Sheffield Archaeologist awarded prestigious Hugh Last Fellowship

A votive statue of a woman and infant from Capua, Italy

A votive statue of a woman with a swaddled infant from Capua, Italy.

Professor Maureen Carroll of Sheffield’s Archaeology Department has been awarded the Hugh Last Fellowship at the British School at Rome. This prestigious fellowship enables established scholars to collect research material concerning classical antiquity. Maureen will take up her Fellowship during her sabbatical in the spring semester of 2016, when she will be based in Rome working on her project 'Mater Matuta and related goddesses: guaranteeing maternal fertility and infant survival in Italic and Roman Italy'.

Maureen’s research project explores the literary, historical, epigraphic, and visual evidence for fertility goddesses and the association of the divine with pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing in late Iron Age and Roman Italy, primarily the 4th to 1st centuries B.C. It assesses the religious context of these deities and examines aspects of their worship and veneration, including especially votive dedications and images of fecundity in Rome, Capua, Satricum and many other central and southern Italian sites.

Maureen is currently completing a single-author monograph on Roman infancy for Oxford University Press, and this new research project will enable her to establish the pre-Roman context of religion in furthering the healthy continuity of ancient families in Italy.