Melissa Cradic

B.A., George Washington University, 2010
M.Phil., University of Cambridge, 2011
Dissertation: 
Transformations in Death: Funerary Practices and Personhood in the Bronze Age Levant
Email: 
melissa [dot] cradic [at] berkeley [dot] edu

I received my B.A. summa cum laude in Archaeology (special honors) and Classical Humanities in 2010 from The George Washington University. I was awarded the GWU Bender Scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where I completed an MPhil with distinction in Archaeology (Mesopotamia option) at Emmanuel College in 2011.  My MPhil thesis, "Continuity and Change in the Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age Southern Levant: Burial Evidence" investigated social and ritual relationships between communities of the living and the dead.

I came to U.C. Berkeley in 2011, where I continue to study archaeology and languages of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East with interests in funerary practices, household archaeology, and ritual texts. My dissertation, "Transformations in Death: Funerary Practices and Personhood in the Bronze Age Levant"  uses archaeological and textual evidence to investigate the roles of ancestor veneration in the performance of diverse funerary rituals of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. Levant. A chapter from my dissertation, "An Archaeological Model for Funerary Religion at Canaanite Megiddo," won the 2016 Joan B. Gruen essay prize.

My research has been funded by numerous grants, fellowships, and awards, recently including the 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Fellowship, 2016 Hellman Graduate Award, 2016 Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion Summer Research Grant, and the Archaeological Research Facility's Stahl Grant in 2015 and 2016. I am completing my dissertation at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem as a 2016-2017 Educational and Cultural Affairs Research Fellow.

I am active in archaeological fieldwork. At the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tel Megiddo (Israel), I supervise excavation of a Late Bronze Age building in Area H. I also serve as Field Archaeologist and Educational Program Director at the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, where I have been involved in survey and excavation projects spanning the Bronze Age through Roman periods. 

Beyond archaeological fieldwork, I have curated and managed museum collections. From 2012-2014, I was Collections Manager and Assistant Curator at the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. I also volunteered at the Harvard Semitic Museum while based at Harvard University as Fellow in the Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (2014-2016). In spring 2016, I was appointed Lecturer in Boston University's Dept. of History of Art and Architecture, where I taught an undergraduate course on the material culture of ancient Greece.