University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Fishman, Susannah

Susannah Fishman
Department of Anthropology
Elected: 2013

Susannah is a seventh-year Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department, with a concentration in Near East Archaeology. She attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she was on the Dean’s Honor List. She graduated with Great Distinction in 2009 with a B.A. in History, as well as a double minor in Anthropology and Jewish Studies. Susannah specializes in the archaeology of the Near East and Southern Caucasus from the Bronze Age through the Late Antique periods. She is interested in ceramic technology and sourcing raw materials, ancient politics and empire building, as well as the political implications of modern archaeological practice. Susannah's research is supported by numerous grants and awards, including the Kolb fellowship, a Critical Language Scholarship for study in Baku, Azerbaijan, a graduate fellowship from American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Grant for her dissertation entitled "Ceramic Entanglements at the Urartian Periphery: Technological Analysis in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan." Her dissertation research explores how ceramic production shifted as the site of Oğlanqala, Azerbaijan participated in different political landscapes, from local production as a small polity in the Early Iron Age to changing trade relationships in the Urartian and Roman periods. This research formed the basis of an article published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Susannah is co-directing the Lerik Archaeological Project (LAP) with Junior Fellow Lara Fabian, a joint Azerbaijani-American expedition in the Taylsh Mountains that is exploring the creation of local cultures at the crossroads of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Roman, and Parthian empires. This research is supported by the Kolb Society and the Price Lab for Digital Humanities. She is also conducting fieldwork and ceramic analysis for material from Smith Creek, Mississippi to explore how production changed as people in the Lower Mississippi Valley shifted from an egalitarian to hierarchal social organization from 800–1200 C.E. In addition to her experience with the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project in Oğlanqala, Azerbaijan, she has also excavated with the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project in Dhiban, Jordan, under the direction of Fellow Benjamin Porter, and the Epipaleolithic Foragers in Azraq Project in Azraq, Jordan.

Susannah has given conference presentations at the American Society of Oriental Research, the Archaeological Institute of America, Eurasian Archaeology, the Society for American Anthropology, and an invited talk at the University of Missouri. She has also served as a conference organizer for the 2012–2013 Anthropology Colloquium and the Center for Ancient Studies Conference "Strangers in a Strange Land" (2011) at Penn, as well as helping to revive the Graduate Anthropology Forum, a weekly meeting to share research and support.


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