Deborah Carlson

If you have an interest in the exciting and burgeoning field of nautical archaeology, you may instantly recognize Deborah Carlson in the photo to the right. Deborah, who received both her B.A. (1992) and M.A. (1995) in Classics from the department, is a regularly invited contributor to the Ancient Discoveries series on The History Channel. After leaving the UA, Deborah went on to earn her Ph.D. in Classics at the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 for her dissertation "Cargo in Context: The Morphology, Stamping, and Origins of the Amphoras from a Fifth-Century B.C. Ionian Shipwreck." Deborah currently holds the Sara W. and George O. Yamini Professorship in Nautical Archaeology within the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University. Since 2005, she has been the Archaeological Director of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology's (INA) excavation of a late Hellenistic column wreck at Kızılburun, Turkey.  In addition, she has extensive excavation and survey experience in Greece, Israel, and Italy. At Texas A&M, Deborah teaches courses in Greek & Roman archaeology, ancient seafaring, Greek & Roman pottery, Latin, and field archaeology.

Deborah is currently preparing an edited volume, The Classical Greek Shipwreck at Tektaş Burnu, Turkey, for publication in the Texas A&M University Press's Nautical Archaeology Series. Her recent journal articles include "Mast-step coins among the Romans," published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2007), and "The Classical Greek Shipwreck at Tektaş Burnu, Turkey," which appeared in the American Journal of Archaeology in 2003. An article entitled "Seeing the Sea: Ships' Eyes in Classical Greece" is forthcoming in Hesperia. Deborah's various other scholarly publications--including book chapters, published conference proceedings, reference works, and excavation reports--are too numerous to list here. She also has been invited to lecture on her work in Turkey at universities across the United States, including the University of Oklahoma, the University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University.

We interviewed Deborah by email:

What are your fondest memories of your time in the department?

Fieldwork! Assisting David Soren with his excavations at Chianciano Terme (Italy), and Mary Voyatzis with the excavations and post-excavation research at Tegea (Greece). I realize now how precious is the experience of participating in fieldwork at the graduate level, for it brings with it all of the perks and few (if any) of the headaches of responsibility, fund-raising, and publication!

What about your graduate program at UA has benefited you most in your subsequent career?

Teaching!  I feel so fortunate to have been entrusted with the responsibility of teaching four semesters of Latin, and later the Classics 340B class, while at the UA. Under Cynthia White's watchful eye, once a week the Latin GATs (i.e., teaching assistants) would get together for a communal progress report, and compare notes and teaching strategies. Those meetings were so valuable and I remember them well because I saved all of Cynthia's notes and I still consult them from time to time!

What are you currently working on?

Right now I am teaching undergraduate Classics courses and graduate courses for the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. During the summer I direct the excavation of a ship that was transporting a Doric column when it sank off the coast of Turkey in the first century B.C. Most recently I have initiated a collaboration with my old friend William Aylward, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (he and I were UA classmates), and we are preparing an article (to go to AJA, but it's not accepted yet!) about the destination of the shipwrecked Doric column.