Institute of Archaeology


Dirk Booms - Honorary Research Fellow

Dirk Booms

Name: Dr Dirk Booms 

Honorary Title: Honorary Research Fellow 

Email: dirk.booms@gmail.com 

IoA staff nominator’s name and email address:  

Corisande Fenwick c.fenwick@ucl.ac.uk  


IoA involvement:  

Dirk received his PhD from the University of Cambridge working on the Roman emperors' self-representations through the art and architecture at their villas, and as such was part of the excavations of the emperor Marcus Aurelius' sumptuous villa at Villa Magna (2006-2010), analyzing and reconstructing the architecture, and creating the 3D model. He has also excavated in Belgium, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey. 

Dirk has previously lectured at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Birkbeck, and from 2012 to 2017 was curator at the British Museum of the Roman Mediterranean collections. He has curated several travelling exhibitions about the Roman Empire, as well as the major Sicily: Culture and Conquest (British Museum, 2016), which told the island's history from prehistory until the Renaissance. His research interests, apart from architecture and architectural reconstructions, include construction methods, Roman wall paintings and Latin epigraphy. Last year, Dirk was Associate Editor for the Journal of Roman Archaeology. 

Dirk is co-director of the current UCL excavations at Bulla Regia (Tunisia) and Volubilis (Morocco), both of which are directed by Corisande Fenwick and respectively the Institute National Du Patrimoine (INP) and the Institut National des Sciences de l'Archéologie et du Patrimoine (INSAP). 

At Bulla Regia, we are excavating a recently discovered Late Antique Church outside the Roman city walls, which includes a large cemetery. At Volubilis, the focus of the excavation is on the medieval phases of occupation, equally outside the Roman city walls, where the transition from Roman to Late Antique to early Arab residential houses can be documented in the so-called Arab Quarter. 


Selected recent publications

  • Booms, D. (forthcoming 2020) “The Marble Decoration” and “Architectural Reconstruction of the complex,” in Hurst, H., Reinterpretation of the NW corner of the Palatine (Rome: Electa).  

    Booms, D. and P. Higgs (eds) (2020) Sicily: Heritage of the World. Conference Proceedings. British Museum Research Publications (London: BM Press).  

    Booms, D., S. Moorhead and S. Raikes (2018) Rome: City and Empire. 
 Exhibition Catalogue (National Museum of Australia Press).  

    Chaouali, M., C. Fenwick and D. Booms (2018) Bulla Regia I: a new church and Christian cemetery, Libyan Studies 49: 187-197.  

    Booms, D. (2018) “Following the Greeks ‘at a Respectful Distance’: Etruscan Objects in Charles Townley’s Collection,” in Swaddling, J. (ed.) An Etruscan Affair: the impact of early Etruscan discoveries on European culture. British Museum Research Publications 211: 61-69.