Ancient North African (ANA) research project forges ahead

19 August 2014

Cyrene Forum, Libya
Cyrene Forum, Libya

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences again has reason to be extremely grateful for the generous and imaginative support of University alumni for the Ancient North African research project (ANA).

Having already benefitted from the loan of a magnificent private library, this exciting initiative has now also received support towards relocation and refurbishment costs involved in its transfer to the Old Teachers College (OTC).

The Ancient North African Project (ANA) is designed to provide a way of connecting people from the University of Sydney, Australia wide and around the world with academics, research students and other people interested in the history and archaeology of North Africa and the Phoenician settlements in the Ancient Mediterranean.

“The establishment of the ANA presents the University with a wonderful opportunity to develop into a world class research centre for the archaeology and history of ancient North Africa and the southern Mediterranean World,” said Associate Professor Richard Miles from the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

ANA recently hosted Dr Andy Merrills from the University of Leicester in the new facility, who delivered a talk on Vandalism.

"'Vandalism' is such an emotive term to modern ears that it is sometimes easy to forget the important role played by the Vandals themselves in the formation of the early medieval world,” said Dr Merrills.

“But how did the Vandals gain their reputation?

“How did they transform from historical people to empty metaphor?”

His talk examined the changing reputation of the Vandals from the fifth century to the twenty-first, considering (among many other things), Roman plunder, French melodrama, Swedish ice hockey and the music of Bob Dylan.

Andy Merrills is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Leicester (UK).

As a visiting researcher hosted by the Ancient North African research project, he is examining the Moorish kingdoms of Africa.

He has published several books and articles on Roman and post-Roman North Africa and on geographical thought in the ancient world.

“We are deeply grateful for private support for the Faculty in the area of ancient North African archaeology,” said the Dean, Professor Duncan Ivison.

“This is an amazing example of how passionate alumni interest merges with our outstanding research expertise in the area to produce something very special in Australia and the region.

“This is enabling us to develop a distinctive program of research and teaching in ancient North African and Phoenician archaeology, led by Richard Miles in the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

“It adds a new and exciting dimension to our long standing strengths in ancient history and archaeology at the University.”

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 1f4b20317c453a313e391a0e0d1f363a060f5c240b355b3036171e2f42