2017-2018 Shohet Scholars Awards

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2017

2017-2018 Shohet Scholars Awards

The officers and directors of the International Catacomb Society are pleased to announce the Shohet Scholars for 2017-2018:

Lindsey Mazurek (Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada): “Mapping Religious Communities Across the Ancient Mediterranean: The Ostian Connectivity Project.”

This project examines the social ties that defined religious associations at Roman Ostia by charting the complex layers of relations that facilitated the movement of goods, people, and ideas in and out of Rome's port. By examining inscriptions related to Jewish, early Christian, Isiac, and Mithraic communities with social network analysis and GIS data, Dr. Mazurek’s research offers new social and spatial information about how religions were practiced under the Roman Empire. The Shohet Scholars grant will fund Dr. Mazurek’s first season of field research, which will include database expansion and digital mapping.

Ilenia Gradante (Römisches Institut der Goerres-Gesellschaft) and Davide Tanasi (University of South Florida): “Languages, formulas and identities in the Christian community of Syracuse in Sicily: the case of the Catacombs of S. Giovanni.”

The San Giovanni Catacombs are an impressive example of a Late Antiquity communal cemetery. Epigraphic formulas, linguistic choices and onomastic data prove that the local ruling class, clergymen and foreigners, preferred this cemetery: it was a society still influenced by classical reminiscences and yet able to express consciously its devotion to the new creed, on the basis of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The aim of the project is the systematic review and 3D digitization of published and unpublished epigraphic material from the cemetery, offering the first comprehensive survey of this community, published in an open access digital format.

Robert Tykot (University of South Florida) and Andrea Vianello (Independent Researcher): “Mobility in north-eastern Italy between the Late Roman and Byzantine periods: the view from stable isotopes.”

This ambitious and interdisciplinary research will carry out strontium isotope analyses for the first time on Late Roman and Byzantine individuals buried in southern Veneto and Emilia-Romagna in Italy to investigate the mobility of these ancient people at a time of great changes and migratory movements. The research will reveal social mobility in Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, the effective impact of Late Antiquity migrations across the region and provide the strongest clue yet on who founded Venice and who lived in the Byzantine Empire of Ravenna.

We congratulate these scholars on the quality and impact of their work.


Annewies van den Hoek                                                      
Chair of the Shohet Scholar Program Committee           
Vice President, International Catacomb Society              

Jessica Dello Russo
Executive Director
International Catacomb Society

About the Shohet Scholars Program:

The Shohet Scholars Program of the International Catacomb Society (ICS) desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives.

One or more Shohet Scholars will be selected each year and supported for a period of one year. Grants may be made to seed innovative approaches and new ideas or to cover specific expenses or phases of a larger project under the direction of the applicant. At this time, awards in the range of $2,000 to $30,000 will be made.

If you have any questions about the suitability of proposed projects, application procedures, or any other matters related to the Shohet Scholars Program, please consult the ICS website or contact ICS at shohetscholars@catacombsociety.org.