University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Hafford, William Bradley, Ph.D.

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William Bradley Hafford, Ph.D.
Project Manager, Ur Digitization Project, Penn Museum
Elected: 1995 (Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate group)

Brad earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Classical Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, receiving magna cum laude honors for both degrees. He was also phi beta kappa. In addition, he has an Associates Degree in Communications Technology from Community College of the Air Force. His Ph.D. was received from the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and his dissertation was entitled "Merchants in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean: Tools, Texts and Trade." Brad has been a Lecturer in the Critical Writing Program of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at Penn. He has also served as a Consulting Scholar at the Penn Museum. Brad has recently been named the Project Manager of the Ur Digitization Project at the museum.

Brad's area of specialization is in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age. His research focuses on ancient economics, trade routes, and particularly physical assemblages of merchants, as well as the origins of currency. Other archaeological interests include field methods, site mapping, computer applications, and underwater archaeology. He has excavated in the United States at the sites of San Juan Islands, Washington, and Castle Rock Pueblo and Sand Canyon Pueblo, Colorado; participated in the Scottish Coastal Survey in Britain; and excavated at Pseira and Chrysokamino on Crete. He has served as an area supervisor of the Tell es-Sweyhat Archaeological Project since 1998 and was an Associate Director of the excavations from 2008 to 2010. He is the Assistant Director of the Howard University Giza Cemetery Project.

Brad has written both fiction and non-fiction, including pieces about archaeology and ancient civilizations for educational children's magazines Calliope and Dig. His scholarly contributions include a co-authored article "The City of Sweyhat: A Mesopotamian Mystery," in Current World Archaeology (2008), and "Hanging in the Balance: Precision Weighing in Antiquity," in Expedition (2005) and "Mesopotamian Mensuration: Balance Pan Weights from Nippur," in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (2005). In 2012 he published "Weighing in Mesopotamia: The Balance Pan Weights from Ur," Akkadica 133: 21–65. He is currently working on publishing all of the Nippur weight data from his 2005 article with Open Context so that it is easily available for further research.

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