Dr. Vince Van Thienen

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

December 2018 – November 2019

Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow
Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften; Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Project: ‘Everyday life at the Rhine frontier in Late Antiquity: studying local transformations through
handmade pottery from the Rhein-Main region’
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz, Dr. Markus Helfert

Previous Positions 

December 2017 – November 2018
Postdoctoral researcher; Department of Archaeology, Ghent University, Belgium
Joint Ghent University – Gallo-Roman Museum Tongeren: ‘Mapping the civitas Tungrorum
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Wim De Clercq (UGent), Curator Guido Creemers (GRM Tongeren)

October 2016 – September 2017
Belgian American Educational Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (BAEF); Department of Anthropology, Yale University, USA
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Anne Underhill

April 2012 – September 2016
FWO-NWO PhD-researcher; Department of Archaeology, Ghent University, Belgium
Project: ‘Decline and Fall? Social and cultural dynamics in the Low Countries in the Late Roman empire (AD 270-450)’
Promotor: Prof. Dr. Wim De Clercq / Co-promotor: Prof. Dr. Nico Roymans

September 2011 – March 2012
Field archaeologist; Ghent Archaeological Team (Gate), Belgium

August 2011
Junior archaeologist; Flemish Heritage Agency (AOE, formerly VIOE), Belgium


Ghent University, Belgium

2012 - 2016        PhD in Archaeology (Promotor: Prof. Dr. Wim De Clercq)

2010 - 2011        Master in Archaeology; major in Northwest Europe

2007 - 2010        Bachelor in Archaeology; minor Culture and Diversity

International Traiining and Research Stays

Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University (USA) – May 2018
Visiting Trainee: application of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) in cultural heritage
Dr. Anikó Bezur, Dr. Richard Hark

Anthropology Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) – May 2017
Visiting Trainee: Archaeological and anthropological interpretation of ceramic thin section petrography
Dr. Isabelle Druc

Academia Belgica, Rome (Italy) - April-May 2016
Resident fellow: extended research stay on a Belgian Historical Institute in Roman (BHIR) scholarship

Institute of Archaeology, University College London (England) - April 2014 / May 2015
Visiting Trainee: Thin Section Petrography of Archaeological Ceramics: Methods and Applications
Dr. Patrick Quinn

Classical and Archaeological studies, Kent University (England) - September-December 2013
Visiting Training Fellow at the Centre for Late Antique Archaeology
Dr. Steve Willis, Dr. Ellen Swift

Fieldwork, Lab and museum experience

2018: Creation of a geodatabase containing archaeological information from the Roman administrative territory of the civitas Tungrorum between the (final) Late Iron Age and the Early Medieval period, for curatorial and research purposes of the Gallo-Roman Museum of Tongeren.

2017 (June – July): Excavations and ceramic study in Zaraa Uul, Mongolia; Dr. Lisa Janz (Trent University), Prof. Dr. William Honeychurch (Yale University) i.c.w. the Mongolian Archaeological Institute.

2017 (January – August): X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) analyses at the Yale University Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Dr. Anikó Bezur) of Caribbean ceramics from St. Croix and Puerto Rico (prehistory), Nigerian brass statuettes (ca. 16th – 19th century), Roman military brooches from Dura Europos in Syria (ca. 3rd century), and German Meissen porcelain (18th century).

2014 – 2016: Petrographic analyses of Late Roman pottery from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, as part of the doctoral research.

2013 – 2015: Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (hhXRF/pXRF) and morphometric analyses of Roman copper alloy military brooches in multiple museums and archaeological institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands, as part of the doctoral research.

2011 – 2015: Various excavations in Flanders (Belgium) in academic (Ghent University, Prof. Dr. Wim De Clercq) and commercial (GATE) setting, covering a range of archaeological sites from the Iron Age to World War I.

2011 (August): Post-excavation processing of the building material of the Roman fort of Oudenburg (Belgium) at the Flanders Heritage Agency (Sofie Vanhoutte).

2010 (September): Excavations in Potentia and field survey in Treia (Italy) as part of the Potenza Valley Survey (PVS) project by Ghent University (Prof. Dr. Frank Vermeulen) i.c.w. Soprintendenza Archeologia.

2009 (September): Excavations in Potentia (Italy) as part of the Potenza Valley Survey (PVS) project by Ghent University (Prof. Dr. Frank Vermeulen) i.c.w. Soprintendenza Archeologia.

