Category Archives: Lectures

Organising the 7th MANCENT Roman Army conference.

It is January, and thus time to start organising our annual Roman Army Conference which we organise together with MANCENT in Manchester.  This year will be the 7th of these one day conferences and the general topic will be the  “The Roman Army in Late Antiquity”.
We have sent out a series of invitations already and thus we hope that the programme will cover a range of topics from Scotland to the Danube, but there are still free slots – so if you want to come and introduce us to your research on the army in Late Antiquity, please get in touch.

The Roman Gask Project’s contribution will be a review of the evidence for Romans and Roman material from the 4th and 5th century in Scotland and what that tells us about Roman relationships with the area north of Hadrian’s Wall.


Call for Papers for Roman Conference 23 September 2017

Isla and Dean confluent
Isla and Dean confluent during 2001 flood, possibly indicating the site of the Roman harbour/ship landing site. copyright: David Woolliscroft

Following on from last year’s successful conference in co-operation with MANCENT, we are continuing the series of conferences on the Roman Military.

The next conference will be on 23 September 2017 in Manchester
The topic will be

Rivers, Roman Harbours and
the Roman Army

The idea is to explore how the Roman army is was using rivers for their own needs, of particular interest is the questions of the presence of harbours in the vicinity of Roman forts.

  • Some of the themes of interest may be:
  • How common are permanent harbour installations such as stone or wooden quays or breakwaters?
  • What is the evidence for ship sheds or shipyards close to Roman sites?
  • How do you recognise a chandler’s shop in the archaeological material?
  • Should we be looking for nothing more sophisticated than a sandy bend in the river that might allow small river boats to be run ashore at night?
  • How common are riverside warehouses?  How do you differentiate between civilian and military use in harbour facilities?

In the last 10 years, a lot of research has been conducted on Roman trade and harbour installations, both in Britain and especially abroad from Ostia to the large research project on the Rhine harbours and anchorages.

We would like to invite established scholars and postgraduate to submit papers to this day conference and workshop. The deadline for submissions will be April 15th, 2017. 

Suggestions for papers (c. 20-30 minutes) should be sent to :
Dr. Birgitta Hoffmann, Roman Gask Project. ( or directly

David Woolliscroft is lecturing as part of the University of Durham’s Birley Lectures


On Tuesday 29th November 2016 David Woolliscroft has been invited to give a talk on “How far north did the Gask System extend (and when)?” as part of the University of Durham’s Birley Lectures which are organised together with Hatfield College.

For the occasion, he decided to bring together a lot of his research in the last three years away from the Inchtuthil site. These are his current summary of the lecture:

“For the lecture I wanted to pick something that was relevant to Eric Birley (and my personal memories of him), but which also fitted in with the Roman Gask Project’s latest research. I thought that something along the lines of “How far north did the Roman Gask system extend (and when)?”
It would start with Eric’s prescience over a pre-Agricolan date for Carlisle, which has since been fully vindicated, and seems to extend far more widely to sites in the north of England. Rather less noticed, however, he also speculated that this early activity might extend much further north. In the last two decades, a number of scholars have returned to this view, and evidence from the Roman Gask Project that some of the Flavian sites in Scotland seemed to have longer than expected service lives provided added support. That said, in the last few years, evidence has begun to emerge that the picture may actually be more complex, with signs that the Gask system may extend further north than believed, that Antonine activity may be more extensive than we expected to the north of the Antonine Wall, and  finally that the Gask road, which was thought to be the fundamental anchor of the Flavian system, may not be Flavian at all.”

Andrew Tibbs, Organiser of the Birley Lectures, said the following about the scope of these lectures in the Michaelmas Term in Durham:

“We’ve just launched the programme for the Birley Lectures on Roman Britain, taking place throughout Michaelmas Term at Hatfield College. The first lecture is being given by Prof Antony Birley on ‘The Young Eric Birley’, former Master of the College and Head of Archaeology at Durham.

Other speakers include David Breeze, David Woolliscroft, and Richard Hingley.

Everyone’s welcome, but seating is limited. Hope to see some people there.”

The Lectures will take place in the Birley Room in Hatfield College, Durham.