Session: #179

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Life of the Frontier: Frontier Heritages and Living Histories
This session focuses on the topical theme of frontiers, exploring the ways that ancient and recent borderworks are brought to life, including through re-constructions, living history, festivals and through digital applications online and onsite.
We are interested in examining how this heritage forms and is expressed throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and neighbouring territories such as the Near East, and via a wide range of case studies and interdisciplinary methodologies. By doing so, we hope to build more in depth understanding of the ways in which 'the frontier', as a historical structure, has been experienced in the past and is experienced today. Furthermore, we aim at discussing the meanings that different communities assign to it by means of interacting with the material evidence that such structure preserves in the present.
We welcome papers that address one or more of the following questions, drawing on archaeological, historical and anthropological approaches: how are frontiers and borders from different times and places perceived and lived now? How do borderworks shape ancient and modern identities? What are the multiple ways that frontiers through time are brought together through performance and separated through analytical reasoning? What does this tell us about contemporary people's relationship with frontiers, the risks and hopes they see in them?
The session aims to build on three projects: the debates about the heritage of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site (Mills 2013), the ongoing work of the Ancient Identities in Modern Britain project (see, and the Ancient Near Eastern Empires programme (

N. Mills (ed. 2013). Presenting the Romans: Interpreting the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site. Mills, N. Boydell & Brewer
Frontiers, Borders, Heritage, Public perceptions, Archaeology, Anthropology
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Main organiser:
Richard Hingley (United Kingdom) 1
Chiara Bonacchi (United Kingdom) 2
Marta Lorenzon (Finland) 3
Luca Peyronel (Italy) 4
Guido Vannini (Italy) 5
1. Durham University
2. University of Stirling
3. University of Helsinki
4. University of Milan
5. University of Florence