Jan Brendalsmo is a senior research scientist and has worked at NIKU since 1994. Before this, Brendalsmo worked as an archaeologist and later office manager for the Directorate of Cultural Heritage.
His main area of work is related to the research, recording and reporting associated with towns and churches in the Middle Ages. In recent years he has conducted research about the minor cities and towns in the Middle Ages and modern times, partly linked to the Research Council funded project that NIKU has conducted on historical archaeology. He also works with historical landscape analysis and cultural heritage registration.
Brendalsmo has for years been responsible for a nationwide project for the Directorate of Cultural Heritage on identification, delineation and documentation of medieval cemeteries that are still in use. The project was completed in 2014. Another major project was the Directorate for Cultural Heritage`s work installing sprinkler systems in a large churches, Brendalsmo was NIKU`s project manager for the archaeological section where such facilities affect medieval cemeteries and other cultural remains.
His professional background is a minor in media and communication, a major in Nordic archaeology and social anthropology, a master degree in Scandinavian archaeology (Tønsberg before the year 1000. From farm to city. VARIA 28, 1994) and a Ph.D. in Medieval Archaeology (Churches and church builders in Trøndelag ca. 1000-1600. Unipub, 2006). Since 1979 he has published several articles on archaeology and medieval cultural history. Overall, his focus has been on the farm in late prehistoric and historic times, and the functional, social, economic and topographical changes which can be observed; for example in the form of the erection of a church or the establishing of an urban settlement on the farm. Based on archaeological and other sources, the goal has been to document and seek explanations for these kinds of changes.