James R. Wiseman Chair in Classical Archaeology, Professor of Archaeology and Religion, Director of Graduate Studies & Admissions

Curriculum Vitae


Berlin Archaeology
Levantine Ceramic Project LCP
LCP Video

Areas of Interest

Archaeology and history of the Achaemenid; Hellenistic, and Roman East, Ceramic Studies; Second-Temple Judaism; archaeology of Israel

Excavations and Research

I have been excavating in the eastern Mediterranean since 1973, working on projects from Troy, in Turkey to Coptos, in southern Egypt.  I focus on the eras of the later ancient empires: the Achaemenid Persians, Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors, and the Romans.  I am especially interested in understanding the realities of daily life under these regimes, and in exploring the intersection of politics and cultural change in antiquity.  Currently I am working on the publication of the Persian period levels of an administrative compound at Tel Kedesh in northern Israel, whose excavations I have co-directed since 1997.

Member, Editorial Boards

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research and Tel Aviv.

Awards and Honors

2021, P.E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award, ASOR/American Schools of Overseas Research. This award honors an archaeologist who, during their career, has made outstanding contributions to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology

2010-11, National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem

2009, Archaeological Institute of America Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

2008, Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer, Archaeological Institute of America

2002, Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching

Representative Publications


2021     The Middle Maccabees. Archaeology, History, and the Rise of the Hasmonean Kingdom. Co-edited with Paul J. Kosmin. SBL Archaeology and Biblical Studies. SBL Press: Atlanta.

2019     Spear-Won Land: Sardis, from the King’s Peace to the Peace of Apamea. Co-edited with Paul Kosmin. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison.

2018     Tel Anafa II, iii. Wall Plaster and Stucco, Objects of Personal Adornment and Glass Counters, Tools for Textile Manufacture and Miscellaneous Bone, Terracotta and Stone Figurines, Pre-Persian Pottery, Attic Pottery, and Medieval Pottery. Co-edited with Sharon C. Herbert. Kelsey Museum Fieldwork Series, Ann Arbor MI.

2012 Tel Anafa II, ii. Glass Vessels, Lamps, Objects of Metal, and Groundstone and Other Stone Tools and Vessels. Co-edited with Sharon C. Herbert. Kelsey Museum Fieldwork Studies, Ann Arbor, MI.

2006 Gamla. Final Reports, Volume I: The Pottery of the Second Temple Period. Israel Antiquities Authority Reports no.29.  Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem

2003 Excavations at Coptos (Qift) (1988-1992). Co-authored with Sharon C. Herbert. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 53. Portsmouth, RI

2002 The First Jewish Revolt: Archaeology, History, and Ideology, co-edited with J. Andrew Overman.  Routledge, London.

1997 Excavations at Tel Anafa, vol. II,i.  The Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Plain Wares. Journal of Roman Archaeology supplementary series vol. 10.2 Portsmouth, RI.

Selected Articles

2019     “A Persian Period Bulla from Tel Qedesh, Israel and Its Implications for Relations between Tyre and Nippur.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 382. Co-authored with Baruch Brandl, Xiaoli Ouyang, and Sharon C. Herbert.

2018  “Ends and Beginnings: Political Change and Daily Life at Sardis in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times.” In Archaic and Classical Western Anatolia: New Perspectives in Ceramic Studies. R. Gül Gürtekin Demir et al., eds. Colloquia Antiqua 19. Peeters: Leiden. Pp. 1-20.

2017     “Glass Vessels from the Persian and Hellenistic Administrative Building at Tel Kedesh, Israel.” In Annales du 20e Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre. Sophie Wolf and Anne de Pury-Gysel, eds. Romont: Association International pour l’Histoire du Verre. Pp. 54–60. Co-authored with Katherine A. Larson and Sharon Herbert.

2016  “Not So Fast: Ceramic Conservatism and Change at Sardis in the Early Hellenistic Period.” In Traditions and Innovations. Tracking the Development of Pottery from the Late Classical to the Early Imperial Periods. S. Japp and P. Kögler, eds. IARPotHP 1. Phoibos Verlag, Vienna. Pp. 351-58.

2016   “The Hellenistic and Early Roman Pottery.” In ‘Akko II. The 1991-1998 Excavations. The Early Periods. M. Hartal, D. Syon, E. Stern, and A. Tatcher, eds. IAA Reports 60. Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem. Pp. 133-202. Co-authored with Peter J. Stone.

2015     “Herod, Augustus, and the Augusteum at the Paneion,” Eretz Israel 31. Pp. 1*-11*.

2014     “Dining In State: The Table Wares from the Persian-Hellenistic Administrative Building at Kedesh.” In Pottery, Peoples, and Places. Study and Interpretation of Late Hellenistic Pottery. P. Guldager Bilde and M. L. Lawall, ads. Aarhus University Press, Aarhus. Pp. 307-21.

2014     “Household Judaism.” In Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods 100 BCE – 200 CE. Vol. 1: Life, Culture, and Society. D. Fiensy and J. Strange, eds. Fortress Press, Minneapolis MN. Pp. 208-15.

2014     “Herod the Tastemaker.” Near Eastern Archaeology 77.2. Pp. 108-119.

2012 “Identity Politics in Early Roman Galilee,” The Jewish Revolt Against Rome: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism vol. 154. M. Popovic, ed. Brill, Leiden. Pp. 69-106.

2012 “The Sanctuary of Mizpe Yammim: Phoenician Cult and Territory in the Upper Galilee during the Persian Period,” with Rafael Frankel. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 366. Pp. 25-78.

2012 “Excavating Tel Kedesh: The Story of a Site and a Project.” Co-authored with Sharon C. Herbert. Archaeology 65.3. Pp. 24-29.

2012 “Artifacts and Applications: Computational Thinking for Archaeologists,” Center for the Study of Architecture Newsletter XXV.2. (For article on line click here)

2005 “Jewish Life Before the Revolt: The Archaeological Evidence,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 36.4. Pp. 417-70.

2003 “Going Greek: Atticizing Pottery in an Achaemenid World.” Co-authored with Kathleen Lynch. Studia Troica 12. Pp. 167-78.

2003 “Ilion Before Alexander: A Ritual Deposit of the Fourth Century B.C.,” Studia Troica 12. Pp. 131-65.

2003 “A New Administrative Center for Persian and Hellenistic Galilee: Preliminary Report of the University of Michigan/University of Minnesota Excavations at Tel Kedesh.” Co-authored with Sharon C. Herbert, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 329. Pp. 13-59.

2002 “Ptolemaic Agriculture, ‘Syrian Wheat,’ and Triticum aestivum.” Co-authored with Terry Ball, Robert Thompson, and Sharon S. Herbert. Journal of Archaeological Science 30.1. Pp. 115-21.

1999 “Studies in Hellenistic Ilion: The Lower City. Stratified Assemblages and Chronology,” Studia Troica 9. Pp. 73-157.

1999 “The Archaeology of Ritual: The Sanctuary of Pan at Banias/Caesarea Philippi,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 315. Pp. 27-46.

1997 “Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period,” Biblical Archaeologist 60.1. Pp. 2-57.

For samples of student work from Professor Berlin’s classes, go to:

Archaeology Students Speak