Frontier Perspectives Talks - Migration and forced movement - shaping identities

The soldiers of the Hadrian’s Wall garrison came from across the Empire as did many people who lived in the settlements adjacent to the forts and in urban centres like Carlisle. These talks explore this mobility of people - both voluntary and forced - in the Roman world and the implications for personal and collective identity.  Who are you? Where have you come from? Where do you belong? Who do you belong to? 

Full details of this session: 

Dr. Claire Nesbitt

"Who’s who on the wall. Examining identity on Hadrian’s wall"

This talk explores the complex and varied identities of people on the Northern Frontier of Rome. The soldiers stationed on Hadrian’s Wall were not all Romans, and not all those that occupied the wall zone were soldiers. Here, we explore the multicultural nature of the frontier by investigating the origins, identities and relationships of the people who came to call the Wall home.  

Professor Hella Eckardt

"Migration and mobility in the Roman Empire"

The Roman Empire was a melting pot and people moved to and from the province of Britannia for many reasons. This talk will highlight the various sources of evidence, contrasting inscriptions on stone with recent scientific work. In particular, isotopic analysis, which provides clues about where people buried in Britain may have come from. We will also explore how museums, educators and the general public have reacted to Roman migration and diversity.

Dr. Rebecca Redfern

"The bioarchaeology of Roman Britain: what the skeletons reveal about life in the Empire."

The human remains excavated from Roman Britain provide a unique perspective on life in this period. Their skeletons hold a wealth of information about daily life, and using archaeological science, can reveal where people came from and what they looked like. This talk will give an overview of the bioarchaeological evidence, discuss our methods and approaches, and how these are transforming our understanding of Britain and the wider Empire.

Dr. Jane Webster

"Seeing slavery in the Roman North"

In Britain, as in all the Roman provinces, slave ownership was a common phenomenon. This talk explores the range of evidence for the presence, and life experiences, of enslaved persons in the Frontier zone. It focuses on epigraphic data (inscriptions) and some intriguing excavation findings, and tackles some common misconceptions about slavery in the Roman world.

The Speakers

  • Dr. Claire Nesbitt - Dr. Claire Nesbitt is Deputy and Reviews Editor for the journal Antiquity. She is also a Research Associate at Durham University and has published and taught on a range of archaeological periods, including Hadrian’s Wall. Claire is an experienced field archaeologist and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.  
  • Professor Hella Eckardt - Hella teaches provincial Roman archaeology at the University of Reading. Her research is about Roman artefacts, and what they reveal about the social and cultural identities of the people of Roman Britain. Hella has also collaborated with archaeological scientists to explore mobility and migration in the Roman period, using isotope analysis and DNA.
  • Dr. Rebecca Redfern  - Rebecca is Senior Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of London, a Research Fellow at Newcastle University (UK), a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and President of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology.   She is a bioarchaeologist specialising in the Roman world, focusing on mobility and enslavement.
  • Dr. Jane Webster - Jane Webster is Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology at Newcastle University, and teaches and researches slavery in both the Roman period and in the era of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. She is a leading advocate of the comparative archaeology of slavery, and draws on work on the 18th century Americas in thinking about slavery in Roman Britain.


Adult: £15 Concessions: £10 for Members The event will also be livestreamed, with tickets available for £8. Tickets for all 3 Frontier Perspectives talks can be purchased for £30 (£20 for Members).


On: 07 th May 2022, 1:00 pm Until: 07 th May 2022, 4:00 pm


Lecture Theatre