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Students

Lauren Alberti
(she/her/hers)

Lauren graduated magna cum laude with her BA in Anthropology and Classical Studies at the University of New Mexico. She received an MA in Classics with an emphasis in Classical Archaeology and a certificate in Geographic Information Science at the University of Arizona. While in this program, she investigated the exclusivity of the Mycenaean state-sponsored feast by analyzing the built environment of potential feasting locales. Lauren also received an MA in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. For this thesis, she explored Greek sympotic drinking behavior contextualized within the concept of the metron.

Lauren has participated in archaeological projects in Greece, Italy, Ireland, and the American Southwest. She is also a collaborator for the WebAtlas of Ceramic Kilns in Ancient Greece (https://atlasgreekkilns.arizona.edu/). Her research interests include the socio-political implications of communal drinking events, sympotic poetry (particularly archaic Greek), identity construction and manipulation, and GIS.

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Leah Bernardo-Ciddio
(she/her/hers)

Leah graduated summa cum laude with her BA in Classical Studies and History from York University (Toronto) in 2013, and completed her MPhil with Distinction in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford in 2015. Her Master’s thesis involved a comparative study land use and settlement within the rural landscapes surrounding Venusia and Metapontum from the 4th to the 1st centuries B.C.E.

Leah’s interests are focused on mobility and communication in the Adriatic in the first millennium BCE. Her dissertation focuses on the development of south Italian matt-painted pottery, and on the interaction between ceramic producers She is also interested in maritime cultural landscapes and coastal/ island archaeology.

She has participated in multiple archaeological projects in Italy, including at Ossaia La Tufa near Cortona (2012), in the Basentello Valley 2014), and at Roccagloriosa (2016 and 2017). Since 2017, she has been a Finds Assistant at the Gabii Archaeological Project. She has conducted other field research in Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. From summer 2021, she is set to participate on the Brač Island Project directed by Drs. Sarah James (UC Boulder) and Vedran Barbarić (Split).

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Andrew Cabaniss

Drew received his BA in Classical Archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His thesis focused on social dynamics and economic organization at Archaic urban sites in Crete. His research makes use of quantitative and computational approaches to the archaeological record in order to structure inferences and build models of ancient cities and communities. He has been a staff member at the Azoria Project in Crete since 2013 and has spent the last two summers working as the site's topographer and GIS specialist. He has also been a part of a research group at the Santa Fe Institute examining evidence for urban scaling in the archaeological record in the Basin of Mexico.

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Caitlin Clerkin
(she/her/hers)

Caitlin earned her A.B. (summa cum laude) in Classical Archaeology at Bowdoin College and her M.A. in Classical Languages (Latin) at the University of Georgia, Athens. She works on local communities under empire, especially in Hellenistic, Roman, and Parthian contexts in the Middle East and North Africa, and on modern contexts of archaeological knowledge production.

She is the assistant ceramist at the Omrit Settlement Excavation Project (Israel) and is studying Meroitic sealings at Jebel Barkal (Sudan). She has also worked at Tel Kedesh (Israel), Gordion (Turkey), and Corinth (Greece).

Caitlin is also interested in museum practice as well as critical museum and cultural heritage studies. She earned a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies (UM) and is a member of the 2019 cohort of the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice. She has worked/interned at institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, and the Huntington Library. She is involved in community-engaged work at El-Kurru (Sudan), where she is collaboratively developing an on-site heritage center’s archaeological gallery.

Her dissertation, Hellenistic and Parthian Seleucia-on-the-Tigris, Revisited, focuses on archaeological and archival materials—and their modern afterlives—from the Hellenistic and Parthian city of Seleucia-on-the Tigris (Iraq).

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Sheira Cohen
(she/her/hers)

Sheira earned a BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Anthropology from the University of Auckland and an MA in Classics at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include community and identity formation, urbanism, mortuary archaeology, mobility, state formation, connectivity and cultural interaction, and the history of early Rome.

