Emerson Avery graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Ancient Greek from Haverford College and Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College, where his senior thesis examined the expression of a nascent Greek ethnic identity at the colony of Empúries, Spain, during the Iron Age. He spent the 2005 academic year developing this research as a Fulbright Fellow at the German Archaeological Institute in Madrid before joining AAMW in the fall of 2006.
His interest in the construction of identity, especially in colonial and other situations characterized by an unequal power dynamic, led him to the study of Late Antiquity and the imbrication of a variety of peripheral Western Mediterranean places with the Imperial center. His thesis explores the development of settlement and communication dynamics in the Hinterland of Marsala, Sicily during the period 300-900 CE, from landscape archaeological and practice theoretical perspectives.
Emerson has worked on projects in Spain, Italy, and France.
Sarah received her B.A. in Classical Languages from Carleton College in 2007. Her research interests include domestic archaeology and the material culture of the Roman provinces. She has excavated at Mt. Lykaion in Greece and at the excavations of the Alberese Project in Italy, and most recently in France at the Villa Saint-Martin near Narbonne. Her dissertation focuses on the trade, collection and display of sculpture in late-antique villas of the Western Empire, as well as the broader context of these estates within regional networks. During the 2013-2014 academic year as the recipient of the AIA Archaeology of Portugal Fellowship and a Penfield Dissertation Research Fellowship, she will be carrying out collections research for her dissertation in Portugal and southern France.
Katherine received her B.A. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of Washington in 2009. She spent a year teaching high school English in Nantes, France, before moving to Paris to pursue her M.A. in Near Eastern Antiquity at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-la Sorbonne (2013). Her M.A. thesis focused on ritual and sacrifice in the context of Assyrian imperial expansion. She has participated in excavations at Qasr Shemamok/Kilizi in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her main area of interest is Iron Age Mesopotamia.
Peter holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Engineering modified with Computer Science. In 2008, he earned a Master's degree in Information Science and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Peter's research focus is the Bronze and Iron Ages in Anatolia and he has excavated in Turkey for a number of years. He is particularly interested in Anatolia's interactions with the Greek world to the west and the Near Eastern polities to the southeast. He plans to investigate the nature of cultural exchange among these regions and the effects of Anatolia's unique landscape upon these exchanges. Because of his technical background, he is naturally also interested in archaeological informatics.
Petra earned her B.A. in Anthropology (with a focus in archaeology) at the Ohio State University in 2014, with her senior honors thesis addressing the trade and culture of resins and amber in the ancient Near East. During her undergraduate career, Petra spend much time studying abroad, including an excavation at Ostia Antica. She spent a summer interning at the Oriental Institute in order to get a feel for museum work and to be in close contact with the collections. Her interests include Mesopotamian and Egyptian art and archaeology, ancient mythologies and religions, and the exchange and influence of cultures between civilizations in the Near East and the Classical and Near Eastern worlds as fostered by trade and contact. She is particularly interested in foreign cultural influences on material culture in terms of design and use.
Lara received a B.A in Classical Archaeology from the City University of New York, Hunter College in 2011, as well as B.F.A in Theatrical Set Design from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her dissertation, "Between East, West and the Steppe: The South Caucasus as the Northeastern Roman Borderlands" is a consideration of the relationships between Rome, Arsacid Parthia and the Sarmatians from the 1st c. BCE- 3rd c. CE in Azerbaijan and eastern Georgia.
She will be spending 2015-16 in Baku and Tbilisi as a CLIR-Mellon Foundation Dissertation Research Fellow and CAORC Multi-Country Research Fellow. She has participated in archaeological fieldwork and research in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Italy and England. Before starting at Penn, she worked as a designer, draftsman and scenic painter for theater and film in New York.
Emily received her B.A. in Classics from Bucknell University in 2014. She then spent a year in Georgetown University's Post-Baccalaureate Program. She has excavated at Tel Megiddo East in Israel with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, and on the Ismenion Hill in Thebes, Greece with the Thebes Excavation Synergasia Project. Her interests lie in Roman art and archaeology in the late Republican and Imperial periods, as well as cultural interaction with the Near East and North Africa.
Nurith received her B.A. degree in Classical Archaeology and Art History from Tel Aviv University in 2004. She subsequently continued her M.A. studies in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. She has participated in excavations at Apollonia-Arsuf, and Ashkelon in Israel and at Pachia-Ammos industrial area, Papadiokambos, and Petras cemetery in Crete. Since 2005 she has served as Assistant Director of the Kabri Archaeological Project, which includes both excavation and survey. Nurith joined the AAMW program as a Fulbright scholar and pursue her interests in Middle and Late Bronze Age cultures of the Aegean and the Levant regions. She has co-authored several articles on a varity of topics including painted plaster, textile, and architecture. Her dissertation is a comparative study of the emergence of palatial institutes in the Aegean and the Southern Levant during the beginning of the second millennium.
