Cicek Beeby awarded two grants for cemeteries study

Cicek Beeby has been awarded two UNC grants that will support her research as she launches her dissertation work on the organization and distribution of cemeteries across Greek settlements in the Geometric period.

The first grant is the Pre-Dissertation Travel Award from the Center for Global Initiatives (CGI)—this award is designed to help PhD candidates conduct preliminary research in preparation for writing a dissertation proposal. Cicek will use the funds to travel to Greece in August and select case studies for her dissertation.

The second award is the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI) Graduate Fellowship for 2015-2016. This fellowship will assist Cicek in navigating the digital components of her dissertation. In the fall, she plans on creating social network models of how people are connected to each other through cemeteries. In the spring, she hopes to translate these network models into spatial distribution patterns using Geometric Athens as a test case. The fellowship provides funds for research and professional development during the academic year and concludes with a summer stipend for summer 2016.

Alumnus Henderson passes

We sadly share the news that Charles Henderson, Jr., PhD ’55, passed away on April 19, 2015, in York Harbor, ME. To honor Henderson’s life and contributions to the field of Classics and the department, the department hosted a small memorial celebration on April 29. There, friends of Henderson shared their favorite memories of him, including his rules for visiting “Granddaddy’s House.” The gathering was held in Ullman Library, which Henderson ensured was named in honor of his mentor Berthold Lewis Ullman.

Born in Lynchburg, VA, Aug. 22, 1923, the paripatetic scholar would leave and return to North Carolina several times throughout his adulthood. He first arrived in North Carolina to attend Davidson College as an undergraduate. After earning his bachelor’s in 1942, though, Henderson’s studies were interrupted by World War II. On Dec. 31, 1942, Henderson answered the call of duty, and joined the U.S. Navy, serving for a number of years before completing his service as a commanding officer of the U.S.S. Manning (DE 199) in 1946.

After the war, Henderson was compelled to return to the state to complete his academic training. He returned to North Carolina to study Classics at Chapel Hill in 1946, completing his master’s by 1947. By 1955, he had completed his dissertation, “A Lexicon of the Stylistic Terms Used in Roman Literary Criticism,” but would not tarry in the Tar Heel state for long. He left UNC with PhD in hand to teach at Washington Square College, New York University for five years.

NYU was not alluring enough to keep Henderson from Chapel Hill, however. When a position for an assistant professor became available at UNC, the journeyman left his instructor position in the North to return to the Old North State. By 1958 Henderson ascended to an associate professorship. Having been associated with the department for most of his adulthood, Henderson became as familiar to the department as his own mentor, Ullman. Also like Ullman, Henderson diligently mentored graduate students through their studies and nurtured the talents of undergraduates at UNC while steadily producing scholarship. Ullman and he teamed with others to pen Latin for Americans, a pedagogical text that is still in use today. Despite his close affiliation with Ullman and the department, Henderson left the University for the last time in 1964, accepting a professorship at Smith College. He remained at Smith for over 20 years, retiring in 1986.

Regardless his distance from UNC, Henderson retained close ties to fellow classmates, former students, and the department. In particular, the department owes a special debt of gratitude toward Henderson for funding the renovation of our library. It was at Henderson’s bequest that the library was named in memory of Ullman, recognizing the value of not only Ullman’s contribution to the department and field of Classics but also as a mentor to Henderson and his fellow students. We, in turn, will remember “Charlie” as a student, professor, mentor, benefactor, and friend who greatly impacted our department long after he left it.

Three graduate students to ASCSA, 2015-2016

Emma Buckingham, Alexandra Daly and Catharine Judson have been awarded competitive fellowships to attend the Regular Program of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) for the 2015-2016 academic year: Daly, the Thomas Day Seymour Fellowship in history and literature; Buckingham, the Heinrich Schliemann Fellowship in archaeology; and Judson, the Emily Townsend Vermeule Fellowship in Bronze Age archaeology. The awards were made on the recommendation of the ASCSA Committee on Admissions and Fellowships and are based on the results of the competitive qualifying examinations and the quality of applications.

Founded in 1881, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), providing graduate students and scholars from North American colleges and universities a base for research, fieldwork, and advanced study in Greek archaeology. UNC has been a member institution of the ASCSA for the better part of a century.

Ditmore and Rohde win CAMWS awards

For the first time in department history, two of our undergraduate students simultaneously have won  Manson A. Stewart Undergraduate Awards for 2015. The Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) awarded two of its six awards to Allison Ditmore and Jake Rohde for being “outstanding young Classicists.” Both will receive a $1,000 gift to fund their studies.

