AIA Lecturer/Host: Nicolle Hirschfeld
Nicolle Hirschfeld first traveled to the Mediterranean as a sophomore in high school, to Israel, and next as a sophomore in college to participate in a Haverford/Harvard course on ancient religions in Greece. That course ended with a visit to Delos but Nicolle stayed on and spent the next six weeks exploring Crete and the Peloponnese on a budget of $50 (total!). By the end of the summer she had visions of all-you-can-eat banquets and of becoming an archaeologist. Both dreams came true and now she is a well-fed Associate Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Trinity University, a liberal arts college in San Antonio (TX). Her sought-after courses include a survey of Classical Archaeology, an investigation of Ancient Technologies, and “Pirates, Merchants, and Marines,” a look at Mediterranean history from the perspective of the sea.
Nicolle has excavated at sites (underwater and terrestrial) throughout the eastern Mediterranean and dug through museum basements all over Europe, looking especially for material evidence of interactions among the different cultures of Late Bronze Age Greece, Anatolia, Levant, Cyprus, and Egypt. She is deeply (!) involved in the excavation and study of the ships that wrecked at Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya (Turkey) ca. 1300 and 1200 BC, roughly the era of Tutankhamun and the Trojan War, respectively. Nicolle received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, with an M.A. in nautical archaeology from Texas A&M University. She also spent a year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Nicolle has long been involved with the Archaeological Institute of America, first as a student and then as a professional at local and national levels. She led her first archaeological tour for the AIA in 2011 and had so much fun that most summers she cannot resist the siren’s call to re-explore archaeological sites that fascinate her in the company of small groups of interested and interesting people.