Links and Bibliographic Resources for Roman Finds Research
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS-funded project which records the thousands of objects found every year by the public in England and Wales. Their website www.finds.org.uk hosts their extremely useful, searchable database of artefacts, as well as object guides, news items and interesting blogs.
An increasingly good resource to use for identification and research purposes is http://artefacts.mom.fr which currently lists more than 288,000 small finds in its database. It also provides a bibliography of 14,282 titles, of which 3,984 are available online (27.89%) as PDF files. Users can create distribution maps of selected objects and join a forum to discuss finds or ask for help with identification. Much is in French, but there is no problem in posting in English either (translation of object pages is currently done automatically via Google Translate, which can sometimes result in some slightly odd turns of phrase).
Academia.edu is a platform to enable sharing of academic research. Papers are presented on a variety of subjects; search within 'archaeology' by area of interest or object type.
A similar resource to Academia is www.researchgate.net, where users can generate DOIs for their titles.
Instrumentum is a European working group on crafts in Antiquity. Their website www.instrumentum.net includes an excellent bibliography. RFG Members can receive discounted membership to Instrumentum; click here for details.
The German Archaeological Institute publish an annual bibliography called Zenon (http://zenon.dainst.org/). It lists the holdings of all the libraries which are part of the German Archaeological Institute and its departments worldwide as well as links to the British School at Athens and some other institutions.
The title lists of publishers can also provide useful research tools, eg. there are now more than 10000 titles list in http://www.vml.de/e/index.php
For days when you are feeling really cross, the Curse Tablets of Roman Britain page might be the right resource! http://curses.csad.ox.ac.uk/index.shtml
Hilary Cool's introductory notes to Roman small finds, bracelets and archaeological glass are also very useful; click here.
Other Special Interest Groups
- Lithic Studies Society - Promoting research into flint and stone tools.
- Later Prehistoric Finds Group - Promoting interest in prehistoric artefacts, especially finds from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
- The Finds Research Group - Promoting the study of post-Roman artefacts.
- Association for the History of Glass - Advancing knowledge, education and interest in the study of glass of all periods.
- Archaeological Leather Group - Promoting the study of leather and leather objects from archaeological contexts.
- Historical Metallurgy Society - Promoting the exchange of information and research in historical metallurgy.
- Worked Bone Research Group - The official working group of International Council for Archaeozoology.
- Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group - Assisting pottery specialists, other archaeologists and members of the public to keep in touch with current research in prehistoric pottery.
- Study Group for Roman Pottery - A group to further the study of pottery of the Roman period in Britain.
- Medieval Pottery Research Group - Promoting the study of pottery from the post-Roman period to the 19th Century.
- Institute for Archaeologists Finds Group - Promoting finds work constructively within the structure of professional archaeology.
Other Sites of Interest
- www.romansociety.org - The Roman Society
- www.britarch.ac.uk - Council for British Archaeology
- www.britac.ac.uk - British Academy, leads on to British School at Rome excavations
- www.journalofromanarch.com - The JRA - search for relevant articles
- odur.let.rug.nl/arge - Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe (in English)
- www.uni-heidelberg.de/institute/sonst/adw/edh/recherchen.html.en - The Epigraphic Database Heidelberg contains the text of Latin and bilingual inscriptions of the Roman Empire (in English)
- www.ecole-francaise.it - The French School in Rome, includes details of their excavations
- www.aais.org.uk - Association of Archaeological Illustrators and Surveyors
- portico.bl.uk - The British Library
- www.romansociety.org - The Roman Society
Objects from the British Museum collections are now available through COMPASS (Collections Multi-media Public Access System) both online in the BM’s Reading Room and on the museum’s website (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk). About 3000 objects have been selected as representative of the collections, and they are presented as high-quality colour images, with brief explanatory texts, the principal published references, and links to associated items. However, the search facilities are not sophisticated, and serious researchers should still contact the relevant department/curator.
Also online is the catalogue of the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - no images here, but record cards giving the usual details of accessions - provenance, size, published references, etc. Searches are done by headings such as keyword, material, site, etc, so can be very easily targeted to get precisely what you want. museum-server.archanth.cam.ac.uk.
The Museum of London's online Roman galleries are well worth a look - find out about Londinium life through features and commentary on home, work, public life, religion and the military. Take a virtual walk along London Wall and see films of the galleries. The Museum's online catalogue is also there, an invaluable resource for artefact researchers: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/
The website for the Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle www.newcastle-antiquaries.org.uk includes Armentarium, a guide to military equipment.
