Mediterranean material culture from prehistory to now

In this scene I examine a finger ring, reusing a late Roman agate seal, from southern Italy, late 7th century in the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Napoli. In the next scene, the custodian of the stores tried it on and asked if it suited her (not pictured).

Back in March my chapter on material culture for the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Mediterranean History came out. It was a challenging exercise to condense into 8000 words the essence of the study of material culture in a Mediterranean geo-historical context and also to represent all periods of human history at the same time. I have… Continue reading Mediterranean material culture from prehistory to now

A Companion to Mediterranean History out now

(credit: Wiley Blackwell)

A Companion to Mediterranean History, part of Wiley Blackwell’s acclaimed Companions to History series has just been published. The book project, led by editors Peregrine Horden and Sharon Kinoshita, is a culmination of at least three years’ work and a coming together of 29 contributors from across the world. Each contributor is a specialist in… Continue reading A Companion to Mediterranean History out now

Copper, business history and material culture

Following the discussion of some of the themes I have been exploring related to the historic copper industry¬†through the lens of business archives, I have begun to think more holistically about the relationships between place-industry-business-commodity. My recent relocation to West Cornwall put me in mind of its world-class mining heritage and a landscape and society… Continue reading Copper, business history and material culture

Leach Pottery: An essay for radio

I wrote this short essay for a hypothetical radio programme when I applied to the BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinkers competition in December 2010. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a finalist out of over 1000 applicants and attend a thought-provoking workshop. Although I did not make the final ten I wanted… Continue reading Leach Pottery: An essay for radio

Condensed Reality. A Study of Material Culture book review

In Autumn 2008 I reviewed Pieter ter Keurs’s book Condensed Reality. A Study of Material Culture (Leiden: CNWS Publications, 2006) for the Journal of Museum Ethnography. Unfortunately due to problems with at the journal’s end the issue which was meant to hold the review has still not appeared. As it is now so long since… Continue reading Condensed Reality. A Study of Material Culture book review

Finding history in material culture

Being an historian of material culture isn’t easy. It confuses, it contradicts and it doesn’t categorise elegantly. When does material culture become more than just pretty pictures to illustrate your otherwise colourless prose? This has been something that I have been bothered with for as long as I have been working with objects and their… Continue reading Finding history in material culture

A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection

On Thursday 16 December at 4pm I shall be giving a paper to this title for the Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM) at Swansea University. This will be the first time I have delved into a brand new region’s material culture since my foray into medieval southern Italy for my PhD.… Continue reading A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection

New horizons in Welsh copper

In a little under two weeks I shall be starting a new job in the department of History & Classics at the University of Swansea. I will be Research Assistant on an ESRC-funded project entitled, History, heritage, and urban regeneration: the global and local worlds of Welsh copper. Project Leader, Prof Huw Bowen, won the… Continue reading New horizons in Welsh copper

Shared cultures in the medieval Mediterranean

I am currently writing up a paper based on two pieces of research which compares material culture from southern Italy with that of its central and eastern Mediterranean neighbours (e.g. Sicily, Greece, Egypt, North Africa). It is based on a conference paper I gave last July, at the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean conference at… Continue reading Shared cultures in the medieval Mediterranean

Tim Potter Memorial Award

In March 2004, the British School at Rome (BSR) awarded me the Tim Potter Memorial Award. The award is aimed at scholars who have not previously had much opportunity to visit Italy to stay at the school and undertake research on Italian material culture and archaeology. The award includes full board and accomodation at the… Continue reading Tim Potter Memorial Award