My research focusses on the development of the Eastern Mediterranean in late antique and Byzantine times. Because I am an archaeologist, I mainly deal with material evidence, but I am particularly interested in how this relates to and can (or cannot) be combined with literary sources. My doctorate looked into the how and why of late antique and Early Byzantine urban development and representation. In a first postdoctoral fellowship I investigated the reciprocal relations between the drastic political and religious changes taking place in the Theodosian period on the one hand and the economic developments and general prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean on the other. Since then I have been focussing ever more on the influence of Christianity on contemporary society. I am examining how the augmenting power of bishops over their congregations is expressed in the urban fabric as well as how ordinary people enacted their personal, everyday religiosity.
I was a member of the Sagalassos team (Turkey) between 2003 and 2014, director of the British Archaeological Project at Grumentum (Italy) between 2012 and 2015. I now co-direct the Kostoperska Karpa Regional Archaeological Project (FYROM) and am field director at Aphrodisias (Turkey).