Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology is a fully supported graduate program at Bryn Mawr and part of the The
Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics and History of Art.
Each of these departments has
a distinguished tradition and strong national standing, and interdisciplinary
study is encouraged by the faculty, promoting a strong sense of community
and collegiality among the graduate students. The graduate
curriculum, which stresses both breadth and depth of study, has prepared
for successful careers in a variety of fields, including teaching,
research, publishing, and work in museums and foundations.
The department traces its origins to the founding of the College in 1885. It assumed its status as an independent department in 1914 with the appointment of Rhys Carpenter, after whom the art and archaeology library (Rhys Carpenter Library), which received an award-winning new building in 1997, is named. Its approximately 125,000 volumes and 500 periodical titles support research in archaeology, history of art, classics, and urban studies. Additional materials relating to these fields are held in Canaday Library, the main library of the College, which also houses the collection of rare books and manuscripts. The archaeological collection, built steadily since the nineteenth century, attracts research scholars in archaeology from around the world. The department also shares with the programs in art history and urban studies an exceptionally large and diverse collection of images that is used for teaching and seminars.
The department has always been active in fieldwork that has provided training grounds and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Excavation projects that are presently in the stage of publication are Gritille in Turkey (Richard Ellis) and the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project in Greece (James Wright). A recent initiative is the Tarsus Regional Project, jointly sponsored by Bryn Mawr College and Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, including the investigation of the Gözlü Kule mound at Tarsus and its vicinity; a regional survey and geomorphological examination are being undertaken in preparation for excavation. Peter Magee is co-director of the Akra Excavation in North West Frontier Province, Pakistan, and director of the Australian Excavation at Muweilah in the United Arab Emirates. The Ella Riegel Memorial Study Collection holds an excellent and diverse teaching collection of material in many media that permits students to work first hand on such objects as coins, Near Eastern seals, Greek and Roman pottery, and prehistoric and historic pottery from much of the Mediterranean area, including specific collections from individual excavated sites.
Mawr has long held a leading place in classical and Near Eastern
archaeology. It was among the first institutions in the United
States to recognize the field as an independent area of study
by establishing a department
of classical archaeology and providing extensive library and photographic
resources. Bryn Mawr students have had the benefit of being
by some of the most distinguished archaeologists in the country in
a variety of specialties both in the classroom and in the field.
Through a cooperative arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, students in the three institutions may take courses at the others. At Temple courses are offered in the Department of Art History, and at Penn in several departments, including Oriental Languages, Art History, Classics, and Anthropology. Penn also offers special facilities at the University Museum, with its exceptional world-wide collection of archaeological and ethnographic materials. Within reasonable distance are also the facilities of Princeton University, the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, in Baltimore, the Walters Art Museum.