Olivia received her B.A. in Archaeology and Classical Studies from Tufts University in 2013. Her undergraduate thesis focused on urban planning in the Greek colonies in Sicily and Magna Graecia in the 8th-6th centuries BCE. She has excavated at Tel Dor in Israel and at Voula and the Athenian agora in Greece. Her research interests include Iron Age Greece and the Near East.
Sam received his BA in Classics and Archaeology from Brown University. His honors thesis charted adaptations of sphinxes in Greek art and texts during the Archaic and Classical periods. Sam received his MPhil in Classics from the University of Cambridge in 2012 with a dissertation on the iconography and sculpting of the Polyxena Sarcophagus. He has excavated in Turkey at Gordion and Troy and in Greece at the Molyvoti, Thrace Archaeological Project. His MA thesis at Penn on the tortoise shell lyres from Phrygian Gordion was awarded 3rd prize in the MOISA (International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music) Research Award Competition for an MA thesis in English or Italian on Greek and Roman Music. Ancient Greek architecture is the focus of Sam’s research, and he maintains a wide range of interests, including the civilizations of ancient Anatolia, 3D digital modeling, ancient textiles, and archaeomusicology.
Sam serves as Alumnus Trustee on the Board of Trustees of College Year in Athens.
Sarah received her B.A. (2007) from the University of Arizona for which she wrote an Honor's Thesis concerning Minoan jewelry. During her undergraduate career Sarah studied in Orvieto, Italy and Paris. Her research interest is in the Bronze Age Aegean with a particular focus on luxury items. Continuing on at the U of A, she received her M.A. (2009) in Classical Studies with an emphasis in archaeology. Her M.A. thesis addressed preceptions of the past by examining Minoan heirlooms found within Early Iron Age burial contexts. Sarah has participated in the Mount Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project for the past three summers.
Kate received her B.A. in Art History and Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College in 2007. She went on to receive her M.St. in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at Balliol College, Oxford in 2008, where her thesis explored the symbolic function of landscape and the relationship of place, myth and memory in ancient constructions of identity, working with Greek and Roman historical texts and Lucan’s Bellum Civile. While an undergraduate, she participated in field projects at Pompeii (with the Anglo-American Project in Pompeii) and in Argilos, Greece (with the University of Montréal), moving steadily eastward and steadily backwards in time, before becoming involved with the University of Chicago’s Zincirli expedition in south-eastern Turkey in 2008. She has excavated at Zincirli for the past four field seasons while living and traveling in Turkey and the Middle East, and in 2011 began work with Dr. Lauren Ristvet in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan. Her research interests include broad questions of identity and social change in antiquity, particularly as reflected in the domestic sphere; her current focus is on material culture related to textile production, with emphasis on ethnographic and experimental components. At Penn she also hopes to explore more current issues of site preservation and access and the role of archaeology or the antique in modern state-building, with a focus on policy creation and implementation.
Daira earned her BA in Classics, with a focus on archaeology, at the University of Pisa, Italy, with a thesis on the Roman military installations along the eastern limes. During her undergraduate years she participated in archaeological excavations in various sites in Italy. She then completed a specialization program in Classical Archaeology at the University of Genova, Italy, where she wrote her dissertation thesis on an amphorae context from the Forum of Nerva. Before joining AAMW Daira lived and worked in Rome for six years where she participated in the excavations in the Forum of Augustus, Forum of Caesar, Palatine and Villa of Maxentius. Daira joined AAMW to pursue her interests in Roman classical archaeology. She is particularly interested in architecture, topography, 3D modeling and computer applications, limes issues, techniques and methodologies of excavation, material culture with a special focus on amphorae and trade and economy, . Her dissertation title is "Domitian and the City of Rome. An Analysis of Domitian’s Building Program and its Impact on the Topography of Ancient Rome". Daira is currently field director of the APAHA excavation project in Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli (Rome) for Columbia University.
Amanda earned her B.A. from Yale University (Archaeological Studies, 2002) and her M.St. from Oxford University (European Archaeology, 2003) with a focus on the prehistoric Aegean. At Penn, she has continued her work on Bronze Age cultures, and also embarked on new projects, including studies of the Roman Pantheon’s lost exterior revetments, material from the Potters’ Quarter at Corinth, and the Archaic sculpture of the Acropolis. Her dissertation develops an approach for identifying and interpreting keimêlia—objects that were curated by their ancient owners—in the material record. In addition, she is assisting with the preparation of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum volume on the Attic red-figure cups in the University Museum’s collection. Amanda was a Regular Member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens for the 2010-11 academic year. She has worked on archaeological projects in Connecticut, Copacabana Bolivia, Italy and Greece, including the Agora Excavations, the Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project, and Dickinson College’s excavations at Mycenae.
