Core Staff

  • Administrative Coordinator

  • Director of the Program in Early Cultures, Associate Professor of Classics

    Amy Russell, Director of the Program in Early Cultures, is a Roman political and cultural historian, with a particular interest in architecture, urbanism, and space. She is currently working on a monograph on the building activity of the imperial Senate, part of a larger project on the contributions of multiple social groups to imperial imagery and ideology.

  • Academic Program Manager, Program in Early Cultures


    Sarah Sharpe is Academic Program Manager for the Program in Early Cultures, and the Assistant Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. Prior to coming to Brown University, she was Director of Finance and Grants Management at Real Art Ways, a community arts center in Hartford, Connecticut, as well as a mediator and facilitator.

Steering Committee

  • Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World and Egyptology and Assyriology, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture

    Laurel Bestock's research focuses on the material culture of the Nile Valley and on archaeological methodology and recording technology. She is particularly interested in kingship, monumentality, the contexts and audiences for art and architecture, and cultural interactions. She co-directs an excavation in the Sudan with Christian Knoblauch (Austrian Academy of Science).

  • John Bodel

    W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics, Professor of History

    John Bodel studies ancient Roman social, economic, and cultural history and Latin literature, especially of the empire. Much of his research involves inscriptions, and he has special interests in Roman religion, slavery, funerals and burial customs, ancient writing systems, the editing of Latin epigraphic and literary texts, and Latin prose authors. Since 1995, he has directed the U.S.

  • Associate Professor of History & Classics

    Jonathan P. Conant's research focuses on the inter-regional integration of the Mediterranean and the transition from antiquity to the middle ages.

  • Susan Ashbrook Harvey

    Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of History and Religion, Department of Religious Studies

    Susan Ashbrook Harvey specializes in late antique and Byzantine Christianity, with Syriac studies as her particular focus. She has published widely on topics relating to asceticism, hagiography, women and gender, hymnography, homiletics, and piety in late antique Christianity.

  • Dupee Family Professor of Social Science, Department of Anthropology

    Stephen Houston's research interests include archaeology; kingship and court systems; body concepts in antiquity; writing systems; epigraphy and decipherment; architecture and urbanism; Classic Maya; South America; Europe. He is concluding excavations at the Classic Maya city of El Zotz, Guatemala, and has finished five seasons of work at the ruins of Piedras Negras, Guatemala.

  • Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture

    Jeffrey Moser’s research attends, broadly, to the conceptual and material processes whereby past things are made present, with particular attention to the ways in which these processes intersect in the artistic practices and scholarly techne of medieval China.

  • Associate Professor of Egyptology and Assyriology

    Matthew Rutz works in the field of Assyriology, the interdisciplinary study of texts written in the cuneiform ("wedge-shaped") writing system from ancient Mesopotamia, traditionally the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (present-day Iraq, Syria, and Turkey).

  • Andrew Scherer

    Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World

    Andrew Scherer is an anthropological archaeologist and biological anthropologist with a geographic focus in Mesoamerica (Maya). He co-directs an interdisciplinary archaeological research project that is exploring Classic Maya polities along the Usumacinta River in Mexico.

  • Parker VanValkenburgh

    Associate Professor of Anthropology

    Parker VanValkenburgh's research and publications employ archaeological methods to address anthropological research questions, with a particular focus on the long-term impacts of colonialism and imperialism on Indigenous people and environments in Andean Peru.