Natalie Susmann

Ph.D. Candidate

  • Title Ph.D. Candidate
  • Education MA, Greek & Roman Studies, Brandeis University
    MA, Classical Archaeology, Tufts University
    BA, Ancient Civilizations & Geography (GIS track)


Areas of Interest

Mediterranean landscapes, sacred spaces, natural features, GIS, visibility and view, collective/social memory, monumentality, space and place theory, Murex dye

Research Interests & Fieldwork

I am a digitally-minded landscape archaeologist who seeks to bring the social significance of natural features to the forefront of the archaeological record — key elements, their juxtaposition vis-à-vis specific structures, and how these may or may not have changed over time. My work focuses in Greece, where landscapes were fundamental constituent elements of sanctuary spaces.

My dissertation focuses on the Peloponnesian regions of the Argolid and Messenia. I spent two summers collecting phenomenological, visual, and spatial data from every cultic structure used between the Bronze Age and Hellenistic period (2800-146 BCE). My goal was to model relationships between each cultic structure and its surrounding landscape; I identified whether structures were intentionally placed to visually or spatially relate to particular natural features. I developed a multi-disciplinary analyses methodology using geospatial technology and 3D modeling to analyze topographic and visual prominence for the cultic structures in these regions.

Digital aspects of my dissertation were done in collaboration with the Rafik Hariri Research Institute and Boston University’s Shared Computing Cluster.

Dissertation Title

Nature in the Cultic Place: Visualizing the Greek Cultic Landscape (2600 B.C.E.-146 B.C.E.)


Susmann, Natalie. 2015. Preliminary Approaches for the Identification and Classification of Mediterranean Murex Dye Production Sites. Archaeological Textiles Review 57: 89-103.

Susmann, Natalie. May 18, 2014. A Memorial that Moves. Boston Herald.

Susmann, Natalie. 2009. “Origins of the Minoan Tholoi: A Result of Foreign Migration, or Indigenous Need? 3 (1).

Published Mapes and GIS Analyses

Carp, Benjamin . 2010. The Boston Tea Party: The American Tempest that Inspired a Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press, Maps 1-5.

Hitchner, R. Bruce. 2012. Roman Road, Integration, Connectivity, and Economic Performance in the Roman Empire. In Sue Alcock, John Bodel, and Richard Talbert, eds. Highways and Byways in the Pre-Modern World. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, Figures 11.1 and 11.2.

Select Teaching Appointments

Program of Archaeology at Boston University

Lecturer: Great Discoveries in Archaeology
Teaching Assistant: Archaeological Science; Greek and Roman Archaeology

CORE Curriculum Writing Fellow at Boston University

Program of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Lesley University

Adjunct Instructor: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems; Advanced Geographic Information Systems; Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Systems

Select Awards and Grants


Εθνικο Κτηματολογιο και Καρτογραφηση Α.Ε.: 5 m Digital Elevation Models of the Peloponnese

        Boston University Graduate Student Organization Grant


         Geoeye Imagery Grant

         Boston University Digital Humanities Grant

          Rafik Hariri Research Institute Award

          Boston University Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship

          Boston University Graduate Research Fellowship

          Boston University Graduate Student Organization Grant


Classical Association of the Atlantic States Travel Subsidy

        Boston University Archaeology Department GSA Conference Travel Grant

Boston University Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship

Boston University Graduate Research Fellowship


Classical Association of the Atlantic States Adelaide Hahn Scholarship

Boston University Department of Archaeology Teaching Fellow Award

Boston University Howard Gotlieb Student Archives Contest (2nd place)

Boston University Graduate Student Organization Travel Grant


Boston University Chad DiGregio Grants-In-Aid Fund

American School of Oriental Research Travel Grant

Boston University Archaeology Department GSA Conference Travel Fund

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