From icBirmingham:

An acclaimed archaeologist who is set to appear in a TV series about the history of Rome has joined the University of Birmingham.

Dr Ray Laurence, who has also just written a book about events leading up to the destruction of Pompeii, has been appointed as a Research Fellow in the University's Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity (IAA).

He will continue his research on the Roman world, on themes such as human ageing, travel and communications, and landscape archaeology.

Dr Laurence has more than ten years' experience in archaeology and ancient history, and his new book Pompeii: The Living City has met with much critical acclaim, including praise from the author Robert Harris, who said: "I only wish it had been available when I was researching my novel" (also called Pompeii).

From July 7 he will appear in a new Sky One documentary, The Life and Death of Rome.

Dr Laurence said: "I am delighted to be joining the University of Birmingham. This is a challenging new role that will enable me to develop my research in human ageing, urbanism and the landscapes of the Roman Empire. The IAA team and its organisation creates the opportunity for interdisciplinary research across the traditional boundaries between ancient history and archaeology, and beyond to connect with the social sciences and the earth sciences."

Dr Laurence previously taught Roman History and Roman Archaeology at the University of Reading for more than ten years. He has published six academic books on Roman archaeology and history.