Matthew Nicholls is Senior Tutor of St John’s College, Oxford, and Visiting Professor of Classics at the University of Reading

A rendering of the plans for the new Colosseum floor.

Will a gladiator’s-eye view make visiting the Colosseum more spectacular?

Installing a floor in the Colosseum will make the ruin less familiar – but may help us understand the original experience of the building

10 May 2021
The Mausoleum of Augustus.

The tomb of Rome’s first emperor at last reveals its secrets

The restored tomb of Augustus reopened this month – and an extensive new website gives a good sense of what has happened to it over the last two thousand years

22 Mar 2021
The Severan Tondo, c. 200AD, Altes Museum, Berlin.

Losing face – iconoclasm in ancient Rome

The importance of public statuary and portraiture for the Romans is no better demonstrated than in the way images of personae non gratae were destroyed, disfigured or re-carved

28 Jul 2020
A visualisation of what visitors to the Ara Pacis Museum see via their AR headsets. Image: © Zètema Progetto Cultura

The digital reconstructions bringing Roman ruins to life

From the Circus Maximus to the Ara Pacis, virtual and augmented reality can enhance our experience of ancient sites

30 Jul 2019
Leda and the Swan, discovered in Pompeii.

The age of spectacular finds at Pompeii is far from over

The Great Pompeii Project’s restoration of the site has led to a stream of exciting discoveries

29 Jan 2019
Frescoes in the Criptoporticus Domus, restored as part of the Great Pompeii Project, December 2015, MARIO LAPORTA/AFP/Getty Images

What can contemporary artists do for the ruins of Pompeii?

The sensitive juxtaposition of old and new could revive some of the site’s more neglected artefacts

18 Oct 2017
The Colosseum Seen from the Southeast, (c. 1700), Gaspar van Wittel, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Photo: Imaging department; Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. Photo: Imaging department; © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Will the reform of Rome’s ruins be an improvement?

Will the new Colosseum archaeological park improve the upkeep of Rome’s most important ruins?

3 Oct 2017