AAMW Students

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
Third 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, Oglanqala in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan, and Lerik in Azerbaijan.  Her interests include Mesopotamian and Egyptian art and archaeology, the expansion of empire in the ancient world, and the exchange and influence of cultures between civilizations in the Near East fostered by contact and exchange.  She is particularly interested in imperial and foreign 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
Second 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, on the Ismenion Hill in Thebes, Greece, and most recently at Cosa, Italy. Her interests lie in Roman art and archaeology in the late Republican and Imperial periods, and in concepts of cultural interaction with the Near East and North Africa, mosaic iconography and technology, and memory and erasure.

Reed Goodman
Second 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. He currently takes part in excavations at Ur in southern Iraq.

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 numerous excavations in Israel and Greece. 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 variety of topics including painted plaster, textile, and architecture. After receiving the Hirsch Fellowship she spent several years in the American School for Classical Studies at Athens working on her dissertation.

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.

She currently holds the position of Curator of Chalcolithic and Bronze Age architecture in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 

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 in 2011 and his MPhil in Classics from the University of Cambridge in 2012. He maintains a wide range of academic interests from Classical architecture to ancient music, and from Anatolian archaeology to 3D digital modeling. His recent publications include a study of the first stringed musical instruments excavated in Phrygia and an experimental analysis of the aesthetics of perspectival contrast in Hellenistic temple design through 3D digital modeling. He has excavated in Greece and Turkey as a participant in archaeological projects at Samothrace, Molyvoti, Gordion, and Troy.

In 2015-2016, he conducted dissertation research as a Fulbright Fellow in Greece, and in 2016-2017 he is continuing his research at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens as the Gorham Phillips Stevens Fellow in the history of architecture. His dissertation focuses on Ionic temple design in the region of the North Aegean and the transition from Archaic styles in the Ionic Order.  

Sam is a Junior Fellow of the Kolb Society and serves 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's research explores the ways in which communal cultural and political identities are established and maintained during periods of societal tranformation. She specializes in the archaeology of Anatolia and the ancient Near East of the early first millennium BCE. At that critical point in history, the collapse of the stagnating bureaucratic states of the Late Bronze Age ushered in a period of widespread population movement, cultural experimentation, and sociopolitical realignment. Kate's dissertation, "A Moveable Feast: New Approaches to Early Phrygian Gordion," interrogates the material traces of these changes from a practice-based perspective. She uses architectural and contextual analysis of the Gordion Destruction Level, dated 800 BCE, to untangle the dense web of relationships among individuals, economic activity, ritual performance, and state formation.  

Kate has conducted fieldwork and collections research throughout central and southeastern Turkey as well as in Azerbaijan, Oman, Italy and Greece. She is a Kolb Society Junior Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar (Turkey, 2014-15). She is currently assisting in publication projects for the Kinik Höyük Archaeological Project (ISAW) and the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli (UChicago/Tübingen).  

Kate received her B.A. in Classics and Art History magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 2007, and her M. St. in Greek and Latin Languages and Civilizations from Balliol College, Oxford in 2008. Before matriculating at Penn, Kate worked in cultural consulting and academic editing in New York and Istanbul.  

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 a recipient of the Junior Kolb Fellowship and is currently field director of the APAHA excavation project in Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli (Rome) for Columbia University.

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
Third 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
Fourth Year

James entered AAMW after completing a BA in Art History, Religious Studies, and Greek at the University of Minnesota in 2013.  He is pursuing a dual Ph.D. between AAMW and Religious Studies, focusing on issues of material religion in Late Antiquity.  His research explores the visuality of ritual, memory, and meaning in the Late Roman and Sasanian worlds.  In addition, he has worked as a Geospatial Analyst for several years and has a strong interest in advancing digital humanities research agendas.

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 archaeology with a particular interest in new approaches to epigraphy. She received her BA from Baylor University (2010) in Classics and Art History. At Penn she is writing her dissertation on pagan temples in late antiquity in Greece and Asia Minor, with a particular focus on the habit of inscribing temples in the Greek and Roman periods and the reception of these earlier inscriptions in late antiquity.  A forthcoming article (Gesta, April 2017)  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 a survey at Sofiana, Sicily (2011) and excavated in Greece (Corinth, 2015) and Turkey (Alabanda, 2012-13; Labraunda, 2015-present). She spent two years in Athens as an associate member of ASCSA (CAORC Mediterranean Fellowship, Penn Museum Colburn Fellowship, and Phi Beta Kappa Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship) and has traveled extensively in Greece and Turkey. In 2015, she was elected to the Kolb Society as a Junior Fellow. Anna is spending the 2016-17 academic year at Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany.

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. His work is focused on the so-called Orientalizing Period, with a special interest in the reception of Anatolian artifacts and customs in the Greek world. His broader interests include orientalism, ancient colonialism, and theories of hybridity. He has worked extensively in the field at Petsas House (Mycenae), Nemea, Corinth, Gordion, and the Molyvoti, Thrace Archaeological Project (MTAP).

Sophie Crawford Waters

Sophie received her B.A. in Classical Archaeology from New York University in 2009, where she wrote her honors thesis on 5th-3rd century BCE ‘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.  Her research interests focus primarily on the archaeology of Republican Italy, including issues of "Romanization," colonization, and cross-cultural interaction.  Her dissertation, "Daedala Tecta: Architectural Terracottas and Cultural Memory in Republican Italy," examines central-Italic architectural terracottas produced during the last three centuries BCE, with a particular focus on the sites of Cosa and Minturnae.

Sophie 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. She was a teaching fellow at the University of Tübingen's Institut für Klassische Archäologie, and is the recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America's John R. Coleman Traveling Fellowship.  She will be spending 2016-18 at the American Academy in Rome, as the winner of the Irene Rosenzweig/Lily Auchincloss/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize.