Life in Roman Britain lecture series continues at Leeds City Museum

A fascinating programme of free lectures exploring a range of insightful topics linked to the Roman Empire in Yorkshire and Britain are set to continue at a popular Leeds museum this week.

In what promises to be a series of events not to be missed, visitors can find out more about the Roman Empire through the talks which will include experts in their respective fields.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"We are delighted to be hosting the fantastic ‘Roman Empire: Power & People’ exhibition at Leeds City Museum, and I am really looking forward to the continuation of this lecture series, that will offer an interesting and fascinating insight into life during this period.

"Guest speakers are lined up for each event, and if you have an interest in the Roman Empire, or would simply like to find out more, then why not pay a visit to our exhibition or to one of the lectures on offer."

Set to be held this Thursday 16 October at 5.30pm is a lecture entitled ‘Fields and farms, lucre and lightning seeds: people, coins and the rural landscape in Roman Yorkshire’. In this first lecture, kindly sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, guest speaker Dr Adrian Chadwick from the University of Leicester will present the joint British Museum and University of Leicester AHRC-funded research project ‘Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain’ which is examining the ever-growing corpus of Romano-British hoards, and the factors behind their burial. Coin hoards have traditionally been studied from the point of view of their contents rather than their find spots. A reappraisal of the evidence gives due consideration to the contexts in which hoards were buried, alongside their contents and associated objects.

This will be followed on Thursday 23 October, at 5.30pm by a lecture which will look at the Roman Empire in York. As part of ‘Roman York: An Ancient City Revealed’, those in attendance can discover how the famous city was unique in Roman Britain in being both a major military base and urban centre. Its remains are largely buried below the modern city but archaeological investigations have revealed many of its secrets, including buildings and streets and details of the daily lives of its people and these will be revealed by key speaker Dr Patrick Ottoway, PJO Archaeology.

Next month’s lectures will begin with ‘A Cock and Bull Story: Roman finds from Yorkshire recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme’ on Thursday 6 November at 5.30pm. The Portable Antiquities Scheme has been running for 16 years, recording the bits of archaeology that are found by members of the public, by chance resulting in nearly one million objects on our public database. Sponsored by the Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society, the most interesting recent finds from Yorkshire, ranging from spectacular single brooches to hoards of coins will be explored by guest speaker, Amy Downes, from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service.

As part of the final talk of the lecture series on 13 November at 5.30pm, guest speaker Steve Roskams from the University of York will focus on: ‘Roman Yorkshire: the impact of Eboracum (Roman York) on its hinterlands’. Both the City of York and the Yorkshire region have been subject to considerable archaeological investigation over the years. Drawing on evidence from nearby, including the recent fieldwork at Heslington East on the edge of the town, and further afield, in the Yorkshire Wolds, this talk will consider how the city of York and the Yorkshire region has been subject to considerable archaeological investigation over the years, and how the city exploited the resources of the surrounding landscape and what, if anything, it offered in return.

This lecture series supports the remarkable British Museum ‘Roman Empire: Power & People’ touring exhibition currently being held at Leeds City Museum. Open until 4 January 2015, some of the greatest treasures from the British Museum’s collections of Roman, Romano-British and Romano-Egyptian artefacts are on display, along with items from Yorkshire’s own prized collections which give the exhibition a unique local context.

Kat Baxter, Curator of Archaeology at Leeds Museums and Galleries, said:

"It is a privilege for us to host this nationally important collection and be British Museum partners. Being part of this tour means that we again push the boundaries on what we can achieve for our visitors. We pride ourselves on appealing to a wide audience and these 160 objects from the British Museum will build a picture of life as a Roman, wherever and whoever you were in the Empire.

"This free lecture series explores Yorkshire during the Roman period, focussing on the wide range of finds discovered in the area both through excavation and by members of the public. The lecture series explores the power and vastness of the Roman Empire and Britain’s place within it, balanced with an insight into the personal lives of the Romans here in Yorkshire. We’re thrilled with the diversity of the lecture series on offer, which compliments this major exhibition for Leeds."

Notes to editors:


All the lectures are free and no booking is required:

- Thursday 16 October, 5.30pm, lecture - Fields and farms, lucre and lightning seeds: people, coins and the rural landscape in Roman Yorkshire. Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.

- Thursday 23 October, 5.30pm, lecture - Roman York: An Ancient City Revealed.

- Thursday 6 November, 5.30pm, lecture - A Cock and Bull Story: Roman finds from Yorkshire recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Sponsored by the Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society.

- Thursday 13 November, 5.30pm, lecture - :Roman Yorkshire: the impact of Eboracum (Roman York) on its hinterlands.

Roman Empire: Power & People opened to the public on 20 September and will run until 4 January 2015. Leeds City Museum is on Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH, and is open every day, except Mondays, (open Bank Holidays) from 10am to 5pm and until 7pm on Thursdays. Weekends 11am to 5pm.

Roman Empire: Power & People brings together over 160 stunning pieces from the British Museum to explore the story of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen.

Highlights include sculpture from the villas of the Emperors Tiberius and Hadrian, coins from the famous Hoxne treasure, beautiful jewellery and even near-perfectly preserved children’s clothing from Roman Egypt.

The exhibition explores the wealth, power and organisation of the Empire, but also how the Romans viewed their provinces and other peoples. Religious, military and personal objects give an insight into the lives of people across the Empire, from northern Britain to Egypt and the Middle East. These fascinating objects show how the influences of the many people and places that the Romans came into contact with were absorbed and adapted into the Empire.

Full details of the exhibition, please visit www.leeds.gov.uk/RomanEmpire with updates communicated using the #RomanEmpire hashtag via Leeds Museums and Galleries’ social media accounts on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LeedsMuseums) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/LeedsMuseumsAndGalleries)

Leeds Museums & Galleries

Established in 1821, Leeds Museums & Galleries is the largest local authority-run museum service in England and has one of the larger and most significant multidisciplinary collections in the UK. We care for 1.3 million objects which we use to inspire, educate, entertain and challenge the people of Leeds and visitors to our city. We run nine historic sites and visitor attractions, to which we welcome over 1 million visitors each year, approximately 25% of all museum visits across Yorkshire.

Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum is situated in one of Leeds' much loved civic buildings - the Leeds Institute building on Millennium Square. The Leeds Institute is one of the City's most important historic buildings and was completed in 1862 by Cuthbert Brodrick, who also built Leeds Town Hall and the Corn Exchange. From the middle of the last century until 2005 it also housed the Civic Theatre where amateur theatrical groups staged public performances. It has been home to the City Museum since 2008. The City Museum is the flagship site for the service, and is home to four floors of interactive and exciting galleries showcasing the story of Leeds, as well as the Leeds Mummy and our Designated Natural History collection. In 2013-14 we attracted over 320,000 visitors to our site.

Leeds City Museum is a free attraction located just up the steps on Millennium Square in Leeds city centre.

Admission free. Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm), Tues, Weds and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm.


Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk