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As promised in the newsletter, here are some things to make any time you have to be isolated more interesting and more rewarding. We hope you'll discover wonders you didn't know existed, develop new passions or find out about things you always wanted to get round to. Maybe you'll see something here that'll give you reason to look forward to going to a particular museum or place when we come out on the other side. We'll try and add to it as we find new things. Enjoy!

Reading and images: blogs, virtuals tours, image galleries...

We might not be able to tour museums on foot, but we can still get around them, visit libraries, do some background reading for our next trips, look at archaeological sites and objects. A good way to decide where to go next, or just marvel at the breadth of what's out there.

  • Vindolanda blog – News and articles from one of the richest Roman sites in Britain or anywhere in the Roman Empire
  • The Internet mediaeval sourcebook – Original texts of all kinds – chronicles, saints’ lives, laws - ranging from the fall of Rome through Byzantium to medieval Wales
  • British Museum collections – A mass of images with informative text, a gateway into whiling away the afternoon following link after link
  • Thomas Flynn’s Sketchfab page – a host of 3d images of ancient objects and sites of all sorts that you can rotate and manipulate from all angles. Almost as good as being there.
  • Khan Academy course on ancient Rome – A free course that should have you champing at the bit to see the Eternal City at the end of it.
  • Caitlyn Green’s blog – Superbly fascinating pieces on the fringes and unusual aspects of the ancient and mediaeval worlds.
  • Following Hadrian Blog – A welter of material on the emperor himself and, through his travels, some amazing sites throughout the Empire.
  • Treasures from the Ashmolean – Britain’s oldest museum showcases its eclectic collection. Not just Roman, Greek and Egyptian but objects as diverse as Guy Fawkes’ lantern and Powhatan’s Cape.
  • Perseus Digital Library – Scores of ancient world writings and commentaries in English, Latin and Greek.
  • Roman Baths at Bath – A walkthrough and videos of a highlight site of our Wessex tour.
  • Ostia Antica – A truly massive website allowing you to lose yourself exploring the vast and endlessly interesting archaeological site of the port of ancient Rome
  • Virtual Tour of Italian Museums – A swathe of places to amble around virtually.
  • The Archaeology News Network – news stories from around the world related to archaeology, palaeontology etc.
  • MoLA Lots of nice Sketchfabs of British sites from the Museum of London’s Archaeology Service.
  • Pergamon Museum A gallery of visual images.
  • Panopoly Vase Animation Project - Animations from ancient Greek painted pottery!
  • Ancient Athens 3D - Excellent digital reconstructions of the ancient city from all periods.
  • Fishbourne tour - A 3D virtual tour of the great Roman villa (or palace) at Fishbourne.
  • Current Archaeology - News and articles on the magazine's website.
  • University of Manchester Egyptology - Free taster courses.
  • Women in the Parco - A nice short, with an intinerary for when you go, about women linked to the historic core of ancient Rome.
  • Hellenic and Roman Society Open Access Resources - A gateway and list of links for those seeking a slightly more academic range of offerings, with links to libraries and other sites with texts, online Greek lessons, the Open University etc.
  • Women on Hadrian's Wall - Neat blog from English Heritage.
  • Digital Bodleian - A gallery of the marvellous collections of the Bodleian library: manuscripts, maps, prints and books.
  • Top Ten Vindolanda finds - A blog which must have involved some hard choices, by the indefatigable Marta Alberti, the site archaeologist whom many of you who've visited with us will recognise.
  • Ancient Rome Live - Videos and plenty more besides from the American Institute for Roman Culture.
  • Classics for All This is technically a bank of teaching resources for the UK secondary GCSE and A Level courses in Classics (hopefully useful to any teachers who happen to be looking in), but there are videos on various subjects within, so you may well find something of interest.
  • The Petrified Muse A nice article on an inscribed ring from Roman Britain (the Senecianus ring with the alleged Tolkien connections, to those more familiar) - more to link to on the site.
  • Trajan's Column An excellent interactive guide.
  • Constantinople A nice interactive map with features to turn on and off so you can orientate yourself.
  • Digventures have made their How To Do Archaeology course free. A really nice gesture.
  • Persepolis. An online exhibit of the Persian royal centre from the Chicago OIM.
  • Museum of the Oriental Institute, Chicago. A 3D virtual tour of the museum with photo galleries and interesting articles.
  • British Museum 3D virtual tour.
  • Virtual tour of the Colosseum.
  • 3D virtual tour of Antalya Museum - the ancient Graeco-Roman site of Attaleia in Turkey.
  • Tepe Telegrams Articles on the exciting Neolithic site at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.


