Meet Our Lecturers

Shelley Wachsmann was born in Canada and immigrated to Israel in 1968. He earned all three of his degrees in Near Eastern Archaeology from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology: BA (1974), MA (1984) and Ph.D. (1990).

From 1976 to 1989 Wachsmann served as the Inspector of Underwater Antiquities for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums. During that time he was directly responsible for the nautical heritage of Israel. He carried out numerous underwater archaeological surveys and excavations in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Sea of Galilee. Among the projects he directed were the excavation of a Late Bronze Age cargo off the Carmel coast, probe excavations of a late fifth century BC wreck near Kibbutz Maagan Michael, a sixth century AD Byzantine wreck off Dor and the search for cannon jettisoned by Napoleon during his retreat from Acco in 1799.

In 1986 he directed the excavation of the Sea of Galilee Boat, a 2,000-year-old boat found in the Sea of Galilee near the ancient site of Migdal. At the completion of the excavation the boat was moved intact to a conservation pool at the Yigal Allon Museum at nearby Kibbutz Ginosar where it is now on exhibit.

Beginning in 1990, Wachsmann became Meadows Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Archeology in the Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University. In 1993 this Chair was converted to a tenure-track position for which Wachsmann was appointed and in 1999 he received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. In 2010 he was promoted to Professor.

Wachsmann has published six books and over 100 articles on the results of his field research and on other archaeological subjects. His third book, The Sea of Galilee Boat: An Extraordinary 2000 Year Old Discovery (Plenum Press: 1995) won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Award for best popular book published in archaeology in 1995-1996. His fourth book, Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant, (Texas A&M University Press: 1998), received the Irene Levi-Sala Book Prize in the Archaeology of Israel in the popular book category for 1998-1999. His The Gurob Ship-Cart Model and Its Mediterranean Context (Texas A&M University Press: 2013) won the Nautical Archaeology Society’s 2013 Keith Muckelroy Award jointly with Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe’s book, Britain Begins (Oxford University Press). His most recent book, Understanding the Boat from the Time of Jesus: Galilean Seafaring (Carta), appeared in 2015.

Wachsmann has carried out extensive fieldwork in the eastern Mediterranean: this works includes, but is not limited to, the following projects. In 1994-1996 he directed the INA/CMS Joint Expeditions to Tantura Lagoon, which discovered and documented seven shipwrecks in the ancient port of Dor, on Israel’s northern Mediterranean coast. In 1997 he directed a survey off Ashkelon, on its southern coast. In 1998 he recorded the Abu el Haggag festival in Luxor, Egypt, in which boats are transported as part of the festival—a custom that may have its genesis in pharaonic times. In the 1999 ROBO Shipwreck Survey, he carried out a sidescan-sonar expedition in search of shipwrecks opposite Tantura Lagoon, to a depth of over 100 meters. In 2002 he directed a paleo-environmental study of three possible Phoenician anchorages in Portugal. In 2003-2006, he directed the Canadian team of a joint Canadian-Greek expedition in search of fleets lost during the Persian War in the early 5th century B.C.  In 2007-2009 he led the Danaos Project, a deep-water survey studying the Crete-to-Egypt trade route in antiquity. In 2012, under the aegis of Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg’s Easter Island Statue Project, Wachsmann directed a study of maritime aspects of the Rapa Nui culture, which included the first remote-sensing survey of the crater lake at the statue quarry of Rano Raraku. Most recently, under the aegis of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project and with the goal of better understanding the maritime dimensions of the port of Jaffa, Israel, he directed The 2014 Ioppa Maritima Project, which combined a geoarchaeological/geophysical land survey together with a deep-water Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) examination of multibeam survey anomalies at depths of 50-250 meters.

Rex E. Wallace is Professor of Classics with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He holds his Ph.D. in linguistics from Ohio State University, and his areas of specialization are the languages of ancient Italy, Etruscan language and epigraphy, and historical linguistics. He has worked on the Etruscan inscriptions recovered at Poggio Civitate, and his recent publications include “Language, Alphabet and Linguistic Affiliation” (in S. Bell and A. Carpino, eds., A Companion to the Etruscans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016); among his previous  works are The Sabellic Languages of Ancient Italy (Lincom, 2007), and Zikh Rasna. A Manual of Etruscan Language and Inscriptions. (Beech Stave, 2008).. He is a past recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship, and the UMass Amherst Chancellor's Service Award (2005); he serves on the editorial board of several journals and is a co-editor of Rasenna, an electronic journal of Etruscan archaeological and linguistic studies.  Professor Wallace is the AIA Cinelli Lecturer for 2017/2018.







Justin Walsh is Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology with the Department of Art at Chapman University, and holds his degrees from the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of Minnesota, and Vanderbilt University.  His fields of research are the art and archaeology of the Mediterranean world in the Iron Age, daily life, economy and colonization in classical antiquity, and the archaeologyof space exploration.  He is currently directing the Chapman Excavations at Cástulo (Spain), a collaborative project with the Spanish team Siglo XXI en Cástulo; and working at the site of Morgantina, Italy.  He is also developing an archaeological investigation of the International Space Station in collaboration with Dr. Alice Gorman (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia).  He has received numerous fellowships, including a Rome Prize and a Fulbright Grant to Greece.  Professor Walsh's main publications include Consumerism in the Ancient World: Imports and Identity Construction (Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies 17, Routledge Press, 2014).

Nikolaus Xanthoulis is Music Researcher with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, and has  served with the Greek National Opera (as Principal Trumpet Player and Head of Education), and Greek Public Radio & Television (as Artistic Director of the Orchestras and Choir).  He holds his degrees from the Sofia Music Academy (Ph.D.), the Panteion University of Athens, and the Athens and Athenaeum Conservatories.  His fields of research are the music of ancient Greece, the ancient Greek trumpet (Salpinx) and lyre, and the performance of ancient Greek lyric songs; his current project is the revival of the ancient Greek lyre.  Dr. Xanthoulis was an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2012/2013, and is returning for a tour as Kress Alumni Lecturer for 2017/2018.


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