Megan Daniels

Research Interests

  • Archaeology of Greece and the broader eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to Hellenistic Period
  • Ancient religion, sanctuaries, votive objects
  • Cross-cultural interaction
  • Ancient economies and trade
  • Divine kingship
  • Digital/data science approaches to the ancient world, particularly ancient religion
  • Migration and mobility across Eurasia
  • Phoenician culture
  • Ceramic analysis

Projects

In general, my research engages long-term history and the textual and material datasets of the ancient Mediterranean world with questions concerning the emergence of social complexity, political change, and economic development, and addresses these questions through interdisciplinary means. On one hand, my work has aimed to expand the geographical and cultural boundaries of the “Classical world” to encompass a much broader landscape of cultural and ethnic groups, and to position this cross-cultural complexity and interconnectivity as one of the key drivers of ancient Mediterranean history. On the other hand, I have endeavoured to incorporate new types of methodologies to investigating these areas. My work has incorporated hard sciences, social sciences, and digital humanities and data sciences, reflected particularly through my two edited volumes.

Monograph Project: The Queen of Heaven and a Goddess for All the People: Religion and Rulership in Archaic Greece
My current monograph project, built upon a revision of my 2016 PhD dissertation, argues for a long-term historical and large-scale geographical approach to understanding how the Greeks in the Iron Age interfaced with and transformed longstanding ideologies of rulership that had emerged over the course of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. This research adds a crucial new dimension to our understanding of the rise of the Greek city-state, or polis, namely by explaining how Greek communities in the period between ca. 550 and 350 BCE came to eschew, through myth and ritual, one-man rule in favour of more egalitarian governments. This research was supported by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Stanford University, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Migration and Mobility
My interests in migration, developed over my 2017-2018 postdoctoral fellowship at SUNY-Buffalo, have resulted in an edited volume, soon go to into press: Homo Migrans: Modelling Mobility and Migration in Human History. This volume argues for the need to understand human history through migration and mobility and not through discrete cultures. It investigates the long and problematic engagement of archaeology with the study of “cultural groups” and capitalizes on recent advancements in genetics and other hard sciences, now referred to as the Third Science Revolution in archaeology (Kristiansen 2014). I continue to build a research profile that includes a historiography of migration studies in archaeology over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a means to articulate the relationship between academic studies of migration and broader public and political sentiments towards migrants.

Phoenician/Punic Culture
I retain longstanding interests in Phoenician/Punic culture as well. I have published on the archaeology and history of the Phoenicians in North Africa and Spain, including a 2017 chapter for an edited volume for Cambridge University Press and a forthcoming chapter for an Oxford University Press handbook. I have also served as a staff member and ceramic analyst on an international archaeological project in Tunisia, the Zita Project, which includes excavation of a Punic sanctuary, and has resulted in joint authored peer-reviewed articles, both published and currently under review.

Social Sciences and Data Sciences Approaches to Ancient Religion
I am also keen on incorporating novel methodological approaches to investigating topics traditionally under the purview of the humanities, namely ancient religion, through the integration of models from the social sciences and digital and data science methodologies. Outputs in this area include a co-edited volume in preparation for Lockwood Press, Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods, which incorporates papers from two co-organized conference sessions, held in concurrent years (2017, 2018) at the Archaeological Institute of America and Society for Classical Studies Joint Annual Meeting. Following my current monograph project, my next project will focus on digital and data science approaches to updating and re-analyzing legacy data from excavations of Iron Age/Archaic eastern Mediterranean sanctuaries to model and articulate the socio-economic roles of religion in this period.

Archaeological Fieldwork and Ceramic Analysis
Finally, I have worked on numerous excavations for the past 15+ years, as both a field archaeologist and ceramics analyst. I started my career as an archaeologist for Parks Canada, assisting with archaeological mitigation and analysis at numerous sites throughout southern Ontario. I have also excavated in Greece (Azoria, Crete; Lefkandi-Xeropolis, Euboea; Diakofti, Kythera; Lecheion Harbour, Corinth; Stymphalos, Arcadia; and the Athenian Agora); Italy (Sant’Omobono, Rome); Bermuda (Port Royal Golf Course and the Cocoon Site); Macedonia (Herakleia Lyncestis); Turkey (Burgaz Harbours); and Tunisia (the Zita Project, Zarzis). I have an ongoing interest in ceramic analysis, and am currently working on finishing a catalogue of Hellenistic pottery from the acropolis excavations at Stymphalos. I have also worked as a ceramic analyst on the Burgaz Harbours Project, Turkey; the Zita Project, Tunisia; and the Howard Comfort Summer Program in Roman Pottery at the American Academy in Rome.

Degrees

B.A. Honours in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University (2005)
M.A. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, UBC (2009)
Certificate in Multimedia and Web Development, UBC (2016)
Ph.D. in Classics, Department of Classics, Stanford University (2016)

Career

Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, University of New England, Australia (2018-2020)
IEMA Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology, SUNY-Buffalo (2017-2018)
Lora Bryning Redford Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Puget Sound (2016-2017)

Selected Grants and Awards

University of New England Early Career Researcher Award for pilot project: “Of Temples and Tomes: Analyzing Trends in Votive Deposition and Social Change in the Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean (900-500 BCE)”, 2019
ACLS/Mellon Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2015-2016
Trudeau Scholar, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, 2012-2016
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, 2010-2014
Stanford Humanities Center Geballe Research Workshop Grant, 2011-2012
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2007-2008

Supervision

I am interested in supervising students in all aspects of Greek art/archaeology from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. My main interests centre on cross-cultural interaction through religion, trade, and shared ideologies between Greece, western Asia, and Egypt in the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the examination of these relationships through both texts and material culture. I am currently developing further research areas in the study of ancient mobility and migration and digital/data science approaches to the ancient world. Finally, I retain longstanding interests in Phoenician/Punic culture, and am happy to talk about supervision or co-supervision in these areas.

