Dr M. Polak (Rien)

Researcher - Department of History, Art History and Classics
Researcher - Radboud Institute for Culture and History

Dr M. Polak (Rien)
Visiting address

Erasmusplein 1

Postal address

Postbus 9103

The focus of my research is the Roman frontier in the Netherlands, especially the nearly 30 military fortifications that were located along the river Rhine. In the course of time, I have been involved in the elaboration of many 'backlog projects': excavations that were carried out (much) longer than 20 years ago. The documentation of these excavations often shows large gaps, making the analysis an even more challenging puzzle than that of contemporary excavations.

Roman pottery, in particular terra sigillata, is an old love that I still foster. My main interest is in quantitative and spatial analysis, in order to extract as much information as possible from the material. It is also a focus of my teaching.

Since 2016 I have been focusing - on secondment at the Dutch Limes Association - on the Roman frontier within the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage List. I have done a lot of work for the nomination of the frontier in the Netherlands and the German Rhineland (the Lower German Limes) for the World Heritage List, which led to the designation of the Lower German Limes as a World Heritage Site in 2021. Now I am helping to set up a proper management of this heritage and relevant research projects. In addition, I am involved in the nomination of other parts of the Roman imperial frontier, initially within Europe, but recently also in the Middle East and North Africa.


Research grants and prizes


Ancillary activities