It was clear that Alastair has a deep knowledge and love of archeology – his exuberance was contagious.
Professor Alastair Small
Alastair Small is an Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Alberta, Canada, and Honorary Fellow in Classics at the University of Edinburgh. He specialises in the Iron Age and Roman period in southern Italy.
He graduated with first class honours in Literae Humaniores ("Greats") at the University of Oxford ( Worcester College ) in 1964 and was awarded the degree of D.Phil in 1971 for a thesis on Apulian Wares and Greek Influences .
He was Rome scholar in Classical Studies at the British School at Rome in 1965-7, and Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1967-8. He was appointed Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Classics at the University of Alberta in 1968 where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1973, and full Professor in 1980. He was seconded from the University of Alberta as first Director of the Canadian Academic Centre in Italy, January 1979-June 1980. He was a McCalla Research Professor at the University of Alberta in 1983, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Leave Fellow in 1986, Treccani Lecturer of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1990/1, and Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College , Oxford in 1994/5.
He took early retirement from the University of Alberta in 1998. In 1999, 2000 and 2001 he was appointed Cary Fellow for two months at the British School at Rome to teach the School's post-graduate course in the City of Rome. He has been an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Classics, now the School of History and Classics, at the University of Edinburgh, 1998 to present.
His principal research interests are in the history and archaeology of Italy , and especially of Apulia and Lucania in the Iron Age and Roman periods and in the transition to the Early Middle Ages. Much of his work is concerned with the dynamics of change in settlement patterns and land use. His studies draw on evidence from a number of sites where he has directed excavations, including the Iron Age and Hellenistic settlements at Monte Irsi near Irsina, and Botromagno near Gravina in Puglia , and the Roman and Late Antique villas at San Giovanni di Ruoti in Basilicata . Since 2000 he has directed an international programme of excavation and study in a Roman village at Vagnari near Gravina which formed part of an estate of the Roman emperor.
Together with Carola Small he has also directed an intensive field survey of the surrounding area (1996-2004). Other universities participating in the project at Vagnari include the Università degli Studi di Foggia (Professor Giuliano Volpe, Drs. Pasquale Favia and Roberta Giuliani), McMaster University (Dr. Tracy Prowse) and Mount Allison University (Professor Hans vanderLeest). The project at Vagnari has been funded by research grants to Small from the British Academy and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and by grants to Dr. Karen Stears from the Munro Fund and the Development Trust Research Fund of the University of Edinburgh; also by donations to Small from the Banca Popolare di Puglia e Basilicata, the Fondazione Ettore Pomarici Santomasi of Gravina, and the Comune di Gravina. The British School at Rome has provided technical assistance. Additional funding has been obtained by colleagues from the other participating universities. The field work at Vagnari was suspended in 2004 to allow time for study and publication. For his work in Apulian archaeology Small was awarded the Premio Jean Renoir by the Regione di Puglia, Italy in 1992, and the honorary citizenship of Gravina in Puglia in 1994.
He also has ongoing interests in Roman art history and in the Classical Tradition on which he has published several articles.
'Le analisi al radiocarbonio e la fine della villa di San Giovanni di Ruoti', in G. Volpe and M. Turchiano (eds.), Paesaggi e insediamenti rurali in Italia meridionale fra Tardoantico e Altomedioevo , Atti del 1 o Seminario sul Tardoantico e l'Altomedioevo in Italia Meridionale ( Foggia 12-14 febbraio 2004) ( Bari : Edipuglia, forthcoming).
The plates (with notes) on South Italy for the Cambridge Ancient History Plates for vol. VII.2 and VIII (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
'The Production and distribution of bricks and tiles in South Italy : the evidence of Vagnari,' in E. Lo Cascio and A. Storchi Marino (eds.), Storia antica e archeologia dell'Italia preromana e romana: testimonianze e modelli. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di studi in memoria di Martin W. Frederiksen, Capri, 8-10 ottobre 2000 ( Bari : Edipuglia, forthcoming).
'Impressions of ethnic identity: Hellenistic tile stamps from South Italy? , in I. Lemos, F. Lo Schiavo, L. Vagnetti, R.D. Whitehouse and J.B. Wilkins (eds.), DEPAS. Beyond frontiers: Greeks, Cypriots, Phoenicians and Etruscans: studies in honour of David and Francesca Romana Ridgway . Accordia Research Papers, supplementary volume ( London : Accordia Research Institute, forthcoming).