Her dissertation focuses on community formation and seasonal mobility in first millennium BCE Italy, especially the interplay between pastoralists and agriculturalists. Her project uses a combination of ethnographic, historical, and archaeological data; it incorporates stable isotope analysis of human and animal remains to assess mobility. She is developing a strontium baseline map for central Italy in collaboration with colleagues at UM and abroad.

Sheira has been a staff member at the Gabii Project since 2015 and her primary excavation interests are hut deposits and burials from the Iron Age and Archaic period. She recently published the grave assemblages from the Orientalising infant burials from Gabii.

Sheira is also interested in digital publishing in archaeology and its potential to drive innovative research and public engagement. She has worked with Michigan Publishing to explore new directions for their online platform (Fulcrum), focusing on supporting both academic scholarship and community participation in archaeology.

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Alexandra Creola

Alexandra earned a B.A. in Classical Studies and Archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. She graduated with Full University Honors, and her undergraduate thesis focused on gestures of revelry in the ancient Mediterranean. In 2014, she completed her M.A. in Archaeology from Cornell University. Her Master’s thesis, based on original fieldwork conducted in Pompeii, Italy, investigated the spatial relationship between household lararia and nymphaea in order to reevaluate the role of these structures in domestic cult practices. In addition to these independent research projects, she has participated in several field excavations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Alexandra’s current research interests include the archaeology of religion, construction of social identity in the ancient world, and the archaeology of domestic space.

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Andrew Crocker
(he/him/his)

Andrew received his BA in Classical Studies from Michigan State University in 2014 and his MA in Archaeology from Cornell in 2017. He has participated in excavations and surveys in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Spain and has performed geospatial analysis and created geodatabases for projects studying a Maya site in Belize and an Iroquois site in New York. His research utilizes digital mapping technologies and spatial statistics as well as anthropological and archaeological theory of landscape. He applies these methodologies and concepts to study the creation and embodied meaning of space and place in the Eastern Mediterranean under the Roman Empire. His additional research interests include social identity in the ancient world, the politics of archaeological practice, and forced resettlement under empires.

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Christina DiFabio
(she/her/hers)

Christina earned her BA in Biology, Classics, and Classical Archaeology from Brown University in 2014, with honors in archaeology. Her current research focuses on urbanization and the role of local communities in the process. Her dissertation, “Synoikism, Sympolity, and Urbanization: A Regional Approach in Hellenistic Anatolia,” examines city formation in western Anatolia from ca. late 4th c. BCE - 1st c. CE. She uses settlement pattern data to examine urbanization developments as well as evidence for political alliances, trade, and kinship ties from literary, epigraphic, material culture, and iconographic sources to understand how local elites used urbanization to insert themselves into larger imperial and inter-city networks.

She has worked with the Notion Archaeological Survey in Turkey since 2015. She has also been a staff member with the Brown University Labraunda Project (Turkey), a trench supervisor at the Vigla Archaeological Project (Cyprus), and a trench co-supervisor at Corinth (Greece).

Christina has a strong dedication to museum learning, especially for college students and adults. She completed a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies at University of Michigan, and she has done museum education work at the RISD Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

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Amelia Eichengreen
(she/her/hers)

Amelia received an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology with minors in Latin and Greek in 2013. In 2016 she went on to receive an M.A. with Distinction from Durham University in Roman Archaeology, and in 2017 an M.A. from Columbia University in Classical Studies. Her research at Durham, “The Archaeology of Entertainment in Roman Athens: a closer look at the Theatre of Dionysus” posited a new reconstruction and suggested further functions for the theatre during the Roman period and was published in Imperia: Lo spazio mediterraneo dal mondo antico all’età contemporanea in 2016. Amelia has augmented her studies by participating in the American Academy in Rome’s Summer Program in Archaeology, interning at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens and the Yale University Art Gallery, and excavating at the sites of Pompeii: Porta Stabia, Hadrian’s Villa, Onchestos, and Gabii where she currently serves as a field staff member. Amelia’s research interests pertain to the process of Roman urbanization and expansion as well as museum studies and public outreach.

