Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies. 2016-
Office: Library Tower (LT) 503
Research Interests Courses Taught Education Teaching Awards and Grants Teaching Development Grants Research Awards and Fellowships Current Monograph Co-edited Monograph Publications Conference Presentations Invited Lectures
- The University of Mississippi. Assistant Professor of Classics. 2012-2016.
- Davidson College, Department of Classics. Visiting Assistant Professor. 2010-2012.
- American Academy in Rome, Summer Program in Archaeology. Assistant Director. 2010.
- Oberlin College, Department of Classics. Visiting Assistant Professor. 2009-2010.
- Washington and Lee University, Department of Classics. Visiting Assistant Professor. 2008-2009.
- The College of William & Mary, Department of Classical Studies. Visiting Assistant Professor. 2007-2008.
Ancient economy; economy of Roman pigments; ancient warfare; archaeological ethics; Latin and Etruscan epigraphy.
(Some of the courses taught include): Latin at all levels; Roman economy; Roman archaeology; Greek archaeology; Etruscan archaeology; Ancient art; Ancient warfare; Archaeological Ethics: Who Owns the Past; Daily Life in Greece and Rome; Eternal Cities: Rome and Pompeii; Ancient Italy in Context (course taught in Rome); Materials Matter (focusing on pigments), co-taught with a physicist.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology, May
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. M.A. in Classical Archaeology, May 2002.
Bryn Mawr College, A.B. magna cum laude with departmental honors, May 1999. Major: Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology; Minor: Latin.
- Humanities Teacher of the Year, University of Mississippi. 2015.
- Cora Lee Graham Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen. 2015. University of Mississippi. (One awarded annually).
- Random Acts of Kindness Award from the Student Alumni Council. University of Mississippi. 2015.
- Professor Props, “Favorite Mentor Nominee”. Nominated by first-year students at Oberlin College. 2010.
- P. Smart, V. Imbruce, H. Becker, G. Ersan, M. Poliks, L. Piper, and M. Bolt. "Humanities Connections." National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Promotion of the Humanities_Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development. (AKB-260492-18). 2018-2021.
- SUNY IITG (The Innovative Instruction Transformation Team), for development of a team taught course for development of a team taught course "Materials Matter". 2017.
- 2017-2018 Material and Visual Worlds Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence Seed Grant Award, "Bridging Science and Technology with an Interactive Digital Platform" for "Materials Matter". Binghamton University.
- Faculty Summer Stipend Competition for a Course Development Grant for ""Who Owns the Past?": Ethics in Archaeology." Sally Barksdale Honors College, University of Mississippi. Summer 2013. This grant also allowed additional funds to cover the travel and lodging of 13 students and myself for a week in New York City.
- Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship 2018–19. Two course release. Spring 2019.
- The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) Faculty Fellowship at Binghamton University. One course release. Fall 2018.
- Dean's research semester award, Harpur College, Binghamton University. Fall 2017.
- NEH Summer Stipend for book project, “Commerce in Color”. Summer 2016.
- Franklin Research Grant for book project and research travel, “Commerce in Color”. American Philosopical Society. Summer and winter 2016.
- National Science Foundation Grant. “State Formation and Urbanization in EIA Rome: Investigating the Role of the Exchange and Human-Environment Interactions.” Co-principal Investigator, Area Sacra di Sant’Omobono Project, Rome. 2013-2015. Grant no. 1259122.
- The Arthur and Joyce Gordon Fellowship in Latin epigraphy at the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies at The Ohio State University. July 2014.
- Summer Research Grant from the Liberal Arts College, University of Mississippi. Summer 2013 and 2014.
- Faculty Travel Support, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Mississippi. Summer 2013; Fall 2013; Fall 2014; Fall 2015.
- Archaeological Institute of America. Society Outreach grant for an event (Davidson chapter). Spring 2012.
- Dean Rusk Grant for International Travel. Davidson College. Summer 2011. $1,000.
- Faculty Study & Research Award. Davidson College. Summer 2011. $1,500.
- H. H. Powers Grant for Summer Travel. Oberlin College. Summer 2010. $2,200.
- Etruscan Foundation Research Fellowship. ($7,500 to support a reinvestigation of the archaeological materials from the ‘Area Sacra di S. Omobono’). 2009-2010.
- Dissertation Completion Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2005-2006.
- Timothy P. Mooney Fellowship, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2004-2005.
