Emily S. K. Anderson
Senior Lecturer, Classics and History of Art
Emily Anderson’s research and fieldwork primarily concern the material and visual cultures of the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age with a focus on the ways in which objects are involved in the relations, negotiations and unfolding of sociocultural life. Particular studies examine corpora of material that range in context from Early Minoan Crete to the Mycenaean sphere of interaction during the Late Bronze Age. She received her PhD in Archaeology from Yale University (2009), preceded by an MPhil from Yale and a BA with honors in Old World Archaeology and Art from Brown University.
Dr. Anderson’s first book, Seals, Craft and Community in Bronze Age Crete (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines a group of stamp seals from the transitional Early-to-Middle Minoan period on Crete that are both engraved with the island’s earliest glyptic iconography and fashioned of imported hippopotamus ivory. The book investigates the implications of these novel aspects of the objects, considering how the imagery engraved on the seals developed practically and symbolically, and how that relates to their prominent use of a rare imported raw material. By embedding these extraordinary objects within the broader context of the time, Dr. Anderson further examines how the seals are but one element of a process of social and spatial “incorporation” on the island, as the nature and scale of persons’ relations to one another were fundamentally reformulated. This study consequently considers various dimensions of social experience and action, from fine-scale handwork of semi-itinerant craftspersons to performative displays at public gatherings, from the forging of footpaths linking distant communities to the development of shared symbolic forms.
Dr. Anderson has been working on field projects in the Aegean for more than a decade and a half, focusing on archaeological excavation, survey, and illustration. These projects have ranged in locale from Crete to the Greek mainland, covering periods from the Final Neolithic to the early Classical and centering primarily on the Early–Late Bronze Age. She is part of the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP), which excavates the Mycenaean town of Eleon (directed by B. Burke, U. Victoria and B. Burns, Wellesley).
Dr. Anderson’s teaching at Hopkins spans the societies and cultures of the early Aegean and eastern Mediterranean, as well as the theoretical/interpretive topics through which we seek to gain insights into past human experience. In recent years she has taught courses such as: Craft and Craftspersons of the Ancient World; Gender and Sexuality in Early Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean; Past is Present: Cultural Heritage and Global Politics; The Art and Archaeology of Early Greece; Making Identities: How Archaeology Constructs People in the Past and Present; and Archaeology at the Crossroads: the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean through Objects in the JHU Archaeology Museum. She frequently incorporates the Johns Hopkins Archaeology Museum and other area museums into her teaching and believes strongly that giving students the opportunity to engage directly with ancient material culture fundamentally alters the ways they approach and question past cultures.
“Inscribing Social Relations on Early Crete: Iconography, Craft and Pilgrimage.” In K. McFarland and E. Johannesson eds., Untangling the Intangible: Reconstructing Ideologies, Beliefs, and Religion in the Past. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. forthcoming 2017.
“Connecting with Selves and Others: Varieties of Community-Making across Late Prepalatial Crete.” In S. Cappel, U. Günkel-Maschek, and D. Panagiotopoulos eds., Minoan Archaeology, Challenges and Perspectives for the 21st Century. Louvain: Aegis, Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2015: 199–211.
“Re-Embodying Identity: Seals and Seal Impressions as Agents of Social Change on Late Prepalatial Crete.” In J. Englehardt ed., The Archaeology of Agency in Ancient Writing. University Press of Colorado, 2013: 115-138.
“Signs in Human Hands: a Model for the Intonated Object.” In Y. Rowan ed., Beyond Belief: The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, vol. 19. University of California Press, 2012: 166-179.
“Through Vessels of Embodied Action: Approaching Ritual Experience and Cultural Interaction through Late Mycenaean Rhyta.” In G. W. M. Harrison and J. Francis eds., Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: The Diniacopoulos Collection. Concordia University, 2011: 73-88.
"Difference on a Common Ground: The Parading Lions Seal Group and Collective Action on Late Prepalatial Crete.” In S. Morton and D. Butler eds., It’s Good To Be King: The Archaeology of Power and Authority, 2011: 199-212.