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Justin Leidwanger

Justin Leidwanger’s current research focuses on maritime landscapes and economic regionalism in Roman commerce. He earned his PhD in 2011 from the graduate group in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University, and a BA in Classics from Loyola University Chicago. Over the past decade, he has directed or participated in survey and excavation projects primarily off the coasts of Cyprus and Turkey, where he has recently been collaborating with Middle East Technical University and Brock University in investigating the Archaic through Late Roman harbors of Burgaz on the Datça peninsula. He is now developing a joint project that combines survey and excavation with maritime heritage education and museum and tourism development at the site of several wrecked Roman merchant craft off the coast of Sicily.

While at ISAW, Justin is engaged in mapping the development of small-scale “neighborhoods” of Roman maritime economic activity in the eastern Mediterranean. His book project draws primarily on intensive survey of shipwreck sites situated within the context of a GIS-driven model of Mediterranean seafaring that draws together wind patterns, sailing speeds, and paths between nodes of exchange. The study aims to add regional texture to the uniform blueness so often portrayed in studies of Mediterranean interconnectivity. An awareness of the unique socioeconomic insights offered by the underwater material record prompted his involvement in issues of ethical stewardship, responsible management, public involvement, and collaboration in maritime archaeological investigations. On this topic, he has co-organized a series of workshops and conferences in collaboration with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, where he is active as a Fellow, and co-authored recent articles in the American Journal of Archaeology, the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, and elsewhere