Project title:  Ringing the changes: the social significance of finger-rings in Roman Britain

Department/School:   Archaeology 

Supervisors:  Dr Hella Eckardt (School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science) & Dr Richard Hobbs (British Museum) 

Project Overview:

The project proposes a study of the significance of Romano-British finger-rings for personal, social and cultural expression in Roman Britain. Such a study will contribute to the wider debate, in the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, about the significance of material culture for expressing identity in ancient societies. As one of the most common classes of body adornment, rings have the potential to cast light on how the people of Roman Britain expressed themselves through the wearing of jewellery and the differences which can be distinguished in ring style and use between gender, social classes, religious beliefs and regional identities. The project will analyse rings from the British Museum, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and from published sources, covering the whole of the Romano-British period.

Rings are only one class of jewellery, so understanding how they relate to wider changes in fashion expressed through other forms of body adornment, clothing and dress accessories, hairstyles, cosmetic use and so on, is one of the project’s primary aims. How and why rings as cultural artefacts in Britain differ from other provinces of the Roman Empire will also be addressed.


  • Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in either Archaeology or Archaeological Science and a Masters degree in either Roman Archaeology, Archaeology or Archaeological Science
  • Due to restrictions on funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU. 

Funding Details:

  • Three  year award starting October 2014
  • Stipend of £ 16,413 per annum

How to apply:

To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Archaeology at:  Please also provide a 500 word proposal on how you envisage approaching this research project. 

Application Deadline: 25th of April 2014.  Please note that it is proposed to interview shortlisted applicants on 6th of May 2014. 

Further Enquiries:  For further details please contact Hella Eckardt on: 

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter;  this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.