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Prof. Rebecca Sweetman

Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology
On research leave 2017-18

rs43@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 462606

Room: S10

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Art and Architecture of Roman and Late Antique Greece
  • Crete, the Cyclades and the Peloponnese
  • Roman and Late Antique mosaics
  • Religious architecture
  • Globalization and Christianization
  • Archaeological Fieldwork

Current research projects

I am currently working on two areas of Roman and Late Antique Greece. The first is a project concerning the topography of The Late Antique churches of the Peloponnese. Having undertaken a survey of all the surviving churches, I have been analysing the data to try to understand how the churches, and particularly their location, may have been used in the Christianization process. I am particularly interested in ideas of change through strategic processes (which would suggested a phased Christianization) and the use of memory in order to make the process an organic one that helps the incremental and multi-directional religious change. I am currently looking at areas outside the Peloponnese such as Crete, Cyprus and Lycia to see how the analysis of Late Antique church topography in the Peloponnese compares with other areas. This project has been generously funded by funded by the AHRC, RSE and Memoria Romana project.

I have recently turned my attention to the Cyclades in the Roman and Late Antique period. It is exciting to work on Roman material again and the Cyclades has proved to be incredibly interesting in terms of understanding what happens to the islands when they become part of the Empire. The islands have been written off by ancient sources as somewhat insular best used for exile. However, the archaeological data has thus far is indicating quite a diverse range of participation in the Empire. Additionally, the islands appear to have had Christian churches constructed on them quite a bit earlier than mainland Greece at least.

Both these projects allow me to look more broadly at the Roman and Late Antique east (particularly Crete!) and I have been writing context pieces on Roman and Late Antique Greece for Archaeology in Greece

Previous archaeological projects

Director of the Roman Kouphovouno Project: Funded by the British School at Athens, Roman Society and School of Classics, St Andrews

Co-director of the Sparta Basilica Project funded by the British School at Athens, British Academy and 5th Ephorea of Byzantine Antiques

August 2002: Co-director of Phylakopi Project, Melos funded by the British School at Athens, Institute for the Study of Aegean Prehistory and the Macdonald Institute

Conference

12-14th September 2007 conference: 100 Years of Solitude: Roman Colonies in the first
century of their foundation.

Publications

The Mosaics of Roman Crete: Art, Archaeology and Social Change
Sweetman, R. J. 2013 Cambridge University Press. 400 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Roman Colonies in the First Century of Their Foundation
Sweetman, R. J. (ed.) 2011 Oxbow. 128 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Macedonia, Greece, and the Aegean
Sweetman, R. J. 24 Oct 2016 The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology. Caraher, W., Pettegrew, D. & Davis, T. (eds.). Oxford, (Oxford Handbook)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Networks: exile and tourism in the Roman Cyclades
Sweetman, R. J. 2016 Beyond Boundaries: Connecting Visual Cultures in the Provinces of Ancient Rome. Frakes, J. F. D., Egri, M. & Alcock, S. E. (eds.). LA: Getty Publications, p. 46-61 16 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Exploring canons and cathedrals with Open Virtual Worlds: The recreation of St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews Day, 1318
Kennedy, S. E., Fawcett, R., Miller, A. H. D., Sweetman, R. J., Dow, L., Campbell, A., Oliver, I. A., McCaffery, J. P. & Allison, C. Oct 2013 Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage), 2013 . IEEE, Vol. 2, p. 273 - 280 8 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Living history with Open Virtual Worlds: Reconstructing St Andrews Cathedral as a stage for historic narrative
Kennedy, S., Dow, L., Oliver, I. A., Sweetman, R. J., Miller, A. H. D., Campbell, A., Davies, C. J., McCaffery, J. P., Allison, C., Green, D., Luxford, J. M. & Fawcett, R. Dec 2012 Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit: EiED 2012. Gardner, M., Garnier, F. & Kloos, C. D. (eds.). Madrid, Spain: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, p. 146-160 15 p. (E-iED)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Memory and Loss in the Late Antique Cities of Knossos and Sparta
Sweetman, R. J. 2012 Vrbes Extinctae: Archaeologies of Abandoned Classical Towns. Christie, N. & Augenti, A. (eds.). Ashgate, p. 243-274
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 ‘Domus, Villa and Farmstead: The Globalization of Crete’
Sweetman, R. J. 2011 STEGA: The Archaeology of Houses and Households in Ancient Crete. Glowacki, K. & Vogeikoff-Brogan , N. (eds.). Hesperia Supplementary Volume, Vol. 14, p. 441-50 9 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Acropolis Basilica, Sparta: the broader research issues’
Sweetman, R. J. 2009 Sparta and Laconia: from prehistory to pre-modern.: Proceedings of the Conference held in Sparta, organised by the British School at Athens, the University of Nottingham, the Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 5th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities 17-20 March 2005. Cavanagh, W. G., Gallou, C. & Georgiadis , M. (eds.). London: British School at Athens, Vol. 16, p. 331-43
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Exploring the Second Life of a Byzantine Basilica
Getchell, K., Miller, A., Allison, C. & Sweetman, R. J. 2009 Serious Games on the Move. Petrovic, O. & Brand, A. (eds.). Springer, p. 165-180
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Identification of space through a study of mosaics: A case study, Knossos, Crete
Sweetman, R. J. 2007 Building Communities: House, Settlement and Society in the Aegean and Beyond: Proceedings of a Conference held at Cardiff University, 17–21 April 2001. Westgate, R., Fisher, N. & Whitley, J. (eds.). London: British School at Athens, Vol. 15, p. 363-72
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Evaluating exploratory learning in LAVA
Getchell, K., Nicoll, J., Kerbey, C., Miller, A., Allison, C., Sweetman, R. & Michaelson, R. 2007 WBED'07 Proceedings of the sixth conference on IASTED International Conference Web-Based Education. p. 561--567
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Roman Eastern Provinces
Sweetman, R. J. 2007 The Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Elsevier (incl. Pergamon )
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

