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Name: Dr Sarah U. Scheffler M.A. 

PhD: Archaeology

Thesis Title: Nothing has happened? The integration of the Lomellina into the Roman empire (graduated January 2019)

(red star) The thesis is now available online via the Leicester Research Archive(red star)


Thesis Abstract:

The Italian Lomellina (province of Pavia), bordered by the rivers Ticino and Po and thus positioned at the crossroads between the Alps and the central Po valley, was firmly embedded in a network stretching beyond the Adriatic and connecting the area with the wider Mediterranean throughout the Iron Age. This PhD uses the mortuary record of the area to assess issues relating to identity change between the Late Iron Age and the period of Roman conquest.

Across this period, the Lomellina was caught between indigenous resistance to and alliance with Rome, between cultural conservatism and new material developments. The results of these social, cultural and economic changes are reflected in the mortuary record of the Lomellina between the late 3rd century BC and AD 100. The quantitative and qualitative analysis for this study comprises 488 mortuary contexts from 32 individual excavation sites.

Concepts such as ritual as well as practice theory and the comparison with the wider region shed light on question such as: how did the conquest and the subsequent integration into the Roman empire impact the communities of the Lomellina? How did the expression of identity through material culture and funerary rituals change? Is it possible to provide new answers to the old question of what ‘becoming Roman’ meant in this region?

The archaeological record of the Lomellina shows that the Roman conquest of the wider region had a profound impact on the communities. Previous economic networks continued but the Lomellina experienced a boost for its local industries that was most likely facilitated by the growth of urban centres. Social relationships were transformed following the administrative and legal changes instigated by the Roman authorities. Culturally the archaeological records indicate the impact of a globalisation, an increased participation in and interconnectivity between wider economic and cultural networks.

Supervisors and Institution(s):

  • Prof. David Mattingly (University of Leicester)
  • Prof. Colin Haselgrove (University of Leicester)
  • Prof. Mark Pearce (University of Nottingham)




  • Habitus and Code-Switching. Theoretical concepts as a tool for understanding changing identities in pre- and early Roman northwest Italy, TRAC Workshop Making Practice Perfect, UCL London, 30.01.2016
  • Switching to Roman? Translating late Iron Age mortuary contexts from the Lomellina (IT), TRAC 2016 Session: Beyond Hybridity and Code-Switching: New approaches to the archaeology of Late Hellenistic Rome, Italy, and the wider Mediterranean, Rome, 16.-19.03.2016
  • CSI Lomellina. Funerary customs between deviance and norm, University of Leicester - School of Archaeology and Ancient History - Postgraduate Research Conference, November 2016
  • Nothing has happened? The integration of the Lomellina into the Roman empire, University of Leicester - School of Archaeology and Ancient History - Postgraduate Research Conference, November 2017

  • Who do you think they were? Identities in the wake of the Roman conquest, Workshop Who Do You Think You Are? Ethnicity in the Iron Age Central Mediterranean, UCL London, 24.03.2018
  • If nothing fits the bill? An archaeological landscape beyond imperialism and colonialism, Classical Association Annual Conference 2018, University of Leicester, 09.04.2018
  • The invisible (Ro)man. A case study on north-west Italian mortuary archaeology in the wake of the Roman conquest, TRAC 2018 Session 2d, 12.04.2018 
  • Behind every great (Ro)man. A case study on north-west Italian mortuary archaeology in the wake of the Roman conquest, EAA 2018 Session 700, 06.09.2018
  • Wer bin ich? Und wenn ja, wieviele? Identities in the wake of the Roman conquest, EAA 2018 Session 696, 08.09.2018

Public talks:

  • The change and expression of identities in/through material culture, Leicester Adult Education College, Lunchtime Lectures, 23.02.2018


Social Media Presence:


IARSS 2016 - The 19th Iron Age Research Student Symposium  Follow us on facebook and twitter!

We are pleased to announce that, in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, the 19th Iron Age Research Student Symposium (IARSS) will be held at the University of Leicester between the 19th and 22nd of May 2016.


IARSS is a research student focused conference, designed to serve as a platform for new researchers to share their projects and collaborate with others. Although IARSS is advertised as being for Iron Age researchers, contributions from those colleagues examining closely related or overlapping periods, such as the Late Bronze Age, are also welcome. In addition to papers which examine aspects of the British Iron Age, we invite colleagues colleagues examining the Iron Age in other regions of the world, including but not limited to, Ireland, continental Europe and the Near East.




CDF Events:

‘Put Your Maps to Work’: Introduction to ArcGIS (10.3) →   ‘Put Your Maps to Work’ is the official ArcGIS slogan. We want to enable students to network over mapping, to share their experience and profit from professional knowledge exchange. The introduction to ArcGIS (10.3) will be a training event in April – May 2016 at the University of Leicester, where four three-hour workshops (each with a 30 minute networking break) will be delivered. It is designed to teach students the fundamentals of the program which can then be used for their own research purposes. At the end of the four workshops, each attendee will receive a certificate of participation. 



Registration and more information:



Routes to a career within heritage and archaeology – an Alternative Field Trip! →  

‘The Alternative Field Trip’ is designed to prompt Arts and Humanities students to consider alternative career paths, especially those that coincide with the cultural industry and outreaching institutions such as museums. Therefore, the workshop is designed around three career 'streams':


  • Focus on Finds: these sessions will not only offer instruction on identification and handling of exhibits in a museum context but give a glimpse into the world behind the scenes of the museum and the interpretive choices made when collecting and presenting objects.
  • Making Objects Speak: three sessions will address different aspects of showcasing artefacts through illustration, 3D reconstruction and curatorial skills, opening career prospects from universities to documentary filming.
  • Forging Your Path: these sessions will address some of the potential career paths in the broad field of heritage management and public engagement. Transferrable skills exploring dissemination of research and collaboration with science and those relating to education, outreach, finding funding and project planning will be presented. 

We have designed these subject-specific and non-specialist workshops to appeal to a broad audience. The sessions will be facilitated by professionals who will act as pathfinders to careers in the cultural industries. Each session will, therefore, begin with a short reflection of the speaker’s career path and close with Q&A to provide students with an opportunity to address their specific questions.