Category Archives: news

Congratulations to our 2017 MA Thesis Prize Winners!

CIAMS would like to congratulate our two 2017 MA Thesis Prize Winners, Jessica Plant and Juliana van Roggen! Their theses were nominated by CIAMS faculty as demonstrating excellence and originality in research and quality of writing. The CIAMS MA Thesis Prize comes with a $250 cash prize as well as recognition at the 2017 graduation ceremony.

Jessica Plant’s thesis is entitled “Asia Minor Ampullae: A Class of Their Own?” Her argument confronts standard art historical interpretations of a group of late antique “pilgrimage souvenirs”–terracotta flasks from Asia Minor. Employing archaeological approaches, she focuses on the materiality and reception of these ampullae from Asia Minor and offers an alternative understanding of their connection to sacred travel and devotion in late antiquity. After completing her MA with CIAMS, Jessica was accepted as a PhD student in the History of Art department at Cornell.

Juliana van Roggen’s thesis is entitled “Urban Planning and Cultural Identity in Pompeii: from the Alstadt to Vitruvius.”  Her thesis studies Pompeii’s earliest settlement, or Altstadt, and connects it to other archaic cities through an analysis of urban form and orientation. She argues for a pan-Mediterranean tradition of urban planning which eventually influenced the later works of Vitruvius and which now challenges scholarly understanding of archaic cultural boundaries. After graduation, Juliana will be completing an internship with Joshua Tree National Park as an archaeologist and archivist.


CIAMS recognizes 2017 graduates

Congratulations to CIAMS PhD, MA, and undergraduate students who graduated in 2017!

CIAMS-affiliated PhD students

Perri Gerard-Little completed her PhD in Anthropology. Her dissertation is entitled “‘A pleasure garden in the desert, to which I know no comparison in this country’: Seneca Iroquois Landscape Stewardship in the 17th and 18th Centuries.”


CIAMS MA Students

Yuan Fang completed her MA degree with CIAMS. Her thesis is entitled “The Favorite Animal: The Horse as Mingqi in Han Tombs.”



Jessica Plant completed her MA degree with CIAMS and is continuing her journey with Cornell and CIAMS as a History of Art PhD student. Her thesis is entitled “Asia Minor Ampullae: A Class of Their Own?”



Juliana van Roggen completed her MA degree with CIAMS. Her thesis is entitled “Urban Planning and Cultural Identity in Pompeii: from the Alstadt to Vitruvius.”



Archaeology Majors

Our graduating seniors from the Archaeology major are Elizabeth Martinson and Alessandra Rigamonti.

Archaeology Minors

Graduating seniors who completed a minor in Archaeology are Adefolakanmi Adenugba, Alexandra Hegerle, Eleanor Reppy, and Rabin Willford.

We at CIAMS are very proud of our recent graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Spring 2017 – Awards won by CIAMS Members

CIAMS members have received a number of awards recently!

Gabby Borenstein, Anthropology PhD student, won a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to support her dissertation research on “The Logics of Egalitarianism: Materiality and Meaning in the Kura-Araxes Horizon (3500-2400 BCE).” National Geographic Young Explorers Grants assist aspiring professionals working on global research, conservation, and exploration projects. Gabby excavates at the Bronze Age site of Gegharot in Armenia along with the CIAMS-run Project ArAGATS. Congratulations, Gabby!

Liana Brent, Classics PhD candidate, received the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize for Ancient Studies from the American Academy in Rome to support her dissertation research. Liana’s dissertation project is entitled “Corporeal Connections: Tomb Disturbance, Reuse, and Violation in Roman Italy.”  The Rome Prize supports innovative, inter-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities.  Congratulations, Liana!



Perri Gerard-Little, who recently defended her dissertation, entitled “‘A pleasure garden in the desert, to which I know no comparison in this country’: Seneca Iroquois Landscape Stewardship in the 17th and 18th Centuries” in the Anthropology PhD program, was awarded a Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants from the College of Arts & Sciences.  Double congratulations to Perri for the award and a successful defense!


Kurt Jordan, CIAMS Director and Associate Professor of Anthropology, was named a Fellow of the New York State Archaeological Association at the recent annual meeting in Lake George. Fellows are honored for their “outstanding contribution to our knowledge of New York State Archaeology.” He is the 60th Fellow named in the 101 years of NYSAA’s existence.  Congratulations, Kurt!



Kaja Tally-Schumacher, PhD candidate in History of Art,  was named a Junior Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection for Fall 2017. This appointment is in support of her dissertation “Cultivating Empire: Transplanting and Translating Rome.” Dumbarton Oaks supports research and learning in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies. Congratulations, Kaja!


UPDATED 5 May 2017 – We have even more awards to announce!

Sherene Baugher, CIAMS professor, received The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from SUNY. According to the SUNY website, “the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement.” Congratulations, Sherene!



Kathy Gleason,  CIAMS Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Landscape Architecture, has begun her first of six years as a Senior Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. The Senior Fellows advise the Director of Dumbarton Oaks in research and collection development concerning garden and landscape studies. Congratulations, Kathy!



UPDATED 10 May 2017 – Yet even more awards!

