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Hella Eckardt

  • Head of Department of Archaeology
 

Areas of interest

  • Theoretical approaches to material culture
  • Roman objects
  • The Archaeology of the Roman provinces
  • Mobility and migration in the Roman world
  • The deposition of Roman objects in rivers.

Postgraduate supervision

Hella currently co-supervises two PhD projects:

  • Ringing the changes: the social significance of finger-rings in Roman Britain
  • Making Flour The German Way: imported lava quern stones in Roman Britain.

Previous student topics have included:

  • Pipeclay figurines in Roman Britain
  • Tools in Roman London: industry, household practice and ritual deposition across the ancient city
  • Lighting equipment in Lusitania
  • Romano-British pewter vessels in the British Museum
  • The economic implications of Samian ware from Britain and Germany
  • Clay objects in Ostia
  • Romano-British bronze figurines
  • Mortaria in Roman Britain
  • Romano-British pewter vessel.

Hella would welcome research proposals on the archaeology of Roman Britain and the north-western provinces and on Roman Material Culture. For further information, please contact h.eckardt@reading.ac.uk

Teaching

Hella teaches provincial Roman archaeology and material culture studies. Her research focuses on theoretical approaches to the material culture of the north-western provinces. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the consumption of Roman objects and the expression of social and cultural identities

Research projects

Hella's current research is about the deposition of Roman objects in rivers. Such finds have usually been assumed to be rubbish deposits or the result of accidental loss, but some may be deliberate ritual offerings. With Philippa Walton, she is currently writing a book about the huge assemblage of Roman objects from the River Tees at Piercebridge.

With Gundula Müldner and Mary Lewis, Hella examined the evidence for incomers in Romano-British towns through a combination of material culture, skeletal and isotope research. This showed that there is considerable evidence for individuals of very diverse origins living in later Roman towns such as York and Winchester. Read more about the project: A Long Way from Home: Diaspora Communities in Roman Britain.

She is also very interested in explaining these findings to the wider public and especially school children. Read more at Romans Revealed.

Background

Hella's research focuses on theoretical approaches to the material culture of the north-western provinces and she is particularly interested in the relationship between the consumption of Roman objects and the expression of social and cultural identities. She has published books on:
  • lighting equipment (Illuminating Roman Britain, 2002)
  • objects associated with grooming and personal adornment (with Nina Crummy: Styling the body, 2008)
  • Roman migration (A long way from home: diaspora communities in Roman Britain, 2010)
  • Roman artefacts and identities (Objects and Identities: Roman Britain and the north-western provinces, 2014)
  • the material culture of literacy (Writing and power in the Roman world: literacies and material culture, 2018).

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Mainz)
  • MA (London)
  • PhD (Reading)

Earlier publications

  • Eckardt, H. (2002) Illuminating Roman Britain. Montagnac: Instrumentum
  • Eckardt, H. (2002) The Colchester Lamp Factory. Britannia 33, pp77-93
  • Eckardt, H. (1999) The Colchester Child's Grave. Britannia 30, pp57-90.

Publications

  • Eckardt, H. and Williams, H. (2003) Objects without a past. In: Williams, . , (eds.) Archaeologies of Remembrance: death and memory in past societies. Kluwer/Plenum Academic Press , New York & London. pp. 141-170.