Review article: H. Jones, ed. Samnium . Settlement and Cultural Change , Providence , Rhode Island , Brown University (= Archaeologia Transatlantica XXII), 2004, in Phoenix (forthcoming).
'Urban, suburban and rural religion in the Roman period' = chapter 13 of J.J. Dobbins and P.W. Foss (eds.), Pompeii and the Ancient Settlements under Vesuvius ( London , Routledge, forthcoming).
(with C. Small) 'Defining an imperial estate: the environs of Vagnari in South Italy', in Communities and Settlements from the Neolithic to the Early Medieval Period , Proceedings of the 6 th Conference of Italian Archaeology, University of Groningen April 15-17, 2003 (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, forthcoming).
'Vagnari, in the territory of Gravina-in-Puglia, July 2003. Excavation, field survey and study', Papers of the British School at Rome 72 (2004), 373-375.
'John Evelyn' in The Dictionary of British Classicists (2004).
New evidence from tile stamps for imperial properties near Gravina, and the topography of imperial estates in South East Italy', Journal of Roman Archaeology 16 (2003), 301-321. (With Appendix by V. Volterra and R.G.V. Hancock).
'Some Greek inscriptions on native vases from South East Italy', in K. Lomas (ed.), Greek Identity in the Western Mediterranean , Papers in honour of Brian Shefton ( Leiden : Brill, 2003), 267-285.
'Excavation and Field Survey at Vagnari', Papers of the British School at Rome 71 (2003), 320-322.
Excavations at San Giovanni di Ruoti vol III: The Faunal and Plant Remains , by M. MacKinnon, A. Eastham, S.G. Monckton and D. Reese ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press , 2002). Edited with preface by A.M. Small and R.J. Buck.
' Apulia before and after the Roman conquest: recent evidence from Botromagno' (review article), Journal of Roman Archaeology , 15 (2002), 375-379.
' Excavation, geophysics and field survey at Vagnari. Papers of the British School at Rome 70 (2002) 372-373.
(with Carola Small) 'The Basentello Valley survey (Apulia, Basilicata)', in P. Attema, G.J. Burgers, E. van Joolen, M. van Leusen and B. Mater (eds.), New Developments in Italian Landscape Archaeology. Theory and methodology of field survey; Land evaluation and landscape perception; Pottery production and distribution ( Oxford : BAR International Series 1091, 2002), 83-86.
'Changes in the pattern of settlement and land use around Gravina and Monte Irsi (4th century BC - 6th century AD)', in E. Lo Cascio and A. Storchi (eds.), Modalità insediative e strutture agrarie nell'Italia meridionale in età romana ( Bari : Edipuglia, 2001), 36-53.
'Magnetometer survey and excavations in a Roman Imperial settlement at Vagnari', Papers of the British School at Rome 69 (2001), 413-415.
'Gli antichi tombaroli di Gravina', Fogli di Periferia , 13 (2001), 33-36.
'Lucien Bonaparte's excavations at Tusculum and the history of a female portrait head in the National Gallery of Scotland', in G.R. Tsetskhladze, A.J.N.W. Prag and A.M. Snodgrass (eds.), Periplous. Papers on Classical Art and Archaeology Presented to Sir John Boardman ( London : Thames and Hudson , 2000), 291-297.
'La Basilicata nell'età tardo-antica: ricerche archeologiche nella valle del Basentello e a San Giovanni di Ruoti,' in L'Italia meridionale in età tardo antica , Atti del XXXVIII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia, Taranto , 3 October 1998 ( Naples , 2000), 331-342.
'The use of javelins in central and south Italy in the 4th century BC', in D. Ridgway, F.R. Serra Ridgway, M. Pearce, E. Herring, R.D. Whitehouse and J.B. Wilkins (eds.), Ancient Italy in its Mediterranean Setting: Studies in honour of Ellen Macnamara (London: Accordia Research Institute, University of London, 2000), 221-234.
(with I. Edlund) Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (ed. R.J.A. Talbert). Sheets 45 (Tarentum) and 46 (Ager Bruttius) with directories: co-compiler ( Princeton , Princeton University Press, 2000).