Here you'll find short (and educational) videos, visits, full-blown television documentaries and even great archaeological comedy.

  • In Search of the Trojan War – The apogee of ancient history and archaeology documentaries, Michael Wood (with whom Peter has a bit of a connection!) takes us through the late Bronze Age world, the Trojan War and the end of it all… Genuinely brilliant.
  • Detectorists - The greatest archaeological related comedy of them all on BBC iPlayer. Superbly written, very funny and well-observed.
  • Eric Cline on 1177 BC – An open (and accessible) lecture on the disastrous end of the Bronze Age in the Aegean and East Mediterranean.
  • The Peasant’s Revolt – Tony Robinson takes some alarming chin-hair on a detailed trip through one of the most famous episodes in English history.
  • The Battle of Towton – The bloodiest battlefield in English history has left an archaeological treasure house of information on those who didn’t outlive it.
  • Archaeosoup – Videos on the principles and how-to of archaeology. A good way to get the fundamentals. Useful if you’re learning the subject, or just want to understand how we know what we know. Click on the A-Z when you get there.
  • Time Team: all the episodes: that should keep you going!
  • Archaeoduck - videos on archaeological ideas, concepts, how it works, Roman glass. All sorts of things!
  • GrandPalais - Videos (in French) of Pompeii.
  • FabDrone - Overflights of Greek sites. This will definitely give you a yen to return - or a checklist for a first visit!
  • Viking videos a collection of short educational videos about Viking Ireland, by the National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology).
  • Society of Antiquaries One of the earliest of the archaeological societies fully-up-to-date on YouTube with videos of lectures on British archaeology, female antiquaries etc.
  • Eleutherna A series of videos produced for the excellent archaeological museum at Eleftherna (ancient Eleutherna) in Crete.
  • Secrets of the Museum - Behind the scenes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, on BBC iPlayer.
  • Songs from Horrible Histories are perfect if you need to entertain kids, and if you don't. If you don't know it, it's theoretically a children's history series but more than funny enough for adults. The English Monarchs song is actually the best memory aid there is. Highlights are the Vikings' We're Burning Down This House Tonight (Literally), Marcus Licinius Crassus and My Name is Charles the Second, but just keep clicking the links and you won't be disappointed. A life-saver for parents.
  • The Royal Game of Ur An explanation and play-through with Irving Finkel himself. The original can be seen (eventually!) at the British Museum.
  • The animated Bayeux Tapestry. Does what it says on the tin; good intro for kids or just if you haven't seen it unrolled.
  • Arbeia Roman Fort. Introductory video of one of sites we visit near Hadrian's Wall. Nice intro with reconstructions.
  • A tour of the new Pompeii excavations. In Italian, but the visuals are nice enough to just relax in front of with the sound off.
  • Roman underwear. Historical coverage, so to speak.
  • The Painted Hall at Greenwich. Superb 3D tour of the recently restored seventeenth-century hall, an amazing place to visit.


Invite some fine minds around for a better class of entertainment. Coming out of this enriched will be a definite win.

  • In Our Time – A flagship and wide-ranging BBC series covering broad enough territory for even the most voracious polymath. There are plenty of episodes on things related to our eras – the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Alcuin, Catullus, the Treaty of Limerick, Doggerland and Thucydides’ Mytilenean Debate in the first few pages alone. Always stimulating and informative.
  • A History of the Classical World in 100 Objects – some nice expert commentary on some intriguing objects from the British Museum.
  • The History of Byzantium – A narrative podcast of the Empire of East Rome
  • Greek History Podcast – Self explanatory and comprehensive.

