AAMW Students

Sarah Beckmann

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 Burge

Katherine received her B.A. in Near Easern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington in 2009. She went on to complete an M.A. in "Near Eastern Antiquity" at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-la Sorbonne in 2013. Her M.A. thesis focused on state ritual in the context of Assyrian imperial expansion. She has excavated in Iraqi Kurdistan, at sites near Erbil and Mosul, as well as in the Zagros, and more recently at Ur in southern Iraq. Her research interests include Bronze and Iron Age Mesopotamia, the formation of empires, imperial-local interactions, material expressions of imperial power, and the diffusion of administrative technologies.

Petra Creamer
Second year

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.   She has excavated at Ostia Antica in Italy and Oglanqala in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan.  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 fostered by contact and exchange.  She is particularly interested in foreign cultural influences on material culture relating to death and funerary rituals in terms of design and use.

Samantha Davidson
Second year (MA)
Samantha received her BA in Classical Languages and Literature from Temple University in 2013. During that time she spent two seasons excavating at Athienou-Malloura in Cyprus. Her research interests are focused primarily on Late Bronze Age through Archaic Greece and include ancient economics, trade and numismatics. She is particularly interested in the early production of minted coinage, Mediterranean trade routes and the archaeology of Crete and Cyprus.
Lara Fabian

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" considers relationships between Rome, Arsacid Parthia and the Sarmatians from the 1st c. BCE- 3rd c. CE in Azerbaijan and eastern Georgia.

She spent 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. In 2016, she co-directed a preliminary season of collaborative fieldwork in the Lerik district of Azerbaijan with colleagues from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Azerbaijan and the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting at Penn, she worked as a designer, draftsman and scenic painter for theater and film in New York.

Emily French
First year

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.

Reed Goodman
First year

Reed received a dual B.A. from SUNY Buffalo followed by an M.A. in Classical Studies from Columbia University. He then completed a second M.A. in anthropology at Penn State, where he focused on landscape archaeology and GIS. His thesis investigated horticultural production and its relationship to urban growth in Bronze Age Mesopotamia. More broadly, Reed is interested in the intensification of social networks that gave rise to and resulted from early land-use practices in the ancient world. In addition to pursuing his PhD, he is involved with the Al-Hiba Publication Project, based at Penn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Reed has carried out fieldwork in Turkey, Mexico, Guatemala, and Iraq, including a ground survey of Girsu (modern Tello) in 2013. In 2014, he compiled a digital gazetteer of all surveyed sites in Afghanistan for a cultural heritage project run by New York University. Reed will return to southern Iraq in 2015 to conduct geophysical survey at Ur.

Nurith Goshen

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 Hayden
Third year

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 Holzman

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 Linn

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.

Kathryn Morgan

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 Nocera

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.

Thalia Monteiro Parr
First year

Thalia received her B.A. in Classics and Creative writing from Hampshire College. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Classics and Archaeology at the University of Kansas, where her thesis attempted to assess the logistics and labor involved in Late Minoan chamber tomb burial at Knossos.  After completing her M.A., Thalia spent a year exploring opportunities in small-scale, organic farming and food distribution, providing her with experiences that ultimately drew her back into the world of archaeology with newfound interests in foodways, historical ecology, and zooarchaeology. Before coming to Penn, she spent a year refining her interests at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Thalia has engaged in field work at Kenchreai, Pompeii, and Methone (Northern Greece), and she is currently involved in publishing material from two other excavations: the metals and metallurgical materials from the Bronze Age site of Gournia on Crete, and the Late Neolithic - Early Helladic material that she excavated beneath the Hellenistic stoa at the site of Ancient Corinth. Alongside her scholarly work and interests, Thalia is strongly committed to public outreach and education, and she is currently working on developing an educational YouTube channel covering various archaeological topics.

Amanda Reiterman

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 Renette

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 Sadarananda
Second year

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 Shackelford
Third Year

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.

John Sigmier
First year

John earned an A.B. in Classics and Anthropology from Harvard in 2012, and an M.St. in Classical Archaeology from Exeter College, Oxford in 2013. He has worked at sites in Turkey, Tunisia, Greece, and Israel, as well as with collections at Harvard's Art and Semitic Museums. He is interested in Roman architecture and urbanism, especially the transmission and adoption of architectural practices throughout different regions of the Roman Empire.

Anna Sitz

Anna is a student of late antique and Byzantine architecture and archaeology with a particular interest in epigraphy. She received her BA from Baylor University (2010) in Classics and Art History. At Penn she is now working on her dissertation on temples in late antiquity in Greece and Asia Minor, with a particular focus on earlier inscriptions left in place on temples.  A forthcoming article based on her Master's paper (Penn 2012) documents previously unpublished inscriptions in a Cappadocian rock-cut church and argues that the church shows evidence for an oral tradition of popular piety.  Other research and conference papers have covered topics including late antique Egypt, non-elite domestic architecture, epigraphy in the Forum Romanum, and construction in Constantinople. She has participated in the Sofiana Archaeological Project on Sicily (2011), dug at two sites in Caria (Alabanda, 2012-2013; Labraunda, 2015-present), and at Corinth (2015). She spent the 2014-15 year at ASCSA and ARIT (Ankara) as a CAORC Mediterranean Fellow (Fall 2014) and a Penn Museum Colburn Fellow (Spring 2015). Anna is spending a second year at ASCSA as the 2015-16 ΦΒΚ Mary Isabel Sibley Fellow.

Lucas Stephens

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 Tanaka

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 Crawford Waters

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.