Previously supervised M.A. projects

A. Arrezzolo, University of New England: “The Art of Physical Exaggeration in Ptolemaic Iconography”
B. Arthur, University of New England: “Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty Egypt and the Pentapolis: The extent of Sherden and Peleset/Philistine migration, re-settlement and integration during the Ramesside”
B. Patford, University of New England: “Psychological Meaning from the Mythology and Iconography of Horus the Behdetite”

Previously supervised Honours theses

A. Cowan, University of New England: “Athena: Gender and Influence in Archaic and Classical Greek Mythology”

Publications

Books
(In preparation) Daniels, M. The Queen of Heaven and a Goddess for All the People: Religion and Rulership in Archaic Greece. (monograph project)

(Under review) Blakely, S. and M. Daniels (eds.) Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods: Conversations in Theory and Method. SAMR Series. Atlanta: Lockwood Press. (edited volume)

(Under revision) Daniels, M. (ed.) Homo Migrans: Modeling Mobility and Migration in Human History. IEMA Distinguished Monograph Series. Albany: SUNY-Press. (edited volume)

Articles and Book Chapters
Moses, V., B. Kaufman, A. Drine, H. Barnard, S. Ben Tahar, E. Jerray, and M. Daniels. 2019. “Evidence for Meat Consumption during the Punic to Roman Colonial Transition at Zita (2nd Century BCE-2nd Century CE).” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2751.

Daniels, M. 2018. “Aphrodite Pandemos at Naukratis Revisited: The Goddess and Her Civic Function in the Context of an Archaic Emporion.” Journal of Greek Archaeology 3: 165-201.

Daniels, M. 2017. “Annexing a Shared Past: Roman Appropriations of Hercules-Melqart in the Conquest of Hispania.” In Rome, Empire of Plunder: The Dynamics of Cultural Appropriation, edited by M. Loar, C. MacDonald, and D. Padilla-Peralta, 237-260. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Daniels, M. 2017. “Black Athena, 30 Years On: Why Bernal Still Matters to Classics.” Eidolon.

Higgins, S. C. and M. Daniels. 2015. “Alternative Academics: Moving Beyond the Academy.” Forum: Investigating the Future, Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3.3: 238-246.

Daniels, M. 2014. “Sacred Exchange: The Religious Institutions of Emporia in the Mediterranean World of the Later Iron Age.” In Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity: Remains and Representations of the Ancient City, edited by A. Kemezis, 297-327. Leiden: Brill.

(Revised and re-submitted) Daniels, M. “Aphrodite in the Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean: Analyzing Religion and Ideology on Multiple Scales.” In Untangling the Intangible: Reconstructing Ideologies, Beliefs, and Religion in the Past, edited by K. MacFarland and E. Johannesson. (for University of Colorado Press).

(Forthcoming 2021) Daniels, M. “‘Orientalizing’ Networks and the Nude Standing Female: Synchronic and Diachronic Dimensions of Ideology Transfer.” (For submission to Strong Ties: Networks and the Spread of Ideas in the Past, edited by A. Collar and under contract with Routledge).

(Forthcoming 2021) Daniels, M. “Heracles and Melqart.” (For submission to The Oxford Handbook to Heracles, edited by D. Ogden and under contract with Oxford University Press).

(Under revision for publication in 2021) Daniels, M. “Movement as a Constant? Envisioning a Migration-Centered Worldview of Human History.” (For submission to Homo Migrans: Modelling Migration and Mobility in Human History, edited by M. Daniels and under contract with SUNY Press).

(Under revision for publication in 2021) Daniels, M. “Cross-Cultural Religion in the Iron Age Mediterranean: Institutional and Evolutionary Perspectives.” (For submission to Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods: Conversations in Theory and Method. SAMR Series, edited by S. Blakely and M. Daniels and under contract with Lockwood Press).

Reviews
Daniels, M. 2020. Review of Lucas, Jason, Carrie Ann Murray, and Sara Owen, eds. Greek Colonization in Local Contexts: Case Studies in Colonial Interactions. Pp. vi + 241. Oxbow Books, Oxford 2019. American Journal of Archaeology.

Daniels, M. 2018. Review of Jeffrey P. Emanuel. Black ships and sea raiders: the late bronze and early iron age context of Odysseus’ Second Cretan Lie. Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017. BMCR 2018.10.43.

Daniels, M. 2017. Review of Bonnet, Corinne and Laurent Bricault. Quand les dieux voyagent: cultes et mythes en mouvement dans l’espace méditerranéen antique. Histoire des religions. Genève: Labor et Fides, 2016. BMCR 2017.6.18.

Winter 2020

CLST331 Greek Art and Architecture Sections

The visual culture of the ancient Greek world in the second and first millennia BCE, especially from c. 1000 to 30 BCE.

Winter 2020

CLST518A Topics in Greek Art and Archaeology - TPC GREEK A & A Sections

Winter 2020

CNRS104 Temples, Tombs, and Tyrants: The Archaeology of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome Sections

The rise of civilizations, cultural interconnections, and power dynamics in the ancient Middle East (including Egypt), Greece, and Rome (10,000 BCE - 300 CE). Archaeological methods and interpretation, and analysis of ancient artifacts in UBC collections.