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May 12, 2005



Lisa Mallen with Colleagues on a dig in Sicily

Read about other 2005-06 Fulbright winners from Bryn Mawr:

Lisa Mallen, a Ph.D. candidate in classical and Near Eastern archaeology, will get a solid start on her dissertation research in Greece next year with the help of a Fulbright-Hays grant. The award, worth about $21,000, will cover travel and living expenses as well as tuition for a year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, which offers advanced graduate students an intensive survey of the art, archaeology, history and topography of Greece.

After completing the American School's program, Mallen plans to concentrate on research for her dissertation, which will focus on identity in Dark Age (c. 1050-800 B.C.E.) Greece. "I'm looking for archaeological correlates for identity, especially in the mortuary record — evidence of social relationships and affiliations that are apparent in burials.

"I want to see whether and how an Athenian identity might have survived an individual's move to another city," Mallen explains. "I can test this by looking at burials in Lefkandi because Athens and Lefkandi had different burial conventions. In Athens, bodies were cremated and the ashes buried in the ground with grave goods in a pit-and-trench system. In Lefkandi, burials contain grave goods, but no human remains. An Athenian-style burial in Lefkandi can be interpreted as evidence that someone who moved from Athens to Lefkandi retained an Athenian identity at death. I'll also be looking for gender differences in political and social identity patterns — I expect all of the Athenian burials in Lefkandi to be male."

Mallen will look at existing excavations in Lefkandi and Knossos, and she also hopes to join a new excavation at Lefkandi, which has recently been reopened to excavation after a hiatus of about 15 years.

Mallen, who says that she has been fascinated by archaeology since elementary school, has considerable field experience. As an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University, she joined digs in Georgia and Pennsylvania. At a site in Tennessee, she served as a contract archaeologist, part of a team that examined a site prior to major construction, to ensure that important archaeological evidence was not destroyed. She also excavated in Pompeii, near Tel Aviv and in Mendes, Egypt. As a graduate student, she spent two summers on a dig in Monte Polizzo, Sicily.

A native of Yardley, Pa., Mallen graduated from Penn State in 2000 with a B.A. in classics. She came to Bryn Mawr in the fall of 2002 after spending a year teaching Latin and Greek at the Princeton Latin Academy; during this time she also worked on the reinstallation of the Roman and Etruscan galleries at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She hopes, as part of a career in teaching and research, to establish a field school for undergraduates.

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