Roman and Post-Roman Frontiers and Mobility: then, now, and in-between

Start: Feb 27, 2017 04:00 PM

Location: Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Hadrian's Wall (Image courtesy of Andrew Gardner)

Chiara Bonacchi (Durham/UCL) & Darrell Rohl (Canterbury Christ Church) will give the seventh seminar in the Term II Institute of Archaeology Research Seminar series on 27 February.

Term II Institute Research Seminar Series 2016-17

Migrations, Frontiers and Borderlands

Organised by: Sophy Charlton, Andrew Gardner, Hazel Reade, Andrew Reynolds & Rhiannon Stevens

Liminal spaces, boundaries, mobility and frontiers are all longstanding subjects of archaeological enquiry. In 1950, at a time when recent conflict had driven large-scale population movements across the European continent, V. Gordon Childe published a series of lectures on “Prehistoric migrations in Europe”. Today we are again living in a period of large-scale migrations, with resurgent nationalisms, and reactions to globalization once again pushing the concept of boundaries and borders to the forefront of the minds of politicians, researchers and the general public alike.

The US-Mexico border at Tijuana (Image Source: James Reyes, public domain)

It is therefore timely to bring together researchers from across the Institute of Archaeology and beyond to examine new work on the human experience of, and interaction across, borderlands and frontiers. Focusing on Europe, the seminar series will examine migration, exchange, and interaction across physical, cultural and social boundaries throughout human history. Key themes include: the impact and routes of migration, identified through the flow of genes, people, ideas, and cultures, on social and natural landscapes; the mutual constitution of frontier and 'core' regions, or of entities divided by a boundary; the balance between linear and zonal aspects of frontiers; and the symbolic or conceptual aspects of boundaries, at variable social scales. 

Scientific and theoretical approaches to examining the physical, cultural, and social facets of migration and bordering in human societies will be discussed, and throughout the series these topics will be presented though a range of hour-long lectures, chaired paired-presentations and panel discussions. By charting the dynamic processes by which frontiers and borders have been created and crossed over in the long-term, this seminar series will conclude with a panel discussion of new insights into this persistent aspect of human history and the recent rejuvenation of border studies as an interdisciplinary project.


Institute of Archaeology Research Seminars take place on Mondays from 4-6pm, in Room 612 of the Institute.

All welcome!