FIONA ROSE-GREENLAND: Principal Investigator

Fiona Greenland is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia (beg. July 2017). From 2014 to 2017 she served as Research Director for The Past for Sale project at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago. Greenland studies the interplay of political ideology, state formation, and national traditions in the production of cultural heritage. Recent publications include “Color Perception in Sociology” (Sociological Theory 2016), “Universalism, Nationalism, and the Italian Model of Repatriation” (Brown Journal of World Affairs 2017), and “In, On, and Of the Inviolable Soil: Potsherds and Matters of Nationhood in Modern Italy” (in National Matters, ed. Geneviève Zubrzycki, Stanford Univ. Press 2017). Her forthcoming book, Ruling Culture: Art police, tomb robbers, and the rise of cultural power in Italy (University of Chicago Press 2018), traces the emergence of “cultural power,” a particular form of state power developed in modern Italy. Greenland earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan and her D.Phil. in Classical Archaeology from Oxford University.

Personal Website / University of Virginia Website / / Contact


OYA TOPCUOGLU: Project Manager, Archaeology

Oya Topçuoğlu is a lecturer at Northwestern University's Middle East and North African Studies (MENA) program. She studies reflections of identity in the material culture of the ancient Near East, focusing specifically on the imagery of early second millennium cylinder seals in northern Mesopotamia in an attempt to understand the political mechanisms and ideologies underlying the motifs in seal design, and the effects of political change on material culture. Her research also addresses political uses of the ancient past and its role in the formation of national identities in the modern Middle East. She is particularly interested in representations of the past in school textbooks, the history of archaeology and museums, and cultural heritage preservation in her native Turkey. Topçuoğlu received her Ph.D. in Mesopotamian Art and Archaeology from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and her B.A. in History from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. / Northwestern Website / Contact


JAMES MARRONE: Project Manager, Economics

As of autumn 2017, Jim Marrone is an economist at the RAND Corporation in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. His work on the antiquities trade includes analyses of the market impact of cultural heritage law (link here) and a detailed investigation of the value of provenance (link to abstract here). Jim’s other work is in labor economics, constructing human capital models of cultural assimilation and developing new methods to effectively measure cultural traits.

Published Paper / Contact


TASHA VORDERSTRASSE: Archaeology Research Assistant

Tasha Vorderstrasse is a Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology in 2004 from the University of Chicago and has been a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) in Leiden. Her work focuses on the visual and material culture of the Near East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia and the relationships between these areas and China. She has worked on archaeological projects primarily in different parts of Turkey. She was also the co-director of the Oriental Institute excavations at Ambroyi in Armenia in 2013 and 2014. She is the author and co-editor of numerous articles and several books, including, most recently "A Cosmopolitan City: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Old Cairo," which accompanied the Oriental Institute Museum exhibition of the same name that she co-curated.



Past Project Associates

MONIQUE VINCENT: Archaeology Research Assistant

Monique Vincent received her Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. Her research focuses on Early Iron Age households and communities in the southern Levant, particularly at Tall al-'Umayri, Jordan. She has excavated at Tall al-'Umayri since 2004 and has also participated in other excavation projects in Jordan, Turkey, and Spain.



TEAGAN WOLTER: Archaeology Research Assistant

Teagan is a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago focusing on Mesopotamian archaeology. She received her B.A. in anthropology with a certificate in archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and also completed an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. Her research interests are in Northern Mesopotamia during the third millennium BCE. She is particularly interested in the intersection between socio-political complexity and organized violence.

LinkedIn / Contact


ZIV DREYFUSS: Economics Research Assistant

Ziv graduated from the University of Chicago in 2015 with a degree in Economics and a minor in History. In addition to his research with MANTIS, Ziv works at the Center for Data Intensive Science at the University of Chicago, a research center that develops tools and methodologies for “Big Data” applications in biological and environmental science. As a research assistant, Ziv is currently developing a user interface to help track the processing of petabytes worth of genomic data.



THEODORE WATLER: Economics Research Assistant

Theodore Watler graduated from the University of Chicago in 2016 with a double major in Art History and Law, Letters, & Society. His research interests are in Classic Maya art and architecture, early 20th century ethnographic collecting practice, and looting and art crime in Latin America. Theodore participated in the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, and has interned at Christie’s and the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art. Theodore also briefly served as a University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors extern at the Frick Collection.



Past funding for MANTIS research provided by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the Antiquities Coalition, and the University of Chicago's Department of Art History.