- Fulbright Full Grant to Italy for 2004-2005.
Commerce in color: the mechanics of the Roman pigment trade (manuscript in preparation).
2009. Co-editor with M. Gleba, Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion. Leiden: Brill.
- Forthcoming. "Evidence for Etruscan archives: Tracking the epigraphic habit in tombs, the sacred sphere, and at home." In Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context. Accordia and the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London.
- Forthcoming 2019. "The political dynamics of Etruscan city-states." In Blackwell Companion to Leadership in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean World. Edited by S. Ferrario and N. Sandridge.
- Forthcoming 2019. "Color Technology and Trade," in Cultural History of Color, a six volume series with one volume dedicated to ancient color. Carole Biggam and Kirsten Wolf, general editors; David Wharton, editor of the antiquity volume. Bloomsbury Publishing.
- Forthcoming 2019. "Grading for color: Pliny's hierarchy of pigment quality." Materiality in Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Edited by A. Anguissola. Brepols.
- 2017. “Economy in the Archaic and Classical Periods, 580-450 BC” In Handbook of Etruscology. Edited b,y A. Naso. Berlin: de Gruyter.
- 2017. “Economy in the Late Classical and Hellenistic Periods, 450-250 BC” In Handbook of Etruscology. Edited by A. Naso. Berlin: de Gruyter.
- 2017. “Economy in Etruria and Rome, 250-89 BC. In Handbook of Etruscology. Edited by A. Naso. Berlin: d,e Gruyter.
- 2016. "Additions to the corpus of the mason's marks at S. Omobono" In Ricerche nell'area dei templi di Fortuna e Mater Matuta, I. Edited by P. Brocato and N. Terrenato. Collana del Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti. Cosenza.
- 2016. “Roman women in the urban economy: occupations, social connections, and gendered exclusions,” In Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World. Edited by J. Turfa and S. Budin, 915-931. London: Routledge.
- 2016. “Luxuria prolapsa est: Etruscan wealth and decadence,” In Blackwell Companion to the Etruscans. Edited by A. Carpino and S. Bell. London: Blackwell, 293-303.
- 2013. R. Beeston and H. Becker. “Investigation of Ancient Roman Pigments by Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Polarized Light Microscopy” In Archaeological Chemistry VIII. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. Edited by R. A. Armitage and J. Burton, 19–41. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society.
- 2013. “Etruscan Political Systems and Law.” In The Etruscan World. Edited by J. Turfa, 351-72. London: Routledge.
- 2012. “The current state of artifacts excavated at S. Omobono and a reappraisal of previously excavated materials.” In Internet Archaeology.
- 2010. “The Written Word and Proprietary Inscriptions in Etruria.” Etruscan Studies 13: 131-48.
- 2009. “The economic agency of the Etruscan temple: Elites, dedications and display.” In Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion. Edited by M. Gleba and H. Becker, 87-99. Leiden: Brill, 2009.
- 2008. “Urbs, oppidum, castellum, vicus: settlement differentiation and landscape nomenclature in Etruria.” In La città murata in Etruria: XXVth Convegno di Studi Etruschi ed Italici, Chianciano Terme, Sarteano, Chiusi, 30 marzo-3 aprile 2005: in memoria di Massimo Pallottino. Edited by G. Camporeale, 73-80. Pisa: F. Serra.
- 2002-2003 . “The Etruscan castellum: fortified settlements and regional autonomy in Etruria.” Etruscan Studies 9: 85-95.
- "Ars pigmentorum: Roman painters and their knowledge of the properties of pigments.", "Archaeological Chemistry: Art and Archaeology in the Ancient and Medieval World." Conference of the American Chemical Society. Orlando, Fl. April 1st 2019.
- H. Becker, T. Rutkowski, V. G. Ersan, P. Smart, V. Imbruce, M. Poliks, and L. Piper. "Material Matter: Exploring ancient pigments in the classroom," at the symposium, "Archaeological Chemistry: Art and Archaeology in the Ancient and Medieval World." Conference of the American Chemical Society. Orlando, Fl. March 31st 2019.
- "Mapping the colors of the Roman empire: the scientific investigation of the Roman trade in pigments," International Conference on Techniques, Measurements & Materials in Art & Archaeology 2018. December 11th 2018. Jerusalem, Israel.
