Professor of Classical Archaeology
Dr. Sams’ present teaching interests are divided between Greek archaeology (undergraduate survey, CLAR 244; Greek Architecture, CLAR 464; Athenian Topography, CLAR 794) and Anatolian/Near Eastern (Near East in the Iron Age, CLAR 488; Archaeology of Anatolia, CLAR 489). In a First Year Seminar (sometimes Honors) that he teaches on a regular basis — the Architecture of Empire — he combines these areas (and adds others) by having students examine the language and purpose of architecture in ancient empires (Egyptian, Hittite, Neo-Assyrian, Persian, Athenian, and Roman).
His areas of research fall primarily within Anatolia, particularly in the Iron Age. These interests stem from his long association with Gordion, the ancient capital of Midas and Phrygia, where he has been Project Director since 1988. His specific research interests presently include pottery, architecture, and sculpture from Gordion; he is also interested in Phrygia’s contacts with neighboring peoples, especially the Lydians and Greeks to the west, and Near Eastern peoples to the east.
Since 1992, he has been President of the American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT). This position has allowed him to stay closely informed on research and research conditions in Turkey.