The Azoria Project seeks volunteers for final excavation season (2017)

The Azoria Project ( is conducting its final full-scale excavation season in May-July 2017, and seeks student volunteers to participate as trench assistants. The program trains students in problems, methods, and research practices in Mediterranean and Aegean archaeology by providing them with a fieldwork-and laboratory-based program in Greece. This summer of 2017 will be the 10th excavation season and the 16th year of the Project. Since 2002, the Azoria Project has trained over 35 graduate students in classics, archaeology, and anthropology (trench supervisors and area specialists); and more than 200 undergraduate and graduate student trench assistants. At least 20 of our undergraduate staff members have continued into graduate work (including two NSF fellows) in classics, classical archaeology, anthropology, and archaeology. Student participants have come from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Barbados.

The Azoria Project is the excavation of the Early Iron Age-Archaic site of Azoria (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. The focus is the Archaic-period city (ca. 700-480 B.C.) and the investigation of local dynamics of urbanization and sociopolitical changes in the 8th and 7th c. B.C. Current fieldwork (2013-2017) is exploring the topography of the archaic civic center archaic-period residential complexes (6th and early 5th c. B.C.), and conducting a number of stratigraphic soundings in the area of the civic buildings in order to refine our understanding of the chronology and early history of the site.

For more information on how to participate in the 2017 season of excavations at Azoria, please follow the links at the Project website (, or contact the Project Director, Donald Haggis, at


Prof. Alicia Jiménez wins Loeb Classical Library Foundation award to excavate Roman camps near Numantia, Spain

Prof. A. Jiménez of Duke’s Department of Classical Studies has recently set up an excavation project in Renieblas (Soria, Spain), where at least five Roman camps roughly dated to the 2nd-1st centuries BCE were found in the early 20th century. The camps were involved in the Roman conquest of the province of Hispania and the siege of the native settlement at Numantia, which resulted in Rome’s annexation of much of the Iberian Peninsula in 133 BCE. Many basic and important questions about Renieblas, including the chronology of each of the camps, remain unanswered despite the spectacular results of the excavations at the site in the early 20th century by Adolf Schulten (1914-1931). These new investigations, generously supported by the Loeb Foundation and the Trent Foundation, will contribute to properly contextualize the discoveries from the early 20th century and to uncover new information about the earliest phases of the Roman conquest, the life of the soldiers in the camps, and the creation of an imperial network to supply armies campaigning in new, and some times distant, provincial territories.


Samson in Stone: New Discoveries in the Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee

Lecture by

at The Getty Villa
Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee have brought to light the remains of a monumental 5th-century Roman synagogue paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including depictions of the biblical hero Samson. In this illustrated presentation, excavation director Jodi Magness describes these exciting finds, including new discoveries made last summer.

This lecture complements the exhibition Roman Mosaics across the Empire, on view March 30 through September 12, 2016.

Read more here.


A Dialogue Between Cognitive Neuroscience and the Humanities is Possible: An Experimental Aesthetics Manifesto

Date: March 8, 2016
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Location: A266 Collision Space, Bay 10, Smith Warehouse

Part of the Neuroarchaeology Series presented by the Humanities Futures Ancient Mind: Mind, Brain & Society Working Group.

This discussion features renowned neuroscientist and philosopher of mind Vittorio Gallese, with responses by Duke faculty and Working Group conveners Maurizio Forte (Classical Studies), Deborah Jenson (Romance Studies and Global Health / Franklin Humanities Institute), and Elizabeth Johnson (Neurobiology / Duke Institute for Brain Sciences).

By exploiting the neurocognitive approach, viewed as a sort of ‘cognitive archeology’, in this discussion Prof. Gallese will empirically investigate the neurophysiological brain mechanisms that make human interactions with the world possible, detect possible functional antecedents of our cognitive skills, and measure the socio-cultural influence exerted by human cultural evolution onto the very same cognitive skills. In so doing we can deconstruct some of the concepts we normally use when referring to intersubjectivity or to aesthetics and art, as well as when referring to the experience we make of them.

Read more here.


Presentation: Tangible Interactive Table for Archaeology (and Art)

Join us for a brief presentation about the TITA and a lively discussion about its educational uses in archeology and other academic disciplines

The Tangible Interactive Table for Archaeology (and Art) (TITA) is an open-source prototype of a digital-haptic (touch) device, designed for museums, and in general for the digital communication of archeological artifacts, monuments and sites, and art objects broadly. The aim is for the table to provide a unique and engaging interface between the museum visitor, and the breadth of digital content, modeled artifacts and virtual environments, being collected, hypothesized, and communicated by archeologists and other researchers, using the intrinsic affordances provided through interacting with physical objects and touch-based engagement. TITA is being developed as a very versatile platform and once deployed, it could work with different digital content (not just archeology and art).

Maurizio Forte, William and Sue Gross Professor of Classical Studies
Todd Berreth, Designer/Research Programmer/Instructor
Nevio Danelon, Postdoc

Monday November 16, 2015
153 Rubenstein Library
Duke University
Durham, NC.


Call for Applicants in Digital and Classic Archaeology

Post-doc position, Research Associate or Equivalent

The DIG@LAB (Digital Digging) at Duke, Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, seeks applicants for a post-doc, a research associate (or equivalent) fellowship focusing on scholarship in digital archaeology – Roman archaeology – and more specifically on the digital reconstruction of the Forum of Trajan in Rome for the Museum of Imperial Fora.

Applicants’ own research should involve the sophisticated use of one or more of the following: computer graphics; 3D modeling, computer vision and laser scanning; computer-aided drawing tools (CAD), game engines, virtual reality and data visualization. In addition they should have a strong background in archaeology, and/or classical archaeology.

