Dr Mark Lewis
Honorary Research Fellow
Mark Lewis’s research interests centre on the study and use of material culture to understand and further our knowledge of the past. His involvement with field archaeology for over 30 years and his academic background in archaeological conservation and conservation science bring an artefact and artefact technology (materials science) perspective to his approach to the sphere of museum studies. His undergraduate study of prehistory at Cardiff University under Professors John Evans, Alistair Whittle and Niall Sharples nurtured a phenomenological, landscape, approach to the macro-scale interpretation of the geography of the past. Employment with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales since 2001 has given a museological emphasis to research into informal learning in archaeology through the museum setting, online and through visits to monuments cared for by the state. His current research focus remains broad-based but centres on the Roman archaeology of Caerleon, its context (including its relationship to Caerwent), and its role within and beyond the western frontier zone of Britannia. A museological strand of this research will focus on presenting Roman pasts to non-specialist audiences. Mark is currently working with Dr Peter Guest, Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at Cardiff University on a jointly-authored book about the Roman legionary fortress at Caerleon.
Education and Qualifications
- Archaeological Conservation B.Sc. (Hons) 1st Class (Wales, Cardiff)
- Conservation M.Sc. (Cardiff)
- Ph.D. (Archaeology) Awarded following viva voce at Cardiff University, 2010.
Mark Lewis was born and raised in Monmouthshire and his interest in archaeology was nurtured during family walks in the south of the county and whilst working on excavations during the 1980s and 1990s at Trostrey and Caerwent. He read archaeological conservation and conservation at Cardiff University. There he was awarded a PhD for his research on humidity and iron corrosion which informed the preservation strategy for Brunel's ss Great Britain and now informs the preservation of museum artefacts and structures, such as the Severn Bridge, worldwide. Since 2000, he has been a curatorial officer and senior curator at the National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, and from 2006-14 he was also an archaeological conservator at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff. He was Chairman of the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association from 2013-16. From 2013-17 he was Chairman of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, having been a Trustee since November 2008. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has regularly contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at Cardiff University and the University of South Wales, as well as contributing towards the regular hosting of museum internships from University College London and Durham University, with museum placements hosted for students from institutions far and wide, e.g. from Newport and Cardiff to The University of Queensland, Australia
Honours and awards
- SS Great Britain was the recipient of the 2006 Gulbenkian Prize citing its innovative conservation aroach based upon research undertaken by Mark Lewis and David Watkinson, Cardiff University.
- SS Great Britain (including M Lewis and D Watkinson) shortlisted for the 2007 Conservation Award and Mark Lewis and David Watkinson for the 2007 Anna Plowden Award for Conservation Research.
- Award for Services to the Local History of Gwent, awarded by the Gwent Local History Council for outreach and educational work (06/12/2008).
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
- Member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
- Member of the Roman Finds Group
- Member of the International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC)
- Member of the Institute for Conservation (ICON)
- Member of the Cambrian Archaeological Association
- Committee Member of the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association and Chairman of the editorial committee of The Monmouthshire Antiquary.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2017) The Fountains of My Story: Arthur Machen and the Making of a Museum. Three Impostors.
Materials Science publications
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2015) ‘In Practice: Look after the pennies…’ ICON News, September 2015, issue 60, 33.
- Watkinson, D. (Cardiff University) and Lewis, M.R.T. (Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales) (2008) Desiccated storage of chloride-contaminated iron: A study of the effects of loss of environmental control. In May, E., Jones, M. and Mitchell, J. [eds.]
- Heritage Microbiology and Science. Microbes, Monuments and Maritime Materials. London: RSC Publishing, 279-292.
- Watkinson, D.E. and Lewis, M.R.T. (2008) ss Great Britain: Science and Technology Underpin Enclosure Design. In Henderson, J. [ed.] Conservation Matters in Wales; On Display: Showcases and Enclosures, 13-17.
- Watkinson, D.E., Tanner, M. Turner, R. and Lewis, M.R.T. (2006). ss Great Britain: teamwork as a platform for innovative conservation. The Conservator Volume 29, (2005/6), 73-86. London: ICON: The Institute of Conservation.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2005) Metal ’04. Conservation News Issue 95, March 2005, 16-17: Conferences. London: United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
- Watkinson, D.E. & Lewis, M.R.T. (2005) Desiccated storage of chloride-contaminated archaeological iron objects. Studies in Conservation Volume 50, No. 4 (2005). London: IIC.
- Watkinson, D.E. & Lewis, M.R.T. (2005) The role of bFeOOH in the corrosion of archaeological iron. In Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VII edited by Vandiver, P.B., Mass, J.L. and Murray, A. (Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 852, Warrendale, PA, 2005) OO1.6.
