Dr Roger White FSA, MIfA

Dr Roger White

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

Contact details

Address
Fry Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Roger White is an archaeologist researching the late Roman to early medieval transition in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a past member of the Historic England Advisory Committee (2011-17). He also has expertise in Heritage Management and has written conservation management plans for sites in the UK, Jersey and Georgia.  

Qualifications

  • BA Hons Liverpool
  • PhD Liverpool (1987) Roman and Celtic Objects in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries

Biography

After completing his PhD, Roger was employed between 1987 and 1992 by English Heritage to write up the major excavations at Wroxeter Roman City in Shropshire. On substantial completion of this report, he returned to University of Liverpool to undertake temporary Lecturer posts in Archaeology. In 1994 he successfully applied to be a Leverhulme Research Fellow on the Wroxeter Hinterland Project, a ground-breaking three-year long post-doc research project designed to put the Roman city of Wroxeter into its social and economic landscape context. It involved extensive fieldwalking that required the recruitment of a volunteer database eventually rising to 400 members, and the first full geophysical survey of a Roman town. The results of the project were fully published in 2007 and 2014, and the project itself was successfully nominated by the University in 1999 for the Queens Anniversary Prize for 2000.  Following completion of the Wroxeter Hinterland Project, Roger was employed as a Project Manager and Finds Specialist by Birmingham Archaeology.

In 2000 he was appointed Academic Director of Ironbridge Institute, a postgraduate teaching partnership between the University and the award-winning and leading Independent museum, the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust. Working from the Coalbrookdale site, the Ironbridge Institute ran programmes in Heritage Management, Industrial Archaeology, Industrial Heritage and Historic Environment Conservation. He was responsible for the design and implementation of Distance Learning programmes in Heritage Management from 2005. In 2012, when Professor Mike Robinson was appointed, the Ironbridge Institute was renamed the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) and returned to Birmingham, while retaining its offices on the Coalbrookdale site. Roger continued to hold the post of Academic Director until 2018 when he was reassigned to the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology. 

While employed at Ironbridge Institute he was employed as a consultant by English Heritage to write Conservation plans for Wroxeter Roman City and The Clee Hills in Shropshire, and by the Georgian State Archaeological Service to write a report on the Archaeological components of the World Heritage Site at Msksheta. He was employed by the University of Ljubliana as a tutor on an Archaeological Training Field School at Ljubliana Castle, Slovenia and was a member of an ICOM museums advisory team to Puskinskye Gorye, Russia. From 2007-2012 he was on the Council of the Institute for Archaeologists (now Chartered Institute for Archaeologists), of which he has been a Member since 1987. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and between 2011-17 he served on the English Heritage (later Historic England) Advisory Committee. From 2017 he has been serving on the English Heritage Trust Research Committee. Between 2010 and 2017 he was Editor of The Historic Environment Policy and Practice, establishing it as a leader in the field of historic environment conservation and overseeing its growth from two issues per annum in its first years to four issues in 2016 onwards.

Teaching

While still having responsibility and involvement in Distance Learning programmes in International Heritage Management for IIICH, especially in areas of Heritage Conservation and Interpretation, principal teaching now engages more fully with Archaeological programmes at undergraduate level in CAHA.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising PhD students in a range of archaeology and heritage-related topics. My specialist areas are in Roman / Romano-British Archaeology and Industrial Heritage. Please contact me if you wish to discuss a research topic.

Completed PhDs:

  • The Quarrying Industry in Shropshire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (2017)
  • The industrial Heritage of Taiwan (2016)
  • The Eccentric Dead; early medieval cemeteries in East Anglia and Lindsey (2015)
  • The Mining Landscape of Frisco, Utah (2013)
  • Heritage Tourism in Jordan (2010)
  • Byzantine Towns in the eighth and ninth centuries (2008)
  • Iron Age funerary feasting rituals (2003)

Current PhD supervisions:

  • Big data and the PAS as a research tool for archaeologists
  • Heritage and Identity in Emilia Romagna
  • An analysis of Anglo-Saxon spearheads
  • Religious Heritage of Bangkok
  • Impacts of world heritage designation on a local community: the case of Santa Crux de Mompox, Colombia
  • Using GIS and Town Plan Analysis in the analysis of the topography, origins and development of English medieval towns: case studies of Northampton and selected Cheshire towns

Completed MA by Research:

  • The Value of Mobile Phone Applications in Heritage Interpretation (2015)
  • Iron Age and Roman Settlement in South Shropshire (2015)
  • William Hazeldine, millwright and ironmaster (2012)
  • Barytes Mining in Shropshire (2007) 

Find out more - our PhD Classics and Ancient History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

Research

My principal area of research has been in the archaeology of the Roman town of Viroconium Cornoviorum at Wroxeter, Shropshire. This encompasses, however, a much broader interest in the settlement of Roman Britain and the transition to the early medieval period in which I seek to contextualise the Roman town within its broader social, political and economic histories. I am also very keen on engaging with the public on my research through public lectures and guided tours and regularly appear as a guest lecturer for numerous societies. My long-term engagement with the archaeology of Shropshire and the West Midlands has led to the development of a broad research interest in the region and its distinctive archaeologies, particularly in the historic rather than prehistoric era. Through my work at Ironbridge Institute, I have developed an appreciation of successful heritage management and am increasingly relating this interest to researching how sites of the Roman era are presented to the public across the former Roman Empire. 

