I have always been fascinated by how past societies were deeply connected and influenced each other in ways that are not that different to how our societies function today. Factors, such as commerce, diplomacy and conflict to name a few, illuminate these economic, cultural and political ties between societies; however, it is the long-term impacts from these interactions that are truly telling of how the direction of history is navigated.
As an Archaeologist, I explore the material culture of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on interconnectivity and networks between the East and West. I am interested in how these influences materialize in local communities and material culture, such as in ceramics, weapons and warfare, and in art. My expertise is in the Archaic to Hellenistic world (ca. 7th century – 3rd century BCE), though my excavation work expands even further than this, into the Bronze Age (ca. third millennium) as well as into the Roman period.
My current book project, titled A Stranger in All Lands: Mercenaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, expounds on these themes by exploring on the mercenary profession in the ancient world. I investigate the identification of mercenaries from their earliest appearances in the Bronze Age Near East until the sixth century BCE and how they can be archaeologically and textually traced within cross-cultural networks (see a description of my forthcoming book).
My past archaeological fieldwork includes six excavation seasons at the Athenian Agora and various excavation projects in Cyprus, Turkey and Israel. Currently I excavate two Greco-Roman sites in Egypt, in the Fayyum (The Northeast Fayyum Lakeshore Project) and the Western Nile Delta (Kom Wasit/Kom al-Ahmer). In both of these projects, I study the trade routes, the regional movement of goods and Mediterranean influences in local ceramics in Egyptian settlements during the 5th century BCE to the 2nd/3rd century CE (see my recent paper from The Northeast Fayyum Lakeshore Project).
A subsequent project that I am developing is an investigation of Roman military networks in Egypt from the first to fourth centuries CE. From the reigns of Augustus to Diocletian, the Roman army is certainly one of the driving forces that shaped the Empire and reinforced its political power; however, the army is not a single entity and exploring its histories at the provincial, regional and regimental levels provides a better understanding of its influences in Egyptian society. I explore how Roman militarization had enduring impacts on the socio-economic and political climate of Egypt, through factors such as food outsourcing, environmental changes, economic networks and ritual activities. This project will culminate in my future second monograph.