- Watkinson, D.E. & Lewis, M.R.T. (2004) ss Great Britain Iron Hull: Modelling Corrosion to Define Storage Relative Humidity. Metal ’04 Proceedings of the International Conference on Metals Conservation, Canberra 4th-8th October 2004 (Eds. Ashton, J. and Hallam, D.) 88-103. Canberra: International Council of Museums (ICOM) & National Museum of Australia.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (1998). Poisonous Substances in Ethnographic Collections. ICOM Ethnographic Conservation Newsletter No. 18, October 1998.
Roman archaeology publications
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2017) A Legendary Legionary Legacy. Interpreting the invisible at King Arthur’s Caerleon. Dehongli Cymru – Interpret Wales 23, 12-15.
- Tassell, N. & Lewis, M.R.T. (2016) The Roman Army in Britain. BBC History Magazine, Christmas 2016, 82-85.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2016) A ‘Trojan’ Horse at Caerleon, South Wales? ARMA 15: 1 (Spring 2016), 6-13. Newsletter of the Association for Roman Military Equipment Studies.
- Webster, P.V. and Lewis, M.R.T. in Guest, P., Luke, M. & Pudney, C. (2012) Archaeological Evaluation of the Extramural Monumental Complex (‘The Southern Canabae’) at Caerleon, 2011. An Interim Report. Cardiff Studies in Archaeology Specialist Report No. 33. Cardiff: Cardiff University.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2012) An Archaeological Evaluation at 1a White Hart Lane and 30 High Street (Bank House) Caerleon.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2011) The Isca Praetorium Reconsidered. The Monmouthshire Antiquary Volume XXVII (2011), 17-34. Aberystwyth: The Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association.
- Lewis, M., Bray J. and Clarke, S. (2008) in Burnham, B.C. (2008) [Ed] Roman Britain in 2007, I Sites explored, 1 Wales. In Britannia XXXIX, 268-272. London; Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
- Lewis, M.R.T. with contributions from Clarke, S. and Bray, J. (2008) Roman Clay Altars from Caerleon. The Monmouthshire Antiquary Volume XXIV (2008), 31-45. Bristol: The Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association.
- Lewis, M in Clarke, S. and Bray, J. (2008) Caerleon, Mission Chapel, Bulmore Road. Archaeology in Wales 48 (2008), 127-8. Council for British Archaeology: Wales/Cymru.
- Lewis, M.R.T. and Davis, M. (2006) Destruction and Reconstruction: the story of the Caerleon Campus Coffin. In Things Fall Apart: Museum Conservation in Practice. Cardiff; Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales
- Lewis, M.R.T. & Reynolds, J. (2005) An archaeological watching brief at the Roman Legionary Museum, High Street, Caerleon. Archaeology in Wales Volume 45, p196, York: Council for British Archaeology.
Other archaeological publications
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2017) An Ancient Green Lane Between Llanmartin and Llanbeder… The Monmouthshire Antiquary XXXIII, 43-50.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2013) Lacking Inspiration. The Incomplete History of the Parish Church of St Mary’s, Caldicot. The Monmouthshire Antiquary XXIX (2013), 9-25.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2012) Four Russian Bale or Bundle Seals from Mounton, Monmouthshire. The Monmouthshire Antiquary XXVIII (2012), 47-54.
- Gwilt, A. and Lewis, M. R. T. (2009) Langstone, Newport: two bronze bowls, a wine strainer and a tankard. Portable Antiquities and Treasure Act Annual Report 2007. London: British Museum, 68-9.
- Gwilt, A., Lewis, M., Lodwick, M., Chapman, E. and Davis, M. (2008). An Iron Age Hoard of Bronze Bowls and a Bronze Wine Strainer from Langstone, Newport. Treasure Act 1996 Case 07.24 Wales. Treasure Report to the Gwent Coroner following analyses and archaeological excavation.
- Lewis, M. and the Young Archaeologists’ Club SE Wales Branch (2007) A second flood mark at Redwick, Gwent. The Monmouthshire Antiquary Volume XXIII (2007) 60-66. Bristol: The Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2017) Review: Archaeoleg Ucheldir Gwent. The Monmouthshire Antiquary XXXIII, 95-6.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2012) Review: Kennedy, D. Magor – Fragments of History. The Monmouthshire Antiquary XXVIII (2012), 120-121
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2018) Shedding a Little Light on Mithraism at Roman Caerleon, South Wales.
- Guest, P.G. and Lewis M.R.T. (2018/9) ISCA – Fortress of the Legion.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2018/9) The Pollardswell House Mosaic, Caerleon, South Wales.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2018/19) What is the Point of the Backhall Street Mosaic, Caerleon, South Wales?
- Davis, M. and Lewis, M.R.T. (2019) Blue Glass Tesserae from Caerleon, South Wales.
- Lewis, M.R.T. (2019) The Lead Artefacts. In Guest, P. and Gardner, A. The Caerleon Priory Field Excavations, 2008-2010.
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