Jennifer Ramsay, Ph.D
Professor and Chair
Office: Liberal Arts 324
- PhD in Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Canada
- MSc. in Environmental Archaeology and Paleoeconomy, University of Sheffield, UK
- BA in Anthropology with a Classics minor from the University of Victoria, Canada
Areas of Specialty
Archaeobotany, ancient arid agricultural land-use practices, subsistence reconstruction, cultural adaptations to environmental change and trade patterns.
- ANT 101 - The Human Condition
- ANT 202 - Introduction to Archaeology
- ANT 343 - Rivers, Cities and Empires
- ANT344 – Archaeology of the Americas
- ANT 384 - Methods in Anthropological Archaeology
- ANT 462/52 - Museum Internship
- ANT 448 - Roman Archaeology
- ANT 449 - Greek Archaeology
- ANT 465/565 - Environmental Archaeology
- Summer fieldschool in Petra, Jordan and Legio, Israel
I am currently working on the analysis of plant remains from several
multi-national projects in Jordan, Israel, Turkey and Italy that range
chronologically from the Neolithic through the Islamic periods (ca. 8000 BCE –
ca. 1200 CE). Specifically my interests lie in investigating agricultural
land-use practices in arid environments. The Mediterranean region is incredibly
diverse both culturally and environmentally and has been throughout its history.
By analyzing ancient plant remains recovered from several arid archaeological
sites in the eastern Mediterranean questions related to how plants were grown in
these desert environments and how they functioned in the local and regional
economy can be examined. This research all ties into the concept of
desertification, which is the persistent degradation of dryland ecosystems by
human activities and by climate change. Analysis of preserved economic crop
remains and affiliated weed species can illuminate species success in dry areas
as well as environmental conditions supported through weed varieties identified
that have very specific habitat requirements. Therefore, research related to
ancient agricultural and water management practices in these types of
environments can help provide answers about how ancient peoples in arid regions
transformed their landscape and dealt with climate change, and through this we
may be able learn from the past to inform the future.
I have several active field projects in Jordan and Israel and have had many
students join me for archaeological fieldwork experience over the years. I am
the associate director of the Petra Garden and Pool Complex project and I have
worked as an assistant project director (Petra North Ridge Project), field
school director (Petra Pool and Garden Complex, Petra North Ridge Project,
‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological project). I have also been a supervisor (Jezreel
Valley Regional Project – Legio Excavations, Combined Caesarea Expeditions)
and an archaeobotanical specialist most recently on the Casa della Regina
Carolina Archaeological Project in Pompeii, as well as many others. I am
dedicated to providing students with opportunities to experience real-world
applications of archaeological concepts as well as experience living with other
cultures to learn how diverse their world really is.
- 2020 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
- 2019 Archaeological Institute of America’s Excellence in Undergraduate
- 2018 Outstanding Service to the College Award
- 2014 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
- 2014 Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action/Diversity Research Leave
- 2007 The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) - Council of American
Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Fellowship
Ramsay, J., Walshaw, S. and Hansen-Speer, K. 2022. Chapter 1 - Plants as Staple Foods in Volume I - A Cultural History of Plants in Antiquity (10,000 BCE to 500 CE). Edited by Annette Giesecke, Bloomsbury Publishing, UK.
Ramsay, J. and Perry, M. (2022) Funerary dining or offerings for the dead? An archaeobotancial analysis of remains from shaft tombs in Petra, Jordan. Levant.
- Wasse, A., Rollefson, G., Rowan, Y., Braun, G., Heidkamp, B., Hill, A., Kersel, M., Lorentzen, B. and J. Ramsay. 2022. Eastern Bādiyah Archaeological Project: Preliminary Report on the 2018 Excavation Season at Late Neolithic Structure W-80, Wisād Pools. Annals of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 60: 249-269.
- Romano, I., Gleason, K., Schryver, J., Ramsay, J. and J. Foss. 2020. Gardens and Landscape of the Roman Villa by Lake Nemi, loc. S. Maria, in M. Moltesen and B. Poulsen, eds., A Roman Villa by Lake Nemi: The Nordic Excavations at Lake Nemi, loc. S. Maria (1998-2002), vol. 2. Occasional Papers of the Nordic Institutes in Rome Vol. xx. Roma: Edizioni Quasar, Chapter 15, pp. 327-366.
- Tepper, Y., Weissbrod, L., Fried, T, Marom, N., Ramsay, J. Weinstein-Evron, M., Aharonovich, S., Liphschitz, N., Farhi, Y., Yan, X., Boaretto E. & Bar-Oz, G. 2018. Pigeon-raising and sustainable agriculture at the fringe of the desert: a view from the Byzantine village of Sa‘adon, Negev, Israel. Levant 50 (3): 1-23.
