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Classics Research Projects

Current projects

Anachronism and Antiquity

Antikythera mechanism

This Leverhulme Trust-funded project, running from 2016 to 2019, is undertaking the first systematic study of the concept of anachronism in Greco-Roman antiquity and of the role played by the idea of anachronism in the formation of the concept of antiquity itself. Read More...

Collective Rituals and the Construction of Social Identity in Early Iron Age and Archaic Greece

Collective Rituals Image

This is a research project based at the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford and the CReA-Patrimoine at the Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB. The project is funded by the Ph. Wiener-M. Anspach Foundation. The aim is to study distinctive collective rituals from the Early Iron Age to the Archaic period.


Food for the Gods: Perceptions of a Greek Cultural Paradox

Why do gods eat, and why do people worship them with offerings of food? This project will explore the role of paradox and doubt as essential aspects of religious belief and the transmission of religious narratives and rituals. In many ancient cultures, the production and distribution of food is linked to divine higher powers as the creators and enablers of natural life.

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Greek Literary Hands of the Roman Period


The objective of this project is to bring more substance to the process of dating book-fragments on papyrus or parchment recovered by excavators at Oxyrhynchus and elsewhere, by a focused and systematic search for objectively dated material relevant to defining styles and analysing their development.

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Imaging Papyri


This project works to capture digitised images of Greek and Latin papyri at Oxford and Naples, for the creation of an Oxford bank of digitised images of papyri.


Khirbet et-Tannur Nabataean Temple Project, Jordan

Khirbet et-Tannur is a hilltop sanctuary on the King’s Highway, near Khirbet edh-Dharih which was the third caravan stop 70 km north of the Nabataean capital Petra. In use from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4/6th century A.D., this temple complex is exceptional because of the information it provides about religious practice due to the astonishing preservation of carbonized cult offerings and vessels. Read More...

Last Statues of Antiquity

The ‘Last Statues of Antiquity’ is investigating all evidence for new statuary of the period circa 280–650, as well as the slow decline (and eventual death) of the ancient statue-habit.

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Late Antique Egypt and the Holy Land: Archaeology, History and Religious Change

Temple of Amun at Luxor

Late Antiquity (c. A.D. 250–750) saw a shift in religion in Egypt and the Middle East from paganism to Christianity and subsequently Islam. The texts that record this process have been intensely discussed; the archaeological dimension much less so.  This multidisciplinary project examines the spatial and iconographic aspects of material culture to reveal a complex and nuanced picture of interactions between pagans, Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Read More...


Lefkandi is a key site in the Aegean during both the Bronze and Iron Age. The ancient settlement on Xeropolis is a tell which was occupied without break from the Early Bronze Age (c. 2100 BC) to the end of the Iron Age (c. 700 BC). The importance of the site is renowned from the excavations of the Early Iron Age cemeteries which are located some 500 m from the settlement on Xeropolis. Among them is the rich in burial offerings Toumba cemetery closely linked with the outstanding tenth century BC Toumba funeral building

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Lexicon of Greek Personal Names

The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names is a project to collect and publish all ancient Greek personal names from the 8th Century BC to the late Roman Empire. Ancient Greek names provide crucial evidence to the historian.

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Manar al-Athar Photo Archive

Manar al-Athar logo

The Manar al-Athar website, based at the University of Oxford, aims to provide high resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, and publication.  Read more ...

Monumental Art of the Christian and Early Islamic East: Cultural Identities and Classical Heritage

This project will analyse the monumental art (large decorative programmes on buildings) of two areas of the former eastern Roman Empire which came under Islamic rule but which have never been the subject of an integrated comprehensive study: Egypt and Syro-Palestine (modern Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine). Read More...

Oxford-Paris Alexander Project (OPAL)

Alexander III, AR, 4 dr., Amphipolis (SNG 2526)

The OPAL project, run jointly with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, takes as its focus Alexander the Great. OPAL will investigate how such a corpus of material can contribute to the understanding of the ancient world. The project will create a group of over 4,000 digitized objects that will be presented through the websites of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Read More

Oxford Roman Economy Project

The research programme addresses the fundamentals of the Roman imperial economy and analyses all major economic activities (including agriculture, trade, commerce, and extraction), utilising quantifiable bodies of archaeological and documentary evidence and placing them in a broader structural context.

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Oxyrhynchus Papryi

This project began with the excavation, in 1897-1907, of the town-site of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. The excavators, B P Grenfell and A S Hunt, recovered more than 100,000 pieces, fragments and scraps of papyrus, mostly in Greek, dating from the Roman and early Byzantine periods. The focus of the project is the publication of this material.

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Roman Provincial Coinage in the Antonine Period

The aim of this project is to produce a standard typology of the provincial coinage of the Roman Empire in the period AD 138-192, together with a commentary and introduction.

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