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Headshot Christy Schirmer

Christy Schirmer

Visiting Assistant Professor
Jones Hall 312C


Ph.D. Classics (concentration in Classical Archaeology), University of Texas at Austin, 2022
M.A. Classics, San Francisco State University, 2015
B.A. English, University of Washington, 2003


Professor Schirmer’s work is situated broadly in the fields of Roman archaeology, social history and the ancient economy. Her research centers on relationships between humans and their environment, including ancient diet, urban industry, and the daily life of non-elite people living in antiquity. She examines the ways that communities in Rome’s vast empire exploited natural resources, in particular the degree to which river communities relied on freshwater fish as a food and commercial resource. She is currently working on a book based on her dissertation, which explored how the commercial fishing industry operated on rivers that were also major transport routes. The longer project focuses on regional responses to changing social and political circumstances and how river fish consumption changed over time, particularly in the context of Roman expansion. Her research has been supported by the American Academy in Rome, where she held the Millicent Mercer Johnsen/Irene Rosenzweig Rome Prize fellowship in 2020–2021, the Archaeological Institute of America's John R. Coleman Fellowship, and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship.

She is also an active field archaeologist, serving as the Field Director for the American Excavations at Morgantina: Agora Valley Project, a multi-year campaign that examines public space in Morgantina’s agora during the Hellenistic and Roman periods on Sicily. Her forthcoming publications include chapters for the final publication volumes of the American Excavations at Morgantina: Contrada Agnese Project, which investigates the development of a mixed-use Hellenistic house just outside Morgantina’s urban city center. She served as co-director of the Urban Economy of Volubilis Project (UEVP) in Morocco, a minimally-invasive and interdisciplinary project investigating the nature of production and industrial networks at the Roman city of Volubilis. To date, the project’s primary focus has been on cross-craft relationships between the city’s bread bakers and other local craftspeople (quarriers, stonemasons, and olive oil producers). Analysis and forthcoming publications for UEVP were supported by the Archaeological Institute of America’s Ellen and Charles Steinmetz Endowment Grant (2021) and The Roman Society’s Donald Atkinson Fund Grant (2020).