Research, Public Engagement and Widening Participation

My principal research interests lie in the intersection of ancient history and archaeology within the Mediterranean and more widely across the ancient world. Previous topics of study include the interrelationships between art and text, the changing perception and experience of sacred space, the political uses of architecture, the impact and use of epigraphic documents as both text and monument, and the reception of the ancient world in the modern. My PhD, now published with Cambridge University Press, focused on the spatial development of monumental dedications at Delphi and Olympia. My second book with Cambridge University Press examined the complex relationships between space and society across the Greek and Roman worlds and the usefulness of spatial analysis as a tool for both archaeologists and historians. My book in 2014 with Princeton University Press brought the literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence for the development, perception and role of Delphi from its inception through to the 21st century. My book in 2016, Ancient Worlds, is a study of the growing connections between ancient civilisations from the Mediterranean to China. I have joined the Global History and Culture Centre based in Warwick's History department as its first ancient history member and I am continuing my ancient global history research during 2017-8 as a Leverhulme Research Fellow.

Alongside my research, I am deeply committed to making our understanding of the past as accessible to the public as possible, and to ensuring that its study is open to people from every background. My most recent public engagement project, in association with the University of Warwick Impact Fund and Warwick’s Academic Technologists Team, as well as with web developers Computerminds, is a new platform to facilitate the public study of engagements between cultures and communities in antiquity. In 2018, I led a team in the launch of the Warwick Classics Network, supported by the Warwick Widening Participation Development Fund and the Warwick Impact Fund, working in conjunction with national charities Classics for All and Advocating Classics Education, to support and widen access to the study of Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in secondary schools across Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond. Since April 2019 we are proud to announce that we are now working with the A. G. Leventis Foundation. Through the work of the WCN, from September 2019 a quarter of all State Secondaries in Warwickshire will now be teaching some form of Classics. In addition, we are currently working with a further ten schools, meaning that by September 2020 we aim to have Classics being taught in 45% of the State Secondaries in Warwickshire.

My current research interests include:

  • Luxury in the ancient (and modern) worlds
  • The place of the ancient world in the 21st century
  • The spatial location of inscriptions within Greek sanctuaries
  • The permeability of boundaries in Greek and Roman sacred spaces
  • The archaeology of ancient ritual practice and experience
  • The role of Sparta within the development of Athenian self-identity
  • The relationship between Boiotia and Delphi during the fourth century BC
  • The inter-relationships between different ancient world communities
  • The socio-cultural and political impacts of trade in luxury goods across the ancient world.

Current Projects

Unknowability: How do we know what cannot be known?- On 4th April 2019, at the New School Centre for Public Scholarship, New York, I spoke about what we can… Read More
Fashion in the Ancient World- I am writing a chapter on Fashion in the Ancient World for the new multi volume Cambridge Global History of… Read More
Warwick Classics Network- In 2017-20, supported by a Warwick Widening Participation Development Fund and Warwick Impact Fund grant, I am leading a new… Read More
The meaning and impact of luxuries across the ancient world 100 BCE-300CE- Global History is a popular and expanding field, which seeks both to understand better the connectivity between human cultures, and… Read More In 2016-8, supported by Strategic and Departmental Warwick Impact Fund grants, working with Warwick Academic Technologist Steve Ranford, a team… Read More
Cognitive Approaches to Ancient Religious Experience- I am working with Dr Esther Eidinow (Nottingham) and Dr Armin Geertz (Aarhus) as part of their AHRC Research project… Read More
The Oxford History of the Archaic World- I am currently working on a chapter for the Oxford History of the Archaic World, printed by Oxford University press… Read More
Death on Ancient Greco-Roman Grave Stele- I am currently writing a journal article, which focuses on three very unusual grave stele (funerary markers) from the Aegean.… Read More