Vindolanda Tablets Online is a searchable database of the Vindolanda writing tablets, excavated from the Roman fort at Vindolanda in northern England http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/.
Many of the extremely useful publications from Augst (Augusta Raurica) can be found on the Augst museum webpage (http://www.augustaraurica.ch/en/archaeology/literature-and-publishing-house/ ). Even though most are in German, and some in French, they surely must be phenomenally useful for the identification of objects of all sorts, even for those who do not speak/read the language (but online translation tools now make text at least partially accessible).
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has launched a project called PotWeb which aims to to create an online catalogue of its ceramic collections. The pilot study covers the periods from 1000 to 2000 AD. Brief summaries of available forms are accompanied by thumbnail colour pictures. These are of a very high quality, and certainly convey an excellent idea of the vessels. www.ashmolean.org
More and more museums are putting their collections, or parts of them, online in similar ways, or as simple databases. One of the first to put its database online in the 90s was Hampshire County Council Museums Service. The entries are basic, but if you are a student tracking down objects for a corpus it is enough to tell you if a letter or visit is needed or not. Click here, then go to 'search the collections catalogue.'
Sorry, this event is now sold out. Click on the link above or visit the meetings page.... Read More »
From 22-28 August 2021 the 25th Limes Congress will take place in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. We would like to invite paper proposals for Session 16: Dress and adornment in frontier communities.... Read More »
Unfortunately the Glasgow conference due to take place on 3rd/4th April has had to be postponed. Our Autumn 2020 meeting resurrect he meeting with as close to the original programme as possible.... Read More »
We are delighted to announce that Roman Finds Group committee member Dr JÃ¶rn Schuster will be offering a one-day Masterclass on Romano-British Brooches with former RFG committee members Dr Hella Eckhardt and Dr Emma Durham from the University of Reading. This one-day event will enhance your skills in the description, identification and dating of Romano-British brooches. You will also learn about the way the PAS records brooches and the research potential of personal adornment for our understanding of Roman Britain.... Read More »
Roman Finds Group chose the city of Salisbury as the perfect place to celebrate our 30th anniversary at our Autumn 2017 conference, ‘New Research from Finds from South and South-Western Britain’.... Read More »
This year the Roman Finds Group is 30 years old. To celebrate, we’ve organised our 2017 Autumn Meeting in Salisbury, where there will be a special reception.... Read More »
The metallurgy of our portable heritage study day is being held on Saturday the 17th June, 2017 at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London... Read More »
The theme will be ‘Finds from Southern and South-western Britain’. This is call for papers of around 20 minutes in length.... Read More »
This weekend workshop covers aspects and techniques of archaeological illustration under the personal tuition of Mark Hoyle BA(hon);P.G.C.E.;MAAIS; MIfA. The course will look at general techniques and methods of accurately recording small finds including pottery illustration, metal objects, bone, and leatherwork. There will be a selection of objects from the excavations at Vindolanda to handle and draw over the duration of the course. An archaeological drawing starter pack to use and keep will be provided.... Read More »
Members of the project team and others have produced a series of short papers concerning various aspects of methodological approaches which cover a variety of topics, including one on finds, which can now be viewed and downloaded at http://www.cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/methodology-study/. We are keen to get responses to the papers, and have provided an opportunity for written comments on the papers to be submitted by email.... Read More »
Fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship between the University of Kent and English Heritage
The key research question is as follows: How does the artefact assemblage of small finds from Roman Richborough contribute to our understanding of the military site, its occupants, and the wider nature of the Roman military in the NW provinces of the empire? There is scope to develop the project according to the student’s particular interests for instance by focusing on particular methodological approaches or categories of material.... Read More »
We have now received the abstracts for our forthcoming conference. You can read them all here.... Read More »
A series of small grants are available from the Roman Finds Group to all fully paid-up members.... Read More »
The RFG is in the process of embarking on an exciting new project designed to act as an educational aid.... Read More »
Museum of London Archaeology are advertising for three Finds Trainee posts. Closing Date 30th September 2015.... Read More »
A major Later Prehistoric Finds Group & Roman Finds Group conference in collaboration with the British Museum and including entry to the temporary exhibition. Full details and booking forms are now online.... Read More »
Chester Archaeological Society wishes to encourage the study and publication of objects (or groups/types of object) reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme from Cheshire and adjoining areas, to ensure that their potential contribution to the understanding of the archaeology and history of the county is realised.... Read More »
