Susan E. Alcock Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Classics, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Professor of Anthropology, Director of Early Cultures

Sue Alcock is a classical archaeologist, with interests in the material culture of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia, particularly in Hellenistic and Roman times. Much of her research to date has revolved around themes of landscape, imperialism, sacred space, and memory. She is currently conducting fieldwork at and around the site of Petra in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

research overview

Sue Alcock is a classical archaeologist, with interests in the material culture of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia, particularly in Hellenistic and Roman times. Much of her research to date has revolved around themes of landscape, imperialism, sacred space, and memory. Her fieldwork has, until recently, taken the form of regional investigations in Greece and Armenia, but she is now co-director of the Brown University Petra Archaeological Project - (BUPAP) - in southern Jordan.

research statement

She was trained, at Yale and at the University of Cambridge, in the field of classical archaeology — that is the archaeology of the circum-Mediterranean world. Her research interests chiefly target the material culture of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia, particularly in Hellenistic and Roman times. She has also worked on the long-term history of Messenia (southern Greece), the homeland of the famed 'helots' of antiquity. Much of her research to date has revolved around themes of landscape, imperialism, sacred space, and memory. Her work attempts to straddle the usual divide of 'historian' and 'archaeologist.'

For most of her career, her fieldwork was located in Greece, and typically has taken the form of regional investigations. She is a proponent of the relatively new methodology of systematic pedestrian survey, and has pioneered the employment of this type of archaeological evidence to answer historical questions. Her fieldwork includes the urban survey of Phlius in the northeast Peloponnese (as part of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project) and co-directorship of the Pylos Regional Archaeological Project (in Messenia, southwestern Greece) and of the Vorotan Project in Armenia.

In 2010, Alcock launched the first season of the Brown University Petra Archaeological Project (BUPAP), a multi-disciplinary archaeological research project designed to understand the development of Petra and its surrounding landscapes diachronically, throughout the region and at multiple individual sites.

funded research

To 2000:

  • 2012 Curtiss T. & Mary G. Brennan Foundation Grant: Brown University Petra Archaeological Project 2012 Season ($5,000)
  • 2011-2012 Loeb Classical Library Foundation Grant: Brown University Petra Archaeological Project 2011 Season ($20,000)
  • 2011-2012 Curtiss T. & Mary G. Brennan Foundation Grant: Brown University Petra Archaeological Project 2011 Season ($5,000)
  • 2011-2013 Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: Animal Magnetism: The Emotional Ecology of Animals and Humans, Susan E. Alcock, John Bodel, and Stephen Houston, co-PIs ($175,000)
  • 2011-2012 Seed Fund Award for International Research in Global Humanities, Office of International Affairs, Brown University: Urban Cultural Heritage & Creative Practice, Susan E. Alcock, Steven Lubar, and Rebecca Schneider, co-PIs ($50,000)
  • 2011-2012 Getty Summer Institute Grant, Getty Foundation: The Arts of Rome's Provinces, Susan E. Alcock and Natalie Boymel Kampen, co-PIs ($415,000)
  • 2011— Special projects grant, Office of the President, Brown University: Partners for a New Beginning – Heritage as Bridge, Susan E. Alcock and Matthew Gutmann, co-PIs ($25,000)
  • 2010 International Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award, Office of the Dean of College, Brown University: Supervising Undergraduate Student Harrison Stark, 2010 ($3,500)
  • 2009-2012 Research Seed Funding Award, Office of the Vice-President for Research, Brown University: Material Matters: A Collaboration Between Archaeology and Engineering, Susan E. Alcock and Brian W. Sheldon, co-PIs, 2009-2010 ($80,000)
  • 2007 Internationalization Seed Grant, Office of International Affairs, Brown University: Anglo-Americans Antiquarians and Early Modern Science ($10,000)
  • 2007 Lecturers Fund Grant, Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Brown University: Highways and Byways in the Pre-modern World, John Bodel, co-PI ($5,000)
  • 2006-2007 National Geographic Society Grant No. 8052-06: Vorotan Project, Southern Armenia, 2006 Season, Susan E. Alcock and John F. Cherry, co-PIs ($19,909)
  • 2006 National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (#8052-06; $19,909)
  • 2005 Office of the Vice President of Research, Preliminary and Small Scale Projects, The University of Michigan ($15,000)
  • 2005 Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund ($8000)
  • 2004 Rackham Discretionary Funds; Department of Classical Studies Discretionary Funds; Office of the Vice President of Research Small Grants for Major Conference Research, The University of Michigan for support of 'The Edge of Roman Dining: a symposium in honor of John H. D'Arms'
  • 2004 Kelsey Fieldwork Fund, The University of Michigan ($2500)
  • 2001-02 Office of the Vice President of Research Small Grants for Major Conference Research; Rackham Discretionary Funds, Kelsey Museum Discretionary Fund, Department of Classical Studies, The University of Michigan, for support of an international workshop, 'Side-by-Side Survey: Comparative Perspectives in Mediterranean Regional Studies'
  • 2000-2002 Co-Principal Investigator, 'Spatial Analysis and the Archaeology of Old World Civilizations,' Spatial Analyses and GIS Initiative, The University of Michigan (ca. $65,000)