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Caroline Everts
(she/her/hers)

Caroline received her B.A. at Union College (NY) in 2019, with a double major in Classics and Anthropology. Graduating with honors, her undergraduate thesis examined the connections between burial practices and social identity in early Iron Age Greece as evinced through grave goods. During the Spring of 2018, she studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. In 2021, Caroline earned her M.A. in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Colorado Boulder. She has excavated the children’s cemetery on Astypalaia, as well as completed fieldwork in Italy at Aeclanum and worked with pottery from the Suburban Baths at Pompeii. Caroline’s research interests include the use of spatial and visual narratives, their connections to social identity and their relationship within structures, particularly as shown through domestic architecture in the provinces.

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Joseph Frankl
(he/him/his)

Joseph received his BA in Classics from Macalester College in 2014 and studied at the ICCS in Rome in 2012. In 2017, he completed an MA in Classical Archaeology from the University of Colorado Boulder. Joseph has completed field work in Israel, Turkey, and Greece, including the Athenian Agora excavations and the ASCSA excavations in Corinth as a trench supervisor. Most recently, he has participated in the University of Michigan's Notion Archaeological Survey, the Bays of Eastern Attica Regional Survey, and the Western Argolid Regional Project. Joseph's research focuses on the landscapes, material culture, and economy of the Roman Empire, especially that of Greece and the Aegean. He is also interested in theoretical approaches related to connectivity, survey methodology, and object oriented ontologies.

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Bailey Franzoi

Bailey earned her B.A. in Classics and Archaeology and the Ancient World from Brown University in 2019. She graduated with honors and completed a thesis on how Roman conquest affected dining and funerary practice in local communities across the western Roman Empire, which won the James A. Pierce thesis prize. She also studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Spring 2018. She has excavated at Pani Loriga in Sardinia (2017) and at Pollentia in Mallorca (2019), and she interned at the Penn Museum digitizing archaeological ceramics (2018). Her research interests include human osteology and zooarchaeology.

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Laurel Fricker
(she/her/hers)

Laurel earned her B.A. in Classical Civilizations, Classical Archaeology, and German with High Honors from the University of Michigan. She then received her M.A. in Classics, Classical Archaeology Emphasis, from the University of Arizona. Her M.A. thesis explored to what extent the architecture and constructions at the Mycenaean palaces are emulated at non-palatial sites, focusing on domestic spaces in the Peloponnese.

Her interests range from the Bronze Age through Classical Greece and primarily include the organization of Greek households, city planning, ancient domestic spaces, the materiality of everyday life in the ancient world, and social groups not commonly represented in the ancient texts.

She has excavated as a volunteer with the Balkan Heritage Field School at the sites of Stobi in the Republic of North Macedonia and Emporion Pistiros in Bulgaria. Laurel has also been a trench supervisor at Michigan’s Olynthos Project, a field project focused on the Classical city of Olynthos in northern Greece. 

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Machal Gradoz
(she/her/hers)

Machal earned a B.A. with Honors in Classical Archaeology from Macalester College and a M.A. in Classics from the University of Colorado- Boulder. Her work examines the material culture (with a focus on pottery) of northwest Greece and southwest Albania at the end of the Hellenistic period into the early Roman period and what it can say about how different groups of people living in these areas reacted in response to changing political, economic, and social conditions.

Her field experience has included work as a staff member on the Western Argolid Regional Project (2014-2019), a site supervisor at the ASCSA’s excavations at Corinth (2015-2016), finds processing at the Sikyon Excavations (2019), a survey team supervisor at the Olynthos Project (2016), and a trench supervisor at Horvat Omrit in Israel (2010-2011).

