IPAMAA's Sheira Cohen successfully defended her dissertation "Beyond Ethnicity: Connectivity and Community Formation in Western Central Italy 800-350 BCE" on Tues, Mar 14th.

Sheira's dissertation "addresses the tensions between theoretical models of ethnicity, the Roman historical tradition, and the distribution of material culture in pre-Roman Italy. Rather than identifying notional fixed groups of individuals, objects, or identities, Sheira models pre-Roman Italy as a latticework of overlapping, non-coterminous, connective communities, each one representing a different type of interaction – religious, economic, linguistic, political, social, etc. Sheira applies this approach in southern Latium (western central Italy) in the mid-first millennium BCE, an area traditionally associated with the 'Volsci' in Roman historical writing. Her interdisciplinary approach combines archaeological, bioarchaeological, textual, environmental, and ethnographic analyses to reimagine Italic urbanism and urban-rural relationships through a connective lens. She focuses especially on transhumant pastoralism and seasonal mobility as a core mechanism of social and economic connectivity, and present the results of my study of human mobility through strontium stable isotope analysis."

Our warmest congratulations, Dr. Cohen!