2008-2011: Excavations on the sites of the Roman town of Tongeren and the Roman vicus of Asse, Flanders (Belgium).

Selection of Recent Conference Presentations

Van Thienen V., (Im)Material identities: expressions of early Germanic culture in a Gallo-Roman world, at the Junius Symposium voor jonge Oudgermanisten III, at Leiden University, Netherlands; 26 October 2018. (Invited Keynote)

Van Thienen V., Deschepper E., Towards a Differentiated View on Mobility and Migration in the Transformation of Local Societies in Late Antiquity: the Archaeological Case of the Low Countries. In session: ‘Migration and Local Societies I – Frontier areas in the North’, at the 2nd Research Forum of the Tübingen Center of Advanced Studies ‘Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’, Tübingen, Germany; 19-21 July 2018.

Van Thienen V., Deschepper E., De Clercq W., Local elites at the edge of an Empire: Transformations in landscape and material culture between the Scheldt basin and the North Sea (ca. AD 200-800). In session: ‘Pride and Provinciality – Elites between Centre and Periphery’, at Study Group on Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages meeting at the Mittel- und Ostdeutscher (MOVA) and West- und Süddeutschen Verban (WSVA) für Altertumsforschung Congress, Halle (Saale), Germany; 19-21 March 2018.

Van Thienen V., State control, regionality or guidelines? The production of the crossbow brooch. In session 9.1: ‘The production of military equipment – fabricae, private production and more’, at the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology (AIAC), Cologne/Bonn, Germany; 22-26 May 2018. (Invited presentation)

Van Thienen V., De Clercq W., Rethinking migration and mobility in the Late Roman West with ceramic petrography. In poster session: ‘Ceramic Petrographers in the Americas – Promoting the advancement and application of petrography in archaeology’, at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Washington D.C., USA; 11-15 April 2018.

Van Thienen V., Human nature plus bias persistence equals an obscure fifth century. In session: ‘Periodization, Time and Fault Lines: The Fifth Century AD’, at the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Conference 2017, Cardiff, Wales; 18-20 December 2017.

Martínez Milantchi M. M., Van Thienen V., Cultural Interaction through Geochemical Analysis: A Pilot pXRF Study with Hacienda Grande and Salt River Site Ceramics. In session: ‘Pre-Colonial Archaeology Session 2’, at the 27th Congress of the International Association of Caribbean Archaeology, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands; 24-28 July 2017.

Van Thienen V., Lycke S., Vandenabeele P., Evaluation of handheld X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy results of Roman copper alloy brooches by using archaeological typology. In the poster session (n°46) of Technart 2017, Biannual Congress on the Application of Analytical Techniques in Art and Cultural Heritage, Bilbao, Spain; 2-6 May, 2017.



Van Thienen, V. (2016): Abandoned, Neglected and Revived: Aspects of Late Roman Society in Northern Gaul. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy [PhD dissertation].

Book chapters

Van Thienen, V. (2017): A symbol for Late Roman authority revisited: a socio-historical understanding of the crossbow brooch. In Roymans, N., Heeren, S., De Clercq, W. (eds.), Social dynamics in the Northwest Frontiers of the Late Roman Empire. Beyond decline or transformation. Amsterdam Archaeological Studies 26, Amsterdam University Press, 97-126.

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Van Thienen, V. (forthcoming): A petrographic analysis of Late Roman pottery from the Saxon Shore fort at Oudenburg. Invited chapter in the monograph on the Late Roman fort at Oudenburg, edited by S. Vanhoutte. Submission by January 30th 2019.

Van Thienen, V. (forthcoming): Crossbow brooches at Oudenburg: typological, geochemical and morphometric analyses. Invited chapter in the monograph on the Late Roman fort at Oudenburg, edited by S. Vanhoutte. Submission by January 30th 2019.


Van de Velde, T., Van Thienen, V., Van Neste, T., Reniere, S., De Clercq, W. (2018): Multidisciplinair onderzoek op een ritueel dolium uit Vrasene. In: Signa 7, 203-208.

Van Thienen, V., Agricola, C., Stilborg, O., Heeren, S. (2017): Characterising terra nigra foot-vessels of the Late Roman period (4th – 5th century) from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, in Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, 47 (1), 87-105.

