Susan Rotroff—2011 Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement
Susan Irene Rotroff epitomizes all that professional archaeologists should aspire to: inspired teaching, extensive fieldwork, and an international reputation as a scholar.
Rotroff has been a dedicated and admired teacher for 40 years; her students are unanimous in praising her knowledge, her commitment to teaching, and her enthusiasm for the field. Many of them have chosen to pursue archaeology as a career as a direct result of her inspiration and guidance.
In the field, she has excavated in the Athenian Agora, on Samothrace, at Lefkandi, Corinth, and Carthage. She has also served as a pottery consultant at multiple sites and assisted innumerable excavators with questions about their Hellenistic pottery.
The foundation of her scholarship is her authoritative publication of the huge corpus of Hellenistic pottery recovered in the excavations of the Athenian Agora, in multiple volumes beginning with her dissertation in 1975. As the acknowledged world expert on the pottery of the Hellenistic world, she has had a wide impact on the scholarship of antiquity during this pivotal era.
Her expertise places her at the very center of major archaeological issues. Her analysis of the pottery from the royal tombs at Vergina is essential in trying to determine their date and the possible identities of the occupants. More recently, her work on earlier Agora deposits has led her to down-date the earliest Attic red-figure pottery, an argument that will have significant repercussions for archaeologists and art historians alike.
Susan Rotroff has had a distinguished career as a teacher and a scholar. She is an outstanding recipient of the 2011 Gold Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America.