John Peter Oleson, an archaeologist and Classics scholar, is Professor in the Dept. of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria, where he has taught since 1976. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He served eight years as Chair of the Department. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Board member of the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman and of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Canada. From 1997 to 2001 he was a member of Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was appointed a Killam Research Fellow for 2000-2002. In 2003 he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, the highest academic honour the university can bestow. In November 2010 the Royal Society of Canada awarded Oleson the Pierre Chauveau Medal "for a distinguished contribution to knowledge in the Humanities."
Prof. Oleson's research focuses on ancient technology, particularly ships, harbours, and water-supply systems. He has published 12 books and over 95 articles and chapters in the areas of maritime archaeology, ancient technology, the Roman Near East, Etruscan tombs, numismatic art and related subjects. His most recent books are Building for Eternity: The History and Technology of Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea (Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2014; Editor and co-author), Humayma Excavation Project, vol. 1 (Boston, ASOR, 2010) and vol. 2 (Boston: ASOR, 2014, co-author), Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 (865 pp., 150 illus.; editor), Deep-Water Shipwrecks off Skerki Bank: The 1997 Survey. Journal of Roman Archaeology, Suppl. 58. Portsmouth R.I., 2004 (224 pp., 228 illus.; co-author), and Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 1997 (xxiv + 624 pp.; co-author), and several long chapters in Handbook of Ancient Water Technology (Leiden: Brill, 1999).
Prof. Oleson has directed or participated in underwater excavations at a number of Roman harbour sites in Italy and Israel, and between 1986 and 2006 he directed excavations at the site of Humayma, ancient Hawara, a small caravan stop in Jordan's southern desert. Since 2001 he has co-directed the Roman Hydraulic Concrete Study (ROMACONS), which has taken cores of concrete from Roman maritime structures around the Mediterranean for engineering analysis. He is also a member of the team of archaeologists that used a nuclear submarine and remotely operated vehicles to survey and excavate deep water Roman shipwrecks at Skerki Bank in the Mediterranean in 1997.
Over the past 25 years Prof. Oleson has given more than 180 public presentations to scholarly conferences and local archaeological societies. He is very interested in cultural resource management, and for eight years he served on the Board of the Royal British Columbia Museum. Prof. Oleson is committed to publicizing and preserving the core values of the Humanities, and to furthering humanistic research and teaching through the use of the latest technologies. His hobbies are aerobatic flying, boating, and SCUBA diving.
- EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT
- RESEARCH INTERESTS
- CURRENT EXCAVATION AND RESEARCH PROJECTS
- HONOURS AND AWARDS
- MEMBERSHIPS AND OFFICES
- SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
HUMAYMA EXCAVATION PROJECT:
- INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMAYMA EXCAVATION PROJECT, SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
- SUMMARY OF THE 2000 EXCAVATION SEASON
- SUMMARY OF THE 2002 GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY SEASON
- SUMMARY OF THE 2004 EXCAVATION SEASON
- SUMMARY OF THE 2005 FIELD SEASON
- INFORMATION FOR POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS
ROMAN MARITIME CONCRETE STUDY (ROMACONS):
- INTRODUCTION TO ROMACONS PROJECT, AND LIST OF PUBLICATIONS
- AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL-GEOLOGICAL-ENGINEERING APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING THE DURABILITY OF ANCIENT ROMAN SEAWATER CONCRETES. ABSTRACTS OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2002 FIELD SEASON, PORTUS AND ANZIO
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2003 FIELD SEASON: SANTA LIBERATA AND COSA
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2004 FIELD SEASON: CONSTRUCTION OF A PILA IN THE HARBOUR OF BRINDISI
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2004 FIELD SEASON: CORING OF A VERY LARGE ROMAN PILA AT SANTA LIBERATA
- PDF FILE: "CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORICAL AND ENGINEERING ANALYSIS OF HYDRAULIC CONCRETE IN ROMAN MARITIME STRUCTURES" (IJNA 33, 2004: 199-229)
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2005 FIELD SEASON: CORING IN THE HARBOUR OF CAESAREA IN ISRAEL
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2006 FIELD SEASON: CORING AT BAIA AND PORTUS IULIUS
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2007 FIELD SEASON: CORING AT ALEXANDRIA IN EGYPT
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2007 FIELD SEASON: CORING AT CHERSONISOS IN CRETE
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2008 FIELD SEASON: CORING AT BRINDISI AND EGNAZIA
- PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE 2009 FIELD SEASON: CORING AT SOLI/POMPEIOPOLIS (TURKEY)
SKERKI BANK DEEP WATER SHIPWRECK PROJECT:
GREEK AND ROMAN SOUNDING-WEIGHTS AND THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT NAVIGATION:
RECENT COURSE OFFERINGS: Roman Art and Archaeology (GRS 372), Ancient Technology (GRS 376), Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World (GRS 377), The Greek New Testament (GREE 250), Intermediate Latin (LATI 202).
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