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Department of Anthropology




Laura Mazow, Ph.D.

Bathtub Research Project

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About Me

I am an archaeologist and an assistant professor in the anthropology department. My area of interest is the archaeology of the Middle East and within that area my professional research focuses on the Mediterranean Bronze and Iron Ages, the study of ancient technologies, particularly ancient weaving technologies, and Archaeology and the Bible. My current research is on ancient textile production processes and organic residue analysis in archaeology, for which I have received several grants.

I began my archaeological career in 1988 as a volunteer with The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, Israel. After completing my BA in History at Georgetown University, I traveled in the Middle East for a number of years, during which time I excavated at archaeological sites in Israel and Jordan, and worked for two years for the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Roman-Byzantine site of Beth-Shean. I earned My PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona in 2005. My dissertation on the Philistines is based on materials from the site of Tel Miqne-Ekron and I have continued to be involved with the publication of that excavation project. I began teaching at ECU in 2005, and joined the faculty in the Anthropology Department in 2009.

My current research is a collaborative project using archaeological and conservation science to investigate the function of ancient bathtubs. Were they used for bathing, burial or crafts production? To answer this question, we are drawing from a number of different disciplines, including Archaeology, Classics, Chemistry, Fine Arts and History. There are a number of opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate student involvement in this project and I encourage anyone interested to contact me.

Courses that I teach include:

Archaeology Around the World
Archaeology of the Old Testament World
Archaeology of the New Testament World
Archaeology of Egypt
Introduction to the Old Testament

Selected Publications:

In Press (Fall 2012), “Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Innovations in Mediterranean Textile Production at the End of the 2nd/Beginning of the 1st Millennium BCE,” in Textile Production in the Ancient Near East, ed. Marie Louise Nosch and Eva Anderson. (Oxford: Oxbow Books).

Forthcoming, “Competing Material Culture: Philistine Identity at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the Early Iron Age,” in ASOR Annual, ed. Aaron Brody, Robert Mullins and John Spencer, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.

2011 Household Archeology in Ancient Israel and Beyond (co-edited with A. Yasur-Landau and J. Ebeling). (Leiden: Brill).

2008 The Industrious Sea Peoples: The Evidence of Aegean-Style Textile Production in Cyprus and the Southern Levant, in “Cyprus, theSea Peoples and the Eastern Mediterranean,” ed. Timothy Harrison. Scripta Mediterranea, Vol XXVII-XXVIII, pp. 291-321.