Machal is also interested in how university pedagogy and archaeology can serve different communities outside of academia through public scholarship and has participated in the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Change and Engaged Pedagogy Initiative.

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Melissa Gryan

Melissa graduated summa cum laude from College of the Holy Cross in 2018 with a double major in Classics and Art History and completed a post-baccalaureate in Classical Languages at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the reception of the Laocoön in Antiquity and the Renaissance, as well as the reception of Pliny the Elder in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists. While at Holy Cross, she also participated in manuscript research on Pliny the Elder and ancient translations of Josephus into Latin, in addition to research on the Greco-Roman coinage at the Worcester Art Museum and the representation of foreign cultures in exhibition spaces. In 2019, she joined the University of Michigan’s excavation at Gabii. Her research interests include the legacy of the reception and interpretation of classical art and artifacts, ancient aesthetics, the interplay of text and art, and how ancient people interacted with and venerated images.

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Nadhira Hill
(she/her/hers)

Nadhira received her BA in Classical Studies and Archaeology from Randolph-Macon College with honors, where her senior thesis focused on using mainstream philology and feminist theory to interpret a 5th century vase depicting Helen and Paris and point out its intertextuality with Iliad 3. She presented her thesis at the Virginia Undergraduate Research Symposium for Classics in November 2015. In 2014, 2015, and 2017, Nadhira worked as a volunteer at the Athenian Agora Excavations in Greece. Since 2017, Nadhira has worked on the Olynthos Project, where she has been a member of the pottery team for several seasons. Her research interests include the archaeology of ceramic production, drinking and dining culture, and domestic space in Classical Greece.

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Tyler Johnson
(he/him/his)

Tyler received several years of instruction in the classical word at the University of Arkansas where he completed a B.A. in history and classical studies and an M.A in comparative literature. He was an early member of a research group at Arkansas specializing in the virtual reconstruction of Roman houses at Pompeii. Tyler helped see the development of this group into the Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design, where he continued working as an environmental artist until arriving in Michigan. In addition to some CRM fieldwork in the United States, Tyler is a several-year veteran of the University of Michigan's Gabii Project where he works as a field topographer and chief of 3D design. His research interests include domestic space in the Roman world, especially its abandonment and reuse during periods of the economic or cultural flux.

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Michael Koletsos
(he/him/his)

Michael earned his B.A. in Archaeology and Classical Studies from the University of Evansville in 2012.  In 2015, he received his M.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Classical Archaeology from the University of Arizona. Michael’s thesis explored the Late Bronze Age textile industry of Messenia and the relationship between the palatial center at Ano Englianos with secondary and tertiary settlements in the region. His other interests include the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece and examining cultural interactions between groups of people. Michael began his fieldwork at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea in 2010. Since 2012, he has participated in the Jezreel Expedition, a co-sponsored project in Israel led by the University of Evansville and the University of Haifa that aims to understand the connection between the settlement surrounding Tel Jezreel and its nearby spring. Michael has served as a square supervisor, teaching assistant, and area supervisor at Jezreel.

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Ginevra Miglierina
(she/her/hers)

After completing the Liceo Classico in Italy, Ginevra moved to the U.S., where she continued her studies on the ancient Mediterranean world. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Classics from the University of Arizona in 2016, and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018. Ginevra has participated in fieldwork in Italy, Greece, and Spain. She is also dedicated to museum work, and has interned first with the Arizona State Museum, where she worked on the accession of project material and assisted with the repatriation of artifacts, and then at the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth as a cataloguer. Her research interests include colonization, urbanism, spatial organization, and the interaction between religion and architectural development at the edges of the Greek world.