Twitter follows

A fairly wide-ranging mix of people and organisations to follow on Twitter: some talk compellingly about their subject, others take you out of walks in achingly beautiful landscape or bring you fine buildings and beautiful artefacts.

  • Pete Savin – fantastic photos mostly of Hadrian’s Wall and Cumbria, but further afield, too; Roman sites and magnificent landscapes.
  • Dr Jo Ball – Roman sites and museums.
  • Tom Ljevar – museums and Roman inscriptions. Lots of great stuff from Roman Germany.
  • ArcheoLogica Italian archaeological sites and museums.
  • Rouven Meidlinger and Jošt Hobič  – Archaeological sites from LiDAR (aerial archaeology with lasers) with some 3D flyovers.
  • Andrew Spratt Images and reconstructions of (mostly) Scottish castles.
  • Gareth Harney covers all things Roman, but I’ve specifically linked to his excellent live-tweet of the Ides of March
  • Museum with no frontiers Images of sites and objects from around the Mediterranean and Islamic near east from Roman to early modern.
  • Dr Sarah Bond – various classical tidbits
  • Fellranger (Mark Richards) - Walks and hikes around the sublime landscape of the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall. Some great photos, but he's also a supremely talented pen-and-ink artist if you need inspiration.
  • Trimontium Trust - The Twitter feed of the Roman fort at Newstead in the Scottish borders, an outpost beyond Hadrian's Wall. Wide-ranging on the Roman Empire generally, as well as more locally-based stuff.
  • Roman Britain News - Images and info from Roman Britain and the wider Roman Empire.
  • Castilla y León Románica Really lovely images of Spanish mediaeval churches and their sculpture. A wealth of magnificent buildings, with some beautiful little churches in amazing locations.
  • Ashmolean Museum - A nice selection from the vast collection of Britain's oldest museum, and one of the world's greatest.
  • ArteViajero Images primarily of Spanish mediaeval sites, but more besides - ancient Roman, Italian museums etc.
  • Hadrian's Wall Path The sterling people who maintain the paths, fences, stiles and gates along the Wall in all weathers - which means they can post some great pictures of the Wall to enjoy while you can't be there.
  • Ravilious The paintings of one of the finest modern British landscape artists who somehow, despite not being strictly naturalistic, captures 'Wessex' better than anyone else. (Also a war artist in WW2)
  • Waššukanni (a great name for those with an interest in Bronze Age Near Eastern archaeology) - a Turkish doctor who discovered a love for archaeology. A great follow for generous shares of pictures of scores of sites and museums there (and further afield too).
  • Omniatlas I'm something of a devourer of historical atlases, but this (free!) online one is brilliantly done. Covers many regions and periods, but they've been working away nicely at Europe in the first and second centuries AD.
  • The Byzantine Legacy Images of the East Roman and Byzantine worlds.
  • Gareth Harney Lots of superb images of the Roman world.
  • Association for Roman Archaeology. Lovely visual feed.
  • Bob Marshall Superb historical reconstruction images of Scottish (& other British) sites.
  • Pantheon Roma. The Twitter account of the world's most wonderful building.
  • Following Hadrian. Inexplicably omitted so far. Images from around the Roman world.
  • Jacopo Veneziani Mediaeval and Early Modern art and architecture images.

Art, crafts and activities

There are few finer ways to understand a landscape, a site or an object than drawing it, or making a model of it. A perfect and relaxing way to while away the hours, too. There are also a few ideas here to keep children entertained.


You'll likely be missing the tastes we have on tours. Here are some ways to fill the gap. Literally, I suppose.

5 responses to “Minds can still get around”

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you

  2. Diane Leary says:

    Thank you for putting this all together. Plenty to choose from. I have always been an armchair as well as real traveler and have a large collection of travel books. What you’ve added will be enjoyed, some in depth , others perused casually.

  3. Paul Beston says:

    Glad it’s of some use. Enjoy.

  4. Paul Beston says:

    No trouble. More going up.

  5. LeonieB says:

    What a great list and what a choice! I’ll need another lifetime to go through them all. But then, not being able to visit so many site “live” this definitely is the best next thing.
    Thank you for sharing al this information, Paul!

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