I am a Doctoral Candidate studying Ancient Near Eastern History at New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. SASA came together in my mind as part of my response to my growing realization over the last several years of the accelerating decrease in Ancient Studies. My experiences in universities, my passion for the ancient world, and my talent for bringing people together to work on projects led me to take action and found SASA. I am so proud to be part of a team of wonderful individuals, committed to sharing the ancient world and Ancient Studies with the public. I am also the Lead Researcher on the Shanati Project, supported with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is working to reconstruct the daily ancient Babylonian Calendar. My scholarship focuses on mining ancient texts to build understandings of how immigrant identities developed in their new contexts. I live in New Jersey with my wife and three beautiful children.
Although my work life has turned away from ancient studies since I received my BA in Classical Civilizations, I have always been passionate about ancient history and wanted to find a way back into the field. Through SASA I have been able to re-connect with academia, and in a way that highlights inclusivity, outreach, and education at every level. Working with amazing scholars in various ancient history fields through SASA encourages me even more to promote the importance of ancient studies, to further explore my passion in the field, and strive towards inclusion and innovation in ancient studies as a whole to keep these important fields alive and thriving! I love to travel and document not only ancient sites, but also artifacts and collections I see to share and help spread the knowledge and interest in the ancient world.
Valeria Zubieta Lupo
I am an Assyriologist with a focus on Hittitology. My current research interests are Hittite and Mesopotamian medicine, as well as the perception of diseased and disabled within the Anatolia of the second millennium. Right now I am working on a book about Hittite medical recipes. My experiences in the study and research of the ancient world made me very passionate about inclusivity and accessibility to education. I am very interested in understanding the current state of ancient studies, its problems, and weaknesses to hopefully bring a positive contribution to achieve a better future for the field and its people. And through SASA I have been able to combine each one of these passions.
I want to make the ancient world more accessible for everyone! I got involved with SASA because I want to inspire young people and life-long learners to pursue areas of interest in the ancient world, whether casually or in higher education. I am a PhD Candidate in History at UC Riverside. My research and teaching interests focus on the ancient Mediterranean with special interests in collective Greek identity, race and ethnicity, ancient athletics, religion, archaeology, and mythography. The Ancient Near East and the Late Antique worlds are burgeoning areas of interest for me—there is so much to learn with so little time! I have traveled to Greece, Turkey, and Italy several times, and I even lived in Athens for eight months in 2017-2018 (read about some of my travelers on my blog). These travels were foundational for my love and study of ancient Greece. Many great mentors along my educational journey encouraged me to pursue a PhD, and I want to pass on that curiosity and wonder to my students and the general public.
I am a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I have a BA and MA from Gent University (Belgium) in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and another BA from Leiden University (the Netherlands) in Hebrew and Aramaic Languages and Cultures. Currently, I teach in the Religious Studies department at UNC, where I focus on the material culture of ancient Judaism and early Christianity in the Middle East. Every summer, I travel to Israel, where I am the field supervisor of an archaeological excavation, which is digging up a Late Roman-Early Byzantine village with an ancient synagogue. I joined SASA because I think it is important to share academic knowledge with the public. It is not enough that professors and experts talk to each other about their findings; we should also let the general public know and get them excited about our field! After I graduate, I hope to work in the field of "public humanities", which means, sharing scientific research with everybody who is interested through every medium possible: books, documentaries, museum exhibitions, YouTube channels, podcasts, etc. I am also very interested in archaeogaming: the intersection between archaeology and video games! If you want to know more, you can follow me on Twitter: @Tine_Rass