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Ashmolean researchers team up with staff and student volunteers from University of Warwick to bring Roman history to life in Oxford

Ashmolean Dead FridayThe Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions project, a collaborative project between the University of Warwick and the Ashmolean Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents is organising ‘The Walking Dead’, as part of the Ashmolean’s DEADFriday Event on 30th October 2015.

The live event celebrates the installation of a new Roman columbarium (tomb) in the Ashmolean, with a real life Roman funeral procession showing visitors how it was originally used.

The funeral of Tiberius Claudius Abascantianus will be re-enacted, at 19:30 and again at 21:00 wending its way through the museum, ending up in the Reading and Writing Gallery, where a new installation of a columbarium will be highlighted, including the ash chest of Abascantianus himself.

There will be a chance to join in with the funeral procession, hear talks on research related to the inscriptions on display, and commission ‘scribes’ to produce personalised funerary plaques. Visitors will have a chance to hear a brief talk from Prof. Alison Cooley Head of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, on Roman burial customs, as shown by columbaria, and what they reveal about Roman society and culture. Dr Paul Roberts, Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean will give a lecture at 20:15 about Roman funeral customs.

Principal Investigator, Prof. Alison Cooley Head of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick said,

‘I’m tremendously excited about this event. It’s a great opportunity to bring the ancient world to life and give people an insight into our research. ‘Decoding’ is a theme we will be exploring further as part of the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions project.’

For more information on the project visit:

Project blog, Reading, Writing Romans -

Ashmolean Latin twitter:

Facebook - Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project

Additional info:

Ashmolean LiveFriday


30 October, 7‒10.30pm

On the night of 30 October, the Ashmolean will open its doors for a spooktacular edition of the LiveFriday series. At DeadFriday, visitors will have the chance to explore ghosts and ghouls across cultures and through time with a programme of spooky live music, immersive performances, interactive workshops, and lively talks. Fancy dress is optional. Tickets are £5 in advance and £7 on the door, pre-book at The Oxford Playhouse and

The LiveFriday programme, which was launched in 2013 in celebration of the Ashmolean’s 330th anniversary, has welcomed over 55,000 visitors, 900 participants, 280 performances, 50 workshops, 25 talks and 220 volunteers in 16 Friday late night openings.

Alex Buxton
Communications Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166