Archaeology South-East


ASE research on show at Roman Archaeology Conference and UCL Technical Showcase

19 April 2024

ASE staff were very busy on Friday 12 April! While one team was celebrating Roman Sussex at the Roman Archaeology Conference, another was exhibiting Historic Building Archaeology at the UCL Technical Showcase.

A composite image of two photographs of groups of people. Both groups are smiling for the camera. Arrows point to each group labelled "UCL Technical Showcase" and "Roman Archaeology Conference"

Roman Archaeology/ Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference

Over at the UCL Institute of Education a group of ASE archaeologists presented reflections and recent research on the Romans in Sussex. This was part of the “Celebration of Roman Sussex” session, jointly run with the Sussex Archaeological Society.

ASE presentations included research on pottery and charred plant remains. They synthesised what 20 years of development-led archaeology had added to our understanding of Roman Sussex. They identified data, knowledge and gaps, and asked what future research might bring.

The ASE team at the Roman Archaeology Conference including Tom Munnery, Andy Margetts, Giles Dawkes, Anna Doherty, Louise Rayner and Elsa Neveu.

Louise Rayner, ASE’s Director, said “It was so inspiring to hear about the diverse range of research being undertaken on Roman Sussex, including three presentations from the ASE team. The papers left me in no doubt that there is a vibrant community of researchers working on Roman period research in Sussex. It was a pleasure to work with Rob Symmons of the Sussex Archaeological Society to devise the session and reaffirm the important and long-standing relationship ASE has with SAS to investigate, interpret and share the past of Sussex."

UCL Technical Showcase

Meanwhile, just a 10 minute walk away in UCL’s Cloisters, three of ASE’s archaeologists were talking to other Technical Professionals, Academics and Professional Services at UCL about Historic Buildings Archaeology at the UCL Technical Showcase! The Showcase is an annual event demonstrating the depth and breadth of technical contribution our technicians make to UCL research, teaching and innovation.

The team was made up of Ron Humphrey, Assistant Director of Historic Environment Services; Michael Shapland, Historic Buildings Archaeologist, and Thomas Simms, Senior Archaeologist in Geomatics. These archaeologists and surveyors talked about the process of investigating, recording and managing historic buildings. There was also a display of artefacts and survey equipment.

ASE’s representatives at the UCL Technical Showcase – Ron, Thomas and Michael – and a selection of artefacts and survey equipment.

Michael Shapland also presented research on a medieval cave shrine, discovered in the side of a railway cutting near Guildford. As part of this research a 3D model was created of the shrine. Michael has talked about this site before; you can watch his presentation on our YouTube channel.

Michael and Tom talked to fellow technicians about Historic Buildings and Archaeological Survey.

Tom Simms said “The Technical Showcase was a great opportunity to meet other technical staff at UCL. I’m looking forward to collaborating on projects with new ideas and methodologies in the future!”.

There was a surprise in store for our archaeologists at the showcase – a colleague was announced the winner of the photo competition “The Person behind the Practice”! Wiktoria Krzoska won for her below image “Digging the Sahara”. Congratulations Wiki!

“Digging the Sahara” by Wiktoria Krzoska, winner of “The Person behind the Practice” photo competition! It shows UCL technicians – archaeologists – excavating at a UCL research site in the Wadi Draa in Southern Morocco.

Wiki has been a field archaeologist at Archaeology South-East for the last 6 years. Outside of work she also gets involved in research projects, like the excavations in Morocco this year, which were part of a UCL Institute of Archaeology collaborative fieldwork project.

Wiki said “I took this photo of my friend excavating a Medieval house in the Moroccan Sahara. We were digging in a beautiful place and I took lots of photos to preserve memories and illustrate the archaeology amongst its landscape”.

While they were at different events, both teams had a great day forging new and cementing old collaborative relationships! We’re looking forward to what these partnerships might bring in the future.