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Episode 6: May 15, 2020

Dr. Philip Kiernan, an associate professor of art history in the School of Art and Design in the College of the Arts, focuses his research on the art and archaeology of the Roman Empire, and involves archaeological fieldwork, as well as work with statues, bronze artifacts, and coins. He also serves as the coordinator for the university’s interdisciplinary minor in Classical Studies. He just published a book - Roman Cult Images: The Lives and Worship of Idols from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity - with Cambridge University Press. He is developing a collaborative project on the cultural heritage of Montepulciano, which has most recently involved the digitization of renaissance manuscripts in the town’s archive, and the documentation of a collection of Etruscan and Roman reliefs and inscriptions by KSU students.  

Research Overview

Visiting a temple was an incredibly important experience for ancient Romans. In two pilot projects in 2018 and 2019, KSU students worked to reconstruct that experience by excavating the area around a temple to Mars at the site of Wareswald in Germany.

Finds from the site include evidence for ritual washing, a second temple building, weapon offerings made to the gods, and more! Thanks to a matching grant from the Halle Foundation, further work in the area is envisaged next summer, and will provide students with a remarkable international research experience, as well as yielding more information about Roman religion.

Research Video

Episode Video