Van Thienen, V., Lycke, S. (2017): From commodity to singularity: the production of crossbow brooches and the rise of the Late Roman military elite, in Journal of Archaeological Sciences, 82, 50-61.

Van Thienen, V. (2017): The absence of Late Roman archaeology: identification issues in the Flemish archaeological record, in Signa 6, 119-126.

Van Thienen, V. (2015): De Romeinse fibulae uit Oudenburg, in Terra Incognita, 77-92.

De Clercq, W., De Reu, J., Herremans, D., Poulain, M., Trachet, J., Van Thienen, V. (2014): Archeologisch onderzoek in Middelburg in Vlaanderen: een bilan van twee jaar preventief archeologisch onderzoek (2012-2013) (OVL), in Archaeologia Mediaevalis, 39-44.

Vanhoutte, S., Van Thienen, V. (2013) Het Romeins castellum van Oudenburg: de studie van het ceramisch bouwmateriaal, in Signa 2, 166-174.

Laloo, P., Teetaert, D., Van Goidsenhoven, W., Heynssens, N., Wuyts, F., Beek, W., Cryns, J., Trachet, J., Van Thienen, V., Van Eeno, M. (2012): Romeinse boeren op de zandleem: stand van zaken van het onderzoek naar de Romeinse landelijke nederzetting te Lier-Duwijck II (prov. Antwerpen): opgravingen 2011, in Signa 1, 57-62.

Van Thienen, V., Vanhoutte, S. (2012): De studie van de fibulae van het Romeinse castellum van Oudenburg, in Signa 1, 142-152.

Van Thienen, V. (2011) De kruisboogfibulae uit het grafveld in Oudenburg. In Meulenmeester J.L., De Romeinen in West-Vlaanderen. Jaarboek van de West-Vlaamse Gidsenkring 2011.

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Van Thienen, V., Martínez Milantchí, M. (under review): Old collections, new interpretations: a pXRF pilot-study on Hacienda Grande (Puerto Rico) and Salt River (St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) Saladoid and Ostionoid ceramics. Submitted to the Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology on July 17th 2018.

Van Thienen, V., Goemaere, E., De Clercq, W., (in prep): Investigating Germanic migrations and Gallo-Roman continuity in Northern Gaul by means of petrographic analyses of late Roman handmade pottery. Expected submission to Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences in January 2019.

Zumbulyadis, N., Van Thienen, V., Bezur, A. (in prep): Changes in the body, glaze and enamel compositions of early Meissen porcelain during 1723 – ca. 1740. Expected submission to Archaeometry in January 2019.

Conference proceedings

Van Thienen, V., De Clercq, W. (2018): Rethinking Migration and Mobility in the Late Roman West with Ceramic Petrography. Poster presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA, Washington DC).

Van Thienen, V., Lycke, S., Vandenabeele, P. (2017): Evaluation of handheld X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy results of Roman copper alloy brooches by using archaeological typology. Poster presented at Technart 2017 (Bilbao).

Van Thienen, V. (2017): Laat-Romeinse archeologie in Vlaanderen: een overzicht. Poster presented at Journée d’Archéologie Romaine - Romeinendag 2017 (Brussel).

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Van Thienen, V., Deschepper, E., De Clercq, W. (forthcoming): A diachronic view on the transformations in local communities and their elites between North Sea and Scheldt (ca. AD 200-800). Invited publication in the series “Studien zur Spätantike und Frühmittelalter” of the conference proceedings from the “Pride and Provinciality” session held at the MOVA/WSVA conference organised by AG Spätantike und Frühmittelalter at Halle (Saale), Germany (19/03-21/03/2018). Submitted on October 31st 2018.

Van Thienen, V. (forthcoming): State control, regionality or guidelines? The production of the crossbow brooch. Invited publication in the conference proceedings of AIAC, held at Cologne/Bonn (22/04-26/04/2018). Submitted on November 1st 2018.


Van Thienen, V., Van de Velde, T., Van Neste, T. (2018): De dassendolium van Vrasene. In: Ex Situ 21.

Van Thienen, V., Willemsen, A. (2017): De drieknoppenfibula in de Romeinse kunst. In Heeren, S. and Willemsen, A. (eds.), Fibula’s: Vondsten, vormen en mode, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, 36-39.