skip to primary navigationskip to content

Roman Burials Project

Vivere e Morire nell'impero Romano:
Nuove prospettive dell'archeologia funeraria - Influenze culturali dal centro alla periferia

Living and Dying in Imperial Rome: New perspectives on funerary archaeology - cultural influences from the centre to the periphery


Project Outline

The Roman Empire of the 1st to the 4th centuries A.D. covered much of the territory which, from the 1st of May 2004 constitutes the enlarged European Union. This juxtaposition presents an opportunity to explore aspects of society and culture which represent common elements between the varied European  populations in order to create a greater awareness of the shared culture and history of modern Europe, the importance of interaction between diverse cultures, and the influence of Rome at the centre of the empire upon the provinces.

The origins of this project are rooted in developments within the field of funerary archaeology over the past decade. The archaeological methods applied to excavations of Roman cemeteries from the imperial period have demonstrated progress in dealing with an archaeological record which is both scarce and fragmentary. The evidence derived from this has great value for the study of demography, living conditions, social structure, religious beliefs and ritual practices etc.

Fundamental to this work is the application of analyses which permit a reconstruction of funerary practices at the moment of deposition and in subsequent years. Through such work this project hopes to improve both the methodologies employed and the state of knowledge within the field of funerary archaeology.

The methods which this project employs in order to achieve these aims are varied. The project will formulate a common set of procedures for approaching funerary evidence and common criteria for its study. These are to be supported through the development of a model database. The results of the project will be disseminated through a number of workshops, this website, a field school and selected publications.

Through the field school, it is hoped that younger scholars will be introduced to methods of archaeological research which can be applied across Europe. Our intention is to promote a better understanding of shared socio-cultural history and of customs in the Roman Empire. We also intend to facilitate a greater exchange of ideas between scholars of funerary archaeology and wider understanding of the importance of the archaeological record as a means of understanding our past and therefore our own identity.

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

Every cast tells two stories.

One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.


Coronovirus Update: Temporary Closure of the Museum of Classical Archaeology from Wednesday 18 March

We are very sad to announce that the Museum of Classical Archaeology will be closing from 5pm today, Tuesday 17 March 2020 until further notice.

More information and updates...


Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm
Sat: 10am-1pm (univ. term time only)
Sun and Monday: Closed

Closed on Bank Holidays

Saturday Opening

We are currently closed on Saturdays. We are only open on Saturdays during University of Cambridge term time. Saturday opening begins again on Saturday 25 April 2020.


Easter Closure

We are closing for Easter. We will close at 5pm on Thursday 9 April and reopen at 10am on Tuesday 14 April.


Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue

We do not have an entrance on the road. Find us inside the Sidgwick Site.


Join our mailing list

Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. Permission is required to reproduce our images.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.