From the Director

Alexander Jones
Leon Levy Director and Professor of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity

This article first appeared in ISAW Newsletter 22 (Fall 2018).

Fall is the season associated with harvest, and this issue of the ISAW Newsletter is a cornucopia filled with articles exhibiting the abundance of our institute’s research and programming. The range is astonishing, whether considered from the point of view of time—from the Bronze Age through the late first millennium CE—or space—from the north of Roman Gaul, where a cult site of Mercury attracted the dazzling hoard of silver objects at the heart of our new exhibition Devotion and Decadence (pp. 4-5), by way of the Egyptian Fayum and Cappadocia, where archaeological work is casting light on ancient local economies (pp. 7 and 8), to the Indus Valley, where Islam first confronted the cultures of India (p. 6).

There is another respect in which this issue brings out ISAW’s range, namely the career stages of the people doing this wonderful research. ISAW’s students and postdoctoral scholars are not so much apprentices as junior colleagues of our faculty, with their own fascinating projects and publications. In addition to Emily Cole’s fieldwork in Egypt, we have an advance peek into an interdisciplinary conference on neighborhood life in ancient cities co-organized by another of our Visiting Assistant Professors, Andrew Dufton (p. 14). And alongside Lorenzo Castellano’s soon-to-be-published work on structures for crop storage at Kınık Höyük, we feature two other advanced students, Maria Americo and Andrea Trameri, who have been awarded fellowships by the Graduate School of Arts and Science as they finish dissertations that are again poles apart in time and methodology: ninth-century CE astronomical texts in Arabic that draw on the legacy of Greek science, and the Bronze Age buffer state of Kizzuwatna (p. 9).

We have a full slate of public events this Fall (pp. 5, 13, and 15); I hope you will be able to join us for some of them!