Jeffrey Becker is a Mediterranean field archaeologist specializing in the archaeology of first millennium BC Italy and the architecture and urbanism of Italic cultures. Becker is involved with fieldwork in Italy and is presently one of the principal investigators of the Gabii Project in central Italy. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Becker has previously held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The College of William & Mary, Boston University, and McMaster University. He has also served as the assistant director of the Summer Program in Archaeology of the American Academy in Rome since 2009.
The development of urban centers in ancient Italy provides the focus for Becker’s research. He is especially interested in urbanism in the first millennium BC and in the morphology of civic architecture in Italo-Roman cities. Civic architecture is especially interesting in terms of the transmission of building types and techniques during the Roman conquest. Since civic structures largely define our notions of the Republican Roman city, a better understanding of these building types is essential to understanding the Republican city. Becker is in the process of developing his doctoral dissertation, which focused on middle Republican architecture and urbanism, into a monograph-length treatment.
Another particular area of interest is the architecture of villas in Italy during the Republican period. Work on the early villa site at Grottarossa provided the stepping off point for inquiry into the nature of early villa architecture and the role of early villas in Rome’s suburbium. A joint AIA-APA panel in 2007 focused on approaches to Republican villas and is soon to appear as a co-edited volume from the University of Michigan Press (viz. J. Becker and N. Terrenato, edd. Roman Republican Villas: Architecture, Context, and Ideology).
Fieldwork in Italy is also central to Becker’s research. He has experience working in different parts of Italy, including the Cecina Valley near Volterra and experience in and around Rome, including the northeast slope of the Palatine Hill. Since 2007 Becker has been a principal investigator with the Gabii Project, an archaeological initiative aimed at the excavation and publication of the Latin city of Gabii in central Italy. The Gabii Project conducted an extensive geophysical survey of the site in 2007 and 2008, revealing evidence for a quasi-orthogonal grid plan for the ancient city. Excavations commenced in 2009 and will enter their third season in 2011.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D., Classical archaeology, 2007.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.A., Classical archaeology, 2003.
Franklin & Marshall College, A.B., Classical archaeology and Latin, departmental honors, 1999.
Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies. Rome, Italy. Spring 1998.
Teaching at Brown
ARCH 0030 – Art in Antiquity: An Introduction
ARCH 0270 – Troy Rocks! The Archaeology of an Epic
ARCH 1150 – Urbanism in the Archaeological Record
ARCH 2620 – All Italia: City and Country in Ancient Italy