As the Joukowsky Institute enters its twelfth year of teaching and research, our website has long served us very well, and it is a measure of its quality that the new version is in many ways an update and upgrade rather than a fundamental revision. Most of all, the sandstone wreath from the Great Temple in Petra, which has become the Institute’s iconic logo, continues to take the place of pride in the headline banner. The need for a technical overhaul of the site, however, has also offered us the opportunity to streamline and expand the site as a whole, and I am confident that the new or rather updated site will in turn serve us well for a long time to come. I would like to thank our Assistant Director, Sarah Sharpe, for guiding and seeing through the process to its present successful conclusion, which from now on will now grace your screens.

The new academic year is also the time that we welcome new colleagues to the Institute. They include two postdoctoral fellows, a visiting assistant professor, three graduate students, one faculty fellow and one visiting scholar. Please join me to welcome our new postdoctoral fellows: Eva Mol, a graduate of Leiden University joins us from Chicago to teach and research prehistoric and classical-period archaeology; Carl Walsh was awarded his Ph.D. at University College London, from where has moved to bring his expertise in East Mediterranean and Near Eastern prehistory to our classrooms. Katia Schörle earned her doctorate at Oxford before moving to the universities of Nice and Marseille. She will now teach Roman archaeology at the Institute as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and has taken up the role of Assistant Editor with the Journal of Roman Archaeology, as part of the collaboration established between the journal and the Institute.

Our graduate ranks have been strengthened by three new students who come with quite different backgrounds and interests: Rachel Kallisher was awarded her degree by the university of Florida, where she specialized in funerary archaeology and human osteology; she has worked extensively in the Middle East. Kelly Ann Moss studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is interested in ancient crafts, ceramics in particular; she has carried out fieldwork in both Greece and Arizona. Anna Soifer graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and has focused her research and fieldwork on ancient Italy, Etruria in particular.

Two inaugural faculty fellows joined the Institute last year, and I am pleased to present Bathsheba Demuth as our latest Joukowsky Institute Faculty Fellow. Bathsheba is Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society, and brings a formidable expertise in environmental  history.

The Joukowsky Institutes yearly hosts a number of graduate and faculty visiting scholars, and this year I am pleased to welcome Benjamin Alberti. He is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Framingham State University, and he will spend his sabbatical as a visiting scholar at the Institute.

After well over three months of calm and quiet in the hall and corridors of Rhode Island Hall, as most of us spent weeks and months in the field, I am pleased to welcome everybody back to the Joukowsky Institute. What we did with and in our summers is not only the topic of much talk but also the title of ongoing slideshow outside Rhode Island Hall's Lecture Hall that illustrates precisely that. Quick but incisive insights into the achievements of half a dozen of Institute field projects will moreover be presented at a fresh edition of  Field Dirt, to be held on Wednesday, September 20.

As the new academic year gets underway, I wish everyone a fruitful, interesting, stimulating and successful time with great discoveries, large and small, and educational and intellectual!

Peter van Dommelen
Director, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World