Laura Mazow

(PhD, University of Arizona, 2005)
Office: 225 Flanagan Building
Telephone: (252) 328-9432

About Me

I am an archaeologist and an associate 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 travelled 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 to investigate the function of ancient bathtubs. Were they used for bathing, burial or crafts production? To answer this question, I am 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

Aliens, Atlantis and Archaeology

Selected Publications:

Mazow, L., Mitra, S., Grieve, S. Carman, S. and Herrmann, V. (2016). Extraction and Analysis of Total Lipids in Reference Materials and from Soil Particles in a Bath-shaped Vessel from Zincirli, Ancient Sam’al., Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 8: 63-69.

Mazow, L., Grieve, S. and Kennedy, A. (2014). Contamination in Organic Residue Analysis: A Cautionary Tale. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies, 2.2: 90–109.

Mazow, L. (2014). The Root of the Problem: On the Relationship between Wool Processing and Lanolin Production. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 27.1: 33–50.

Mazow, L. (2014). Competing Material Culture: Philistine Identity at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the Early Iron Age, pp. 131–163, in Material Culture Matters: Essays on the Archaeology of the Southern Levant in Honor of Seymour Gitin, ed. John Spencer, Robert A. Mullins and Aaron J. Brody. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.

Mazow, L. (2013) “A Bathtub Murder”: (RE)Investigating Mesopotamian Bathtub Coffins. ASOR blog

Mazow, L. (2013). Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Innovations in Mediterranean Textile Production, pp. 215-223, in Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East, ed. M. L. Nosch and E. Anderson (Oxford: Oxbow Books).

A. Yasur-Landau, J. Ebeling and L. Mazow, L. (2011) Household Archeology in Ancient Israel and Beyond. Leiden: Brill.

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


Bathtub Research Project


Department News

There are a few GA positions available next year looking at enviro anth and climate change issues. If you are interested as an incoming grad student, See for more information.

 Dr. Ewen will be the featured speaker at the HCAS reception. See flyer for details

Gain valuable experience while earning school credit! There are numerous anthropology internship opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students. Students can attain school credit through two undergraduate internship courses, ANTH 4990 and 4991. To see all the possibilities and learn more, click here.
Kristalyn Gill was named winner of the 2015 ECU Study Abroad Photo Contest. Check out the photo of Kristalyn on Mt. Huascaran in Peru!

 Dr, Bailey's article, "A New Online Strategy in Teaching Racial and Ethnic Health and Health Disparities to Public Health Professionals" was accepted by the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. It will appear in the 2016 issue of the Journal.

Excavations in the Western Negev Highlands: Results of the Negev Emergency Survey 1978-89  by Dr. Benjamin Saidel and co-author M. Haimon was published December 2014 by British Archaeological Reports. See here for more.


Haley Drabek translated the Tyrrell Water Management Study finalized in 2014 into 9 separate brochures, one for each proposed water management district. She spent six weeks visiting property owners in each district to explain the benefits of participating in the localized water management district and asking for signatures of intent to join.

Anna Claire researched existing oral history booklets at the Tyrrell Visitor Center and then interviewed elderly Tyrrell County residents who grew up in the county. She taped these interviews for safe keeping at the Visitor Center and is currently writing narrative reports of the collected information, one for each conversation partner. These reports will be bound and held at the Tyrrell County Visitor Center for interested readers. Anna Claire has also been involved with a group of children in the county with a diverse ethnic background. Under Anna Claire's direction the children are currently writing a newsletter that will report on the children's experiences of growing up in Tyrrell County, exploring their favorite places, activities, and hopes for their future.  
East Carolina ranks number one for the second consecutive year as the provider of graduate degrees for the Register of Professional Archaeologists registrants! Read more here

 Dr. Holly Mathews and Dr. Laura Mazow were recognized for their outstanding teaching methods by students during the Spring 2015 semester from the College STAR.

Student response for Dr. Mathews:

"She gives feedback and forces her students to expand their mind and explore alternate theories or explanations. She wants her students to discuss topics in class instead of just listening to her talk the entire time."

Student response for Dr. Mazow:

"We have a small class which allows many opportunities for a lot of class discussion...She always provides feedback and answers to our journal entries and is always available when we need help." 

Congratulations to them both!