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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Research Group: Classical Empires

Currently Active:

Researchers in the Classical Empires group are actively engaged in developing knowledge on Classical and early Medieval societies in the ancient Mediterranean, Middle East and Central Asia, with particular emphasis upon identity, connectivity and urbanism. An inter-disciplinary vision encompassing historical research, novel fieldwork techniques, physical anthropology and computer-based techniques characterizes the group’s approach.

Work on the ancient communities of the Mediterranean, western Asian worlds is a key component of Southampton’s research. There is particular strength in the Archaeology of the Roman Empire; in Egypt and the early Islamic world; in commerce, connectivity and cultural change; and in directly accessing human lifeways via scientific analyses. Current research is focused on understanding:

  • Mobility, connectivity and networks
  • Cultural change in the conversion period of early Islam
  • Urbanism in the ancient world
  • The material culture and bioarchaeology of religious and ethnic identity
  • Pilgrimage, sacred landscapes and the natural world

Key Projects

Funded by an ERC Advanced Grant to Keay, the multi-disciplinary PortusLimen Project has transformed knowledge of Rome’s Mediterranean ports, and their commercial and social connections.

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