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).