Betty Hensellek, a PhD Candidate in the History of Art, received the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Art History Fellowship (website: From September 2017 to August 2018 she will join the Met’s Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art and continue work on her dissertation titled “Interweaving Steppe and State with Silk: the Age of the Polychrome Kaftan in Late Antique Central Eurasia.”


If you know of anyone omitted from this list of awards recipients, please contact the CIAMS AD.

CIAMS Workshop – Tobias Wild

On Monday, March 27, 2017 at noon in McGraw 125 (LOL), Tobias Wild, a visiting exchange student from Freiburg, will be discussing his work-in-progress “Visual representations of Hellenistic rulers in small scale statues” in open seminar format.

To acquire the draft of the paper that we will discuss, please email the CIAMS Assistant Director.

CIAMS brown bag colloquia are a great way for faculty and students to refine drafts of papers through discussion and peer review in an informal and friendly setting. The author will give a brief, approximately 15 minute overview of the paper, and then the floor will be open for discussion.  If you would like to submit a paper for a brown bag colloquium, please contact the CIAMS Assistant Director.

CIAMS Lecture Series – Arnau Garcia



This presentation will discuss a group of study cases carried on during the last years in the upper parts of different mountain ranges in the North-East of the Iberian Peninsula. The works discussed are part of integrated studies in which archaeological, historical and ethnographic data, together with palaeoenvironmental researches have been used to analyse the relationships between landscape systems and human land-use strategies on mountains from a long-term perspective. The archaeological research in those environments is characterized by the specific geographic conditions and the particularities of past human economic activities and settlement patterns.

An overview on the results shows that about 1000 anthropogenic structures have been detected and classified in upper-mountain areas in the study areas. More than a hundred of them have been excavated and near 150 C14 dates have been conducted. Together, they represent a large chronological framework, from Early Neolithic to Modern times. Most of the structures are related to pastoral activities (huts, enclosures), but other activities regarding forestry and mineral exploitation are also documented. In this sense, the research shows that pastoralism has played a decisive role in the human shaping of mountain Cultural Landscapes in the studied areas. Anthropogenic deforestation episodes related to the creation and maintenance of pastoral grasslands, have been documented from the Neolithic onwards. The studies give also some clues on how important historical processes of social change, such as that of Romanization or the formation of feudal societies, have had a deep impact in mountain landscapes. The setting up of specialized economic activities has been punctually documented for those periods, proving that these were intimately linked to the historical processes documented at lower altitudes.


RadioCIAMS – Fiona Kidd

On February 24, 2017, NYU Abu Dhabi archaeologist Fiona Kidd met a panel of CIAMS students (Dusti Bridges, Betty Hensellek, Jeanine Hoy, Laryssa Shipley, and Jay Weimar) and faculty (Lori Khatchadourian, host) to discuss wall paintings and elite iconograhphy at the site of Akchakhan-kala in modern-day Uzbekistan. The discussion of approximately 45 minutes opens below.

Congratulations CIAMS graduates of January 2017!

Congratulations to the CIAMS MA and PhD students who graduated in January 2017!

Four CIAMS MA students graduated: Jenna Bittenbender, Ned Fischer, Louisa Nash, and Emily Stanton. In addition, CIAMS-affiliated student, Beth Ryan, completed her PhD in the Anthropology department.

We at CIAMS are very proud of our recent graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Archaeology Undergraduate Pizza Dinner

Archaeology LunchInterested in studying archaeology, ancient languages, or ancient cultures? Come to a free pizza dinner!


Join students and faculty from Archaeology, Anthropology, and Classics to eat, get acquainted, and learn more about opportunities, courses, and events at Cornell!

Monday, September 19
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
G24 Goldwin Smith Hall

Prof. Caitlin Barrett, Archaeology DUS (
Prof. Courtney Roby, Classics DUS (
Prof. Paul Nadasdy, Anthropology DUS (

CIAMS faculty members receive DCAPS Digitization Grant

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

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

CIAMS faculty members Jeff Zorn (Near Eastern Studies) and Lauren Monroe (Near Eastern Studies) recently received funding from the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences at Cornell University in order to digitize the architectural plans for the site of Tell en-Naṣbeh, located 12 km north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Approximately two thirds of this three hectare, primarily Iron Age, site was excavated by a team from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, between 1926–1935 under the direction of W. F. Badé. Tell en-Naṣbeh is one of the most broadly excavated sites in the southern Levant, making it of great importance for those interested in studying house construction, settlement planning and social organization. The full set of plans has, until now, only been available to those able to travel to Berkeley. This digitization project will at last make these important plans available to students and scholars at Cornell and around the world.

Gabby Borenstein wins Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship

Gabby BorensteinCIAMS PhD student Gabby Borenstein recently received a Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship for her archaeological research in Armenia.  The Cornell Graduate School website featured Gabby in a Student Spotlight, which may be found here. During her interview, Gabby had the following to say about her experience as a part of the CIAMS community:

The Cornell Institute for Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) is both an institute and a community. I feel truly lucky to be a part of a scholarly group that transcends classrooms and lecture halls. It is rare to be surrounded by peers who are also teachers, and advisors who are also colleagues and unparalleled support systems. The university promotes a rich, culturally informed approach to archaeology that I knew would train me to be both the type of academic and individual I aspired to become.

Congratulations to Gabby on her outstanding achievement!