AAMW Program Overview

The Graduate Group in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World trains students for careers in the art and archaeology of Classical and Near Eastern Civilizations. Drawing on the vast resources of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, AAMW incorporates fieldwork, museum internships, and university instruction into a flexible interdisciplinary program leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. All students accepted into the program are fully funded for a period of at least five years.

The faculty of the AAMW Graduate Group features an extraordinary array of distinguished scholars who represent virtually every major area in the study of antiquity. Most of the faculty are drawn from four departments in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences: Classical Studies, History of Art, Anthropology, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, although the resources of the Graduate School of Design, the Center for Ancient Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies are frequently utilized as well. AAMW students also have the opportunity to take courses at Bryn Mawr, Princeton, and Temple University, which form part of a regional academic consortium with Penn.



In May 2019 AAMW awarded two Ph.D.’s and one M.A.: 

• Sophie Crawford-Brown, Ph.D.: tenure-track assistant professor, Rice University, Department of Art History

• Sam Holzman, Ph.D.: Jacob Hirsch Postdoctoral Fellow, American School of Classical Studies at Athens

• Samantha Suppes, M.A.: accepted to Ph.D. program, University of Chicago, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Several recent AAMW graduates have accepted tenure-track positions in the past 18 months:

• Sarah Beckmann (AAMW Ph.D. 2016), Department of Classics, UCLA.

• Peter Cobb (AAMW Ph.D. 2016), Division of Information and Technology Studies, University of Hong Kong.

• Margaret Andrews (AAMW Ph.D. 2015), Department of History, University of Chicago.

• Jordan Pickett (AAMW Ph.D. 2015), Department of Classics, University of Georgia.

In addition, Anna Sitz (AAMW Ph.D. 2017) has been renewed for a four-year, full-time postdoctoral position with the research group "Materiale Textkulturen" at the University of Heidelberg.

In 2019–20 we welcome two new graduate students, Brigitte Keslinke and Kacie Alaga. We look forward to the unique contributions they will bring to the AAMW community.

Several AAMW students won prestigious awards and fellowships, and realized other achievements. Emily French, Petra Creamer, Janelle Sadarananda, and James Shackelford were awarded Dissertation Research Fellowships for 2019–2020. Olivia Hayden was awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2019–2020. Petra Creamer received a grant from Penn’s Price Laboratory for Digital Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Berlin 2018–19, as well as a Pennfield Dissertation Research Fellowship from Penn SAS for 2018–19. In 2019–2020, she will be the Center for Ancient Studies Graduate Fellow. She received the GAPSA-Provost Summer Fellowship for a joint project with Greg Callaghan (Ancient History) in Athens. During 2018–19, she lectured in Berlin, Groningen, London, and Brussels. John Sigmier was elected a Kolb Junior Fellow in 2018. In the past year, he won a rare opportunity as trainee to the masons cutting architectural stone for the anastylosis (re-erection) of columns and other architectural elements of the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis. He will continue that work as an apprentice in 2019–2020. Olivia Hayden received the Betancourt Fellowship for research in Aegean prehistory. She has been elected president of the Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council for 2019–2020. Janelle Sadarananda was at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens on a coveted second-year student fellowship. Katherine Burge has been awarded a FLAS fellowship for 2019–2020 to study Kurdish, the language spoken in the area of her fieldwork. James Gross was awarded a FLAS for 2019–2020 to study Turkish. James Shackelford’s dissertation research was supported by a Salvatori Grant from the Center for Italian Studies as well as a HUD grant.


Sam Holzman’s article “Unfolding a Geometric Textile from 9th-Century Gordion” will appear this year in Hesperia vol. 88 no. 3. Petra Creamer and fellow AAMW graduate student John Sigmier published an article in Open Archaeology titled "Collaborative Approaches to Archaeology Programming and the Increase of Digital Literacy among Archaeology Students" (with Peter Cobb, AAMW Ph.D. and former Digital Archaeology instructor in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials in the Penn Museum). Olivia Hayden wrote an article for the "In the Labs" section of the Penn Museum’s Expedition magazine, titled "Investigating Metallurgical Knowledge in the Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean." AAMW students presented their research at conferences and workshops locally, nationally, and internationally.


AAMW continues to be one of the most active programs in Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology in North America. During 2018–2019 AAMW students and faculty conducted fieldwork in Greece, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Iraq, Georgia, Russia, and Azerbaijan. During the year we will hear more about this work in our Friday noon colloquium series.

The Interdepartmental Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW) offers a terminal M.A. program in Mediterranean Archaeology. Learn more here.