CIAMS Professor Sturt Manning Leads Dendrochronology Seminar at Pelendri (Cyprus)

Students from CIAMS and The Cyprus Institute participated in a dendrochronology seminar led by Profs. Sturt Manning and Nikolas Bakirtzis at Pelendri, Cyprus. Photo credit: The Cyprus Institute.

In conjunction with their archaeological fieldwork this summer in Cyprus, CIAMS students participated in a dendrochronology seminar led by CIAMS professor Sturt Manning and Professor Nikolas Bakirtzis of The Cyprus Institute. The seminar was held at the UNESCO-listed Church of the Holy Cross in the village of Pelendri.

According to The Cyprus Institute:

The seminar was organized in the context of the ongoing collaboration between STARC and the Cornell Tree Ring Laboratory and the Cyprus Department of Antiquities aiming to develop a specialized dendrochronology lab in Cyprus and to further pursue tree-ring dating for art and architecture in Cyprus and the broader region. This event marks the expanding collaboration between Cornell University and the Cyprus Institute which includes in addition to dendrochronology collaboration in the fields of Bioarchaeology and sub surface imaging.

The full story may be found at The Cyprus Institute’s website (link to external site), along with more photos from the seminar.

Collaborations with other research institutes such as The Cyprus Institute raise CIAMS’s profile on an international level and provide wonderful educational opportunities for our students. Several of the students participating in fieldwork with Prof. Manning were supported by grants from CIAMS’s Hirsch scholarship fund and from Cornell’s Department of Anthropology.

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!

Congratulations to Amy Cromartie!

Congratulations are in order for CIAMS student Amy Cromartie (Anthropology PhD), who recently received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship. This is an early graduate career fellowship to support her dissertation research on how humans modify their agriculture strategies in the face of climate variation in mountain regions. Amy’s research focuses on the Bronze and Iron Age communities living around Mount Aragats in Armenia. She is a team member of CIAMS’s Project ArAGATS. Kudos to Amy on her achievement!

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 and Hirsch Awards – 2016/2017

CIAMS is fortunate to be able to provide a number of research and travel grants for our undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. For the 2016/2017 academic year CIAMS granted a total of $37,877 in Hirsch travel and CIAMS research grant awards. These grants facilitate travel and archaeological field experience as well as enabling graduate students to undertake self-directed archaeological research projects. As our program expands, we look forward to promoting even more projects that benefit the field of archaeology.


CIAMS Lecture Series – Felipe Rojas

Abstract: This paper is a diachronic study of alternative and sometimes conflicting ontologies of landscape in ancient Anatolia. I am interested specifically in the notion that some mountains were animate, sentient beings and that the boundaries separating them from men and gods were susceptible of transgression. Although examples of personified mountains as well as of metamorphosis and petrification can be found occasionally throughout the ancient Mediterranean, in Anatolia “mountain-persons” are more common and can be shown to reflect local traditions dating back millennia. Hittite kings regularly swore oaths by mountains and often represented them in visual art as partly anthropomorphized supports of royal power. Long after the Bronze Age—in fact, at least until the Byzantine period—people in Anatolia continued to celebrate cases of ontological permeability (and amalgamation) involving mountains that were thought to be divine before the classical period. Relevant examples range over a vast chronological span and include the case of the Christian martyr Ariadne in Phrygia who became a mountain to flee her persecutors, a civic club in Roman Sardis who claimed direct descent from Tmolus (a mountain that happens to have been one of the earliest kings of Lydia), the famous Niobe, a woman who according to Greek myth was petrified for boasting about her fecundity in front of a virgin goddess, and a host of other Anatolian mountains that were believed in Greek and Roman antiquity to have been genetically or sexually associated with both men and gods. Using current anthropological theory (drawn primarily from scholars working in the Amazon) I offer a glimpse into the lasting vitality of Anatolian ontologies of landscape according to which mountains, men, and god were dynamically entangled.

Book Talk: Ananda Cohen-Aponte

The role of the visual arts in negotiating a sense of place and identity is an important one, and mural paintings reveal the complex ways that artists and viewers conceptualize the space they inhabit.

In a Chats in the Stacks talk, Ananda Cohen-Aponte will talk about her new book, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between (University of Texas Press, 2016), about the vivid, often apocalyptic church murals of Peru from the early colonial period through the nineteenth century.

By exploring the sociopolitical situation represented by the artists, she discovers that the murals are embedded in complex networks of trade, commerce, and the exchange of ideas between the Andes and Europe. She also sheds light on the unique ways that artists and viewers worked through difficult questions of representing sacredness. Unlike the murals of New Spain that used abstract motifs preferred by the Incas, the murals of the Andes command power and contemplation, visual archives of the complex negotiations among empire, communities, and individuals.

Ananda Cohen-Aponte is assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University. She was a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year.

This event is sponsored by Olin Library.

Buffalo Street Books will offer books for purchase and signing. Refreshments served.

Free and open to all.

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.