THE LAVA PROJECT: A SERVICE BASED APPROACH TO SUPPORTING EXPLORATORY LEARNING
Getchell, K., Miller, A. H. D., Allison, C., Hardy, R., Sweetman, R. & Crook, V. 1 Oct 2006 IADIS International Conference WWW/Internet. Murcia, Spain
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

The Evidence of Itinerant Craftspeople from the mosaics of Roman Crete
Sweetman, R. J. 2001 La mosaïque gréco-romaine VIII: actes du VIIIème Colloque international pour l'étude de la mosaïque antique et médiévale : Lausanne (Suisse), 6-11 octobre 1997. Paunier, D. & Schmidt, C. (eds.). Cahiers d'archéologie romande, p. 249-260
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Networks and church building in the Aegean: Crete, Cyprus, Lycia and the Peloponnese
Sweetman, R. J. 27 Apr 2017 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 2017, 112
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Memory, tradition and Christianization of the Peloponnese
Sweetman, R. J. Oct 2015 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 119, 4, p. 501–531
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Christianization of the Peloponnese: the case for strategic change
Sweetman, R. J. 2015 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 110, 35 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Roman Greece: Mediterranean Context and Continuity
Sweetman, R. J. 13 Dec 2012 In : Archaeological Reports. 58, p. 30-41 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Roman Knossos: Discovering the city through the evidence of rescue excavations.
Sweetman, R. J. Nov 2010 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 105, p. 339-79 40 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Games methodologies and immersive environments for virtual fieldwork
Getchell, K. M., Miller, A. H. D., Nicoll, J. R., Sweetman, R. J. & Allison, C. Oct 2010 In : IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. 3, 4, p. 281-293 13 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Christianization of the Peloponnese: The Topography and Function of Late Antique Churches
Sweetman, R. J. 2010 In : Journal of Late Antiquity. 3, 2, p. 203-261 59 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Roman Knossos. The Nature of a Globalized City.
Sweetman, R. J. Jan 2007 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 111, 1, p. 61-81 21 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The arts of Antioch. Art historical and scientific approaches to Roman mosaics and a catalogue of the Worcester Art Museum Antioch collection.
Sweetman, R. J. 2007 In : Classical Review. 57, p. 217-219 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The past from above
Sweetman, R. 2006 In : History of Photography. 30, p. 389-391 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Antiquity and photography: Early views of ancient Mediterranean sites
Sweetman, R. 2006 In : History of Photography. 30, p. 389-391 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knossos Medical Faculty site: Late Antique graves and other remains
Sweetman, R. J. 2005 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 100, p. 331-86
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Late Antique Knossos. Understanding the City: Evidence of Mosaics and Religious Architecture
Sweetman, R. J. Jan 2004 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 99, 1, p. 315-354
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Roman Mosaics of the Knossos Valley
Sweetman, R. J. Jan 2003 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 98, 1, p. 517-547
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Phylakopi 2003, Redefining a prehistoric city: Fieldwork 2003: Abstract
Sweetman, R. J., Boyd, M. & Brodie, N. 2003 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 107
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Acropolis Basilica Project, Sparta: A preliminary report for the 2000 season
Sweetman, R. J. & Katsara, E. Jan 2002 In : Annual of the British School at Athens. 97, 1, p. 429-468
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Early Christian Sparta
Sweetman, R. J. 2002 In : Archaeology Ireland. 16, 4, p. 30-33
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Acropolis Basilica, Sparta: the first season: Abstract
Sweetman, R. J. 2001 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 105, p. 523-524
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

The Knossos Medical Faculty Basilica in its Cretan context’ Proceedings of the 10th International Cretelogical Congress Athens
Sweetman, R. J. 2010 p. 49-67
Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

The Romanization of Knossos: a study of mosaics and other material culture
Sweetman, R. J. 2006 p. 421-34
Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

A new group of mosaics from Corinth in their domestic context and in the context of the colony
Sweetman, R. J. 2005 p. 359-69
Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

The changing nature of Knossos: Roman to Early Christian - Some problems
Sweetman, R. J. 2004 p. 481 - 488
Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

 

Review of Roman Crete: new perspectives
Sweetman, R. J. Jul 2017 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 121, 3
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

