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H 250 x W 176 mm

256 pages

60 figures (colour throughout)

Published May 2021

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789698312

Digital: 9781789698329

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Mosaic; preservation; art and crafts; heritage; Roman Britain

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Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 79

Spectacle and Display: A Modern History of Britain’s Roman Mosaic Pavements

By Michael Dawson

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Antiquarian interest in the Roman period mosaics of Britain began in the 16th century. This book is the first to explore responses and attitudes to mosaics, not just at the point of discovery but during their subsequent history. It is a field which has received scant attention and provides a compelling insight into the agency of these remains.



Preface ;
1. Mosaics Make a Site ;
2. Politics, aristocrats and antiquarians from the earliest discoveries to taste and vertue ;
3. Taste, entertainment and recreation from private patronage to popular display ;
4. Guardians, caretakers and museums – mosaics in the 19th century ;
5. The rise of the professional: the influence of state, profession and community to the mid-20th century ;
6. Crises and response 1970s – 1990s ;
7. The Most Spectacular Roman Remains in Britain ;
8. The glory of Rome? – Mosaics in the face of uncertainty 2000-2016 ;
9. Postscript ;
10. Bibliography

About the Author

Michael Dawson is a heritage consultant, Heritage Director at RPS (UK and Ireland). He is editor of the international journal Historic Environment Policy and Practice and is panel lecturer with Oxford University Dept. of Continuing Education. He has excavated in Britain, Bulgaria and Romania, publishing widely both in Britain and eastern Europe and has been instrumental in making the case for the Roşia Montană World Heritage nomination.