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Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

John F. Cherry

Joukowsky Family Professor in Archaeology
Professor of Classics
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Phone: 401-863-6412

Biography and Interests

Brown is the fourth university at which I have taught. After a brief stint in the late 1970s in the (now defunct) Dept. of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, I was appointed to a University Lectureship in Aegean Prehistory in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge, which I held from 1980 until 1993. Throughout that period, I was a Fellow and Tutor at Fitzwilliam College, where I directed studies in Classics and in Archaeology & Anthropology. In 1993 I moved to the University of Michigan as Professor of Classical Archaeology and Greek, serving there for 11 years as Director of the renowned Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology. At Michigan I was also a Curator in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, where I was in charge of the prehistoric collections, as well as initiating a renewed program of Kelsey Museum Publications.

My teaching and research interests, and thus also my publications, are eclectic, and reflect my “mixed” background in Classics, Anthropology, and Archaeology, as well as educational training on both sides of the Atlantic, and archaeological fieldwork experience in Great Britain, the United States, Yugoslavia, Albania, Italy, and (especially) Greece and (currently) Armenia, where I co-direct the Vorotan project, with Susan Alcock (Brown), Armen Tonikyan, and Mkrtch Zardaryan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan). I am principally a specialist in Aegean Prehistory, tempered by much wider interests in Mediterranean and European prehistory and archaeology. My fieldwork has almost exclusively revolved around regional survey and landscape studies, which inevitably implies an interest in the archeology of many periods. I have special interests in the emergence of complex societies, in the archaeology of islands, in archaeological theory, in the archaeology of the southern Caucasus, and in Alexander the Great and (particularly) his Nachleben.

The courses I have taught over the past 35 years have tended to be thematic, theoretical, or comparative, and they fall very broadly within Mediterranean or Classical archaeology, Classical Civilization, or Archaeological Theory. Aside from teaching in areas in which I am specialized, I want to encourage an interest in the ancient world by offering appealing undergraduate courses in areas such as Greek Sport, Alexander the Great, and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. At the upper division undergraduate and graduate level, I am particularly concerned that students are exposed to ethical and professional issues in archaeology, as well as gaining a sound understanding of historical and theoretical issues in archaeology.

An important aspect of my scholarly activities throughout my career has been editorial work. I co-edited the journal World Archaeology from 1988 until 1997, served as joint Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Archaeology between 1995 and 1999, and have been co-editor of the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology since 1990. I sit on the editorial boards of several journals and monograph series, at the University of Michigan created the Kelsey Museum Publications series, and am now charged with establishing a new publication series under the auspices of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.


M.A. (Statutory) University of Cambridge 1983

Ph.D., Archaeology, Southampton University, 1981

M.A., Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, 1973

B.A., Latin and Greek, Bristol University, 1969


(J.L.Davis & E.Mantzourani), Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History: Northern Keos in the Cycladic Islands from Earliest Settlement to Modern Times. Monumenta Archaeologica 16. (Los Angeles 1991).

(with A.B. Knapp), Provenance Studies and Bronze Age Cyprus: Production, Exchange and Politico-Economic Change. Monographs in World Archaeology 21.  (Madison, 1994).  Madison, WI.

Recent Edited Books

(with Susan E. Alcock and Jas’ Elsner), Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece (New York 2001)

(with Susan E. Alcock), Side-by-Side Survey: Comparative Regional Analysis in the Mediterranean Region  (Oxford 2004)

(with C.S. Scarre, and S.J. Shennan), Explaining Social Change: Studies in Honour of Colin Renfrew. McDonald Institute Monographs. (Cambridge 2004).

(with D. Margomenou and L.E. Talalay), Prehistorians Round the Pond: Reflections on Aegean Prehistory as a Discipline.  Kelsey Museum Publication 3. (Ann Arbor, 2005).

Other Recent Articles:

(with J.L. Davis), ‘ “Under the sceptre of Agamemnon”: the view from the hinterlands of Mycenae’, in K. Branigan (ed.), Urbanism in the Aegean Bronze Age (Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology 5), pp. 143-61 (Sheffield 2001).

(with W.Parkinson), ‘Lithic artifacts from surveys: a comparative evaluation of recent evidence from the southern Aegean,’ in P.N.Kardulias and R.W.Yerkes (eds.), Written in Stone: The Multiple Dimensions of Lithic Analysis, pp. 35-57 (Lanham, MD, 2003).

Archaeology beyond the site: regional survey and its future,’ in R. Leventhal and J. Papadopoulos (eds.), Theory and Practice in Mediterranean Archaeology: Old World and New World Perspectives, pp. 137-60 (Los Angeles 2003).

Mediterranean island prehistory: what’s different and what’s new?’ in S.M. Fitzpatrick (ed.), Voyages of Discovery: The Archaeology of Islands, pp. 233-48 (Westport, CT, 2004).

Cyprus, the Mediterranean, and survey: current issues and future trends,’ in M. Lacovou (ed.), Archaeological Field Survey in Cyprus: Past History, Future Potentials (Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Cyprus, 1-2 December 2000), 23-35.  British School at Athens Studies 11 (London, 2004).

Chapter 14 revisited: sites, settlement and population in the prehistoric Aegean since The Emergence of Civilisation,’ in J. Barrett and P. Halstead (eds.), The Emergence of Civilisation in the Bronze Age Aegean: Retrospect and Prospect, pp. 1-20. Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology 6 (Oxford, 2005).

Peer polity interaction’ and ‘Archaeological survey,’ in C. Renfrew and P. Bahn (eds.), Archaeology: The Key Concepts, 196-201, 248-54 (London, 2005).

(with S.E. Alcock).‘The Mediterranean world.’  In C. Scarre (ed.), The Human Past, pp. 472-517 (London, 2005).

(with S.E. Alcock). ‘”No greater marvel”: a Bronze Age classic at Orchomenos.’  In J.I. Porter (ed.), Classical Pasts: The Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome, pp. 69-86. (Princeton, 2006).

The personal and the political: Alexander the Great,’ in S.E. Alcock and R. Osborne (eds.), Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology: Classical Archaeology (Malden, MA and Oxford, 2006).

Blockbuster! Museum Responses to Alexander the Great,’ in R. Lane Fox and F. Greenland (eds.), Responses to Alexander (Cambridge, forthcoming 2007).