I have co-organized, with Dr. Anne Chen of Brown University, a colloquium sponsored by the Provincial Roman Archaeology Interest Group, an international colloquium on the current archaeological work being done in the Roman provinces of southeastern Europe for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Toronto. For more information on the participants and the topics discussed please follow the link above.
I co-organized, with Professor Susan E. Alcock, a conference that was dedicated to discussing current developments in archaeological fieldwork and research in Turkey with various United States-based archaeological project directors. It was held at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, March 2-3, 2012. For more information on the participants and topics discussed please visit the conference website.
I co-organized, with Dr. James Doyle, a cross-disciplinary symposium that sought to address monumentality and meaning in the ancient world, with notable scholars in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, classics, and art history. It was held at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, February 25-26, 2011. For more information on the participants and the topics discussed please visit the conference website.
Submitted: “Scales and Impacts of Christian Devotional Movement in Early Byzantine Cilicia,” to Archaeology of Ritual and Religion, Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), Atlanta, Georgia. November 18-21, 2015.
In the early Byzantine eastern Mediterranean, the devotional landscape of Christianity was identified most visibly in the construction of churches. The location of certain churches at the immediate edge of settlements, either in cemeteries or on major roads, marked both the churches’ as well as the settlements’ physical connections to the wider landscape. These connections were dependent upon the fact of movement, which took place at a variety of scales and with a number of potentially related purposes, all of them grounded in the material infrastructure of travel. In this paper, I examine the specifics of movement at a variety of scales and variably distinguishable purposes through the archaeological remains of two sites in southern Turkey: Korykos, a large urban center on the coast, and Karakabaklı, a village settlement in the nearby highlands of southeastern Isauria. The churches associated with these sites attracted devotional movement by local Christian devotees as well as long-distance pilgrims, but they also presided over the comings and goings of other travellers such as farmers, traders, and soldiers, and thereby anchored and directed movement undertaken for any number of purposes and at any number of scales. It is at this intersection of varying purposes and scales of travel that this paper argues for the integration of the explicitly recognizable, material Christian dimension of the landscape within its wider configuration, one that is both constitutive of and constituted by the movement of people through it, and is manifested in the very infrastructure that facilitated travel.
“Going where the job takes you: Moving producers in the eastern Roman empire,” in The Imperial Craft: Comparative Perspectives on Production and Society in Empires, Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeologists (SAA), San Francisco, California. April 19, 2015.
Architectural relationships between the eastern Roman imperial capital at Constantinople and its provinces have traditionally been understood as derivative. In the province of Isauria on the southern coast of Anatolia, however, distinctive remains have led to the conceptualization of a group of native stonemasons known as ‘Isaurian builders,’ who traveled through provinces across Anatolia and northern Syria, leaving in their wake an identifiably Isaurian style of early Christian churches. At the same time, brick masons from the capital were exported to the provincial capital at Seleukeia, whose workshop in turn exported its product even further afield. This paper addresses the movement of craftpersons to, from and within Isauria, questioning traditional understandings of innovations and developments in construction materials and techniques between a province and its capital, as well as relationships between provinces within the same empire. This has ramifications for understanding these workmen as itinerant specialists, matching the quality of the regional limestone in the caliber of its stonemasons, or as seasonal workmen, driven by economic circumstances to ply their skills and labor outside their native province. More broadly, it illuminates our understanding of the inter-provincial movement of productive knowledge and technologies, facilitated by the very fabric of empire.
“A Smattering of Saints: Early Christian Cult at Seleukeia,” Brown Bag Series, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. September 19, 2013.
In this paper, I draw upon the spatial distribution patterns of places mentioned in the text along with the findspots of any epigraphically attested saints in the region, as one approach to investigate the notions of connectivity and sacred authority in the landscape around Seleukeia and Isauria. At its most basic, the question I am asking is: where does sanctity lie, in a given landscape? I first work through the references to places in the Miracles of St Thekla and the descriptions of landscape in the Life of Konon of Isauria before moving on to compare the contemporary distribution of places with epigraphically attested saints in order to speak to the distributed nature of textual and material evidence for a particularly late antique and Isaurian religious landscape.
'"Hastening from one of her homes to another": Regional Connections and the Infrastructure of Distributed Cult to St. Thekla at Meryemlik (near Silifke, Turkey),' Connectivity: Strategies and Impacts, a symposium at the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Istanbul, Turkey. April 5, 2013.
The Life and Miracles of Thekla, an anonymous 5th century text describing saint’s miracle-working activities in and around her pilgrimage complex, topographically and conceptually contextualizes the main sanctuary within a network of settlements and churches in the surrounding region that extended as far as Iconium, Tarsos, and Cyprus. Through various strategies of connectivity, the cult of Saint Thekla was made manifest not only in a single major sanctuary site in the region, but also came to comprise one facet of the landscape’s connective tissue. These strategies come down to us through texts such as the Life and Miracles, but they were also realized on the ground in the form of travel infrastructure and the remains of the places themselves. While the textual evidence suggests that Thekla’s cult made up a significant component of the regional sacred landscape, epigraphical and archaeological remains give a more complex picture of the religious landscape of late Roman and early Byzantine Isauria and Cilicia Tracheia: one in which the saint’s regional presence was characterized by negotiation and interaction, rather than outright domination.
“Dynamic Landscapes: Movement, Pilgrimage, and Travel Infrastructure in the Landscape,” Brown Bag Series, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. September 29, 2011.
This was the first public presentation of my dissertation prospectus.
“Intertwining Roads and Settlements in Late Antique Northern Anatolia,” in Late Antiquity, 112th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), San Antonio, Texas. January 8, 2011.
All roads may lead to Rome, but what do they pass along the way? It has long been clear that ancient road systems and settlement patterns are inextricably intertwined, but the nature of that relationship is not always so clear in the archaeological record. Settlements do not always lie on major roads, and minor routes are often difficult to identify; the possibility of alternate routes has only recently been critically considered. Using data from the 2007–2009 seasons of the Avkat Archaeological Project in north-central Turkey, this paper discusses the difficulties encountered and insights gained while investigating road systems of both major and minor scale around the Late Roman and Byzantine city of Euchaita (Ottoman Avkat), a small but well-known regional center of trade and pilgrimage. Pulling on several resources of information, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), historical maps, travelers’ accounts, and correlating ground-truthing endeavors with intensive and extensive survey data, the paper will discuss the implications for thinking about the significance of precisely identifying Late Roman and Byzantine road systems in Asia Minor.
“Being on the Road: Paths as Places,” in Archaeological Ambulations, Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. May 1, 2010.
If movement means not staying in one place, then how does movement fit into a discussion of place? This paper will explore the role of movement along roads as a constitutive event in itself, moving forward (!) from a perspective of movement along roads, whether short- or long-term, as simply a time-consuming, necessary evil in reaching a ‘final’ location. I will argue that both cognition and locomotion play important roles in every person’s understanding of place, present and past, and in doing so attempt to reveal the ways in which they can enhance our understanding of how people experience their movements along paths in the landscape. Drawing upon a case study from the Avkat Archaeological Project in north-central Turkey, using the results from both intensive and extensive archaeological survey, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis, I will explore how an understanding of roads, and the movement along them, is an important facet of investigation of the historical particularities of a place and the people who moved to, from and within it.