- H. Becker and Monica Ceci (Soprintendenza di Roma Capitale). "Le botteghe dei colori e la scelta dei pigmenti nel mondo romano." Picta Fragmenta. Rileggendo La Pittura Vesuviana. National Archaeological Museum. Naples, Italy. September 12th-16th, 2018.
- "Commerce in color: product choice in pigments at the Roman marketplace," in the panel ""Shops, workshops and urban economic history in the Roman world." 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology (AIAC), primary theme: "Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World". Cologne/Bonn. May 25th, 2018.
- Valerie Imbruce, V. G. Ersan, P. Smart, M. Poliks, H. Becker, T. Rutkowski, and L. Piper. "Materials Matter: Integrating Science and Humanities to Innovate Undergraduate Education." 27th Annual Conference on Instruction & Technology (CIT 2018), SUNY. May 24th, 2018. SUNY Cortland.
- "Painting Pompeii: the commercial exchange of Roman pigments," at the Symposium Campanum 2017 Recent Work in Vesuvian Lands: New Projects, Practices, and Approaches. Cumae, Italy. October 4th-8th, 2017.
- "Caveat emptor: adulterated drugs in the ancient market place," at the conference, "Disease and the Ancient world." Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. September 21-23 2017.
- "Branding the Mediterranean: Naturally-sourced products and their containers in Greece and Rome," Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Vancouver, Canada. March 30, 2017.
- “Inscribed Etruscan helmets: mapping function and meaning for the Etruscan soldier,” International Ancient Warfare Conference 2016. Gothenburg, Sweden. June 28-30, 2016.
- “Roman pigments and the trade in naturally sourced products,” Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Orlando, FL. April 9, 2016.
- “Pigment Prices: Costs, Fraud, and the Concerns of Roman Pigmentarii,” in the panel "The Economics and Logistics of Roman Art and Architecture" at the 117th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. San Francisco, CA. January 7, 2016.
- “Communal standards: Coinage and weight systems in Etruria,” at the research workshop, “Monetization in the Ancient World”. University of Auckland. Auckland, New Zealand. August 26, 2014.
- “The Changing Face of South Etruria: the Romanization of infrastructure at Caere and Tarquinia,” in the panel “New synergies? The impact of the Roman conquest of Italy on settlement and society” at the Eleventh Roman Archaeology Conference (RAC). University of Reading. Reading, England. March 28th 2014.
- “Boundaries and integration: the social, political, and sacral mechanics of Etruscan markets,” at “Frontiers in the Iron Age Archaeology of Europe” hosted by Magdalene College and the McDonald Institute, Cambridge. September 20th-22nd, 2013.
- Beeston, R. and Becker, H. “Roman Rainbow: Investigation of Ancient Pigments by Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Polarized Light Microscopy.” National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, LA. April 8, 2013.
- “Colors and Commerce: Pigment Shops in the Ancient World,” co-presented with Laura Wilke (Oberlin ’10) at the 112th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. San Antonio, TX. January 08, 2011.
- “Group identity and the preservation of kinship-based memory in Etruria,” at “Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context” hosted by Accordia and the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London. London. September 22, 2010.
- “The ethos of the warrior in Etruscan society,” at the Eighth Roman Archaeology Conference (RAC). Ann Arbor, MI. April 5, 2009.
- “Public, Private and Clan Property in Etruria,” at the 110th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. Philadelphia, PA. January 10, 2009.
- “Family Identity and Promotion in Etruria,” at “Communicating identity in Italic Iron Age communities.” National Museum of Denmark. Copenhagen, Denmark. October 23-24, 2008.
- “Family Identity and Heraldic Signs in Etruria,” at the 109th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. Chicago, IL. January 4, 2008.
- “The Economic Agency of the Etruscan Temple: Elites, Dedications and Display,” at “Unveiling Etruscan Ritual”. Philadelphia, PA. November 17, 2007.
- “The Case for Etruscan Markets,” at the 108th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. San Diego, CA. January 7, 2007.
- “Charismatic power and the private armies of Rome and Etruria: condottieri, bella privata, and mercenaries,” at the 138th meeting of the American Philological Association. San Diego, CA. January 6, 2007.
- “Urbs, oppidum, castellum, vicus: settlement differentiation and landscape nomenclature in Etruria,” at “La città murata in Etruria,” XXVth Convegno di Studi Etruschi ed Italici. Chianciano Terme, Italy. March 30, 2005.
- “You can take it with you: economic implications of elite funerary consumption at Chiusi,” at the 106th meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. Boston, MA. January 7, 2005.
