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Current Field Projects

The Kelsey Museum supports a broad array of archaeological field projects, including both excavations and surveys, and explores a wide variety of different theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of ancient societies. This pluralistic vision has helped to make the University of Michigan a national center for teaching and research in Classical, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern archaeology. 

A major focus of current research is the development of the Greek and Roman city. The excavations at Gabii near Rome, directed by Kelsey director and professor of Classical studies Nicola Terrenato, are shedding new light on the early history of Rome itself. A project begun in 2014 by Lisa Nevett, also a Kelsey research associate and professor in the Department of Classical Studies, focuses on domestic architecture and the evidence for daily life in the short-lived town of Olynthos in northern Greece. An archaeological survey of the port city of Notion in Turkey, begun in 2014 under the direction of Christopher Ratté, is studying the history of urbanism in western Asia Minor following the conquests of Alexander the Great.

In addition, Kelsey research associate and professor of Egyptology Janet Richards is directing a large-scale investigation of a late 3rd- and early 2nd-millennium BCE mortuary landscape at Abydos in southern Egypt, while Kelsey research scientist Geoff Emberling is conducting collaborative community heritage work at El-Kurru and beginning excavation of the city at Jebel Barkal, both in northern Sudan.

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The recent Kelsey special exhibition "Graffiti as Devotion along the Nile: El-Kurru, Sudan" (2019–2020) explored hundreds of Meroitic graffiti recently discovered in a rock-cut temple by the Kelsey expedition to El-Kurru in northern Sudan.

Three of the Kelsey's ongoing archaeological projects—Olynthos, Gabii, and Notion—were featured in the 2018–2019 special exhibition "Urban Biographies, Ancient and Modern."

Navigate to our Online Exhibitions page to view virtual versions of these and other past exhibitions.


An asterisk (*) in the list at left denotes a site that is not currently being excavated, but is still producing research and publications.