The Foundations for Imperium research project is an ongoing thesis that seeks to disentangle how and why localised innovations and expertise in specialised construction materials and hydraulic infrastructure in Italy widely spread to communities across the Mediterranean. It plans to identify the mechanisms and institutions that enabled non-elite, skilled workers like builders, engineers, and architects to actively participate in the transmission and adoption of these structures and the materials that facilitated them. This seminar will also detail the methods this project is using to address its research aims. It will outline how ancient textual, epigraphic, and visual evidence surrounding construction and construction workers will be critically engaged, while highlighting the benefits of including modern scholarship from a broad number of ancient technology studies. This seminar will detail how and why archaeological evidence, in the form of waterproof mortar and concrete samples from Italy, are being examined. In doing so it will explain the types of information that can be garnered by analysing these samples with both previously trialled and newly introduced scientific instruments.


About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

All research seminars begin at 4 pm on Friday (with the exception of special Friends of Antiquity events). 

They will take place simultaneously in person and online.

The in-person venue is room E302 of the Forgan-Smith Building (building no. 1) on the St-Lucia campus of the University of Queensland.

Please contact Associate Professor David Pritchard or for the zoom link. 

For further information please contact the Seminar Convenor Associate Professor David M. Pritchard ( or +61 401 955 160).



Michie Building (09) Room 536