Steve received his M.A. in Archaeology at Gent University in Belgium (2007) with a thesis on the monumental circular architecture of the early third millennium BC in the Hamrin region, Iraq. Subsequently he went for further specialization to Leiden University in the Netherlands to take part in a two year Research Master program in which he focused on mobility, nomadism, and urbanisation in the context of Early Bronze Age Northern Mesopotamia. Throughout these studies he participated in various excavations in Belgium, Corsica (Mariana), and Tunisia (Carthage). In recent years his fieldwork focused on the Middle East, where he worked in Syria, in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan, in Sharjah, UAE, and in Iraqi Kurdistan. He is currently also involved in the publication project of al-Hiba, the ancient Mesopotamian city of Lagash. Steve joined the AAMW program to pursue his primary interests in the cultural continuum that spanned the Iranian Highlands and the Mesopotamian lowlands during the Early Bronze Age. For his dissertation he will analyze the impact of inter-regional interaction networks on local socio-economic and political develoments in the Trans-Tigridian Corridor and the Western Zagros region during the Bronze Age. He will focus on the unpublished Mahidasht Survey Project at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. In addition he has started a new fieldwork project at the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age site Kani Shaie in Sulaimania, Iraqi Kurdistan, in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
Janelle received her B.A. in Classical Studies from the University of Richmond in 2013. Her undergraduate thesis explored cultural borrowing and the construction of cultural identity through a visual analysis of a set of sixth-century BCE architectural terracottas from central Anatolia. She has participated in Penn's excavations at Gordion in central Turkey, and has also worked at Eleon in Greece with the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project, and at Hacımusalar Höyük in Turkey. Her research interests include the construction of cultural identity in boundary regions of the ancient Mediterranean, with a particular interest in Anatolia in the Achaemenid period. She is also interested in conservation and site preservation.
James entered AAMW after completing a BA in Art History, Religious Studies, and Greek at the University of Minnesota in 2013. His research explores issues of ritual, memory, and meaning in the Imperial integration of public and sacred space across the Silk Road in Late Antiquity. In addition, he worked as a Geospatial Analyst for several years prior to his return to the academic community. As a result, he also has a strong interest in advancing the digital humanities and seeks to further develop methodologies for capitalizing on the robust capabilities of GIS tools in archaeological research.
Anna received her BA from Baylor University (2010) in the University Scholars Program with a focus on Classics and Art History. At Penn Anna continues to combine philological and art historical interests in the study of late antique and Byzantine art and architecture. Her Master's paper (2012) documented previously unpublished inscriptions in a Cappadocian rock-cut church and the interplay between word and image in that context. She is now working on a dissertation on temple reuse in the eastern Mediterranean in late antiquity. Other research and conference papers have covered topics including late antique Egypt, non-elite domestic architecture, epigraphy in the Roman Forum, and construction in Constantinople. Anna has spent two summers at the American School in Athens and substantial time in western Turkey, Cappadocia, and Istanbul. She has participated in the Sofiana Archaeological Project on Sicily (2011) and continues as a team member of the Alabanda excavation in southwestern Turkey(2012-present). As a CAORC Mediterranean Fellow in Fall 2014 and a Penn Museum Colburn Fellow in Spring 2015, Anna will pursue dissertation research in Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.
Lucas received his BA in Classical Archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009, and also completed the post-baccalaureate program in Classics at the same university (2011). While at UNC, he conducted field work on Crete at the site of Azoria, and recently at Gordion in Turkey. Lucas is mainly interested in the construction and function of monuments in Greece and Anatolia, particularly focusing on the creation and maintenance of past identities through visual representation and ritual processes.
Kurtis received his BA in Classical Languages from UC Berkeley (2009). At Berkeley, he developed an interest in early Greek history and culture and its contact with the Near East. He is especially interested in the the evolution of the Homeric Epics and modes of transmission in the early Aegean. His broader interests include Greek perceptions of luxury and wealth and their perceived relationship to the Near East. As an undergraduate he participated in field programs at Petsas House, Mycenae, and twice at Nemea, Greece.
Sophie received her B.A. in Classical Archaeology from New York University in 2009, where she wrote her honors thesis on the 5th-3rd century B.C. ‘temple-boy’ statuettes from Cyprus, Italy, and Greece. During her time at NYU, she worked as an intern for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman Department. Sophie went on to complete her M.A. in Classical Archaeology at Florida State University, where her thesis explored depictions of the couple in Roman funerary monuments. She has excavated at Yeronisos in Cyprus, Palazzaccio and Cetamura del Chianti in Italy, and most recently (since 2013) at Cosa on Italy's Tyrrhenian coast. Her reserach interests focus primarily on the archaeology of Republican Italy, including issues of "Romanization," colonization, and cross-cultural interaction.