Roger talks about his research into Wroxeter Roman town

Other activities

For IIICH, I have been Academic Director, Admissions Tutor and Welfare Officer. For CAHA I am currently admissions tutor and was previously deputy exams officer. 

Publications

Books and monographs

  • 2018 Clash of Cultures? The Romano-British Period in The West Midlands. (West Midlands Research Frameworks Volume 3) Edited by Roger White and Mike Hodder. Oxbow Books [226 pages, 98 figures]
  • 2013   Wroxeter, the Cornovii, and the urban process. Volume 2. Oxford: Archaeopress (with Dr C. Gaffney and Prof. V. Gaffney and Arnold Baker) [227 pages, 174 figures]
  • 2007 Britannia Prima. Britain’s Last Roman Province Tempus, Stroud [264 pages, 100 figures and 25 plates]
  • 2007 Wroxeter, The Cornovii, and the Urban Process. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 68 (Portsmouth, Rhode Island) (with Prof V. Gaffney) [402 pages, 108 figures]
  • 2007 World Heritage: Global Challenges, Local Solutions. BAR International Series 1698 (with John Carman) [150 pages]
  • 2006 Wroxeter Archaeology. Excavation and Research on the defences and in the town 1968-1992 (with Peter Ellis) [184 pages, 80 figures, 21 colour plates]
  • 1998   Wroxeter. Life and Death of a Roman City Tempus, Stroud  (co-authored with Philip Barker) (reprinted 1999, 2002, 2006) [160 pages; 75 figures,  25 plates]
  • 1997   The Baths Basilica, Wroxeter. Excavations 1966-1990 English Heritage Archaeological  Report 8 (with P.A. Barker, K.B. Pretty, M.J. Corbishley & H. Bird) [395 pages, 380 figures, 177 plans]

Contributions to books

  • 2018 ‘Fortress, forts, and the impact of the Roman army in the west midlands’ in White and Hodder (eds.), 15-32.
  • 2018 ‘Shropshire in the Roman period’ (with Dr Andy Wigley) in White and Hodder (eds.), 115-135.
  • 2018 ‘From the Provinces to the Marches: The West Midlands in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries.’ in White and Hodder (eds.), 207-219.
  • 2017 ‘A Late Roman Military command in Britain reinstated.’ In N. Hodgson, P. Bidwell and J. Schachtmann (eds.) Roman Frontier Studies 2009. Proceedings of the XXI International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies (Limes Congress) held at Newcastle upon Tyne in August 2009. Oxford, Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 25, 336-341
  • 2013 ‘Resolving the carving: the application of laser-scanning in reconstructing a Viking Cross from Neston, Cheshire.’ In E. Ch’ng, V. Gaffney and H. Chapman (eds.) Visual Heritage in the Digital Age Springer, 33-41
  • 2011 ‘Sculpture, Text and Recall: The Monument to Viscountess Harriet Fitzharris’ (with M. Harlow and R. Laurence), In M. Bommas (ed.) Cultural Memory and Identity in Ancient Societies London: Continuum, 127-142
  • 2009 ‘Data Collection by Excavation’ in B. Cunliffe, C. Gosden, R.A. Joyce (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology, 189-209 OUP      
  • 2007 ‘From basket case to hanging baskets: regeneration, alienation and heritage in Ironbridge’ in R. White & J. Carman (eds.) World Heritage: Global Challenges, Local Solutions BAR Int Ser 1698, 47-51
  • 2003 ‘Resolving the paradox: the work of the Wroxeter Hinterland Project’ in P. Wilson (ed.) The Archaeology of Roman Towns. Studies in Honour of John S. Wacher Oxbow, 221-232 (with V.L. Gaffney)
  • 2000 ‘The evolution of the baths complex at Wroxeter, Shropshire’ in J. DeLaine and D. Johnson (eds) Roman Baths and Bathing. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Roman Baths, Bath, England, 30 March – 4 April 1992. Part 2: Design and Context. J Roman Archaeol Monogr 37, 278-291
  • 2000 ‘Wroxeter and the transformation of late Roman urbanism’ in T. Slater (ed.) Decline in Towns, 100-1600 Ashgate, 96-119
  • 2000 ‘The Roman Lead-workings at Linley’ in J. Leonard, D. Preshous, M. Roberts, J. Smyth and C. Train (eds.) The Gale of Life. Two thousand years in South-West Shropshire. Logaston Press, 31-41

Journal article

  • 2016 ‘Any old iron? Marketing models and sustainable regeneration in Ironbridge.’ In R. Pickard and S, Vigneron (eds.) Critical Perspectives on the Management of World Heritage Properties = The Historic Environment. Policy and Practice 7.2-3 (2016), 213-223