- G. Rollefson, Y. Rowan, A. Wasse, M. Kersel, A.C. Hill, B. Lorentzen, J. Ramsay and M. Jones. 2018. Excavations of structure w-80, a complex late Neolithic building at wisad pools, black desert. Annals of the Department of Archaeology in Jordan 59: 531-544.
- Magness, J., Kisilevitz, S., Grey, M., Mizzi, D., Schindler, D., Wells, M., Britt, K., Boustan, R., O’Connell, S., Hubbard, E., George, J., Ramsay, J., Boaretto, E. and M. Chazan. 2018. The Huqoq Excavation Project: 2014–2017 Interim Report. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 380: 61–131.
- Wilson, R.J.A. and J. Ramsay. 2017. UBC Excavations of the Roman Villa at Gerace, Sicily: Results of the 2015 Season. Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, Volume 14, Number 2. LVIII-Series III, pp. 253-316.
Ramsay, J.H. and Parker, S.T. 2016. A Diachronic Look at the Agricultural Economy at the Red Sea Port of Aila: An Archaeobotanical Case for Hinterland Production in Arid Environments. The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 376: 101-120.
Ramsay, J.H., Tepper, Y., Weinstien- Evron, M., Bratenkov, S., Liphschitz, N., Marom, N. and Bar-Oz, G. 2016. For the Birds - An Environmental Archaeological Analysis of Byzantine Pigeon Towers at Shivta (Negev Desert, Israel). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. pp. 718-727 DOI information: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.08.009
Ramsay, J. H and N. Mueller. 2016. Telling Seeds: Archaeobotanical Investigations at Tall al-’Umayri, Jordan. In: McGeough, K. (ed.) The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 69: The Archaeology of Agro-Pastoralist Economies in Jordan. The American Schools of Oriental Research, Boston, 1-16.
Ramsay, J.H. and Holum, K. 2015. An Archaeobotanical Analysis of the Islamic Period Occupation at Caesarea Maritima, Israel. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 24: 655-671.
Ramsay, J.H. and Eger, A. 2015. Analysis of Archaeobotanical Material from the Tupras Field project of the Kinet Höyük Excavations. Journal of Islamic Archaeology 2 (1): 35-50.
Ramsay, J. H. 2015 Chapter 7: The Archaeobotanical Remains. In J. Magness and G. Davies (eds.), The Final Report from the Yotvata Excavations. Eisenbrauns, pp. 240-249.
Ramsay, J.H. and Bedal, L. 2015. Garden Variety Seeds: Botanical Remains from the Petra Garden and Pool Complex. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 24: 621-634.
Ramsay, J.H. and R.J.A. Wilson. 2013. Funerary Dining in Early Byzantine Sicily: Archaeobotanical Evidence from Kaukana. Mediterranean Archaeology 26: 81-93.
Ramsay, J.H. and A.M. Smith II. 2013. Desert Agriculture at Bir Madhkur: The First Archaeobotanical Evidence to Support the Timing and Scale of Agriculture in the Hinterland of Petra. The Journal of Arid Environments 99: 51-63.
Ramsay, J. H. 2013. Plant Remains. In, J. P. Oleson and R. Schick (eds.), Humayma Excavation Project, 2: Nabatean Campground and Necropolis, Byzantine Churches, and Early Islamic Domestic Structures. ASOR Archaeological Press, pp. 353-360.
Ramsay, J. H. 2010. Trade or Trash: An Examination of the Archaeobotanical Remains from the Harbour at Caesarea Maritima, Israel. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 39.2: 376–382.
Ramsay, J.H and Y. Tepper. 2010. Signs from a Green Desert: An Analysis of Archaeobotanical Remains from Tower no. VI Near Shivta, Israel. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 19:235–242.
Ramsay, J. H. 2008. Archaeobotanical remains from Caesarea: the 1997 and 1998 seasons. In K. Holum, J. Stabler and E. Reinhardt (eds.), Caesarea Reports and Studies: Excavations 1995-2007 (201- 208). British Archaeological Reports, International Series.
Ramsay, J. H. 2007. The Archaeobotanical Remains from the Garden. In B. Frischer, J. Crawford and M. De Simone (eds.), The Horace’s Villa Project, 1997-2003 Volume I: The Reports (pp. 303-306) Archaeopress, Oxford, England.
Ramsay, J. H. 2007. Leigh-Ann Bedal, Kathryn L. Gleason and James G. Schryver (with archaeobotanical report by Jennifer Ramsay and coinage report by Julian Bowsher). “The Petra Garden and Pool Complex, 2003-2005” Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 51: 151-176.
INVITED LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS
- 2022 - American Center of Research virtual lecture series – “Funerary Dinning or Offerings for the Dead? Archaeobotanical Evidence from the Shaft Tombs at Petra, Jordan”
- 2018 - 2019 Archaeological Institute of American (AIA), Guest speaker – “Plants, People and Landscapes: An Archaeobotanical Look at the Environment and Its Implications in the Eastern Mediterranean”. Rochester, NY & Niagara Peninsula Chapter.
