R. Ross Holloway— 1995 Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement
R. Ross Holloway has been a leader in the elucidation of Italian art and archaeology, in both the prehistoric and historic periods. His excavations have yielded some of the earliest evidence for the Bronze Age development of Italy and his writings on art and numismatics from the Italic and Greek periods have contributed greatly to our understanding of these fields. Although he is best known for his work on ancient Italy, he has also written an important textbook of Greek art in general: A View of Greek Art (1973). His impact on students has been considerable. He generously shares his time and ideas, and continues to serve as mentor, suggesting topics for research and critiquing the work of his students, long after they have begun their own professional careers.
Ross Holloway received his A.B. summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1956, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania (M.A. 1957) and Princeton University (M.A., Ph.D. 1960). As with many Princeton graduate students, he received his initial excavation experience at Morgantina, an experience that inspired in him a lifelong interest in Italian archaeology. Between 1960 and 1962 he remained in Italy as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and later served as Resident in Archaeology at the Academy (1969-1970, 1992).
His teaching career has taken Ross Holloway to Princeton University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but it is at Brown University where he has spent most of his career. He quickly rose from assistant to full professor, and since 1990 has been Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor. He has served, and is currently serving, as Director of the Center for Old World Archaeology and Art, and has led the excavations of Brown University at a number of sites.
Through these excavations, Prof. Holloway has revolutionized the study of Italian prehistory. Carbon 14 dates obtained by him at Buccino (1967-1974) and La Muculufa (1982-1987) have pushed back the beginning of the Early Bronze Age in Italy and Sicily at least 500 years, from the late third/early second millennium to the early or middle third millennium. His work at Buccino revealed the earliest dated bronze weapons from the Italian peninsula. That at La Muculufa discovered the earliest clearly identified regional sanctuary of Bronze Age Sicily. His book, Italy and the Aegean: 3000-700 B.C., published in 1981, has proven to be a prophetic guide to the rethinking of this field. His current excavations at Ustica have uncovered what may be the best-preserved Middle Bronze Age town of the region and have found the first stone sculpture of the area, attributed to the second millennium B.C. (published in R.R. Holloway and S. Lukesh, Ustica I: Excavations of 1990 and 1991). Ross Holloway has also examined later periods in Italy through his excavations at Satrianum (1966 1967). This work marked the first concerted effort to study a native Lucanian center and provided evidence for the relationship of this area to the coastal Greek cities of both the sixth and fourth centuries B.C.
Several complete and prompt publications have resulted from these excavations, including Satrianum: The Archaeological Investigations Conducted by Brown University in 1966 and 1967 (1970), Buccino: The Eneolithic Necropolis of San Antonio. Discoveries Made in 1968 and 1969 (1973), and La Muculufa: The Early Bronze Age Sanctuary. Excavations of 1982 and 1983 (1990). In addition, Prof. Holloway has written two books recently that deal with wider geographical and chronological areas. The Archaeology of Ancient Sicily (1991) considers Sicily from the prehistoric through the Roman periods, while The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium (1994) elucidates new discoveries and offers reinterpretations in yet another cultural area. Among his most important contributions isInfluences and Styles in the Late Archaic and Early Classical Greek Sculpture of Sicily and Magna Graecia (1975). This book comprises the only existing corpus of sculpture from this region and places these poorly known but important pieces in context.
As a numismatist, Prof. Holloway has written the history of the bronze coinage of Syracuse down to 211 B.C. in a long series of articles and a major monograph (The Thirteen-Months Coinage of Hieronymos of Syracuse, 1969) published over a quarter century. He was the first scholar to enunciate the importance of the numismatic evidence from Morgantina for the dating of the Roman denarius. He has written, with new suggestions, on Art and Coinage in Magna Graecia (1978) and has coauthored a study of the coinage of Terina (1982), published hoards in the Syracuse Museum, Ripostigli del Museo archeologico di Siracusa (1989), and is one of the original authors of the Morgantina coin volume.
Prof. Holloway's accomplishments have been widely recognized abroad. In 1967, at the age of33, he was elected Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute and was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Belgian Numismatic Society (one of 15 current honorary members) in 1986. The following year he was elected as the first foreign member of the Istituto italiano di preistoria e protostoria in Florence. He has served the field also as cofounder and president of the Association for Field Archaeology, and as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Field Archaeology and the American Journal of Archaeology.
Through his excavations, publications, teaching, professional service, and especially through his prolonged scholarly dialogue and thought-provoking ideas, Ross Holloway has made a significant impact on the field, for which he is now awarded the Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement.