Michael Ballance (1928-2006)


After a Scholarship at the British School at Rome (1948-50), during which he also spent three summers excavating in Libya and Cyrenaica, in 1953 Michael Ballance began a long and fruitful period of field archaeological and epigraphical research in Turkey. His epigraphical discoveries in Phrygia, Lycaonia and Cappadocia were included in a 1960 Edinburgh doctorate, but have not yet otherwise been published. He later served as Assistant Director of the British School at Rome from 1957 to 1962, and thereafter for 25 years as a Classics master and Curator of the Myers Museum at Eton College. In retirement he returned to Roman and Byzantine archaeological work and was active throughout the 1990s.

Michael Ballance was an accomplished photographer and his archaeological and epigraphical fieldwork is documented by more than 10,000 photographs, a selection of which is included in the exhibition.

A new project at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents directed by Dr Peter Thonemann and funded by the British Academy and the AHRC has recently begun, to bring to publication the inscriptions recorded by Michael Ballance in Phrygia, Lycaonia and Cappadocia as Volume XI in the Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua (MAMA) series.

As part of the Ballance Archive project, there are also plans to hold a small conference to mark the 50th anniversary, in 2010, of the death of Sir William Calder, who was pivotal in the work of both Cox and Ballance.  Photographs of Sir William appear often in both archives.