UC San Diego Anthropology Professor Becomes Chair-Elect of ASOR Committee on Archaeological Policy

San Diego, Calif., Dec. 5, 2013 – Thomas E. Levy, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, has been unanimously elected to as Chair-Elect of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Committee on Archaeological Policy (CAP). 

Thomas Levy
Thomas E. Levy

CAP supports excavations and related research in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean regions by encouraging high standards for excavations and fostering deliberate and ethical practices for research. Levy, who is the associate director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) at the UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute, was elected to the position by ASOR’s Board of Trustees at its international meeting in Baltimore late last month. 

According to Oystein S. LaBianca, professor at Andrews University and current chair of CAP, “Levy was nominated to this position because of his state-of-the art fieldwork in Wadi Faynan (Jordan) and beause of his inspired teaching and mentorship of future generations of Levantine archaeologists.” The Levant is a geographic and cultural region along the Eastern Mediterranean. 

“I’m deeply honored to serve ASOR in this capacity and work with Oystein LaBianca over the next year to facilitate the good works that he has established for CAP,” said Levy. “I hope to facilitate growth, the adopting of more cyber-archaeology methodologies and excellence in research and publication.”   

Part of CAP’s mission is to provide advice, encouragement, constructive criticism and a peer review process to scholars and academic institutions seeking affiliation with ASOR. Currently, there are 67 expeditions affiliated with ASOR from Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Turkey and the Palestinian West Bank.  

Levy and his students from UC San Diego also presented papers at 10 different venues during ASOR’s meetings in Baltimore, most of which integrated state-of-the-art historical and anthropological theory based on fieldwork carried out in Jordan. Much of the research involved new methods of data capture, curation, analysis and dissemination developed in Levy’s Levantine and Cyber-Archaeology Lab. 

Some of the graduate students who presented are part of the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) for Training, Research and Education in Engineering for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics (TEECH) program, which is administered by the Qualcomm Institute. Levy and student Matthew Vincent served in a panel discussion entitled "Topics in Cyberinfrastructure I: Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century," which was organized by Chuck Jones of Penn State University and UCSD Alumni Sarah Whitcher Kansa and Eric Kansa, who are, respectively, the executive director and technology director of the of the Alexandria Archive.  Eric Kansa was recently honored by the White House as a Champion of Change in promoting Open Science.

The other students who presented papers include:

The Levantine and Cyber-Archaeology Lab was also well represented in the Projects on Parade Poster session by Matthew Howland  (who presented a poster titled, “DEM and Orthophoto Production through Balloon Photography and Structure from Motion”); and Matthew Vincent (“Digital Ecosystems Integrating Field Collection and Lab Management: Using web-services for the integration of disparate datasets.”

Related Links

The American Schools of Oriental Research

Media Contacts

Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353,