Shedding Light on the Black Market in Syrian Antiquities

The SSD short-term research grant allowed me to compile new datasets to support my research program on art markets. I study contemporary and ancient art markets, both of which have interesting economic, sociological, and legal aspects. But the most exciting venture to emerge from my current work is a new project with broad public policy applications: Modeling the Antiquities Trade in Iraq and Syria (MANTIS).

Institutionalizing Incorporation: Foodways, Sectarian Pluralism, and Royal Authority at the Capital Āśramas of Angkor, Cambodia

Through the generous support of a Division of the Social Sciences Short-Term Research Grant, I was able to successfully complete the last phase of my dissertation fieldwork at archaeological sites in northwestern Cambodia.  Centered in the ancient royal capital of Angkor, my research consists in the use of archaeological and paleoethnobotanical analyses to investigate the dynamics of religious institutionalization and the politics of kingly patronage through the medium of foodways at royal hermitages, or āśramas, during the incipient phase of the Khmer Empire dating to the late 9th

A treasure hunt, of sorts

No one can really accuse the ancient Romans of being low key or disinclined to draw attention to themselves.  On the contrary, everywhere they went, they marked the landscape with monuments, erected by officials or institutions, but also by private individuals.  The ancient lands of Armenia and Iberia (modern Georgia) were no exception to this Roman drive to declare their presence (and often their beneficence or magnanimity).  

The Crab-man of San Cristobal

In March of 2010, I began my intensive archaeological fieldwork in the remote pueblo of San Damián in Huarochirí, Peru. San Damián is about 3200 meters above sea level, and has a beautiful branch of the famous Inka Road leading up to the hilltop site of San Cristobal, where we started mapping, surface collection, and excavations. We were grateful for the sturdy path, but it amounts to a relentless, very steep staircase that moves pedestrians from high to higher altitude and back. Early every morning the team would lug equipment up the Inka path, and work for 8-10 hours at San Cristobal.