- “Roman roads as indices of Romanization in Southern and Northern Etruria,” at “The Etruscans and the Others,” colloquium of the U.S. Section of the Istituto di Studi Etruschi ed Italici. New York City. April 2-3, 2004.
- “The Etruscan castellum: fortified settlements and regional autonomy in Etruria,” at the “Etruscans Now Conference,” The British Museum. December 9-11, 2002.
- “Place names: landscape nomenclature in Etruria,” at “Place and Space: Creation of Setting in the Roman World,” McMaster University. September 28, 2002.
- “The Etruscan castellum: fortified settlements and regional autonomy in Etruria,” at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. Austin, TX. April 6, 2002.
- "A Roman buyers guide to pigments," lecture and panel discussion for the exhibit opening of "Ancient Color" at the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan. March 20, 2019.
- "Commerce in Color: the economy of Roman pigment shops." Cornell University, May 4, 2018.
- "The economy of Roman pigments." Guest lecture (via skype) for the course "Ancient Color: The Technologies and Meanings of Color in Antiquity." Dr. Sanchita Balachandran, Johns Hopkins University. March 9, 2018.
- "Counterfeit goods in the Roman commercial landscape." Western Massachusetts chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. March 8, 2018.
- "Roman wall painting: Pliny, pigments, and polychromy." UNC-Greensboro chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. April 11, 2017; New Haven chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Department of Classics, Yale University. March 6, 2018.
- "Etruscan ritual knowledge and the inauguration of cities," lecture for Dr. Ruth Van Dyke's "Archaeology and Art" course. March 21, 2017.
- "Color in Roman Frescoes," lecture for Dr. Verity Platt's "Roman Wall Painting" class at Cornell University. March 7th, 2017.
- “The iconography of a life in arms: the Etruscan soldier at war, at home, and at the tomb.” Lecture for Dr. Martha Risser’s “Greek and Roman architecture” class at Trinity College. November 10, 2015.
- “The science of Roman wall painting: Pliny, pigments, and polychromy.” Dorinda J. Oliver Lecturer. Trinity College (Hartford, CT), Hartford chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. November 9, 2015.
- “The economy of color in ancient Rome: A case study of the pigment trade.” Annual Humanities Teacher of the Year lecture, Mississippi Humanities Council. October 28, 2015.
- “Contextualizing Roman pigments: ancient trade and modern science”. Mississippi State. MSU Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures Brown Bag. October 23, 2015.
- “The science of Roman wall painting: Pliny, pigments, and polychromy.” Auckland, New Zealand. August 21, 2014.
- “The science of Roman frescoes.” Lecture followed by a fresco painting practicum. St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. April 24, 2014; Millsaps College. October 4, 2013.
- “The science of Roman wall painting: Pliny, pigments, and polychromy.” Oxford Science Café. Oxford, MS. April 23, 2013.
- “The iconography of a life in arms: the Etruscan soldier at war, at home, and at the tomb.” The Seventh Annual Paul Rehak Memorial Symposium in Ancient Art. University of Kansas (Lawrence KS). March 13, 2012.
- “A Roman Rainbow: a Chemical and Archaeological Investigation of an Ancient Pigment Shop.” Talk delivered with Dr. Ruth Beeston (Chemistry, Davidson College). November 15, 2011.
- “Introduction to Etruscan epigraphy.” Lecture given for Dr. Bill Ringle’s class “Language Before History”, Davidson College. April 28, 2011.
- “The Written Word and Proprietary Inscriptions in Etruria.” Richmond, VA, chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. April 9, 2009.
- “Contextualizing Etruscan Sanctuaries.” University of Massachusetts at Amherst. October 15, 2007.
- “You can take it with you: economic implications of elite funerary consumption at Chiusi. ” Lecture for the Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica (AIAC). Rome, Italy. May 16, 2005.
- Presentation on the American educational system, given at the Liceo Scientifico Statale Primo Levi in Rome, Italy, at the behest of the U.S. Department of State for International Education Week. November 2004.
- “Highlights of the Faliscan and Etruscan collections in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia.” Lecture given to the Fellows of the American Academy in Rome. November 3, 2004.
- “Etruscan road networks: principles of construction and notes on Etruscan topography,” Lecture given for Dr. Thomas Elliott’s class, “Roman Roads, Itineraries, and Land Travel.” UNC-Chapel Hill. April 2004.