I am an archaeologist fascinated by the relationship between ordinary people, politics, and history. I work in the eastern Mediterranean—Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt—in the eras of the later ancient empires: the Achaemenid Persians; the Hellenistic successors to Alexander the Great; and the Romans. This year I am finishing three projects. The first is at Sardis, the largest ancient city in the region of Lydia, in modern-day western Turkey. Excavations have been ongoing since 1958; for the last five years I have been re-evaluating remains of the fourth to first centuries BCE. In that span the city was, successively, a Persian satrapal capital, royal garrison, Seleucid political center, and, finally, simply another Hellenized city with a legendary past. The book arising from this project, Spear-Won Land: Sardis, from the King’s Peace to the Peace of Apamea, will be out next year from the University of Wisconsin Press. A second project focuses on the Kyrenia Ship, a modest merchantman excavated in the waters off northern Cyprus in the late 1960s. I have just completed a study of the goods of its crew. These objects—cups, plates, bowls, cooking pots, spoons, pitchers, water jars—help us imagine the otherwise invisible world of small-scale commercial shipping, the goods and routes that connected people across the Mediterranean, and the lives of the sailors whose jobs made possible the cosmopolitan cultures of the age of Alexander. Finally, during my semester at the Bard Graduate Center I will work further on a monograph entitled Beyond the Temple: Jewish Material Life from the Maccabees to the Revolt. I ask: When did Palestinian Jews first begin using material goods to communicate a religious identity? Why did such a practice arise, and what were its social and political consequences? Is this practice implicated in the decision to revolt against Rome? These are questions pertinent to a better understanding of people and events long ago—but their answers may have something to teach us in the present moment as well.

Selected Recent Publications
“Ends and Beginnings: Political Change and Daily Life at Sardis in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times,” in Archaic and Classical Western Anatolia: New Perspectives in the Ceramic Studies, Proceedings of the Second KERAMOS International Conference at Ege University, Izmir, 3-5 June 2015, R. Gül Gürtekin Demir et al., eds., Colloquia Antiqua 19 (Leiden: Peeters, 2017).

“Herod, Augustus, and the Augusteum at the Paneion,” in Eretz Israel 31 (2015), pp. 1-11.

“Something old, something new: Native cultures under Ptolemaic rule,” in Networks in the Hellenistic World, N. Fenn and C. Römer-Strehl, eds., BAR International Series 2539 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2013), pp. 229-37.

“Manifest Identity: from Ioudaios to Jew. Household Judaism as anti-Hellenization in the late Hasmonean era,” in Between Cooperation and Hostility: Multiple Identities in Ancient Judaism and the Interaction with Foreign Powers, R. Albertz and J. Wöhrle, eds., Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), pp. 151-75.

Gamla. Final Reports, vol. I. The Pottery of the Second Temple Period, Israel Antiquities Authority Reports no. 29 (2006), Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem.

“Excavations at Coptos (Qift) (1988-1992),” co-authored with Sharon C. Herbert, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 53 (Portsmouth RI, 2003).

The First Jewish Revolt: Archaeology, History, and Ideology, co-edited with J. Andrew Overman (London: Routledge, 2002).

“Excavations at Tel Anafa, vol. II, i. The Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Plain Wares,” Journal of Roman Archaeology supplementary series vol. 10.2 (Portsmouth, RI: 1997).