Ditmore and Rohde join the ranks of many majors who have won the award, such as last year’s winner, Nicole Curtis.

Congratulations to scholarship winners!

The department is pleased to announce recipients of the Eunice and Luther Nims Scholarship, the Herington Scholarship, and the Preston H. and Miriam L. Epps Prize in Greek Studies. We congratulate these students for their terrific academic achievements!

Nims Scholarship winners

The Nims Scholarship provides junior and seniors in the department with funding for tuition, room, board, and fees for study at UNC or abroad.

  • Austin Glock Andrews, Classical Archaeology and Religious Studies, to participate in the Huqoq excavation
  • Allison G. Ditmore, Classics, to participate in the Azoria Project
  • Abigail Laurin Dupree, Classical Archaeology; to participate in the Azoria Project
  • Amanda Marie Kubic, Classical Civilization; for the College Year in Athens Summer Program
  • Jaboa M. Little, Classical Civilization; for the College year in Athens Summer Program
  • Jake Rohde, Classics and Philosophy; for the Oxford Program Study Abroad
  • Philip Murray Wilson, Classics and History; for Intensive Greek at University of Pennsylvania

Herington Scholarship winner

The Herington Prize is awarded to a first-year, sophomore, or junior major or minor who the faculty deem to be among the best students of Greek.

  • Jaboa Little

Epps Prize winner

The Epps Prize is given to the student who “shows the greatest interest and promise in coming to understand the Greek language, literature, history, and outlook.”

  • Drew Cabaniss


Worsham wins SPARC award

Rebecca Worsham


Rebecca Worsham has been awarded the Fieldwork Award from the Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC) at the University of Arkansas’s Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) and Archaeo-Imaging Lab (AIL).

In collaboration with Donald Haggis and Michael Lindbloom, Uppsla University, Worsham will map and create a 3D model of the Malthi settlement. Malthi is a Middle to Late Bronze Age archaeological site that many scholars have largely ignored in recent years.

“The site was excavated in the 1920s and 30s, but has not been meaningfully examined since then, partially as a result of problems with the interpretation and dating of the site by the original excavator,” Worsham explains. “As a result, a large body of available archaeological data, including domestic, industrial, and administrative spaces, and representing one of the fullest settlements of the period, has been dismissed from the academic dialogue, while the site itself is being destroyed by erosion and exposure.”

Worsham hopes that her SPARC funding will change the way view and use the site.

“The SPARC Fieldwork Award will be used to map and create a 3D model of the settlement architecture, which can be used for later analysis and for the preservation of the information offered by the site,” she detailed. “I hope with this work that this crucial site can be reintegrated into the discussion on the period, and particularly to highlight its importance in the creation of new types of communities at the transition to the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600 BC) in mainland Greece.”

Through her digital imaging of the site, Worsham will trace the organization and re-organization of Malthi, uncovering how the architecture and other socio-cultural elements influenced the settlement patterns of the area.

As part of her ongoing work with Malthi, Worsham has started working with UNC’s 3D Imaging Workshop in Davis Library’s Research Hub. There, a February workshop led by UNC alumna Rachel Opitz of SPARC catalyzed the establishment of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology’s 3D Imaging Group. 3-DIG, as the group is known, is a collaboration of students form Classics, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and the School of Information and Library Science who are working on applying these digital techniques to the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage, and public engagement, according to Vincas P. Steponaitis, chair of the Curriculum in Archaeology and director of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology.

“I am grateful to have had this opportunity and excited to continue to work with and learn more about the application of these technologies as I finish my graduate work here at UNC,” Worsham said.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, SPARC offers direct support for geospatial research in archaeology. In addition to conducting workshops such as the one lead by Opitz at UNC, the organization also assists with data collection from the field, processing and analyzing such data, and publishing and archiving the results of geospatial dataset. Their website also offers online resources and webinars. For information about SPARC and to read about other award winners, visit SPARC’s website here.

Cabaniss blogs about research

Catch up with Senior Drew Cabaniss’s research on the process of urbanization and city structure at The Blog of the Office of Undergraduate Research. There, Cabaniss shares how his intellectual curiosity in cities took him from Santa Fe, NM, to the island of Crete in Greece. At both archaeological sites, Cabaniss developed practical research skills. Digging with Donald Haggis at the Azoria Project, Cabaniss quickly advanced from being a trench supervisor to being a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist by summer 2014. In this role, he began to construct a geodatabase that contextualizes found objects in the clan-based urban settlement. To capstone his travels and work at Azoria, Cabaniss is constructing an senior Honors thesis on the past and future implications of ancient Cretan urbanism under the direction of Prof. Haggis. To read more about how Cabaniss’s journey from Santa Fe to Crete influenced his research in Chapel Hill, click here.

