Their project, entitled Karanis: Multidisciplinary Approaches to an Egyptian Town, forms part of the newly-constituted Humanities Collaboratory at Michigan, whose aim is to foster team-based approaches to research in the Humanities.
The Karanis Collaboratory will undertake a holistic study of data from two structures, C65 and C137. C65 is a large four-story granary dating from the second to fourth centuries CE that will bring to the fore issues of use and re-use over a long period of time. C137, a three-roomed house dating from the second and first centuries BCE, contained relatively intact deposits. About 1000 artifacts in total were discovered in C65 and C137; 405 are in Michigan, along with hundreds of photographs, plans, and drawings, several maps, and many notebook entries.
Scholars have long realized that Karanis is one of the best-documented sites from the Roman world, on account of the superb preservation of organic materials. The previous piecemeal studies have improved our understanding of how the Roman state operated on the fringes of its empire. The possibilities of bringing this research further when all of its materials are studied together, in context, and by a team of researchers from various specialist backgrounds, are outstanding.
The Kelsey team includes Collections Manager Sebastián Encina, Research Scientists Laura Motta and David Stone, and IPCAA students Caitlin Clerkin, Alexandra Creola, and Emily Lime. They are joined by Professor Arthur Verhoogt and graduate student Lizzie Nabney (both Classical Studies) and Professor Brendan Haug (Library and Classical Studies). Mollie Fox (UM Class of 2018), and IT specialists Peter Knoop, Erin Norris, and John Weise, along with a number of others at Michigan, have been assisting the team.