode of Time Team in 2007

She first worked for Time Team in 1998 as a digger, and took part occasionally thereafter as an Anglo-Saxon specialist. She joined the frontline team of presenters, for the 2006 series and continued until 2010.[2]

In 2012 Geake appeared in three episodes of Britain's Secret Treasures having previously appeared as an Anglo-Saxon specialist in National Geographic specials titled Saxon Gold: New Secrets Revealed (2011) and 'Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard' (2010).[7]


Geake stood for the Green Party in the Bury St Edmunds constituency at the 2015 General Election;[8] she came fourth with 7.9 per cent of the vote.[9] In the 2017 General Election she came fourth with 4.2 per cent of the vote.[10] Geake was newly elected to the Mid Suffolk district council in the May 2019 elections;[11] she was one of two Green party councillors for the Elmswell & Woolpit ward. She was again the Green candidate at the 2019 general election, where she polled 9,711 votes with 15.7 percent of the vote, an increase of 7,000 votes or 11.5% from the 2017 election.[12] Geake did not seek re-election on Mid Suffolk district council in the May 2023 elections.

Personal life

Geake is married to Angus Wainwright, the National Trust archaeologist for the East of England, with two sons and a daughter. She is a cousin of the late John E. Geake, after whom the asteroid 9298 Geake is named.[citation needed]

Selected publications


  1. ^ a b Geake, Helen (1995). The use of grave-goods in conversion-period England c.600–c.850 A.D. (PhD). University of York. Open access icon
  2. ^ a b c "channel4.com – Time Team – Meet the Team – Helen Geake". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  3. ^ Helen Geake's profile at Cambridge University Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine; Helen Geake's page at the Portable Antiquities Scheme site
  4. ^ "Helen Geake". University of York. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  5. ^ "RESCUE - the British Archaeological Trust - COUNCIL". Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Fellows Directory: Dr. Helen M Geake FSA". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  7. ^ Helen Geake at IMDb
  8. ^ "Director selected as Tory candidate for Bury St Edmunds". BBC News. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Bury St Edmunds Parliamentary Constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Election 2017: Bury St Edmunds Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Mid Suffolk local elections 2019: Shock as Tories lose leader and Green party makes huge gains". East Anglian Daily Times. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  12. ^ Mata, William (25 September 2019). "Time Team star Helen Geake to stand for Green Party in Bury St Edmunds election". Bury Free Press.