Current Shohet Scholars

Announcement of Shohet Scholars for 2023-2024
The officers and directors of the International Catacomb Society are pleased to announce the Shohet Scholars for 2023-2024:

Caitlin Barrett (Cornell University): Modeling Space and Experience at Pompeii: The Casa della Regina Carolina (CRC).

The Casa della Regina Carolina (CRC) Project at Pompeii uses excavation, survey, and digital mapping to ask how Roman houses shaped their inhabitants’ lived experiences. Following our fourth excavation season in June–July 2023, we will employ integrated 3D-GIS and virtual modeling to investigate what types of behaviors and social performances this house afforded to people with different bodies and backgrounds. This project explores the impact and agency of domestic material culture in order to understand some of the most profoundly human aspects of life at Pompeii: the embodied daily experiences, activities, and sensations that actually constituted people’s lives.

Gregg Gardner (University of British Columbia) and Orit Peleg-Barkat (Hebrew University): “Rural Roman Judea Above and Below Ground: The Horvat Midras (Israel) Excavation Project”.

This project enhances our understanding of rural Roman Judea through excavation and ground penetrating radar analysis of above ground and underground installations at Horvat Midras (Israel). With domestic and industrial structures, a Roman temple, burials, ritual baths, subterranean hiding complexes, and domestic quarters, the village provides sources on population transformation, migration, and ethnic religious groups (Idumeans, Jews, Roman polytheists), during an era of Roman imperialism, Jewish revolts, and the development of Judaism and Christianity. We interpret the finds with contemporaneous archaeology and literature, requiring collaboration between a Roman archaeologist (Peleg-Barkat) and early religion scholar (Gardner) – co-directors of the project since 2018.

Alex Walthall (University of Texas at Austin): “The Morgantina Agora Valley Project: Excavating Morgantina’s Missing Centuries”.

The Agora Valley Project (AVP) is a multi-year excavation and research project designed to measure shifting social and cultural dynamics at the ancient Greek city of Morgantina during the first two and a half centuries of Roman rule on Sicily (ca. 200 BCE–50 CE). The focus of excavations is a large open-air complex (ca. 1,000 m2 ), known as the Southwest Temenos, which was constructed in the city’s lower agora during the 2nd century BCE. This temenos appears to have been a site of religious activity with cult worship possibly directed to the goddess Isis. Given the date, location, and possible function of the Southwest Temenos, the AVP excavations offer new vantage points for viewing the social, cultural, and economic dynamics of life in the city under Roman rule.

Shana O’Connell (Howard University): “Paintings for the Departed in the Rock-cut tombs at the ancient city of Blaundos (Uşak Province, Turkey)”.

Inside of thirty rock-cut tombs dating from the second through fourth centuries CE are wall paintings that were made for elite residents of the ancient city of Blaundos in Western Turkey. From the Hellenistic through Roman periods this thriving city had a theater, public bath, two temples, aqueducts, and 400 tombs cut into surrounding canyons. The tomb paintings depict garlands, grapevines, roses, birds, gorgons, Hermes, and Aphrodite and her erotes. The aim of this project is to publish the tomb paintings’ iconography and report on the pigments and techniques artists used to create these images for the deceased.

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


Robin M. Jensen, Ph.D.
President, International Catacomb Society

Photo Credit: Canadian Friends of Hebrew University in Jerusalem

About the Shohet Scholars Grant Program:

The Shohet Scholars Grant Program funds research on the Ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic Era to the Early Middle Ages. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives. For more information about the Shohet Scholars Program and other activities of the International Catacomb Society, please visit: or contact:

International Catacomb Society
217 Hanover Street, Suite 130413
Boston, MA 02113





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