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Magdalene College Cambridge

Dr Thomas Matthews Boehmer

Dr Thomas Matthews Boehmer is a College Lecturer and external Director of Studies in Archaeology at Magdalene.

My research focuses on burials and funerary practices in the Roman West, exploring the effects of imperial occupation on identities, memory, and the invented traditions of the elite. My PhD thesis was entitled 'Identity and Social Change in North-Western Europe (BCE 250 - 200 CE): new narratives through funerary evidence' and looked at questions of social differentiation. I am currently working on several research articles based on individual thesis chapters and am also keen to see how the large dataset I amassed as part of the PhD might be used to create a clearer understanding of ancient social structures. I have been involved in several excavation projects, mainly in Britain (Dorchester on Thames, Harpham).

I am Research Associate on the AHRC-funded 'Roman York beneath the streets' Project (2021-24). The project seeks to reassess our understanding of Eburacum in the light of evidence from past excavations and museum archives, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), and a new subsurface deposit model for the city.

Research Interests

Roman archaeology, funerary traditions, memory, death and burial, material culture.


PhD (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), BA (Hons) (Warwick).

Career/Research Highlights

MPhil 2016-2017 (funded by the Isaac Newton Trust (Cambridge) and the Paul Cassidy Scholarship (Fitzwilliam College)).

Assistant Director of the Dorchester Through Time Project 2017-2018.

Conference Organiser: AHRC International ‘Trust and Truth’ Conference 2019, Cambridge.

Paper: ‘Springhead: exceptional to Roman-period Britain?’ presented at TRAC 2019 Canterbury.

Paper: ‘Iron Age identities: multiple bodies and multiple meanings’ presented at the Later European Prehistory Graduate Conference 2019, Cambridge.

Roman Research Trust Funding, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, for the Harpham Villa Landscape Project, 2020.

PhD 2017-21 (fully funded by the AHRC Doctoral Training Programme)

Co-Director, Harpham Villa Landscape Project 2021-.

Paper: ‘‘This Generation Must Make the Change?’ The Placement of Children in South-Eastern England’s Funerary Assemblages. A view from the 2nd century CE’ presented at TRAC 2022 Split.

Selected Publications

‘Questions concerning the residuality of brooches and coins in Romano-British contexts’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 39.4. (2018): 395-409.

‘Coin mints and coin circulations: a debate about the meaning of “tribe” in Late Iron Age Norfolk’, Journal of Archaeological Numismatics 8 (2016) pp. 251-262.