Luther College President Richard Torgerson announces the appointment of Dan Davis as professor in the classics department.
Davis will begin his duties in August.
A traditionally trained classicist and classical archaeologist, Davis' current research is focused on the maritime cultures of Greece and Rome.
The research includes exploring the archaeology of ships and cargoes in both shallow and deep water, the archaeology of ancient harbors and harbor cities and the literary motifs and metaphors that impose on seafaring.
He is an active participant in the Zea Harbour Project, investigating the hundreds of shipsheds built by Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. to house the large fleet of ancient warships called triremes. The shipsheds, consisting of ramped slipways and stone superstructures, rank among the largest roofed structures in antiquity.
Davis is also a proponent and active participant in the new and innovative field of deepwater archaeology.
He and his colleagues at the Center for Exploration and Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island have been at the forefront of archaeological research in deep water in the Mediterranean regions, particularly the Black Sea. They have been conducting extensive surveying and sampling of shipwrecks in deep water along the coasts of Crimea, Ukraine and Turkey.
The group has documented several Late Roman and Byzantine shipwrecks located in the sea's anoxic layer and has conducted partial excavations on two of them. These are the first full-fledged excavations of a shipwreck to strict archaeological standards using remotely operated vehicles.
He has authored chapters, articles and reviews on Homer, iconography, ancient seafaring, ancient harbors and deepwater archaeology.
He has articles in preparation on the architecture and ideology of Athens' monumental shipsheds and on the first deepwater excavations ever conducted on an ancient shipwreck using remotely operated underwater vehicles.
Davis holds the bachelor of arts degree from the University of Iowa, the master's degree from Texas A&M University and the doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin.