Category: Andrew Selkirk

Barbarism and Civilisation

A response to Miles Russell’s and Stuart Laycock’s theory of UnRoman Britain. In their interesting essay UnRoman Britain, in CA 249, Miles Russell and Stuart Laycock argue that Romanisation in Britain was only a veneer, and that most of the population of the country remained firmly ‘UnRoman’. I disagree. I think that their argument is […]

After the Cuts: Scorched earth, or clean slate? (Part II)

Editor-in-chief, Andrew Selkirk offers his insight on some issues raised by spending cuts. How will universities fare under the new regime, where funds will go to students rather than to universities? Archaeology is not exactly a subject that will set you up to become a big earner, so will archaeology inevitably go into decline? I […]

Review: The Fitzwilliam’s Greco-Roman galleries, Cambridge

In CA 237 I reported on the re-opening of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Now it is the turn of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, best known for its pictures and magnificent porcelain collection. But there is also an important antiquities department on the ground floor, which has just received a complete overhaul. The big […]

Ashmolean Museum

It is always a little dangerous to revisit old friends. What will they be like? Will you still like them when you have not seen them for a long time? It was with some trepidation that I returned to Oxford for the opening of the new Ashmolean Museum on 28th October after a major rebuilding […]

Rome: a Barbarian's Perspective

When I went on holiday this year, I took with me some archaeological books for a little light reading. One of them was particularly interesting: Barbarians: an alternative Roman History by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, which is the book of the television series and is published by BBC Books. It is based on a […]

Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage – again

One should not start a project that one cannot complete. Having started writing a blog on the first day of my pilgrimage to Hadrian’s Wall I must confess that I failed to keep it up. It was not for lack of trying. Every night in my room I wrote up my diary, often over 2000 […]

The Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage

The Hadrian’s Wall pilgrimage is going well.   The Pilgrimage is one of the great events of British archaeology.   It began in 1849 when a group of young men decided they would ‘walk the wall’ and it has continued every 10 years since then except for the war years: this is now the 13th […]

Why does the Catholic church oppose suicide?

  In view of the current debate about the rights and wrongs of suicide, Terry Jones in his recent book on ‘Barbarians’ provides some interesting background material. The Christian doctrine about suicide, he argues,   goes back to St Augustine’s attack on the Donatists: “In the early fifth century, very large numbers of poor African […]

How to present your accounts

If your accounts for the year are not quite as good as you might wish– if, for instance, you make a loss of £2.5m on a turnover of £1.6m — how do you convey the news to your members?The past year has been one when many organisations have had accounts that are less satisfactory than […]


The Staffordshire Hoard has thrown up a problem. It is it is all very well to say the finder or the landowner should receive an award, but when that award is £3.3m, who is going to pay for it? The museum that receives the hoard? The British Museum has already declined any interest, but local […]

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