There are very broadly two historical strands to Roman archaeology. One that was firmly rooted in the traditions of travel, found in the 18th century Grand Tour, saw in at least some, if not all, things associated with antiquity a set of aesthetic and moral values (Andrén 1998: 10). Another tradition, founded on local history, formed the basis for the documentation of the spread of Roman culture. These two strands have caused sculptural objects from the Mediterranean to be highly valued and to have an artistic and/or moral value in line with the first tradition but for similar objects found in the northern provinces to be less valued by this tradition and not associated with a similar set of values by the second tradition (Henig 2004). I do not want to delve too deeply into the past with reference to these traditions, but wish to note that most forms of archaeology involve travel, viewing, some form of assimilation or analysis and then publication. What distinguishes the two traditions is the distance travelled, further to the Mediterranean or less far in Britain. It is not possible here to create a narrative that accounts for the development of Roman archaeology in all countries or at all times. Instead, I wish to set out an English perspective that demonstrates the continuities of intellectual thought from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. As we shall see, we may think today that the discipline of archaeology, as practised in the UK, might have little in common with its past; yet, underpinning nearly every approach and concept, we find at its root an articulation that is entrenched in the age of an imperial Britain (see Hingley 2000, 2008; Freeman 2007; Stray 2010).