Dr Will Wootton
Lecturer in Roman Art
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1015
Address Department of Classics
C5, North Wing
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
I took a BA in Classics at Bristol University. During my degree I learnt to make mosaics with Marjorie Knowles, one of the foremost British mosaic artists. Afterwards I moved to the Motorhouse in North Yorkshire where I worked with her daughter, Rosie Skaife, on the completion of a large-scale wall mosaic depicting the Atlantic Rainforest.
In 1999 I returned to academic study, completing the MPhil and DPhil in Classical Archaeology at Oxford University. I was supervised by Bert Smith and wrote my thesis on the techniques of production of Hellenistic and Roman mosaics. I have been involved in archaeological excavations in Britain, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy (Rome and Pompeii) and Libya, and have also participated in conservation projects in Jordan and Palestine.
My research focuses on craft production in antiquity. I am particularly interested in the intersections between materials and techniques as well as craftsmen and clients. I have worked extensively on the making of mosaics from the Hellenistic period into Late Antiquity publishing in journals, books and conference proceedings. I am fascinated by process and the practical aspects of making play an important part in my work. I have spent time making mosaics and have recently been developing new research trajectories on ancient stone working which incorporate workshops with sculptors. I am currently the principal investigator on a Leverhulme-funded project on Roman stone carving and have received funding from the Getty Foundation to put on workshops in Libya on mosaic conservation and site management.
My work deals not only with the broader socio-economic history of craft and building activity but also with specific investigations into the steps involved in their manufacture. I have written on the reception and reformulation of visual culture, and continue to be interested in the construction and use of images from antiquity to the present day. More recently I have focused on Roman art, examining production both at the centre and periphery of empire. This work has been much developed during my involvement the Getty Foundation Seminar on the Art of Rome's Provinces
. I also have a research interest in the application of digital technologies to classics and archaeology. While in Oxford I worked with the Beazley Archive
on the project to digitize the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum
and since then I have continued to develop projects which seek to integrate the digital humanities.
Will Wootton (2008) 'G.W. Bowersock, Mosaics as history: the Near East from late antiquity to Islam (Cambridge, MA, 2006)' JOURNAL OF ROMAN STUDIES, 98, pp. 279-280. [Book Review (Print)]
Will Wootton (2008) 'Piecing it back together: the fragmentary Hellenistic vermiculatum mosaic from Tel Dor', in Essays in Classical Archaeology for Eleni Hatzivassiliou 1977-2007 pp. 259-268 [Chapter]
William Wootton (2002) 'Another Alexander mosaic: reconstructing the Hunt mosaic from Palermo' Journal of Roman Archaeology, 15, pp. 264-274. [Article in print Journal]
Expertise and Public Engagement
I am happy to supervise students at doctoral level in subjects related to any of my research interests.