Welcome to our new Roman Archaeologist – Dr. Matthew McCarty

The CNERS Department welcomes our newest colleague, Dr. Matthew McCarty, who will take up the position of Assistant Professor of the Art and Archaeology of the Roman World starting July 1, 2015.


Matthew M. McCarty (DPhil, Oxford) is a Classical archaeologist whose work focuses on the edges of the Roman Empire, ancient religion, and the relationships between material objects and knowledge. Currently serving as the Perkins-Cotsen Fellow in Princeton’s Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, he directs the Apulum Mithraeum III Project, an excavation aimed at understanding the ritual and social dimensions of a Roman “mystery cult” and at training students in the methods of field archaeology. He is currently completing a monograph based on his dissertation, Empire and Worship in Roman Africa (Cambridge UP), which focuses on child sacrifice and the agency of Roman hegemony in re-shaping fundamental premises about the gods, society, ritual, and personhood in the ancient Maghreb. His next book project, The Materiality of Religion in the Roman World, argues that because religious knowledge in the ancient world was not created and circulated by texts but instead by the manipulation of objects, images, and environments, a history of religion in the Roman world ought to start from the archaeological record. His published articles and chapters cover a range of themes from concepts of historical continuity to the cognitive dimensions of ritual practice to the problems with using the concept of “heritage” to shape archaeological agendas in North Africa. Prior to joining the Society of Fellows, he served as a Lecturer in Ancient History at Worcester College (Oxford), Lecturer in Classics & Ancient History at the University of Warwick, and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Yale.