The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World is dedicated to the academic study and public promotion of the archaeology and art of the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt, and the Near East (the latter broadly construed as extending from Anatolia and the Levant to the Caucasus); our principal research interests lie in the complex societies of the pre-modern era.
Although the core efforts of the Joukowsky Institute are archaeological in nature and are located within this broadly defined zone, close ties with all individuals interested in the ancient world, and with archaeologists of all parts of the globe, are welcome and actively encouraged. Joukowsky Institute faculty and students are from a wide range of countries and backgrounds -- and Brown University's fieldwork and research in archaeology and the ancient world reflects and builds on that multiplicity of perspectives.
Established in 2004 ("Brown establishes Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World"), the Joukowsky Institute incorporates and amplifies the activities of Brown’s former Center for Old World Archaeology and Art. Susan E. Alcock became the Institute's first Director in January 2006, and was succeeded by Peter van Dommelen in July 2015. Andrew Scherer has been Director of the Institute since July 2023.
The goal of the Institute is to foster an interdisciplinary community of interest in the archaeology of the ancient world, and in the discipline of archaeology more generally. Its mandate is to promote research, fieldwork, teaching, and public outreach, with the Institute’s associated faculty, students, and facilities serving as a hub for this activity.
Activities and Outreach
The undergraduate and graduate programs in Archaeology and the Ancient World are based in the Joukowsky Institute, as are many of Brown University's archaeology courses. An active program of scholarly and public lectures, conferences, and workshops is in place, offering frequent events for the Brown University community, as well as interested members of our broader, off-campus communities. The Joukowsky Institute regularly hosts visiting students and faculty members, whose backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and skills enhance our intellectual and professional breadth and connections, as well as our social and cultural vitality. Our Postdoctoral Fellowship program, in particular, has become known internationally for providing an intellectual home for some of archaeology's most thoughtful and innovative young scholars.
A core aspect of the Joukowsky Institute's mission is outreach to the Providence and Rhode Island communities, in which we are based. The Institute is one of the founders of Think Like an Archaeologist, a program for 6th grade students in the Providence Public Schools, developed collaboration with RISD Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.
The Joukowsky Institute also runs an active field project, The Archaeology of College Hill, which introduces undergraduate students to archaeological excavation at sites in the immediate vicinity of Brown University. Each October, the Institute holds a Community Archaeology Day, in conjunction with the Archaeological Institute of America's International Archaeology Day and Brown University's Family Weekend. We sponsor a range of family-friendly activities for the general public, in our building and on-site at The Archaeology of College Hill's excavation.