Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - Testata per la stampa
Albert Jay Ammerman

Albert Jay Ammerman

- s.s. eletto il 3 dicembre 2020; s.s.s. 1 settembre 2022

Education:  University of Michigan (BA in Honors English Literature, 1964); Institute of Archaeology, London University (PhD in European Archaeology, 1972).

Teaching Positions:  Stanford University (Genetics and Program in Human Biology, 1972-77); State University of New York Binghamton (Anthropology, 1978-1983); University of Parma (Environmental Studies and Archaeology, Istituto di Ecologia, 1972-1994); Colgate University (Anthropology and Classics, 1986-present; O'Connor Professor, 2008-2010; Research Professor since 2011).  At Parma, I was the head of a research group for many years.  In Italy, I was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Trento (1994-1999). 

Fellowships:  (1) Vio's Anthropology (National Endowment for the Humanities, 1984); (2) Early Archaeological Sites in the Forum of Rome (Mellon Fellow at theAmerican Academy in Rome, 1987-88); (3) Environmental Studies in Ancient Rome (Guggenheim, 1990-91); (4) Reconstructing the Ancient City (Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, 1995-96); (5) The Earliest Archaeological Sites on the Island of Cyprus (Fulbright, 2003-04); (6) Landscape Archaeology in Rome (American Council of Learned Studies, 2004-05); (7) Early Neolithic Sites in Aegean Thrace (Wiener Laboratory at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, 2005-06).

Major Research Projects:  (1) The Neolithic Transition in Europe (with Luca Cavalli-Sforza, a leading Italian geneticist at Pavia and then Stanford University, 1970-1985); (2) Neolithic Settlement Patterns at Acconia in Calabria (begun at the invitation of the new University of Calabria where I was a visiting Professor at the time when the project began, 1974-1980, 1989, 1998, 2007-2008 and 2016); (3) Landscape Archaeology at early Sites in Rome (done at the invitation of the Italian Government and carried out with the support of the City of Rome, 1985-2004, 2012-2014); (4) Modifying the Eridanos Valley and the creation of the Royal Stoa in the new Agora of ancient Athens (1990-1994; (5) the Origins of Venice (in collaboration with the Superintendent of Monuments in Venice, 1989-2002) and deep cores made beneath the pavement of the Basilica di San Marco (in collaboration with the Proto of San Marco, 2015-2018); (5) the Environmental Setting of the Royal Stoa in the Agora of Ancient Athens (1990-1994); (6) the Discovery of pre-Neolithic Sites on the island Cyprus and their Implications for the origins of seafaring in the Mediterranean (done as a joint venture with the Director of Antiquities, Cyprus, 2003-2012) and  (7) Coring and excavations at the Temple of Athena in Paestum (2017-2020).

Fieldwork:  Since 1972, I have conducted fieldwork at many archaeological sites in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Tunisia.  Listed below are the main sites in Rome, Venice, Paestum and Athens respectively.

     Rome.  Area Sacra of Largo Argentia, Area Sacra of Sant'Omobono, Capitoline Hill, Comitium, Crypta Balbi, Forum of Julius Caesar, Forum of Nerva, Forum Romanum, Horrea Agrippiana, Lacus Iuturnae, north slope of the Palatine, Regia, S. Sabina, SS. Luca and Martina, Tabularium and the Temples of Divus Augustus, Saturn and Vesta.

     Venice.  Accademia Gallery, Basilica di San Marco, Ducal Palace, Frari, Lazzaretto Vecchio, Marciana Library, Piazza San Marco, San Francesco del Deserto, San Lorenzo di Castello, Torcello (Santa Maria dell'Assunta and its baptistery).

     Paestum.  Temple of Athena and the North Urban Sanctuary.

     Athens.  Royal Stoa in the Agora of ancient Athens and the Eridanos Valley.

Conferences and Workshops:  organized since 1998 (1) The Neolithic Transition in Europe:  Looking Back, Looking Forward (Venice 1998).  (2) Venice before San Marco:  Recent Studies on the Origins of the City (New York 2001).  (3) Island Archaeology and the Origins of Seafaring in the Eastern Mediterranean (Reggio Calabria, 2012).  (4) Giacomo Boni between Venice and Rome (Venice 2015).  (5) New Light on the Foundations of San Marco (Venice 2018).

Other Experience:  (1) In my early years, I was an editor of projects in the fields of history and literature for EAV Inc., New York (1965-67).  I then served as the editor-in-chief of its London office (1968-1969).  (2) From 2016 through 2019, I was one of the members on the International Strategic Committee of the University of Nice (providing guidance and oversight on its major IDEX grant from the French government.  In 2016, Nice was the only university in France that won an IDEX award ("initiative of excellence"); my tasks on the committee are to represent the Humanities and to foster trans-disciplinary research.

Selected Publications.  Over the years, I have written more than 160 books, articles, chapters and reviews.  Only a few of them will be listed here with an emphasis on the archaeology of ancient Rome and early Venice.

Ancient Rome

On the origins of the Forum Romanum.  American Journal of Archaeology 94:
627-645, 1990.

