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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.

Research interests

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.

I am happy to supervise students at doctoral level in subjects related to any of my research interests.

For more details, please see my research profile.

Expertise and Public Engagement

I am the Events Officer for the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics (ASPRoM) and work closely with the Iris Project placing King’s Classics students on the Inner London Latin Project.

Selected Publications 

  • Wootton, W & Russell, B 2013, The Art of Making in Antiquity: Stoneworking in the Roman World. King's College, London.
  • Wootton, W 2012, 'Making and Meaning: The Hellenistic Mosaic from Tel Dor', AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, vol. 116, no. 2, pp. 209-234.
  • Wootton, W 2012, Mosaic production in 4th-c. Britain: materials, makers and making at Badminton Park. in TM Kristensen & B Poulsen (eds), Ateliers and Artisans in Roman Art and Archaeology. JRA Supplement, vol. 92, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Portsmouth RI, pp. 145-168.
  • Wootton, WT & Russell, BJ 2017, Makers and Making: Classical Art in Action. in R Raja & A Lichtenberger (eds), The Diversity of Classical Archaeology . Studies in Classical Archaeology edn, vol. 1, Brepols Publishers, 1, pp. 253.
  • Wootton, WT, Draycott, C, Raja, R & Welch, K 2018, Visual Histories in the Classical World: Essays in Honour of R.R.R. Smith. Brepols Publishers.