Dr Alison Pollard

Dr Alison Pollard

Fixed term Lecturer in Classical Archaeology


I have studied the history, art and archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome at the University of St Andrews, Emory University in Atlanta, the British School at Rome and the University of Oxford. I have taught several courses in Classical Archaeology at Oxford over the past five years and have worked at the Ashmolean Museum on various projects since 2013, including being Project Curator for the redevelopment of the Randolph Sculpture Gallery and Co-Curator for the redevelopment of the Greek World Gallery. In addition to my lectureship at St John’s College I am the Assistant Curator in the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean and am working on changes to the Rome Gallery, in addition to preparatory research for an upcoming exhibition in 2019 based on feasting in the Roman and pre-Roman world.


  • University of Oxford: Art Under the Roman Empire (AD 14–337); Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian; Texts and Contexts; Greek Art and Archaeology from c.500 to 300 BC; Greek Sculpture c.600 to 300 BC; Imperial Culture and Society, c.AD 50–150.
  • Advanced Studies in England: Classical Art and Archaeology
  • UGA at Oxford: Roman Britain: History and Archaeology

Awards and distinctions

  • Pirie-Reid Scholarship (University of Oxford)
  • Robert T. Jones Memorial Scholarship (University of St Andrews and Emory University)
  • Research funding for ‘A multispectral Imaging and 3D modelling project on the Arundel Marbles’ awarded from the Henry Moore Foundation and the Oxford University Museums Partnership Innovation Fund.

Recent publications

  • ‘Gladiators and Circus Horses in Pompeii’s House of D. Octavius Quartio?’ in The Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 31 (2018)
  • ‘A multispectral imaging and 3D modelling project on the Arundel Marbles’ in K. Kelley and R. K.L. Wood (eds) Digital Imaging of Artefacts: Developments in Methods and Aims (Oxford, 2018)
  • Selected entries in The Ashmolean Museum: Crossing Cultures, Crossing Time (Oxford, 2014): Metrological Relief, Funerary Relief of a Doctor and his Wife, Head of Marcus Aurelius, The Wint Hill Bowl, Intaglio with Alexander, Gold Bulla, The Felix Gem, The Beneventum Brooch, Gold Buckle, Gem with the Archangel Michael, The Parian Marble, Wall Painting from Pompeii, Ivory Panel of Virgin Hodegetria.
  • ‘Two Roman fresco paintings’ in Ashmolean: Museum of Art and Archaeology, no. 68 (Oxford, 2014)
  • ‘Redeveloping the Randolph Sculpture Gallery’ in Ashmolean: Museum of Art and Archaeology, no. 65 (Oxford, 2013)

Research Interests

I am interested in the material culture of the Classical World, in particular the sculpture, domestic decoration (wallpaintings and mosaics) and small finds (brooches, gems, coins etc) of ancient Greece and Rome, alongside their reception, restoration and display since the 1600s. I have recently been researching Roman representation of Greek epic in painted friezes in Pompeii and Rome and will collate the findings into a book in the near future.

I have just completed work on a new archaeological site from Late Iron Age and Roman Britian, identifying and recording several hundred Roman coins, brooches and rings, which are now published on the database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Since 2013 I have been the principal investigator of new research into the Arundel Marbles - the first significant collection of Greek and Roman sculpture to be brought together in Britain - and now displayed in the Ashmolean Museum. This funded project investigates the sculpture using new technologies (3D laser scanning, photogrammetry, RTI and multispectral imaging) alongside traditional, stylistic analysis, and the results will be made freely available through an interactive web resource, out soon.