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Why Study and Support Classics at University?

When thinking about the choice of subjects to study, or support, at university, it might seem that choosing an apparently relevant subject – one appearing to lead directly to a career and a salary – is a sensible choice, and especially in times when the economy is less than strong, jobs are scarce, and the […]

ISIS/ISIL and destruction of Archaeological Heritage

The much publicized attempts to destroy a number of famous archaeological sites, structures and objects (including rare historic books) by ISIS/ISIL in recent weeks (http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/) – adding now Dur-Sharrukin, built as the capital of Assyrian King Sargon II in the late 8th century BC – have led to much outrage, and even for calls for […]

Archaeology as a vital US strategic interest

An opinion piece by me on the above subject on Fox News, and on why US National Science Foundation (NSF) funding of archaeology should be (i) supported, and (ii) if anything increased (rather than reduced in real terms), is at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/07/08/archaeology-as-vital-us-strategic-interest/ The current specific problem or issue is the FIRST Act (Frontiers in Innovation, Research, […]

Thera/Santorini date debate: what’s new, and why is it important?

The Thera (or Santorini) volcanic eruption in the southern Aegean is the largest known of the past 12,000 years (Johnston et al. 2014) and sent ash (tephra) and tsunami over a large area of the east Mediterranean (the latter reached the Levant: Goodman-Tchernov et al. 2009). The eruption buried, Pompeii-like, a large Bronze Age town […]

Graduate study in Classical-Mediterranean Archaeology in the USA – why, how, where? Some comments and general advice

At this time of the year (Fall/Autumn) would-be graduate students think about what to do, where to apply, and what is the meaning of ‘life, the universe and everything’. As a Professor of Classical Archaeology, I get a range of inquiries from students who would like to pursue study in the general area of Classical-Mediterranean […]

NSF Funding and Archaeology

In an opinion piece (USA Today 30 September) entitled “Rethinking science funding”, Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith (respectively Majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee) argue that the US National Science Foundation (NSF) is wasting US tax payer dollars, citing concerns with funding research […]

Why archaeology?

Archaeology is the study (by all available means) of how and why we have become what we are: the story of human origins and history from the earliest times to the present day and of our engagements with the world around us. It necessarily focuses on material culture and remains in the prehistoric periods, and […]