The Comitium in Rome from the beginning.  American Journal of Archaeology
100:121-136, 1996.

Nuove osservazioni sul colle Capitolino.  Bullettino della Commissione
Archeologica Comunale di Roma 97: 35-46, 1996 (Ammerman and Terrenato).

Environmental archaeology in the Velabrum, Rome: Interim report.  Journal of
Roman Archaeology 11: 213-223, 1998.

Il nuovo tempio nel Velabro.  Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica
Comunale di Roma 99:272-276, 2000 (A. J. Ammerman and D. Filippi).

Dal Tevere all'Argileto.  Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Communale
di Roma 105: 7-28, 2004  (A. J. Ammerman and D. Filippi).

Adding time to Rome's Imago.  In L. Haselberger and J. Humphrey (eds.),
Imaging Ancient Rome.  Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplement 61, 297-308, 2006.

The clay beds in the Velabrum and the earliest tiles in Rome. Journal of Roman Archaeology 21:  7-30, 2008 (Ammerman et al.).

Forum in Rome.  In M. Gagarin and E. Fantom (eds.), The New Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, vol. 3, 212-222, 2010.

Relocating the center:  a comparative study.  In N. Terrenato and D. C. Haggis (eds.),         State Formation in Italy and Greece.  Questioning the Neoevolutionist Paradigm.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books, 256-273, 2011.

Looking at early Rome with fresh eyes:  transforming the landscape.  In J. DeRose Evans (ed.), A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic.  Oxford:  Blackwell, 169-180, 2013.

On Giacomo Boni, the origins of the Forum, and where we stand today.  Journal of Roman Archaeoglogy 29: 293-311, 2016.

The east bank of the Tiber below the Island:  two recent advances in the study of early Rome.  Antiquity 92, 398-409, 2018.
On the Kings of Rome.  Journal of Roman Archaeology, in press, 2020.

The Athenian Agora:

The Eridanos Valley and the Athenian Agora.  American Journal of Archaeology 100: 699-715, 1996. 
Relocating the center:  a comparative study.  In N. Terrenato and D. C. Haggis (eds.),        State Formation in Italy and Greece.  Questioning the Neoevolutionist Paradigm.  Oxford: Oxbow Books, 256-273, 2011.

The Origins of Venice and the Foundations of the Basilica di San Marco: 
New evidence on the origins of Venice.  Antiquity 66: 913-916, 1992 (A. J.
Ammerman, M. De Min and R. Housley).

More on the origins of Venice.  Antiquity 69: 501-510, 1995 (A. J. Ammerman et al.).

Sea-level change and the archaeology of early Venice.  Antiquity 73: 303-312,
1999 (A. J. Ammerman et al.).

Saving Venice.  Science 289: 1301-1302, 2000 (A. J. Ammerman and C. E.

Venice before San Marco:  Recent Studies on the Origins of the City.  Hamilton,
New York: Colgate University, 2001 (A. J. Ammerman and C. E. McClennen).

Venice before the Grand Canal.  Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 48:
141-158, 2003.

The third dimension in Venice.  In C. Fletcher and T. Spencer (eds.), Flooding
and Environmental Challenges for Venice and its Lagoon.  Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 107-115, 2005.

Giacomo Boni between Venice and Rome. Atti dell'Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed 
Arti, 175, 91-121, 2015-16.

Beneath the Basilica of San Marco:  new light on the origins of Venice.  Antiquity 91,1620-1629, 2017 (Ammerman et al.).

The cores made below the floor of the Basilica of San Marco.  In E. Vio (ed.),  Basilica di San Marco.  Venice:  Marsilio, 2019 (Ammerman et al.).

The Temple of Athena at Paestum
Nuova luce sul Tempio di Athena: trasformate il paesaggio.  In G. Zuchtriegel, P. Carter and M. E. Oddo (eds.), Poseidonia cittą d'acqua: archeologia e cambiamenti climatici.  Paestum, Pandemos, 51-63, 2019 (A. Ammerman and R. Ammerman).

A Few Other Publications  

The Neolithic Transition and the Genetics of Populations in Europe.  Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1984 (A. J. Ammerman and L. L. Cavalli-Sforza).

The Acconia Survey: Neolithic Settlement and the Obsidian Trade.  London:  Institute of
Archaeology, Occasional Publication 10, 1985.

The Widening Harvest.  Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2003 (eds.
A. J. Ammerman and P. Biagi).

Island Archaeology and the Origins of Seafaring in the Eastern Mediterranean. Proceedings in two volumes of the Wenner Gren Workshop in the journal of Eurasian Prehistory 10-11, 2013-2014 (eds. A. J. Ammerman and T. W. Davis).

Modeling the role of voyaging in the coastal spread of the Early Neolithic in the West Mediterranean.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1613413114, 1-6, 2017 (N. Isern, J. Zilhäo, J. Fort and A. J. Ammerman).

Cyprus:  the submerged final Palaeolithic at Aspros Dive Site C.  In G. Bailey et al. (eds.), The Archaeology of Europe's Drowned Landscapes.  Open Access:  Springer, 429-441, 2019. 

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