Since completing my doctorate, my research has primarily been concerned with exploring on an empire-wide scale Late Antique spolia practices (that is the visible employment of older material). My research in this area has been wide ranging and covers theoretical approaches to the economics of ancient recycling, the trade in recycled materials, legal texts regarding demolition, and new forms of sculptural recycling. The practice of re-carving is essential to our understanding of sculptural production in the Roman period. Although portrait heads provide some of the most compelling evidence for re-carving, Romans re-used both figural and architectural marble sculpture in vast quantities and for a variety of purposes.
I will continue to develop my research examining the transition from imperial to Late Antique recycling practices. Spolia was used in all types of monuments, including churches and city-walls, during Late Antiquity, changing the appearance of the ancient city and indicating a change in the relationship between builders and the urban fabric. My project will analyse the re-use of architectural elements, statues and bases from selected cities across the Empire. It will provide a systematic assessment of a practice that was of crucial importance for the visual and physical definition of Late Antique cities and was a distinct material culture from that of the Classical period.
I will contribute to teaching the following courses at the Norwegian Institute in Rome:
- Den augusteiske gullalder ANT2210/2211
- Roma - Sted og symbol Roma2020
- Etterutdanningskurs for lærere
I have a doctorate in Roman Archaeology from the University of Oxford (2014), and have worked on fieldwork projects in the UK and in Italy at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae,
Ostia and the Palatine in Rome. I have previous worked at research institutions in England, Italy, France and Germany:
- Alexander von Humboldt Experiences Research Fellow at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (2017-2018)
- Associate lectureship in Roman Archaeology at Birbeck, University of London (2016 and 2015)
- Henry Moore Fellowship in Sculpture at the British School at Rome, working on sculptural production and re-carving practices in Rome and Italy 1th to 5th century AD (2016)
- Fernand Braudel IFER Fellowchip at the Centre Camille Jullian at the Université d'Aix-Marseile, working on Roman sculptural recycling in the Western Provinces (2015-2016).
Member of the Circolo Gianicolense - a research network in the Gianicolo area of Rome.
- Barker, Simon & Perna, Simona (2018). Imitation alabaster: varieties and symbolism in Roman paintings. Pictores per provincias II - status quaestionis. Actes du 13e Colloque de l'Association Internationale pour la Peinture Murale Antique (AIPMA), Université de Lausanne, 12-16 septembre 2016. ISSN 0259-658X. 55, s 405- 412
- Barker, Simon; Russell, Ben & Amiet, Brittany (2018). The marble-clad bars of Ostia Antica. FORUM ROMANUM BELGICUM. ISSN 2295-9432. 15
- Barker, Simon (2018). Historical sources and approaches to ancient labour costs. Vis sammendrag
- Barker, Simon (2018). Recycling the Past in Late Antiquity. Vis sammendrag
- Barker, Simon (2018). Re-use in Roman sculpture beyond re-worked portraits: other forms of re-carving and recycling.
- Barker, Simon (2018). Roman sculptural recycling in the Western Provinces.
- Barker, Simon (2018). The Marble Trade on the Bay of Naples in the first century AD.
- Barker, Simon (2018). The Role of Recycling in Roman Construction.
- Barker, Simon (2018). The Spolia Culture of Late Antiquity.
- Barker, Simon (2018). The late Roman city wall of London in its British and Continental context.
- Barker, Simon (2018). The recycling industry in Late Antiquity.
- Barker, Simon & Russell, Ben (2018). Historical sources, labour figures and ancient stone working costs. Vis sammendrag