Peter Haarer (Oxford) – Report 2023

Practical Epigraphy Workshop 2023, Chesters Corbridge, Northumberland, 25–29 March 2023

Thanks to the generous support of sponsors including l' Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine we were again able to run the Practical Epigraphy Workshop this year and to provide epigraphic training to a further eighteen students (bringing the total number of participants who have completed the course so far to 183 over the twelve iterations since 2007).  We received 31 applications for the places available, including 22 from British and European nationals and nine from the rest of the world (Turkish, US, Canadian, Australian, and Chinese).  A list of participants is provided below.

This year's programme repeated the successful format from 2022 which involves groups working at Chesters and Corbridge simultaneously and studying the exquisite inscriptions in each collection while both sites are closed to the general public.  We could not have achieved this feat without the indispensable as well as most generous help from Frances McIntosh, or that of the Trustees of the Clayton Collection.  A significant change to this year's timetable was to arrive one day earlier and to leave one day later to allow for more time for study of the stones and time in which to do justice to the archaeological context of Hadrian's Wall.  Sites visited included Roman Chesters, Corbridge Roman Town, Carrawburgh (with the adjoining Mithraeum and Coventina's Well), Limestone Corner, and Vindolanda.  We also moved the practical sessions on photography and on squeeze-making to a conference facility at our hotel accommodation (for squeeze-making we now use ancient stones rarely and instead bring our own modern material kindly donated for the purpose).

I am eternally grateful to the Workshop team for dealing patiently with the demands of the course and various unexpected challenges, whether the creation of an ad hoc lecture theatre, or working around the breakdown of the hired minibus and consequential loss of our main transport for most of one day.  The prize of "Star Epigrapher", as ever, goes without question to Roger Tomlin for his indefatigable enthusiasm and openness to sharing his unrivalled expertise and knowledge on the inscriptions of Roman Britain, whether giving advice on particular pieces within the museums, or giving introductions to writing tablets from Carlisle or graffiti on Samian ware: what would we do without him?
Peter Haarer (Course Director)

This year's sponsors: Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (University of Oxford), University of Lincoln, Craven Committee, British Epigraphy Society, Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, Jowett Copyright Trustees, Trustees of the Clayton Collection, Haverfield Fund.

This year's team: Peter Haarer (Oxford); Roger Tomlin (Oxford), Charles Crowther (Oxford), Olivia Elder (Oxford), Henning Schulze (University of Lincoln).  Administrative support: Chloe Colchester (CSAD, Oxford).

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