Applicants must be comfortable working in a collaborative research setting and have experience successfully participating in project management, curricular, and tool building teams.

We welcome applicants from, archaeology, art history, architecture, history, anthropology, visual studies and digital humanities, as well as candidates from computer science with a strong interest and experience in multidisciplinary methods and the humanities.

The candidate will work full time on data collection (archives, libraries, maps, databases, digital data), 3D modeling and virtual reconstruction of the Forward Halls of the Market of Trajan and on the Forum of Trajan. The final product will be an interactive virtual reality platform developed in Unity 3D and/or equivalent software.

Click here for further details.


Morgantina at 60: 1955-2015

Colloquium session at the Annual AIA Meeting, January 2015.

The Hellenistic Sanctuary on the Cittadella, 1957–2012
Paper by Carla Antonaccio, Duke University, and Shelley Stone, California State University,Bakersfield

In 1957, Princeton University began excavations on a plateau in the locality known as the Cittadella, a hilltop to the east of the city at Serra Orlando where excavations had commenced two years earlier. Though this area would soon prove to be the location of Iron Age and archaic habitation and cemeteries, the first trench uncovered a Hellenistic sanctuary. It took the form of a multiroom structure with a large central courtyard, entered from a street running south to north down the slope. “Neighborhood” shrines of similar form, all apparently dedicated to Demeter and Kore, are incorporated into the orthogonal plan of the later city. Their use came to an end with the Roman capture of Morgantina in 211 B.C.E. The excavations of the 1950s also uncovered finds indicating an earlier phase of use, including part of an apsidal structure, probably of the seventh century B.C.E., below the floor level of one room. More recent excavations show that the southeast corner of the sanctuary was founded directly on the floor of a very large Iron Age longhouse that preceded the archaic settlement. In 2012, work focused on completely excavating the sanctuary’s northern and western limits, an attempt to better understand the history of the sanctuary. We were able to document the limits of the shrine, locate a secondary entrance, and add to our understanding of third-century patterns of cult throughout Morgantina.
A cache of terracotta figurines found in 1957 included representations of Persephone. A small bronze plaque depicting Herakles was also recovered, but the object later was recognized as an ornamental hook from a belt of Samnite origin and dated to the fourth century B.C.E. In contrast to the richness of the other city sanctuaries, little pottery was recovered. The sanctuary’s cistern contained a use fill and fragments of a black-gloss ribbed amphora. At least five vases of East Sicilian Polychrome Ware (formerly “Centuripe Ware”) were found in the rooms, but other finds of this period were scanty. The latest coins recovered are issues of Hieron II. It seems likely that the sanctuary was abandoned, along with the community it served, before the approach of the Roman army in 211 B.C.E. It is possible that most of the votives were removed before the Romans arrived and that the cache of figurines was left to indicate that the temenos was still sacred. The few vases found in the building probably were damaged and discarded during the evacuation.


Geophysical survey at the Roman camps at Renieblas (Spain)

The international team led by Duke University (York University, the University of Munich and Geozone) is conducting a geophysical survey at one of the earliest and best preserved Roman republican camps in the Mediterranean. The data gathered during the Electromagnetic (EM) and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey at Renieblas (Spain), generously supported by The Arts and Sciences Council (Duke University), will provide crucial information for the project. Duke is preparing to begin its excavations at the site this summer.

A map of one of the five Roman camps found at Renieblas often illustrates discussions about the basic structure of the Republican army described by Polybius in the book 6 of his Histories. The site is also important to elucidate the vexed questions of the supply to the army in the Early Roman provinces, the pay of the republican army, and the beginning of local coinage in a large area of Hispania Citerior.


International conference: Regium@Lepidi Project 2200 Comparing archaeologies for the reconstruction of the Roman city

Join us for the grand opening of the Regium@Lepidi 2200 Virtual Museum on May 30, 2015! Celebrations include an international conference organized by Duke University and the Soprintendenza Archeologica dell’Emilia Romagna.

Read the program and abstracts here.

Regium@Lepidi 2200 is an international project designed by Duke University – Dig@Lab in collaboration with the Lions Club Host “Citta’ del Tricolore” which is the main co-sponsor. The project was born with the twofold scope to study and virtually reconstruct the Roman city of Regium Lepidi (now Reggio Emilia) and to support a junior research fellow for the entire period of research and production in USA. The happy end, beside the virtual museum, is that the fellow, Nevio Danelon, achieved a post-doc position at Duke University (Media+Art&Sciences program). More specifically, the final aim is the creation of a new virtual museum and IT room designed within the archaeological museum of Reggio Emilia (Musei Civici, The contextualization of the virtual museum inside the real one is particularly challenging because it creates a strong connection between empirical data, the museum collection (tangible), their ancient invisible context (the city, intangible) and new immersive perception of artifacts (virtual and immersive).


Maurizio Forte and Nevio Danelon (Duke University) win Sparc award to work at Vulci

Vulci 3000 is a multidisciplinary project of archaeological research, training and digital communication focused on the Etruscan site of Vulci in central Italy. At many Etruscan sites archaeological research has focused on the necropoleis and funerary contexts. This research orientation has broadly led to a mystical image of Etruscan cities, primarily understood as “cities of dead” rather than living cities, complex settlements and social organisms. At Vulci, the Vulci 3000 Project will be pursuing an alternative line of research, focused on the organization of the ancient territory, population, and city plans – the living city. The research, to be carried out over five years will focus on the diachronic relationships between the ancient city and its landscape, and the organization of the urban center, will provide a different view of urbanism in central Italy, as Vulci emerges as a city is transformed through encounters with neighboring cultures and an expanding Roman state.

Read more here