My interest is generally in the possibilities which objects offer for human appropriation, communication and creativity. With respect to classical antiquity my aim is to show how material culture can be brought to shed light on practices and experiences that are beyond the purview of literary accounts of society. My published work deals with a range of topics relating to the social roles of classical art in ancient city-states and its cross-cultural reception among the ‘barbarians’ of Europe and Asia. Another area of interest is the history of archaeology, especially the techniques of visual representation (such as drawing, photography and museum display) which disciplinary specialists have developed to aid the transformation of artefacts into written explanations. More recently I have embarked on a comparative project which examines how the production, exchange and deposition of precious metalwork in different Mediterranean societies corresponded to different modes of valuing resources, labour and commodities and of marking relationships among humans and gods. I have participated in archaeological excavations at sites in Ukraine, southern Russia and the Cycladic islands in Greece. I also co-lead an ongoing project funded by the British Academy which explores the potentials of applying Augmented Reality technology in archaeological fieldwork and heritage management.