Haggis headed to ASCSA, 2015-2016

Donald Haggis was appointed Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professor at the American School of Classical Studies  in Athens (ASCSA), for the academic year 2015-2016, by vote of the Managing Committee of the School in January at the Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America in New Orleans. Haggis will be one of two visiting faculty members in residence at the ASCSA next year, conducting research and occasional seminars.

Founded in 1881, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), providing graduate students and scholars from North American colleges and universities a base for research, fieldwork, and advanced study in Greek archaeology. UNC has been a member institution of the ASCSA for the better part of a century.

From classroom to conference

In fall 2013, Robert Babcock presented his Latin paleography graduate students with a challenge. He asked three of his students to determine the origins of a collection of over fifty eleventh-century manuscripts from the Belgian Royal Library. This neglected area of research would entail painstakingly analyzing the script, the corrections, and the marginalia of the hand-scribed documents to determine whether or not they were originally copied at the Gembloux abbey. Will Begley, John Beeby, and Keith Penich accepted the challenge and altered the way scholars understand this important collection. By identifying the origins of the manuscripts, Begley, Beeby, and Penich placed these texts in their rightful context, and went on to share their groundbreaking findings at a paleographic conference.

The valued collection of manuscripts came to Brussels in the eighteenth century from the nearby abbey of Gembloux, and contain several classical, patristic, and medieval texts, including Cicero, Lucan, Manilius, and Ovid. While textual scholars have long treasured the contents of the documents, the context of the creation of the manuscripts remained unknown. Paleographers were uncertain whether or not the manuscripts had originally been copied at the abbey or had been acquired by the abbey from elsewhere.

Will Begley, John Beeby, and Keith Penich (front, l-r), presented their work from Bob Babcock's Latin paleography class at the Texts and Contexts conference. Prof. Babcock (back) chaired the students' discussion of the origins of eleventh-century manuscripts from Gembloux, a Belgian abbey.

Will Begley, John Beeby, and Keith Penich (front, l-r), presented their work from Bob Babcock’s Latin paleography class at the Texts and Contexts conference. Prof. Babcock (back) chaired the students’ discussion of the origins of eleventh-century manuscripts from Gembloux, a Belgian abbey.

This is where Begley, Beeby, and Penich stepped in to assist Prof. Babcock and his Belgian colleague, Albert Derolez, with their comprehensive study of the collection.

The three each focused on a different aspect of the manuscripts — the script, the corrections, and the critical signs — to determine that the manuscripts did originate with the abbey. Deciphering the script, Penich analyzed the eleventh-century copy of Statius’ Thebaid and Achilleid. He compared the scribal hands of the collection to determine that the scribal hand of the Statius works matched that of one belonging to the abbey. Next, Beeby compared the scribal and correcting hands of Valerius Maximus to other manuscripts from Gembloux, finding that both hands were evident in many different Gembloux texts. Finally, Begley examined the system of critical signs, or marginalia, used in the Gembloux scriptorium in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Examining primarily Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations, he revealed how the Tusculans and other texts were read and understood by the Gembloux community.

Begley, Beeby, and Penich then translated their final papers for the course into a panel discussion at the Text and Contexts November 2014 conference at The Ohio State University. There, the academic community took note of their laborious study.

“The papers were brilliant. The manuscripts are all of prime importance for the editor of these texts, and each man had something new to say about his own,” exclaimed the conference’s keynote speaker, Francis Newton, PhD ’53, in an email after the conference.

“The UNC panel was widely described as one of the highlights of the conference,” Prof. Babcock, who chaired the session, reflected. “Our graduate students were praised for the quality, originality, and importance of their work, as well as for the clarity and organization of their presentations.”

“To me, a long-time student of Latin manuscripts and texts, it was fascinating and ground-breaking. The audience felt the same way,” continued Prof. Newton. “The presentation was professional, though I am happy to report that each also, at some point, let us see how enthusiastic he was about his project and his finds.”

West’s dissertation now available online

Harvard’s Center for Helenic Studies has published William C. West’s study of Greek public monuments on its open-access portal.

Greek Public Monuments of the Persian Wars is a catalog of the public monuments fifth-century Greeks erected to commemorate the wars. Prof. West originally completed the project as his Pd.D. dissertation, itemizing and categorizing each monument in Greek. In recent years, Prof. West translated his catalog into English.

The original version of Prof. West’s work lives in Murphey Hall, making a pilgrimage to Chapel Hill necessary to use the item. Through CHS’s open-access platform, the newly translated text promises to reach a wider audience than before.

Read Prof. West’s complete work here.