Rebecca Ammerman

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Rebecca Ammerman

Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Chair in the Classics

Department/Office Information


As a classical archaeologist, I love the many opportunities to engage students beyond the traditional classroom. On Colgate’s Venice Study Group, I take students to visit archaeological sites over the entire length of the Italian peninsula — from the Alps (home of the Copper Age mummy of the Ice Man) to Sicily (where Syracuse still boasts elegant theaters, temples, and massive fortifications). On the Department of the Classics’ extended study groups to Greece and Italy, students become immersed in the archaeology and history ancient of Athens, Delphi, and Olympia, or Rome, Cumae, and Pompeii. In the summer, students frequently work as my research assistants at the archaeological sites of Paestum and Metaponto, trying to understand the religious significance of thousands of terracotta statuettes that were dedicated as votive offerings in the many sanctuaries that punctuated the landscapes of these ancient settlements in southern Italy.

AB, Bryn Mawr College, 1976; MA (1978), PhD (1983), University of Michigan

The archaeology of Magna Graecia, Italy, and Greece; classical art; ancient Greek and Roman religion

Greek and Phoenician foundations in the western Mediterranean, indigenous populations of southern Italy, terracotta figurines and their use in the practice of religion in ancient Italy and Greece



The Sanctuary of Santa Venera at Paestum II. The Votive Terracottas (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor: 2002).


The Chora of Metaponto 10.  The Kilns and Coroplastic Production at Sant' Angelo Vecchio (University of Texas Press, Austin). In preparation.

Articles and Chapters


"A late Villanovan vase from Bologna," in Italian Iron Age Artifacts in the British Museum: Papers of the Sixth British Museum Classical Colloquium, J. Swaddling, ed. (London: 1985) 267-271.


"Medma and the Exchange of Votive Terracottas," Papers in Italian Archaeology IV, The Cambridge Conference, British Archaeological Reports (S.246) (1985) 5-19.

"Stulitai in Magna Graecia: A coroplastic contribution to the history of columnar statue bases," Rivista di Archeologia 11 (1987) 25-33.

"Terracotte votive: evidenza di culto e contatto culturale in Magna Grecia," Scienze dell'Antichità 3 (1989-1990) 353-362.

"The Religious Context of Hellenistic Terracotta Figurines," in The Coroplast's Art: Greek Terracottas of the Hellenistic World, J. Uhlenbrock ed., (Caratzas, New Rochelle: 1990) 37-45.

"The Naked Standing Goddess: A Group of Archaic Terracotta Figurines from the Sanctuary in the località Santa Venera at Paestum," American Journal of Archaeology 95 (1991) 203-230.

"La coroplastica," and "Le terrecotte architettoniche," in Oppido Mamertina. Ricerche Archeologiche nel Territorio e in Contrada Mella, L. Costamagna and P. Visonà, eds. (Gangemi, Rome: 1999) 353-358.

Children at Risk: Votive Terracottas and the Welfare of Infants at Paestum," in Constructions of Childhood in the Ancient World. Hesperia Supplement 41, A. Cohen and J. Rutter, eds. (2007) 131-151.

"Terracotta Objects,” in The Chora of Metaponto 3. Archaeological Field Survey, Bradano to Basento, eds. Carter, J.C. and A. Prieto (University of Texas Press, Austin 2011) 489-538.

“The Terracottas,” in The Chora of Metaponto 6. The Farmhouse at S. Biagio, eds. Carter, J.C. and E. Lapadula (University of Texas Press, Austin 2012) 98-99.

"The Terracottas" in The Chora of Metaponto 5. The Farmhouse at Ponte Fabrizio, eds. Lanza, E. and K. Swift, (University of Texas Press, Austin 2013) 335-352.

“Interpreting Terracottas in Domestic Contexts and Beyond: The Case of Metaponto.” in Figurines en Contexte: iconographie et fonction(s). Archaiologia, eds., Muller, A. and S. Huysecom-Haxhi (Universitaires du Septentrion, Lille) 361-383.

Tympanon and Syrinx: A Musical Metaphor within the System of Ritual Practice and Belief at Metaponto,” in A Bellia and C. Marconi, eds. Musicians in Ancient Coroplastic Art. Iconography, Ritual Contexts, and Functions. (Pisa and Rome 2016) 117-140. 

"Terracottas," in The Chora of Metaponto 7. The Greek Sanctuary at Pantanello, J.C. Carter and K. Swift, eds. (University of Texas Press, Austin 2018) 1087-1392.

Reviews in Journal of Roman Archaeology, American Journal of Archaeology, and Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections

  • 2012-2015: Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute, Colgate University
  • 2008-2009: Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professor, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
  • 2001: Summer Research Grant, Center for Hellenic Studies
  • 1999: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers
  • 1990-1991: Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Classical Studies, The American Academy in Rome
  • 1987: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers
  • 1979-1980: Olivia James Traveling Fellowship, American Institute of Archaeology