Dr Alison MacDonald

Profile details


Dr MacDonald is the Course Director of the Undergraduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology. She was awarded her BA in Classical Civilisation and Ancient History from Sheffield University in 1989 and her doctorate from Oxford University in 2003. Her fieldwork has been primarily in central Italy and her research interests include Roman landscape archaeology, Roman ceramics, and individuality and expression of identity in the Roman world.

Dr MacDonald is currently the Continuing Education Director of Undergraduate Studies, and is the academic lead responsible for the oversight of undergraduate teaching, learning and assessment in the Department.


Alison teaches on the Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology, the Undergraduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology and the MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology. She also co-supervises a number of Archaeology DPhil students.

Research interests

She has worked on a number of landscape archaeology projects in Italy, including the Tuscania Archaeological Survey, the Sangro Valley Survey and the Upper Esino Valley Survey. These projects involved the study of past landscapes, and her work has focussed on the analysis of the Roman-period ceramics to further our understanding of changing settlement, society and economy. She is interested in the methodology of surface survey and how ceramic data inform on wider debates concerning the impact of Rome on towns and territories, and changes in rural communities and farming practices under the Empire and into Late Antiquity. Her research is concerned with the study of material culture and identity in Italy and the provinces.