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Alex Moskowitz
(he/him)

Alex earned a BA in Ancient History with High Honors from Swarthmore College in 2015. His research there focused on modeling processes of cultural contact at the Greek site of Sybaris. In 2017, Alex received his MA in Classical Languages (Greek and Latin emphases) at the University of Georgia. His master's thesis considered Herodotus's Histories and focused on the role of colonial narratives in blurring distinctions between Greek and non-Greek identities. Alex has also participated in the Azoria Project in Crete and the Western Argolid Regional Project. Since 2016, he has excavated at Morgantina with the Contrada Agnese Project, mostly recently serving as an assistant supervisor. Alex's research investigates economic exchange, migration, and transitions in cultural identity at the periphery of the Iron Age Greek world.

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Theo Nash

A lifelong fascination with ancient ruins led Theo to study Classics, earning First Class Honours for his Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts with Distinction at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His research so far has been focussed on the Mycenaeans and their broader contexts, starting with his Honours thesis where he explored the creation of identity during the early Mycenaean period. In his MA he argued that the Mycenaean presence at Knossos during Late Minoan II was a precipitating factor in the emergence of palatial culture on the mainland, with a special focus on the contemporary development of Linear B and the contexts in which new scripts are created. He hopes to ask further questions of how scripts develop and spread, both at the palaeographic level and in their broader societal contexts. His broader interests include the development of early Greek hexameter poetry and Attic vase painting.

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Caroline Nemechek
(she/her/hers)

Caroline earned her B.A. in Classical Civilization at Cornell University, receiving magna cum laude in 2014 for her thesis on terracotta figurine from Egypt. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a M.A. in Classical Art and Archaeology. Her MA thesis examined how depictions of Polyphemus and Galatea in wall-painting were entwined with Roman values and aspirations, such as conveying one’s status through their literacy. She has participated in field projects in the United States, Spain, and Italy. Caroline’s research interests include domestic art, the construction of identities in the ancient world, domestic cult practices, and museum studies.

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Shannon Ness

Shannon received a B.A. in Classics and a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida in 2010. In 2013 she earned an M.A. in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Her thesis examined the representations of women in the painted domestic shrines of Pompeii. During and after the completion of her thesis, Shannon worked (2012 - 2014) at the American Numismatic Society for the Online Coinage of the Roman Empire (OCRE) project. Her time at the ANS also exercised her interest in curatorial and exhibition practices of ancient material. Previously she has excavated in Turkey. Her research interests include Western Anatolia during the Roman Empire, numismatics, and the iconography used in domestic spaces.

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Lauren Oberlin
(she/her/hers)

Lauren received a B.S. in Anthropology at the Ohio State University with a minor in Geographic Information Science, earning magna cum laude in 2015. In 2018, Lauren received her M.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Classical Archaeology and her certificate in GIS from the University of Arizona. Her master’s thesis analyzed and redefined the local Minoan Crete motif, ‘trickle pattern,’ according to its presence in the Aegean throughout the Bronze Age and its linkage to wine production, storage, and consumption on Crete. Lauren has participated in the excavation at the Holder-Wright earthworks (2013), the project at the Mycenaean Lower Town (2014), and has excavated with the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project since 2017. Lauren’s primary research interests are in pottery analysis, economic exchange, food production, and cultural identity in the Bronze Age.

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Zoe Ortiz

Zoe earned her B.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia in 2011. She spent two years teaching Latin in Northern Virginia before moving on to complete a post-baccalaureate in Classical Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2013-2015. She has excavated at James Madison’s Montpelier, Azoria (Crete), Gabii (Italy), and has conducted pottery research on the island of Kea (Greece). In addition, she has had the opportunity to conduct research as an intern at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France as well as the Vatican Secret Archives in Rome, Italy. Her current research focuses on imperial Roman sculpture, especially from the city of Gabii. She enjoys exploring questions concerning social identity, urban landscape formation, and the presence of the imperial cult in middle-range cities.

