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Dr Andrea Brock

Lecturer in Ancient History
Director of the Centre for Landscape Studies

Room: C22

Research profile

Research Interests

  • The City of Rome
  • Environmental History of the Mediterranean
  • Human-Environment Interactions in Antiquity
  • Environmental Archaeology and Coring Survey
  • Urbanization, particularly in Archaic Italy
  • Historiography of Early Rome
  • Sustainability Education

My work integrates the literary record on early Rome with new archaeological evidence, in order to produce an environmental and topographical reconstruction of Rome’s river valley. As director of the Forum Boarium Project, I have conducted a coring survey of the city’s original river harbour and harbour sanctuary. Among other findings, my research is revealing new insights on the effects of environmental stress—in particular frequent flooding and rapid sedimentation in the river valley—on Rome’s urbanization process.

Current Research

I am currently working on a number of publications that stem from my doctoral research. In particular, I am preparing an article that discusses Rome’s origins as a harbour town and presents new data on significant landscape change coinciding with the boom in urban construction that characterizes the sixth century BCE.

Additionally, I am working with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability to publish an open-access Sustainability Case Study, which will lead students on an exploration of the environmental challenges faced by Rome’s early inhabitants.

Through a collaboration with the University of Arkansas’ Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), I have undertaken a long-term project to translate archaeological, environmental, and historical data into a 3D computer model of Rome’s changing riverscape.

I am currently formulating plans for a second phase of coring survey in Rome in the summer of 2019. Following this phase of field work, I aim to complete a monograph on the Environmental History of Early Rome.

Finally, distinct from my work in Roman archaeology and history, I also serve as a Fellow for the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium. As a HEASC Fellow, I am working with a team of researchers to identify which curricular experiences can instil students with the motivation to become sustainability change agents and be resilient in the face of obstacles.



During the 2018-19 academic year, I will be lecturing in a variety of sub-honours ancient history modules and contributing to the Roman History option module in the MLitt program. In semester 2, I will also offer an Honours module on environmental history, entitled ‘Floods, famines, plagues and volcanoes: Roman adaptation to the environment.’

Academic Career

I am an alumna of the University of Michigan’s Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology. In 2017, I completed my dissertation, Rome at Its Core: Reconstructing the Environment and Topography of the Forum Boarium, and earned my PhD. In the course of my doctoral studies, I was also awarded MAs in Latin and Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate, I studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned my BA in Classical Archaeology in 2009.

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