- 2018 Archaeological Institute of American (AIA) Lecture Series Speaker – “Plants, People and Landscapes: An Archaeobotanical Look at the Environment and Its Implications in the Eastern Mediterranean”, California Chapter, North Coast.
- 2016 Boston University Brown Bag Talk – “Archaeological Evidence for Defining an Agricultural Hinterland at Arid Sites in Southern Jordan and Israel: A Work in Progress”
- 2016 “TED talks” at Scholars Day at SUNY Brockport, SUNY – “Agriculture in Arid Environments: Archaeological Evidence of Past Success and Contribution to a Global Future”
- 2016 8th Annual Lecture in Applied Anthropology - St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY - “Agriculture in Arid Environments: Archaeological Evidence of Past Success in Southern Jordan (and Israel!)”
- 2015 The 23rd Congress on Roman Frontier Studies, Limes Congress, Ingolstadt, Germany - Roman Military and its Effects on the Arid Landscape of Southern Jordan and Israel: An Archaeobotanical Study
- 2015 Mediterranean Passages Symposium, SUNY Brockport, SUNY – Plants, People and Landscape: An Archaeobotanical Look at the Environmental and its Implications in the Eastern Mediterranean
- 2014 Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology guest lecture, SUNY Buffalo – Arid Agriculture: Evidence from Archaeobotanical Remains at Nabataean through Islamic Period Sites in Southern Jordan
- 2014 Guest speaker - Alpha Chi honors society induction ceremony
- 2014 SUNY Brockport, ‘Eagle Talks’ - Agriculture in Arid Environments
- 2014 Colloquium - Sponsored by the Department of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel - Ancient Desert Agriculture: A Comparison of Archaeobotanical Remains Recovered from Archaeological Sites in Southern Jordan
- 2013 Invited presentation to the SUNY research foundation – Seeds of Inquiry: Desert Agriculture in the ancient Near East
- 2011 101 Years of Cultural Research in Aqaba – Jordan – sponsored by University of Jordan, the German Archaeological Institute (Orient-Department) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences – Archaeobotanical remains from the Roman Aqaba Project: insight into local production and long distance trade
PROFESSIONAL PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS
- 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Overseas Research, Boston, MA (co-authored with Andrew Smith II & Bjorn Anderson) – “Aspects of Zoroastrianism in Nabataean Petra”.
- 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Overseas Research, Chicago, Ill. & Virtual - (co-authored with Kathleen Forste) – “Byzantine Plants: An Archaeobotanical Study of the Agricultural Economy of Caesarea Maritima, Israel”.
- 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, Virtual - (co-authored with Megan Perry) – “Funerary Dinning or Offerings for the Dead? Archaeobotanical Evidence from the Shaft Tombs at Petra, Jordan”.
- 2020 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Washington, D.C. (co-authored with alumnus Jonathan Broida) – Lightening session paper titled – “The Agricultural Economy of Roman Sicily: An Archaeobotanical Perspective”.
- 2019 International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan (ICHAJ), Florence, Italy – (co-authored with Megan Perry) – “Archaeobotanical Evidence of Mortuary Behavior from the Shaft Tombs at Petra”.
- 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research (ASOR), Denver, CO. – “Seeds of Change: How Plant Remains Reflect the Transformation of Communities in the Roman Near East”
- 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Washington, D.C. - – (co-author with undergraduate student Noah Haber) – Poster Session – “Examining the Concept of Hinterland in Antiquity in Arid Regions of the Levant Using Archaeobotanical Data and GIS Analysis”.
- 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research (ASOR), Boston, MA – (co-author with undergraduate student Noah Haber) – Poster Session – “Examining the Concept of Hinterland in Antiquity in Arid Regions of the Levant Using Archaeobotanical Data and GIS Analysis”.