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James Prosser
(he/him/his)

James earned both his BA in Classical Studies with an Architecture minor in 2015 and his MA in Classical Archaeology in 2017 at Tufts University. His Master’s thesis investigated a new digital reconstruction for the plan of the Late Roman Theodosian Wall of Carthage as well as a comparative study to other Late Antique Roman urban defenses. He has participated at excavations at Binchester in England, Cerro de la Muela: El Pulpon in Spain, Piano della Civita in Italy, and Saint Martin Island in France. James has taken part in the Gabii Project excavations since 2016 and began as a member of the field staff in 2018. His research interests center on Late Antique urbanism, Roman North Africa, and the Roman military.

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Alison Rittershaus

Alison graduated from Harvard College in 2012 where she received a BA in the Classics. Her dissertation investigates the triple role of of the natural world as artist, medium, and form at Villa A at Oplontis, and reflects on the generative nature of archaeological and museological practices in documenting, creating, and curating a place into a suite of information. Major topics of study include relationships between humans and the environment in late Republican and Imperial Roman Italy, dwelling and domestic daily life across social classes, and Roman art and architecture (and their representations in art and writing). She is interested in the intersection between artistic and scholarly practice, thinking through making, inviting students of all ages and backgrounds to explore this corner of the ancient world, and finding ways of increasing public access to the emotional impact of getting up close to the material past. She earned a certificate in Museum Studies while at Michigan, and has been a staff member of the Finds Lab at the Gabii Project since 2012, where she has been very grateful to be able to touch lots of ancient fingerprints on the interior of lamp sherds.

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D. Buck Roberson

Buck received his B.A. in Classical Languages with a minor in Art History from the University of Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude in 2015. In 2018 he received his M.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Classical Archaeology from the University of Arizona. His thesis compared the levels of specialization in the production of pottery in Early Helladic II and III Lerna using indirect evidence, notably standardization analysis. He has excavated at Gabii (2014) and the Athenian Agora (2016), worked in the finds lab at Mt. Lykaion (2018-19), and participated in the ASCSA summer session (2015) and the Howard Comfort Summer School in Roman Pottery Studies at the AAR (2017).

Buck’s research interests primarily lie in ancient pottery production, cultural exchange between Aegean pre-palatial societies, and Indo-European studies. He also holds a strong interest in pursuing less traditional methodologies, such as experimental archaeology, use-wear analysis, and standardization analysis.

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Sam Ross

Sam received his B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 where he studied Classical Archaeology and Classical Languages. He is most interested in the social politics, power dynamics and religious pluralism in Republican Italy, particularly as manifested through architecture. He is also interested in non-elite political expression, and his undergraduate honors thesis focused on slaves and the ways in which they were crucial to the logistics, commercial administration and inter-fort communication on military bases in northern England. Sam has supplemented these interests with excavations at a Roman cemetery in Puglia, Byzantine and Abassid houses in Jerusalem, and a Republican garden in Pompeii, as well as doing XRF and IR Spectroscopy on Roman-era plaster from northern Israel. Sam is excited to continue to pursue and expand upon these interests.

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Abigail Staub
(she/they)

Abigail earned her B.A. in Archaeology and Art History with a Latin minor from the University of Virginia in 2020. During her time at the University of Virginia, she conducted a multi-year, independent research project focused on cult spaces across Pompeian industries. The primary goal of her project was the completion of a comprehensive database of shrine niches and religious paintings in Pompeian commercial spaces. This ultimately culminated in a distinguished major thesis, for which she earned High Honors. During her time in Charlottesville, she also worked as an Education Intern at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Australian Art Collection, and was employed as a Museum Assistant and docent at the Fralin Museum of Art. After the completion of her B.A., she earned a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Classical Studies from the College of William & Mary (2021).

Abigail has completed a research assistantship in Pompeii (2018), and has excavated with the University of Michigan’s Gabii Project as a field school participant (2019). Her research interests include liminal identities in the Roman world (such as laborers, enslaved peoples, the elderly, and women), personal religion, and the materiality of domestic space. She is also passionate about museum pedagogy and accessibility of information to those outside the field of Classics.

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