School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Rob Collins

Research Associate



I am the Research Associate leading on the Frontiers of the Roman Empire Digital Humanities Initiative (FREDHI) at Newcastle. As suggested by my involvement with the project, I have an enduring interests in the archaeology and history of Roman frontiers and the Early Middle Ages. I also have a strong interest in landscapes, small finds and material culture.


PhD Archaeology - University of York

MA Medieval Archaeology - University of York

BA Anthropology - State University of New York at Geneseo


Society of Antiquaries (London)

Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne

Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies


Keeper of Coins, Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne

Vice Chair, Hadrian's Wall Archaeology Delivery Group

Member, Hadrian's Wall Learning and Interpretation Delivery Group

Coordinator, Roman Northern Frontiers Seminar


Finds Liaison Officer for the North East (of England), Portable Antiquities Scheme



My research interests fall within two broad themes: frontier studies; the collapse of complex societies. In practice, this has led to my specialization of the transition of Roman frontiers in late antiquity, notably Hadrian's Wall. My research makes use of landscape analysis and archaeological remains of built structures and small finds to provide a social interpretation of the material record.

I also have continued interest in small finds, particularly those of the Roman, Early Medieval, and Medieval periods.

While I am interested very broadly in frontier societies, my geographic focus has been Britain, particularly focusing on the provincial Roman and Early Medieval (incl. Anglo-Saxon) archaeology.

More recent research has seen me exploring notions of sexuality in the Roman frontier, as well as examining the impact and reimaginings of Hadrian's Wall in popular and contemporary culture, which will also be explored in the Reading the Wall conference in June 2016.


Frontiers of the Roman Empire Digital Humanities Initiative

I am leading the Frontiers of the Roman Empire Digital Humanities Initiative (FREDHI), which is developing cutting-edge digital research tools using Hadrian's Wall and other Roman frontiers as the focus of this research.

NU Digital Heritage

This is a project that has grown out of FREDHI, in which we are building a digital archive of the world-class material culture assemblages from the Hadrians Wall World Heritage Site. We offer 3D scans of inscribed and scultped stones and artefacts, which can be used for teaching and research.

Burial in Early Bernicia

Recent discoveries of early Anglo-Saxon artefacts reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme have highlighted new sites of archaeological interest. I am leading on this research, including site-based evaluations in collaboration with Prof Sam Turner (Newcastle) and Dr Sarah Semple (Durham).

The End of Empire: The northern frontier in the fourth-fifth centuries AD

The End of Empire project was funded by the AHRC, resulting in the publication of my 2012 book with Routledge, Hadrian's Wall and the End of Empire.


At present, I am teaching on the Hadrian's Wall MOOC (massive on-line open course).

I also contribute teaching to various modules at the undergraduate and MA level.