Caroline Cheung

B.S., B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007
Post-Baccalaureate, University of California, Los Angeles, 2008
M.A., Florida State University, 2011
Ph.D. Granted: 
Storage and Packaging for an Empire: Agricultural Economies in West-Central Italy, c. 200 BCE – 200 CE
caroline [dot] cheung [at] berkeley [dot] edu

I received a B.S. in Biochemistry, a B.A. in Classical Civilization, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Classics, all from the University of California, Los Angeles. What ultimately drew me to study the ancient world was the ability to utilize a multidisciplinary approach and a variety of evidence in asking a wide range of questions. While I was a post-baccalaureate student, I studied Greek, Latin, and German, as well as conservation science through the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials to develop my scientific training for archaeological purposes. My desire to further my training in classics and archaeology resulted in a cross-country move to Tallahassee, Florida, where I studied classical archaeology in the Master’s program in Classics at Florida State University. It was during this period that I developed broad interests in the Roman economy, ancient agriculture, imperialism, and ancient foodways. My interests in the Roman economy led to a thesis, “Size Matters: Reconsidering the Marble Supply from Imperial Portraiture,” which was a quantitative study that investigated marble consumption by examining developments in the size and types of imperial portraiture from the late first century BCE to the third century CE.

I joined the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology at Berkeley in 2011. Since my arrival, I have continued to pursue my research interests, while expanding my theoretical and methodological foundations. I am especially interested in bridging the supposed divide between the productive countryside and the consumer urban center and in investigating local communities under Roman rule by examining decisions made regarding storage and distribution of agricultural products. My overall work aims to evaluate the economic and social realities of Roman imperialism by examining a wide range of material evidence and textual sources, and I have been fortunate to take hands-on courses in Roman material culture, papyrology, and paleoethnobotany at Berkeley. I have long been interested in ancient Italy, but more recently my interests have expanded to include other regions of the ancient Mediterranean. I have been cultivating an interest in Egypt especially, thanks to opportunities to study papyrology and work with artifacts from Tebtunis here at Berkeley, as well as through a literary papyrology seminar and research term at the University of Oxford in Spring 2013.

I have excavated at various sites in Italy (San Martino, Cetamura del Chianti, Pompeii) and am currently involved with the Pompeii Artifact Life History Project (PALHIP) and excavations at Cosa (Ansedonia). My participation in PALHIP has piqued an interest and provided experience in studying ceramics, artifact life histories, craft production, and formation processes; I have been directing a sub-project for PALHIP that examines the manufacture, repair, and use of in-situ dolia from Regio I, Insula 22 and recently began studying the pithoi excavated by the American Excavations at Morgantina: Contrada Agnese Project. In addition to fieldwork, I have been working on several papyri (leases, letters, and literature) from Tebtunis and Oxyrhynchus. During my graduate studies at Florida State University, I taught as a teaching assistant for Great Discoveries in Archaeology and as instructor of record for Ancient Mythology. While at Berkeley, I taught as a graduate student instructor for History 4A (The Origins of Western Civilization) and Classics 17B (Roman Archaeology) and as instructor of record for Latin 1 (Elementary Latin).  

During the 2016-2017 academic year, I am the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome

Select Presentations

“Wooden Stamps from Tebtunis: Evidence for Local Distribution of Commodities,” in the American Society of Papyrologists panel, “Culture and Society in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Egypt,” SCS Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, January 2017.

“The Pompeii Artifact Life History Project – new methodological approaches,” (co-presented with J.T. Peña), in “Small Finds; Writ Large” panel, AIA Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, January 2017. 

“A Rare and Early Double Document of a Vineyard Lease (P.Tebt.0137),” 28th International Congress of Papyrology, Barcelona, Spain, August 2016.

“The Dolia of Regio I, Insula 22: Evidence for the Production and Repair of Dolia,” (poster, with G. Tibbott), international conference organized by the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia: “Fecisti Cretaria. Produzione e Circolazione Ceramica a Pompei: Stato degli Studi e Prospettive di Ricerca,” Pompei, Italy, June 2016.

“Evidence for the Production and Repair of Dolia at Regio I, Insula 22 (Pompeii),” AIA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 2015.

“An Overview of the Tebtunis Collection at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley,” Università degli Studi a Padova, October 2014. 

“Pompeii Artifact Life History Project: 2014 Season,” (co-presented with J.T. Peña), Berkeley Ancient Italy Roundtable, October 2014.

“Literary Fragments (Strabo, Geographica, I 2.31; Xenophon, de Vectigalibus, I 4-5 and II 1-2) and Private Correspondence from Oxyrhynchus,” Fifth Berkeley-Oxford Papyrology Seminar, September 2014.

“The Pompeii Artifact Life History Project: aims and first season’s results,” (co-presented with J.T. Peña), AIA Annual Meeting, Seattle, January 2013.

“Size Matters: Reconsidering the Marble Supply through Imperial Portraiture,” California Classical Association-South Spring Meeting, April 2012 (invited talk).