Welcome to CIAMS

The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) coordinates archaeological activities at Cornell through a consortium of graduate students and faculty affiliated with departments of Anthropology, Classics, History of Art, Landscape Architecture and Near Eastern Studies. CIAMS encourages research, interaction, and innovation in all areas of archaeology and material studies, and provides undergraduate and graduate instruction through its affiliated departments. CIAMS promotes diverse theoretical, methodological, and historical approaches to archaeology that inform the fundamental materiality of the human condition across time and space. More about CIAMS …

What’s happening at CIAMS?

cropped-iraniansgreeksin00rostuoft_0053The Eurasian Archaeology Conference Committee has announced their Fifth Conference on Eurasian Archaeology, which will be held at Cornell University from October 26-28, 2017. The theme will be “Gods on the Grasslands, Myths in the Mountains.” 


palmyra2CIAMS Professor Ben Anderson has published a book on the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, which includes never-before-published images of the site by the 1885 Wolfe Expedition. In recent news, the monumental arch at Palmyra was destroyed by ISIS insurgents, making the preservation of the site’s history through photographic documentation even more imperative. Link to external website.

green2CIAMS Lecture Series – Jack Green – On November 3, 2016 Dr. Jack Green (Corning Museum of Glass) will present “Archaeology and Heritage in Jericho: The Hisham’s Palace Site and Museum Project.” The talk will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Goldwin Smith Hall, G22. A reception will follow the talk.

vanoyencover460CIAMS Professor Astrid Van Oyen’s book How Things Make History: The Roman Empire and its Terra Sigillata Pottery is out! You can read the review at the Cornell Chronicle. Congratulations, Astrid! Link to external website.


witchcraft460The Cornell Chronicle featured the work of CIAMS alumna Freddy Loew, whose collaborative research at the Cornell Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections revealed the bloody truth behind a 16th century German book of charms. Link to external website.


huanacariRadioCIAMS – Steve Kosiba – On October 14, 2016 University of Minnesota archaeologist Steve Kosiba met a panel of CIAMS students and faculty to discuss materiality, constructions of value, and placemaking among the Inka.


canepa-photoRadioCIAMS – Matthew Canepa – On September 23, 2016 University of Minnesota archaeologist Matthew Canepa met a panel of CIAMS students and faculty to discuss iconography, architecture, and the construction of royal identity in the Sassanian Empire.

cohen suarez book
The College of Arts and Sciences website currently features an article about CIAMS Professor Ananda Cohen Suarez’s new book Heaven, Hell, and Everything In Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes. Link to external website.


pizza and sushiThe CIAMS Welcome Back Reception will be on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 5:30 (please note the time change) in the History of Art lounge (Goldwin Smith G08). Come and help CIAMS students and faculty kick off the start of a great academic year with our traditional pizza and sushi combo!


A small section of the plans to be digitized under the grant

CIAMS in the news: CIAMS faculty members Jeff Zorn and Lauren Monroe (Near Eastern Studies) recently received a DCAPS Digitization Grant from Cornell University for their project in Tell en-Naṣbeh. CIAMS graduate student Eilis Monahan was recently featured in an Arts and Sciences article for her dissertation work in Cyprus (external link).

CIAMS PhD student Gabby Borenstein recently received a Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship for her archaeological research in Armenia. Congratulations, Gabby, on your accomplishment!


MarzuoloCongratulations to Professor Astrid Van Oyen for winning a Cotsen Excavation Grant from the Archaeological Institute of America for the Marzuolo Archaeological Project in Tuscany (Italy)! 


WJMCongratulations to Bill Mastandrea for winning the CIAMS MA Thesis Prize for his project entitled Cupellation at Kea: Investigating Potential Applications of the Minoan Conical Cup! Bill’s advisors described his thesis as “well-researched, well-written, and provocatively original.”

For the 2015/2016 academic year, CIAMS awarded a total of $34,941 to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty for travel, archaeological fieldwork, and academic research projects. We are fortunate to have the resources to provide this support for our members. As our program expands, we look forward to promoting even more projects that benefit the field of archaeology.

grad hatsCongratulations to all CIAMS graduates who completed their degrees this May: Asa Cameron (M.A. in Archaeology); Amanda Gaggioli, Astra Hwang, Angela Link, and Anjum Malik (undergraduate Archaeology majors); and Melissa Bravo (undergraduate Archaeology minor). Best of luck in your bright futures!

GraduationTwo CIAMS graduating seniors, Amanda Gaggioli and Anjum Malik, were featured by the College of Arts & Sciences as seniors “whose journeys through Cornell were remarkable in various ways.” Congratulations to Amanda and Anjum, as well as all our graduating seniors! Link opens to the College of Arts and Sciences web page.

o-SUSHI-PIZZA-facebookCome join CIAMS students and faculty to celebrate the end of the school year, beginning of summer and the adventure ahead. We’ll have wine, cheese and the proven combination of pizza and sushi. Wednesday, May 25, 2016 in the History of Art Gallery (GSH G08) at 4:30 p.m.

UtharaWith her tenure as Hirsch postdoctoral associate coming to a close, CIAMS would like to thank Uthara Suvrathan for her service to the department and wish her best of luck in her future endeavors as a fellow at the Bard Graduate Center.


cohen suarez bookCIAMS Professor Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art) recently had her monograph Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes published by the University of Texas Press. Congratulations to Prof. Cohen Suarez on her outstanding achievement!

Eilis Monahan, PhD Student, Near Eastern Studies. Photo by K. Jarriel.

CIAMS PhD Student Eilis Monahan was recently featured in a Student Spotlight by the Cornell Graduate School, which lauded her for winning both an NSF Dissertation Improvement grant and a Fulbright Award. Congratulations!


nascaAs part of the class Fantastic Frauds and Myths in Archaeology taught by Uthara Suvrathan, CIAMS undergraduate students  re-created the famous Nazca lines on the Arts Quad to investigate how these designs were constructed and viewed by ancient people.

Photo1Volunteers from the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory hosted a workshop on dendrochronology as part of the Expanding Your Horizons Conference at Cornell, a student-led event to allow 7th-9th grade girls to explore math and science and to provide them with female role models.

RadioCIAMS – Fotini Kondyli – On April 22, 2016 University of Virginia archaeologist Fotini Kondyli met a panel of CIAMS students and faculty to discuss community in the rural landscapes of Byzantine Greece.


Artifacts - SillimanRadioCIAMS – Stephen Silliman – On March 25, 2016 UMass Boston archaeologist Stephen Silliman joined a panel of CIAMS students and faculty to discuss entanglement and hybridity in archaeology.


Students in Prof. Lori Khatchadourian’s Ceramics class tried their hand at pottery-making in The Clay House studio in Ithaca to better understand the processes of ceramic production. Link opens to an article by the Cornell Chronicle.


In the news: CIAMS Ph.D. student Eilis Monahan won both an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant and a Fulbright Award for her research on Cyprus. CIAMS professors Lori Khatchadourian and Adam T. Smith won an NSF grant for their project in the Caucasus. Prof. Khatchadourian also just had her new monographImperial Matter, published. CIAMS professor Kathy Gleason was named a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C. 

RadioCIAMS: Our podcast series, wherein we probe critical debates in archaeology in conversation between leading practitioners and the next generation of researchers. Latest podcasts here…


public-speaker-clipart-1CIAMS Lectures: We bring archaeological practitioners from around the country and the world to share current approaches with our students. Latest lectures here…




CIAMS WorkshopsCornell graduate students and faculty discuss their works-in-progress with colleagues and students, lending insights into how archaeological research is conceived and disseminated. Latest workshops here…