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University plans interdisciplinary approach for new archaeology institute

A search is underway for the director of a new Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, created by a recent gift from Chancellor Emeritus Artemis Joukowsky '55 P'87 and Professor Emerita Martha Sharp Joukowsky '58 P'87, both longtime supporters of the University. The institute, which will be housed in Rhode Island Hall, will be an interdisciplinary center focusing on the ancient Mediterranean region and Western Asia, the region of much of Martha Joukowsky's own work in archaeology.

"I have always had the dream of creating an institute that would provide a multi-disciplinary or cross-disciplinary approach to this area of study," Artemis Joukowsky said.

The institute will unite faculty from departments including classics, Egyptology, history of art and architecture, anthropology, religious studies and Judaic studies. It will incorporate the existing Center for Old World Archaeology and Art, from which Martha Joukowsky retired as director in July.

"I have wanted to see archaeology expanded as a field ever since I started here," Martha Joukowsky said. But she emphasized that she will not be involved in the process of hiring a director and plotting a course for the new institute. "I'm out of this process completely, which is as it should be," she said.

Dean of the Graduate School Karen Newman is chairing the organizing and search committee for the new institute. The committee began looking for a director this summer. Although today is the official deadline for applications, the committee will continue to accept applications but will begin narrowing the applicants to a shortlist of candidates. Newman is pleased with the response so far.

"We want someone both with skills to lead and administer, but who has a strong and internationally prominent research record, and also who is looking at the future of archaeology," she said.

The director will have a tenured senior faculty position in an appropriate department and should be in place in time for the next academic year.

The Joukowskys are not disclosing the value of their gift, but it will provide new funding for research, including off-campus fieldwork, library resources and the renovation of Rhode Island Hall. The gift will also provide for the center's director and for one additional faculty member to be hired annually for the next four years, each with slightly different areas of focus. These professors will have joint positions in other departments.

"The expectation is that (the institute) will become a hub and center for archaeological work across campus and bring together scholars who may dig, for example, in other areas of the world, but will share theoretical and technical interest with archaeology in the institute itself," Newman said.

Locating it in Rhode Island Hall will place the institute at the heart of the campus and make use of a building that Newman said some have deemed underused.

In addition to the labs and classrooms that will eventually be built in Rhode Island Hall, archaeology students will benefit from increased fieldwork opportunities abroad.

"It really is an opportunity for Brown to be absolutely the best in this field, certainly in the nation and possibly in the world," Newman said. "We already have enormous strengths in ancient studies ... so this is just a great opportunity to consolidate and expand those strengths to a new level of achievement and excellence."

Martha Joukowsky herself has led one of Brown's most notable archaeological studies - the excavation of the Great Temple in Petra, Jordan - for the past dozen years. An exhibit of artifacts from the site was displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York last year and is currently in Cincinnati.

Artemis Joukowsky said he and his wife strongly believe in the "intrinsic value" of dedication to a university. They were honored for their commitment to Brown at a gala celebration on Oct. 22.

"They have been, as they always are in all their years of generosity to Brown, among the most far-sighted and generous donors in terms of asking what the University needs and not what they want," Newman said.

Despite their longstanding history of generosity to Brown, Martha Joukowsky said it would have been unethical to make a donation to her own field before retirement. Another major reason for the timing of their "leadership" gift is the upcoming announcement of the capital campaign, which is currently in its "quiet phase."

"I'd love to have people to do the same sort of thing," Artemis Joukowsky said. "We've tried to be the models."

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