The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2020/2021 term will focus on the ancient cultures of the Levant and their relations with the classical world. Lying on the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean, the Levant was a crucial crossroads between the classical world of Greece and Rome and the kingdoms of the Near East. Home to the ancient peoples of Phoenicia, Ugarit, Canaan, Philistia, Jordan, Israel, and Judah, this region participated in a vibrant Bronze-Age network of trade that flourished for many centuries until a combination of warfare, migration and famine around 1200 BCE destroyed these palace societies.

In the first millennium BCE, a Greek-Phoenician rivalry for control of colonies and seaborne trade routes as far west as Spain caused considerable conflict but also bore fruit in the diffusion of alphabetic scripts and cross-influences in literature, mythology, and the arts. The conquest of the Levant by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE and its absorption into Rome in the first century BCE resulted in Greco-Roman style becoming the public face of institutional culture and Greek vying with Aramaic as the vernacular language. Rome, too, was transformed by the encounter, especially through its conflicts with Judaism and the early followers of Christ, which had tumultuous consequences for the Holy Land and the Western world.

Getty Scholars


Aaron Burke is Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and the Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on the archaeology of Ancient Israel and the Levant.
Foreign Fighters in the Levant during the Late Iron Age: Mercenaries and Cultural Exchange
(September–December)

Eric Cline is Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and History at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. His research focuses on the archaeology and ancient history of the ancient Near East during the late Bronze and early Iron Age.
After 1177: The Rebirth of Civilization
(deferred to September–December 2021)

Denise Demetriou is Associate Professor and the Gerry and Jeannie Ranglas Chair in Ancient Greek History at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on cross-cultural interactions within the ancient Greek world.
Phoenicians among Others: How Migration and Mobility Transformed the Ancient Mediterranean
(January–April)

Tamar Hodos is Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Bristol, England. Her research focuses on archaeology of the Mediterranean during the Iron Age.
Globalizing Luxuries during the Mediterranean's Iron Age
(September–December)

Brett Kaufman is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on cultural history and anthropological archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East.
Iron Age Phoenician Political Economy: Democracy, Diplomacy, and Destruction at Tyre and Carthage
(deferred to April–June 2022)

Susan 'Becky' Martin is Associate Professor of Archaeology and of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University, Massachusetts. Her research focuses on Greek and Phoenician art and archaeology.
The Forging of Dōros: Greek Myth and Coin Imagery from a Phoenician Port
(deferred to January–April 2022)

Adriano Orsingher is a postdoctoral researcher at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany. His research focuses on Phoenician and Punic archaeology.
Beyond Theatre. Performance, Age and Gender in Phoenician and Punic Masks
(deferred to April–June 2022)

Benjamin Porter is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the archaeology of the Middle East and Mediterranean in the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
A Mediterranean Bricolage: Rethinking the 'Long' First Millennium BCE Levant
(January–April)

Gary Rendsburg is the Blanche and Irving Laurie Chair in Jewish History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. His research focuses on Semitic languages and ancient Near Eastern literature. The Spread of Phoenician Writing Culture to Ancient Greece
(deferred to April–June 2022)


2020-2021 Scholar Year Poster: Phoenicians, Philistines, and Canaanites: The Levant and the Classical World

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