The Stanford Classics Department would like to congratulate Ph.D. Candidate Amanda Gaggioli who just received a National Geographic Early Career Grant. Per the National Geographic website: "Early Career Grants are designed to offer less experienced individuals an opportunity to lead a project.” Here's more about what Amanda plans to accomplish with this funding:
Amanda's research concerns human-environment interactions, specifically the relationship between earthquakes, culture change, and societal development in the eastern Mediterranean beginning in the Bronze Age (c. 3000-1200 BCE). In order to address these research concerns, she draws on interdisciplinary research methods and techniques from archaeology, classics, and geological sciences. With the National Geographic Early Career Grant, she is working on a project titled "Earthquakes and Collapse: resilience and human-geological environment relationships in eastern Mediterranean archaeology." Earthquakes have been linked to societal collapse in various places throughout the past, most notably at the end of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) (c. 1200 BC) in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. However, since ancient times humans living under persistent threats of geological hazards have demonstrated forms of resilience. Her project investigates two archaeological case studies, in Cyprus and Greece, aimed at understanding how people were impacted by and responded to earthquakes over both the short- and long-terms. She will collect and analyze architectural and geomorphological remains aimed at investigating dynamics of human-environmental relationships in geologically complex settings. Analyses of architecture and associated soil micromorphological samples will be used to determine whether the peoples at the sites developed as seismic cultures with the capacity to develop and build seismic resilient architecture with regulations codified through ideologies passed between local communities and generations. Her project will expand upon research concerning human-environment relationships in the context of 'collapse,' but will offer a hitherto overlooked study of seismic resilient practices of cultures in complex geological settings. Furthermore, her project will contribute a theoretical and methodological framework for studying relationships between humans, environmental change, and disaster by examining the interface between resilience, risk, and vulnerability and cultural practice across temporal and spatial scales.