Mariana Castro

Second Year

Mariana Castro received a BA with Honors in Archaeology and Asian Studies from Brigham Young University, where she focused on Classical and Chinese history, languages, and archaeology. During her Master's degree at the University of Oxford—which she attended as an Ertegun Scholar—Mariana enriched her knowledge of the Hellenistic and Roman periods and received a Distinction for effectively engaging with the fields of landscape and frontier archaeology, geographical information systems, and site management and protection. Her MPhil dissertation, entitled "The Function of the Roman Army in Southern Arabia Petraea" (Archeopress 2018) was done in cooperation with the EAMENA and APAAME Oxford-based projects and used a variety of digital resources to map and model the ancient system of fortifications, settlements, and trade routes.

At ISAW, Mariana focuses on the archaeology of connectivity and mobility, modern approaches to ancient globalization, and the modus operandi of long-distance trade in pre-islamic Western Asia - specifically the trade of turquoise. Besides her academic experience, she has participated in numerous archaeological field projects in the United States, Belize, Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Iraq, and Egypt, most directly concerning long-distance trade and exchange. Currently, Mariana is also deeply invested in the interaction between academia, museums, and governments, and seeks ways to better integrate digital technologies, cultural heritage studies, and international development into her archaeological and museum practices.