Elizabeth Murphy

Visiting Assistant Professor 2014-16

Elizabeth Murphy holds a PhD in Archaeology and the Ancient World from Brown University (2014), a MA in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (2007), and a BA in Anthropology from Arizona State University (2004).  Her research interests concern the study of ancient crafts production, embedded economic practice, technology, and labor, while her technical specializations are centered on excavation, material culture studies, and ethnoarchaeology.  Her fieldwork at the site of Sagalassos (SW Turkey) has investigated crafts production during the Roman and late Antique periods of the city through the excavation of workshop buildings, furnaces, and production infrastructure, as well as through the analysis of associated material culture (tools, finished products, raw materials, and production waste). This research is serving to reconstruct daily work practices and the organization of artisanal labor in the city.  In addition to work on civilian industries, Elizabeth is developing a comparative study of legionary crafts production investigating the extent to which production at different locations may have been centrally organized by military institutions, influenced by craft traditions maintained within local networks of soldiers, or impacted by traditions associated with local civilian groups.

Elizabeth’s research project at ISAW, “At the Intersection of Work, Economy, and Society: A cross-industry analysis of production, labor, and work in the Roman eastern Mediterranean”, investigates workshops from the Roman imperial (1st -3rd c. AD) and late Roman (4th – 6th c. AD) periods in order to unravel how diversity is expressed in production practice and labor organization across industries and the extent to which they represent patterned decision-making strategies influenced by structural features of Roman economy and society.

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