USAS Lecture Series 2019/2020

Lectures take place in either Theatre A, Theatre B, Fulton Building, or Arts A2 Lecture Theatre

(please individual details of each lecture for the venue)

University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH

Start time: 7pm

(no booking required - just turn up)

Costs: USAS Members and University of Sussex Staff: £3

Non-Members: £4, University of Sussex Students: free

Join us after the lecture for a free glass of wine, water or soft drink and a chat with the speaker and fellow members

Free parking at the University after 5pm

Frequent buses to/from Brighton. The nearest railway station is Falmer


Forthcoming Lectures

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Roman Sanctuaries in France

Speaker: James Bromwich

Venue: Fulton Building Lecture Theatre A

Amongst the many Roman sanctuaries in France examined by archaeologists are some very impressive remains ranging across all four Roman provinces. They include perfect Roman temples like Nîmes, great Gallo-Roman temples like ‘Janus’ at Autun, magnificent sanctuary bath buildings at Chassenon or dramatic sanctuary theatres such as that at St-Cybardeaux. These (and others) will be illustrated and discussed. Issues raised by their study will be considered, including the question of continuity with the Iron Age, the Romano-Celtic temple and its interpretation, and the importance of healing sanctuaries in Gaul, from spring sites to centres like Grand with its (possible) imperial visitors; there is even the ambiguous and conflicting evidence about when and why sanctuaries were abandoned. Lastly, how have archaeologists added to our knowledge concerning what took place in the sanctuaries in this part of the Roman Empire. James is the author of several specialist guide books to Roman archaeological sites in France.


Thursday 19 March 2020

Bridge Farm 2018-2019 : 'Digging for Britain' (as seen on TV !)

Speakers: Rob Wallace and David Millum

Venue: Fulton Building Lecture Theatre A

Fresh from his recent TV appearance Rob Wallace, together with David Millum, will bring us up to date with recent discoveries at the extensive Roman settlement in the Ouse Valley, just north of Lewes. The talk will feature the results from the seventh trench opened by the Culver Archaeological Project in 2018. This is situated over the very centre of the area inside the double defensive earthworks. As with previous trenches, the area has proved finds-rich, particularly in fineware pottery with deposits of white-ware beakers and Central Gaulish Samian, as well as a range of bronze fibular brooches and hairpins and hundreds of plain tile tesserae. The speakers will also give their current thoughts on the phasing, origin and possible purpose of this intriguing site where further exploration continues this summer.

Previous Lectures in 2019/2020

Thursday 23 January 2020

The Findspots of Bronze Age Metalwork in Lowland England: A New Field Study

Speaker: Dr David Dunkin

Venue: Fulton Building Lecture Theatre B

A new field study by Dr Dave Dunkin, Dr Dave Yates and Professor Richard Bradley has recently been completed. The study looked at the placement of 333 metalwork sites in SE England. The purpose of the work was to consider whether the siting of Bronze Age metalwork, both single finds and hoards, followed a predictable pattern. All of the findspots were visited on the ground and recorded in order to understand their contexts. The talk will highlight the principal findings of the study. This research showed that a contextual approach to the material will continue to reward future investigations. This will undoubtedly lead to a more nuanced understanding of the deposition of artefacts during this period. The results of the study have just been published in the 'Oxford Journal of Archaeology' (vol 39, issue 1)

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Making Hellenistic and Roman Floor Mosaics

Speaker: Dr Will Wootton (Kings College London)

Venue: Arts A2 Lecture Theatre (near the Library)

This talk will examine craft production in terms of experience, place and people. The paper will address ancient encounters with mosaics and how they were intended to visually and physically engage; the intimate relationship between architectural context and the function of mosaics; and the active and dynamic process of making involving human participants at a specific moment in time and place. Examples from the Hellenistic and Roman worlds will demonstrate how mosaics were conceived as architectural props within environments built for living as well as the importance of considering both clients and makers when reconstructing a social and technical history of mosaics in antiquity.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

The Sally Christian Lecture for 2019

The Frome Hoard, Carausius and the Roman Brexit

Speaker: Dr Sam Moorhead, FSA (British Museum)

Venue: Fulton Building Lecture Theatre B

The Frome Hoard of 52,503 Roman coins, found in April 2010, is the largest cache of Roman coins ever found in Britain in a single pot. The coins have been saved for the Museum of Somerset at Taunton and are being conserved and studied at the British Museum. The discovery enables us to carry out a major re-appraisal of Carausius (AD 286-93), Britain’s ‘forgotten emperor’, whose history can be told through some fine examples of medallic art that even include references to Virgil. Most recently, Carausius has come into sharper focus as a result of 'Brexit' and this talk will outline the nature of the 'Breakaway British Empire' under Carausius and Allectus, how it began, how it faired and how it ended.