AAMW Students

Katherine Burge

Katherine received her B.A. in Near Eastern 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 at a number of sites in the Erbil and Soran regions of Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as at Ur in southern Iraq, and most recently at Arslantepe in Turkey. She has also worked closely with Penn Museum curators on the new Middle East Galleries (opening April, 2017). Her research interests include Bronze and Iron Age Mesopotamia, the formation of empires, imperial-local interactions, material expressions of power, seals and sealings, and the diffusion of administrative technologies. Her dissertation examines the impact of Shamshi-Adad’s short-lived regional empire on administrative practices in northern Mesopotamia in the early second millennium BCE.

Petra Creamer

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 studies the Roman borderlands in the East and the dynamic of mobile pastoralism in these territories. She is also interested in the intellectual history of archaeology in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and contemporary Eurasian space. Her dissertation considers relationships between Rome, Arsacid Parthia and the Sarmatians from the 3rd c. BCE- 3rd c. CE in the territory of modern Azerbaijan and eastern Georgia. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the BaSaR (Beyond the Silk Road) project at the University of Freiburg's Seminar für Alte Geschichte. 

In 2017, she co-directed the second 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. 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. 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 (2006).

Emily French
Third 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 and Legio 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 mosaic iconography and technology, cultural interaction with the Near East and North Africa, and memory and erasure.

Reed Goodman
Third 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 will participate in excavations at Tell Zurghul in southern Iraq in the fall of 2017.

Olivia Hayden

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.

He has conducted dissertation research at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens as a Fulbright Fellow (2015-2016) and as the Gorham Phillips Stevens Fellow (2016-2017). 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.

Samantha Lindgren
First year (MA)

Samantha received her BA in Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2017, where she also minored in Museums and Societies.  Her research interests are Middle to Late Bronze and Iron Age in the Southern Levant, understanding how the landscape and its people changed and were influenced by new people groups and surrounding empires.  She excavated as a volunteer and staff member at Ashkelon, Israel for four seasons and most recently at Tel Shimron, Israel.  

Sarah Linn

Sarah received her B.A. (2007) and M.A (2009) in Classical Studies with an emphasis on archaeology from the University of Arizona. Her M.A. thesis addressed preceptions of the past by examining Minoan heirlooms found within Early Iron Age burial contexts. Sarah worked at the Mount Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project in Arcadia, Greece from 2007 to 2015 both in the field and as registrar and also at the Petras Cemetery Excavation on Crete from 2010 to 2012. She was an Associate Member at the American School of Classical Studies from 2013-2014. Her dissertation, "Beyond Status: An Alternative Approach to Differentiation at the Cemetery of Archanes-Phourni, Crete", advocates for a contextual and data-driven approach at the site scale to the study of the communal and long-lived tombs used by the Minoans in the Early and Middle Bronze Age. Sarah also works at the Penn Museum as the Research Liaison where she facilitates and advises undergratuate research for the Penn Museum Fellows and Student Exhibition Program. 

Kathryn Morgan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Kate's research explores the ways in which cultural and political identities form and are transformed in periods of major social change. She specializes in the archaeology of Anatolia and the ancient Near East in the first millennium BCE. Kate's dissertation, "A Moveable Feast: Production, Consumption, and State Formation at Early Phrygian Gordion," employs 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 political practice.  

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 Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar (Turkey, 2014-15). She currently serves as Assistant Director of the Chicago-Tübingen Archaeological Project in Samal (formerly the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli), Turkey, where she has supervised excavations since 2008.  

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

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
Second 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
Dissertation deposited

Anna is a specialist in 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 a Junior Fellow in the Louis J. Kolb Society of Fellows and has recently defended her dissertation on pagan temples in late antiquity in Greece and Asia Minor, with a particular focus on Christian reception of older inscriptions on these sacred structures. Her article in Gesta (April 2017) documents previously unpublished inscriptions in a Cappadocian rock-cut church, arguing that these are 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 at Corinth (Greece, 2015), Alabanda (Turkey, 2012-13), and Labraunda (Turkey, 2015-present), where she led a project on olive presses in 2017. Anna spent two years in Athens as an associate member of ASCSA (CAORC Mediterranean Fellowship, Penn Museum Colburn Fellowship, and Phi Beta Kappa Sibley Fellowship) and loves traveling to obscure sites in Greece and Turkey. She is spending the 2017-18 academic year at the Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik in Munich (Germany) and at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in DC, where she holds a postdoctoral fellowship. 

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).

Mark Van Horn
First year

Mark received his B.A. in Anthropology and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies from The Pennsylvania State University in 2017, along with an M.A. in Anthropology the same year. His M.A. thesis focused on Persian period iron working and was entitled “Re-Forging the Past: Interpreting Phoenician Iron Production at the Site of Tel Akko, Israel.” In addition to excavations at Tel Akko, Mark spent a season in Badia Pozzeveri working on an excavation of a medieval cemetery with the University of Pisa. His main research interests include the archaeology of the Roman provinces, especially border regions, where he is concerned with questions of imperial influence in liminal regions, local and trans-regional economies, industry in peripheral regions, and local appropriations of foreign goods.

Sophie Crawford-Brown

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 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.