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Simon Esmonde Cleary

Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Birmingham

I am a specialist in Roman archaeology with interests centring on Roman Britain and on Roman France Germany and Spain and Portugal, with a particular interest in Late Antiquity.

My main research interests lie in the archaeology of the Roman period, more particularly in the western provinces. Though covering all Roman the period, my principal focus is on the period of Late Antiquity (ca. A.D.300-700). My current research concerns the transition from Roman to post-Roman over much of the western part of the empire, both as regards the nature of the archaeological record and as regards the changes in economy society, religion and mentalities which that record embodies and has resulted in a substantial monograph ‘The Roman West AD 200-500: an archaeological study’ published in 2013. Also published in 2013 was my book 'Chedworth: life ina Roman villa', arising our of my long-term collaboration with The National Trust on the re-display and re-interpretation of the well-know Romano-British villa at Chedworth in the Cotswolds near Cirencester.I have previously worked and published on the Roman period in Britain, again with an emphasis on the later Roman period and the Roman to post-Roman transition. I also have a particular interest in urban archaeology both as a sub-discipline within field archaeology and as an approach to understanding the distinctiveness of towns and of urbanised societies, and collaborated with my colleagues Ray Laurence and Gareth Sears in writing a major work ‘The City in the Roman West c.250 BC – AD 250’ (2011). In addition I have an interest in Roman period numismatics, particularly the identification and interpretation of site-finds.


  • –present
    Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Birmingham