Elizabeth Simpson

Greek, Roman, Ancient Near Eastern, and Egyptian Art and Archaeology
Ancient Crafts and Technology
Rediscovery of Antiquity/Ancient Revival Styles; Museology; Protection of Cultural Property

Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Classical Archaeology
American School of Classical Studies, Athens 
M.A. University of Oregon, Art History 
B.A. University of Oregon, Mathematics; Smith College

I am an archaeologist, archaeological illustrator, and Professor at the Bard Graduate Center, specializing in the history of ancient furniture, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and metalwork; ancient crafts and technology; and the protection of cultural property. Before coming to the Bard Graduate Center in 1993, I taught at Duke University and Sarah Lawrence College and was a curator in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As Director of the Gordion Furniture Project, I hold the position of Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. For my work on the Gordion wooden objects, I received an award from the Republic of Turkey (1998) for the protection of the Turkish cultural heritage. Grants for my research include awards from the National Geographic Society, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the 1984 Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the Getty Grant Program, and the American Council of Learned Societies. My publications include The Gordion Wooden Objects I: The Furniture from Tumulus MM (2010), Gordion Wooden Furniture (1999), and The Spoils of War—World War II and Its Aftermath: The Loss, Reappearance, and Recovery of Cultural Property (1997).

Selected Recent Publications: 

  • Simpson, E. “An Early Anatolian Ivory Chair: The Pratt Ivories in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” In Amilla: The Quest for Excellence. Studies Presented to Guenter Kopcke in Celebration of His 75th Birthday.  Edited by Robert B. Koehl. Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press (forthcoming 2012).
  • Simpson, E. The Gordion Wooden Objects, Volume 1: The Furniture from Tumulus MM. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
  • Simpson, E. “Furniture.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Edited by Michael Gagarin, 252-255. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Simpson, E. “Tall Tales: Celts, Connoisseurs, and the Fabrication of Archaeological Context.” Source 24, no. 2 (2005): 28-41.
  • Simpson, E. “‘A Perfect Imitation of the Ancient Work’—Ancient Jewelry and Castellani Adaptations.” In The Castellani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry. Edited by S. Walker and S. Soros, 201-226. New York: Bard Graduate Center, 2004. 


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Elizabeth Simpson's courses include:

542 Ancient Ceramics and Glass
544 The Rediscovery of Antiquity
602 Attic Red Figure Vases and Their Influence
613 Ancient Jewelry and Metalwork
632 Topics in Ancient Furniture
827 Issues in the Study of Ancient Art
850 Ancient House and Garden
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