Current Projects

Erin Crowley-Champoux

PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology

As part of her dissertation, currently titled Cattle, Feasting, and the Rise of Early Ireland, Erin is analyzing the animal bones from Ninch, an archaeological site in County Meath, Ireland. This site, located on the Irish Sea coast 38km north of Dublin, was used for settlement, industrial activity, and burials from the 3rd-9th centuries AD. During the time that Ninch was occupied, cattle and dairy became crucial mediators of social and political interactions, though it is unclear quite why or how. Her larger dissertation project examines the role of cattle and dairy in social and economic life in the late Iron Age (1st-5th centuries AD) and Early Medieval (5th-10th centuries AD) Ireland. Because of its long occupation history, Ninch provides a longitudinal study of economic practices during this period. Reconstructing cattle husbandry during the late Iron Age-Early Medieval transition will shed light on the community and economic development of early Ireland.   

Loren Cowdry

Graduate student, Department of History

Currently working on a dissertation in history, provisionally titled An Empire of Cities: Imperialism, Administration, and Cities in Mid-Republican Rome. This project seeks to reconstruct the Roman Republic’s relationship with the cities of its empire during the period from the First Punic War until the death of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BCE. It was during this period that the foundation for Rome’s governance of its empire was first laid. Starting in the fifth century BCE, Rome had used local cities and colonies to secure its position in Italy as it expanded across the peninsula. This approach to controlling space via cities was refined with Rome’s acquisition of overseas territory in Sicily and Iberia. Cities, such as Carthago Nova, Syracuse, Lilybaion, and Fregellae, facilitated local administration and, in the process, maintained Rome’s power in the area. Thus, it was the cities that maintained the Roman empire and shaped Roman imperialism. Understanding how Rome approached the task of maintaining its empire and power during the late third and second century is critical as these practices shaped how Rome governed its empire until the seventh century CE.