In their engagement with the ancient world, archaeology and historical fiction may be considered to reside at two ends of a spectrum, one engaged in tactile, hands-on contact with artifacts, invariably involving cooperation between colleagues, workers, and authorities, the other entirely imaginative and verbal, drawing on many sources but created in solitude. But archaeology and historical fiction have in common a desire to make an authentic connection with the past, and to find ways to share that connection with others. The author has spent the last thirty writing fiction set in ancient Rome, frequently drawing inspiration from archaeological publications and exhibits. His latest novel, Dominus, completes a trilogy (begun by Roma and Empire) that follows the fortunes of a family from prehistoric Rome to the reign of Constantine the Great. In this talk he will attempt to share insights into a creative process that may represent an end-product of archaeology, citing the case of a recently-discovered artifact that finds its way into the pages of Dominus.