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Hella Eckardt

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  • 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 supervises PhD projects on:

  • Making Flour The German Way: imported lava quern stones in Roman Britain.
  • Complex figures: Writing the chemical, archaeological and collecting biographies of 1st century AD Roman copper-alloy figurines (with Ross Thomas and Frederik Rademakers at the British Museum, and Pete Bray).

She co-supervises projects on Roman finds at Cardiff and Exeter.

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 has recently (2021) written a book about the huge assemblage of Roman objects from the River Tees at Piercebridge.

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.