Dirk Booms

Roman architecture, sculpture, inscriptions,
and glass

Department: Greece and Rome


+44 (0)20 7323 8411


Dirk Booms studied Classical Archaeology at Leuven (Belgium), Reading, Rome, and Cambridge (PhD), and taught at Cambridge, Oxford, and Birkbeck College before joining the British Museum.

His main interest is Roman architecture, but other responsibilities include sculpture, particularly the Townley collection and the Museum’s cast collection, inscriptions, cameos, and glass inlays.

He has participated in excavations in Belgium, Turkey, Italy, and Tunisia, and is finalising the publication of the architectural fragments, design, and reconstruction of the imperial villa of Marcus Aurelius at Villa Magna, Italy, in a volume edited by E. Fentress, C. Goodson, and M. Maiuro, and of the so-called Domitianic Vestibule to the Palatine Palace in Rome, in its publication by H. Hurst. He is also turning his PhD thesis into a monograph, titled ‘Space and Identity at Roman Imperial Villas’.

He is currently digitising the Museum’s collection of Latin inscriptions and is preparing a popular book on the subject for British Museum Press.

Current projects

Cataloguing the British Museum's collection of plaster casts of Classical sculpture.

Study of Latin inscriptions.

Roman Empire: Power and People UK touring exhibition.

Co-curator with Peter Higgs for a special exhibition about Sicily scheduled for summer 2016

Recent publications

E. Payne and D. Booms, ‘Analysis of pigment palettes as evidence for rooms status in Nero’s Golden House’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 8 (2014).


D. Booms, ‘Architecture, Roman’, In C. Smith (ed.), Springer Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology (2014), pp. 480–92.

Available online at http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1470

D. Booms, ‘A group of villas around Tivoli, otium and Republican construction techniques’. Review of M. Tombraegel. 2012. Die republikanischen Otiumvillen von Tivoli (Palilia Band 25), Wiesbaden. Journal of Roman Archaeology 26, 519–24

Available online at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9053472

D. Booms, B. Crerar, and S. Raikes, Roman Empire: Power and People (London: British Museum Press, 2013).