The faculty who staff the MIIAR are drawn from departments across the Millsaps College campus. They are scientists and historians, linguists and philologists. They've worked and traveled on nearly every continent. They are teachers and scholars.
Sociology/Anthropology- George Bey, Michael Galaty
Classical Studies- Catherine Freis, Holly Sypniewski
History- David Davis
Religious Studies- James Bowley
Geology- Stan Galicki

MIIAR Faculty
Collective Age
About 252 Years

Michael Galaty received his Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. His interests include the archaeology of Europe, the Balkans in particular, regional analysis, and ceramic studies. His dissertation research-which addressed ceramic manufacture and consumption in the Mycenaean state of Pylos-was conducted in Greece with the Pylos Regional Archaeological Project and was published as Nestor's Wine Cups (British Archaeological Reports #766, 1999). In 2000, Galaty edited Rethinking Mycenaean Palaces (UCLA), a volume of papers regarding the organization and evolution of Mycenaean state systems. In 2004, he edited Archaeology Under Dictatorship (Springer), a volume of papers on the practice of archaeology under various modern totalitarian Mediterranean governments. Currently, he directs the Shala Valley Project, an international, interdisciplinary effort aimed at surveying a high-altitude, northern Albanian valley. From 1998-2003 he helped direct The Mallakastra Regional Archaeological Project in central Albania. There, an international team of archaeologists surveyed the hinterland of a Greek colony, Apollonia, which was founded in the territory of the Illyrians in 588 BC. Galaty also directed archaeological investigations at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, a circa 1000-acre property located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. Excavations of a 19th-century home and Archaic Indian camp were conducted at the multi-component "Mountain View" site. Mike enjoys watching the Green Bay Packers -- except when they get beat by the Saints. Mike is also producing a documentary film on the travels of Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books) in northern Albania in the 1920s.

James Bowley is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies. He received his Ph.D. in 1992 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he studied in a joint program with the University of Cincinnati Department of Classics. Dr. Bowley also studied archaeology and historical geography in Israel and has led several study tours to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. His research interests include the Dead Sea Scrolls; he is joint editor of the official Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance. He is also affiliated with the Tel Zeitah project in central Israel, leading Millsaps students there 2004-2006. "But what I really am is a STUDENT-a student who gets paid!" James believes that his real job is to ask questions about texts and religions and history and then to devise meaningful and enjoyable ways of exploring in the directions that those questions point. For more about James, go to his homepage.

George Bey is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Millsaps and also serves as the Associate Dean of Sciences. He teaches a broad range of archaeology and anthropology courses, from the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt to American Popular Culture. His area of research interest is Mesoamerican archaeology, the analysis of prehistoric pottery and the evolution of complex societies, such as the Maya and Toltecs. Since 1984 he has directed field projects in the Yucatan, first at the Maya site of Ek Balam and since 2000 at the site of Kiuic. Kiuic sits amidst a 4000-acre biocultural reserve created with the support of Millsaps College, offering students unique opportunities to study Maya archaeology, as well as the flora and fauna of the tropical forests of Yucatan. In addition to anthropology and archaeology, Dr. Bey enjoys reading science fiction and watching the New Orleans Saints, especially when they beat Green Bay (see Galaty).

Catherine Freis is professor and chair of Classical Studies. She earned her doctorate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Classical Studies, with a specialty in Greek Tragedy. Her interests range from the study of world-wide mythology, the art and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, classical epic and modern film, opera and American musical theater, as well as dance drama in India and Japan. She regularly teaches Classical Art and Archeology, has studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and in Italy, and has recently spent the summer in Rome, as a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar, "The Cultural Context of Roman Religions." She has led tours to Greece which combine the study of archeological sites along with the art, literature, social and historical contexts.
Holly Sypniewski is an assistant professor in Classical Studies. She received her BA from the University of Cincinnati, and MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002) where she specialized in Augustan poetry. Her research interests include Vergil and the Vergilian tradition, Roman elegy, Hellenistic Greek and mythography, in particular the myths of Perseus and Medusa (to whom she bears a strong resemblance: see photo at left). This spring semester she gets to indulge her love of Classics and travel by taking 10 students to Italy for Roman Legacy Field Study. She believes that students learn best when they experience firsthand the cultures which they study.

David Davis, Associate Professor of History, also serves as Associate Dean of Arts and Letters. After receiving his Ph.D. in African History from Northwestern University, he taught for four years at Brown University before joining the Millsaps faculty in 1988. Dr. Davis' academic interests range from precolonial African history to the contemporary Arab-Israeli conflict. His passion for archaeology developed as a result of using oral traditions and cultural artifacts to shed light on the precolonial history of the Mamprusi and Dagomba of northern Ghana. Field surveys along the Gambaga Scarp and surface collections at the abandoned city of Yendi Dabari greatly enhanced our understanding of iron-working in the region and provided a useful typology for dating 17th and 18th century clay smoking pipes. Since coming to Millsaps, Dr. Davis has also served as Director of the freshman World Heritage program, and in that capacity spent the summer of 1994 excavating with Dr. Tim Gregory of Ohio State at Isthmia in Greece. The focus of his own research during that seminar were the harbors of the Corinthia, particularly Lechion and Kenchreai. In 1993, he documented historical archaeological sites along the Pearl River Basin in Mississippi for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Dr. Davis continues to pursue this interest, having recently visited archaeological sites in the Yucatan, Kenya, Indonesia, and Israel. He is convinced that for the student of history, there is no more immediate contact with the past than through the everyday objects procured, produced, valued, and handled by the very historical actors themselves!

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