A survey of the Aegean Islands in Late Antiquity: review of Deligiannakis, The Dodecanese and the Eastern Aegean Islands in Late Antiquity, AD 300 – 700. Pp. xxii+ 232, ills, maps.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Sweetman, R. Apr 2017 In : Classical Review. 67, 1, p. 1710–1711
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Book review of globalisation and the Roman world: world history, connectivity and material culture, edited by Martin Pitts and Miguel John Versluys
Sweetman, R. J. Apr 2016 In : American Journal of Archaeology. 120, 2
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Review of: Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: Art and Archaeology from Justinian I to the Coeur de Lion. Edited by Charles Anthony Stewart, Thomas W. Davis, and Annemarie Weyl Carr American Schools of Oriental Research, Archaeological Reports 20 CAARI Monograph Series 5
Sweetman, R. J. 2015 In : Medieval Archaeology. 59
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Review of: Butrint 4. The Archaeology and Histories of an Ionian Town Hansen, Hodges and Leppard Oxbow Books 2013. ISBN 978-1-84217
Sweetman, R. J. 2014 In : Landscape History. 35, 2
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Review of: The Acropolis through its Museum. Wandering among the Monuments on the Sacred Rock and the Great Achievements. By P.Valavanis Translated by Doumas Alexandra. Athens: Kapon Editions, 2013
Sweetman, R. J. 2014 In : Classical Review. 64, 2, p. 633-4
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

The Apse: Beat Brenk, The Apse, the Image and the Icon. An Historical Perspective of the Apse as a Space for Images. (Spätantike – Frühes Christentum – Byzanz 26). Pp. 132, 106 black and white and 37 colour plates (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2010). Cased €29.90. ISBN 978-3-89500-703-3
Sweetman, R. J. 13 Sep 2012 In : Classical Review. 62, 2, p. 642-44 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Cult Images: Review of J. Mylonopoulos, Divine Images and Human Imaginations in Ancient Greece and Rome (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 170). Pp. xviii + 386, pls. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010. Cased € 135, $200. ISBN: 978-90-04-17930-1.
Sweetman, R. J. 13 Sep 2012 In : Classical Review. 62, 2, p. 538-40 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

 

A Computer Games Approach To Exploratory Learning - Lava: A Case Study in System Design
Getchell, K., Nicoll, J., Kerbey, C., Miller, A., Allison, C., Sweetman, R., Complin, J. & Michaelson, R. 2007
Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

 

For further information on publications, please view my profile on the university's research portal.

Research students

I am pleased to supervise PhDs in any of the fields mentioned above, particularly in areas of Roman and Late Antique Crete, the Cyclades and the Peloponnese. Students I have worked with have completed topics on Etruscan funerary rites and the Roman Army.

Current PhD Students

Jackie Whalen: researching evidence (or lack of) for Spartan Austerity

Hallvard Indgjerd: working on Late Antique and Byzantine Naxos in the Cyclades

Doug Forsyth: working on Crete and the Cyclades in the Early Iron Age

Teaching

Teaching Areas

I contribute to the Archaeology and Ancient History Programmes in the School. For sub honours I contribute to the core Greek and Roman History modules in first and second year and I also teach some art and architecture sections of the CL2004 module. For my honours teaching I focus on Greek and Roman archaeology. I contribute to the core Archaeology module (AN3020) and at honours and sub honours I teach archaeological theory and methods classes (including hands on pottery using the collection of Cypriot material housed in the School of Classics). Some of my honours modules include the Archaeology of Minoan Crete (AN4149) and the Development of religious architecture (AN4424). In the Archaeology of Greece (AN4127) we spend part of our module touring the archaeological sites of Greece (primarily in Athens, Boeotia and the Peloponnese). My most recent module concerns the Archaeology of the Cyclades, from Bronze Age to Late Antique, with a particular focus on networks.

Teaching Resources

A number of learning resources have been developed to enhance the teaching, learning & assessment of Greek archaeology in St Andrews. Key among them is the 'Dwellings of the Gods' project which saw the production of an interactive archaeological map and database of images of sites and material culture. 

The design and development of these teaching resource projects has been funded by the FILTA and SELF award schemes of the University of St Andrews.

MLitt modules offered

  • The archaeology of the city of Athens
  • The archaeology of Greek religion
  • Archaic to Late Antique Sparta
  • Knossos: Minoan to Late Antique

We offer pottery handling sessions to primary and secondary schools in Fife and Tayside so do get in touch if you are interested.

Academic Career

My undergraduate degree from University College Dublin was in Archaeology and Classics. I spent a year on the excavation circuit and then started my PhD on Roman and Early Christian Mosaics of Crete at the University of Nottingham. This was largely funded by the British School at Athens and so Athens and Crete was where I happily spent most of the time working on my PhD. After a series of temporary jobs at the BSA (including Knossos Curator and Archivist I became Assistant Director of the BSA. I had a fantastic three years as AD before coming to St Andrews as a lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology in 2003. I have been happily working at St Andrews since then and I have been fortunate to have been able to spend extended periods of research back in Athens over the years.

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