RFG members have recently received a letter setting out options for additional future activities together with a copy of our draft constitution; comments on both are welcome.... Read More »
Click here to read a review of this meeting, written by Bryan Sitch... Read More »
The Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies was the foremost medium for publishing Roman military equipment. Founding editor (and member and friend of RFG) Mike Bishop’s crowdfunding campaign to revive JRMES (and the newsletter Arma) has exceeded his target; all funds will contribute to future publications.... Read More »
The RFG is proud to be an organisational member of the Council for British Archaeology.... Read More »
The future delivery of archaeology services in Cheshire is currently under review and is open to public consultation, which is being carried out by an on-line-only questionnaire.... Read More »
Joint Roman Finds Group and Centre for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies Meeting Spring 2015 Roman Finds Group with the CIAS, Newcastle University Bookings are now open for the Spring 2015 Meeting... Read More »
Following the success of last year’s Roman Finds Group session at TRAC, we are very pleased to sponsor a session this year on ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches to Roman Artefacts’.... Read More »
The following Roman-period Yorkshire Archaeological Reports are now available at greatly reduced prices:... Read More »
The Roman Society is trying to gather data on how it can better develop links with museums, local societies and schools. Please contribute your views via our online survey. Thanks!... Read More »
A date for your diaries. We are going ahead with arrangements for an exciting meeting in Manchester in the autumn and the date is now confirmed as Wednesday 8th October, (not as given in the last Lucerna).... Read More »
Project title: Tools in Roman London: industry, household practice and ritual deposition across the ancient city.... Read More »
Project title: Ringing the changes: the social significance of finger-rings in Roman Britain... Read More »
This weekend workshop covers aspects and techniques of archaeological illustration under the personal tuition of Mark Hoyle BA(hon);P.G.C.E.;MAAIS; MIfA... Read More »
Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” made an unusually large find of seals in an ancient sanctuary in Turkey.... Read More »
Sera Baker, who attended the RFG Meeting at the British Museum this year has sent details of a new course being run online by the University of Oxford.... Read More »
Three dates for your diary. 27es Rencontres de l’AFAV # 9-10 novembre 2012 # Musée d'Aquitaine # Bordeaux. L’Antiquité tardive dans l’Est de la Gaule 3 - 8-10 novembre 2012. AFPMA-Association Française pour la Peinture Murale Antique : XXVIe séminaire.... Read More »
An altar has been discovered during recent excavations at Maryport, the first for 142 years. See the news story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19224154... Read More »
Catch our committee member Sally Worrell on ITV Secret Treasures this week! The programme, timed to coincide with this week's Festival of British Archaeology, features the top 50 finds made by members of the British public in the last 20 years, and runs on ITV1 for several evenings, culminating in an hour-long special on Sunday 22 July.... Read More »
A list of upcoming courses from the Society of Museum Archeologists.... Read More »
During this week-long course you will learn the basics of processing finds from archaeological excavations. Guided by nearly a dozen experienced practitioners and specialists, you will go through all the various stages from handling and packaging, to sorting and cataloguing.... Read More »
The Portable Antiquities Scheme website provides information about Scheme, eg contact details for the finds liaison officers and reports on recent finds.... Read More »
Another development which is worth saying something about is the Study Centre. This is located a short distance away from the main Museum site on New Oxford Street. The current projected date for completion is 2004... Read More »
On December 6th 2000 the Queen opened the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court after nearly three years of building work. The courtyard is vast, which is the first impression you get on entering, especially when you raise your eyes to Foster's domed glass roof.... Read More »
IfA Workplace Learning Bursaries. Museum of London Archaeology will be hosting two IfA-funded opportunities for training from late summer / early autumn.... Read More »
The RFG has been in crisis - you may have noticed the absence of meetings and a winter newsletter in 2010. Since the appeal in Lucerna 39 (September 2010), we have recruited several new committee members - thank you!... Read More »
Over at the Diggers' Forum we're relaunching our newsletter and we are planning on including factsheets and short informative pieces on subjects that are of interest to our membership.... Read More »
Landward Research have been commissioned by the Higher Education Academy's History, Classics and Archaeology Subject Centre and English Heritage to conduct a survey of archaeological specialists.... Read More »
This latest edition in the English Heritage Guidelines series focuses on the identification, investigation and interpretation of glassworking evidence at sites in England from the Bronze Age until the 20th century.... Read More »
Since 1988, the RFG has been a useful forum for everyone with an interest in Roman finds.... Read More »