- 2017 Society of American Archaeology Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada - (co-author with former undergraduate student Geoffrey Hedges) – Poster session - “Evidence of Destruction at the end of the Early Bronze Age III Period at Khirbet Iskander: An Archaeobotanical Perspective (A work in progress…)”
- 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, San Antonio, TX – (co-author with former undergraduate student Geoffrey Hedges) – “Evidence of Destruction at the end of the Early Bronze Age III Period at Khirbet Iskander: An Archaeobotanical Perspective (A work in progress…)”
- 2015 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, New Orleans, LA. – (co-authored with Yotam Tepper, Israeli Antiquities Authority and Guy Bar-Oz, University of Haifa) Poster session - “For the Birds: An Environmental Archaeological Analysis of Byzantine Pigeon Towers in the Negev, Israel”
- 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, San Diego, CA – (co-authored with Yotam Tepper, Israeli Antiquities Authority and Guy Bar-Oz, University of Haifa) - “For the Birds: An Environmental Archaeological Analysis of Byzantine Pigeon Towers in the Negev, Israel”
- 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, Baltimore, MD – (co-authored with Amanda Foley – Undergraduate student) “Seeds of Roman Galilee: An Archaeobotanical Analysis of Huqoq, Israel”
- 2013 International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan (ICHAJ), Berlin, Germany – “Desert Agriculture: A Comparison of Botanical Remains Recovered from Archaeological Sites in Southern Jordan”
- 2013 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Seattle, WA – Poster session - “Desert Agriculture: An Examination of the Archaeobotanical Remains from Bir Madhkur, Jordan”
- 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, Chicago, IL – “Desert Agriculture: A Preliminary Look at the Archaeobotanical Remains from Bir Madhkur, Jordan”
- 2012 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Philadelphia, PA – “Archaeobotanical Evidence of Funerary Dinning in Ancient Sicily”
- 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, San Francisco, CA– (co-authored with Sandor Vegh – Undergraduate student) - “Archaeobotanical Remains From The Petra Garden And Pool Complex 2009: A Continued Examination”
Academic Trustee for the Board of Trustees for the American Center of Research (ACOR), Amman, Jordan - Fellowship, Publications and Nominations Committee member for ACOR
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Undergraduate Teaching Award Committee member
Chair of the American Center of Research (ACOR) in Amman’s Fellowship Committee
Chair of the named and Jordanian fellowship subcommittee for the American Center of Research (ACOR)
Editorial board member and reviewer for the Bulletin of the American Society of Overseas Research (BASOR)
2022 External Reviewer for Nature
2022 External Reviewer for Ph.D. Candidate Research Proposal from Tel Aviv University
2022 External Reviewer for Tel Aviv Journal
2022 External Reviewer for Scientific Reports
2022 External Reviewer for Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
2021-present External Ph.D. Candidate Committee member for Cornell University
2018 – present
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) - Pomerance Science Award Committee
AIA-Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis - working group member
2020 External Reviewer for Antiquity
Program committee – chair of the poster session for the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Committee on Archaeological Research and Policy (CAP) for the American Schools of Oriental Research and Fellowship committee member (ASOR)
Co-chair and organizer for a session for the annual meeting at the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
Israel Science Foundation – Grant Reviewer
External Reviewer for The Journal of Islamic Archaeology
2016 & 2018
External reviewer for Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
External reviewer for ArcheoSciences
2015 & 2017
External reviewer for PLoS ONE
External reviewer for AASOR (The Annual for the American Schools of Oriental Research)
External Reviewer for BASOR (Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research).
American Center of Research’s (ACOR) National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship Committee member
2010 - 2015
Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, Baltimore, MD. - Session organizer and co-chair (with Alexia Smith): Archaeology of the Natural Environment: Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology in the Near East
Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oriental Research, New Orleans, LA – Session organizer and chair: Individual
Submissions: Archaeozoological and Isotope Studies
2022-2023 Chair Peer Advisory Committee to the Provost – One of five college-wide chairs on this committee
2022 Outstanding Faculty & Staff Global Engagement awards – Committee member
2021-present International Staff and Faculty Association – Committee member
2021-present Chair mentor – Peer mentoring program
2020-2022 Academic Strategic Planning Committee member
2014-present Comittee member for the Summer Undergraduate Research Internship program
2018 General Education Assessment Committee
ATP committee member for Dr. Kathryn Amatangelo (Environmental Science)
Search committee chair for the Director of International Education position
Committee member – Institute of Engaged Learning
2016 - 2018
Mid-Career Faculty Advisory Group for the Provost
2015 - 2017
Chancellor’s Award for Teaching - review committee member– two-year term
Mentor in the Peer Mentoring Program for the Center for Excellent in Learning and Teaching
Committee member for the Lipson Special Opportunity Award
College Senator for the Department of Anthropology – SUNY Brockport, State University of New York – Committees
Undergraduate curriculum committee and Faculty and Staff Policies Committee
Committee member for the development of the minor program in Museum Studies and Public History
2019-2025 Anthropology Department Chair
2018-present Advisory Board for New Community Justice Major
2018-present Marketing Committee Chair
2018-present Department Advisement Co-ordinator
Interim Department Chair of Anthropology
Chair for the Periodic Program Review committee
Search committee chair for Tenure-Track faculty line in the department of Anthropology
Committee member for the Periodic Program Review
Committee member for the development and renovation of the anthropology lab
Committee member for revisions to the anthropology departments Advancement, Promotion and Tenure (ATP) document.
APT committee member
Discretionary Salary Increase (DSI)/Award (DSA) committee member
Faculty advisor for undergraduate students
Member of the search committee for an assistant professor in physical anthropology
Anthropology club advisor