Societies News

February 3, 2022

Member Spotlight: Ann Santen

Ann celebrating her 80th birthday with a toast after digging in Pylos.

This month, we’re delighted to spotlight Ann Santen of the Cincinnati Society. Ann is a former Society Trustee, Vice President for Societies, and currently chairs the Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award Committee. We asked Ann some questions about her passion for archaeology and how she got involved with the AIA and we’re excited for you to read her words!

What interests you about archaeology?
The sense of discovery. Literally digging up the past. After four years of Latin in high school I studied Greek and Ancient History in college, then took time off to marry, raise three children and have a career in public radio. When I retired, I returned to that fascinating ancient world, auditing courses in the University of Cincinnati’s excellent Classics Department and traveling. Over several years, we spent a month in Egypt, three months in Greece, three months in Tuscany, and also visited Tunisia, Libya, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Israel. My focus was on the archaeology of those countries and the material remains of those earlier cultures. After a few years in the classroom, I had the great good fortune to be invited to dig with the Classics Department first in Albania on an archaic site, then at Pompeii, Knossos, and finally at Pylos in the Peloponnese. After 15 years I reluctantly hung up my trowel. Excavating was the hardest, hottest dirtiest and most satisfying work I ever did.

How did you find out about the AIA? 
I learned about the AIA as soon as I began auditing courses in the Classics Department at UC. The faculty was very involved with the organization professionally, and the students, especially the graduate students, were encouraged not only to belong, but to submit papers and attend the Annual Meeting. I went to hear the excellent lecturers who came, and I enjoyed the articles in ARCHAEOLOGY and the AJA.

What made you decide to get more involved with the Cincinnati Society? 

I became more involved in the Cincinnati Society because I wanted more people to learn about the ancient world and the work of both the UC Classics Department and the AIA. I also enjoyed the people I worked with: the faculty, the students and others, like myself, who were curious about earlier societies. I was happy to promote  and to support something I believed in very strongly, at the local level and then at the national level. 

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