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.'
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 »