Ancient identities today: Iron Age and Roman heritage

Organisers: Richard Hingley, Chiara Bonacchi, and Emily Hanscam

This interdisciplinary project has been funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will run for three years as a collaboration between Durham Archaeology/Anthropology, and the UCL Institute of Archaeology ( This project commenced in July 2016 and will run for three years. The team will assess how the Iron Age and Roman pasts of England, Scotland and Wales (c. 700BC to AD 400) are called upon today, situating this understanding in an international context. Through this case study, the wider values of interacting with the past for different individuals and groups will also be documented as well as providing a framework for an innovative debate that looks for ways to connect up the interests of stakeholders and outline directions for further coordinated research. Finally, during the course of the three years, research on heritages relating to the post-Roman period and up to AD 800 in Britain and selected areas of the Mediterranean will be piloted. The potential of the chosen theme emerges from a powerful duality represented in particular ways across Europe. Kristiansen has defined two European myths of origin stemming from a classical dichotomy between ‘civilisation’ and ‘barbarism’, and a variety of ‘dualities’ arise from the ways these oppositions have played out. The interlinked nature of dualities reflects the extent and complexity of the territories that make up the British Isles, the histories of the people who live in these places and their relationships to those overseas.

The aim of the Workshop is to continue to develop these themes and topics, deriving from the idea of dualities that form the focus of research in this project. Agreed participants include: Dr. Chiara Bonacchi, Dr. Andy Gardner, Emily Hanscam, Professor Richard Hingley, and Dr. Kate Sharpe. This workshop welcomes potential contributions in order to stimulate a lively discussion, if you are interested in offering a short discussion paper please contact the workshop organizers ( to discuss possible formats.

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