Joan Breton Connelly is a classical archaeologist who has excavated throughout Greece, Kuwait, and Cyprus where, since 1990, she has directed the NYU Yeronisos Island Expedition. She majored in Classics at Princeton University and received her PhD in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College where she later served as Assistant Dean and as a member of the Board of Trustees. She is an honorary citizen of Peyia Municipality, Cyprus.
Connelly was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship for her work in Greek art, myth, and religion. Her new book, The Parthenon Enigma, won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award for 2015. It was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, one of the year’s Top Ten Works of Nonfiction by the Daily Beast, and one of the Best Books in Architecture and Design by Metropolis Magazine. Her Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, was also named a Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. It won the Archaeological Institute of America’s James R. Wiseman Book Award and was named Best Book in Classics and Ancient History by the Association of American Publishers. Connelly has also been honored with the Archaeological Institute of America’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, NYU's Lillian Vernon Chair for Teaching Excellence, and NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award.
Prof. Connelly has held visiting fellowships at All Souls College, Magdalen College, New College, and Corpus Christi College at Oxford University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She was Visiting Professor in the Department of History, Peking University, in 2018 and, in 2012, Visiting Professor at the Departement Altertumswissenschaften, Basel University.
From 2003 – 2011, she served on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Connelly currently serves on the boards of the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage, and the Pharos Arts Foundation.
Prof. Connelly has directed the NYU Yeronisos Island Excavation and Field School off western Cyprus for some 30 years, leading an interdisciplinary investigation of the island’s ecology, geomorphology, archaeology, history, and maritime connectivity. Together with Prof. Francois de Polignac (EPHE) and supported by the NYU-Paris Sciences et Lettres Global Alliance, she has organized a series of “Island Workshops” in New York, Paris, Cyprus, and Moorea, French Polynesia, exploring topics that include: Island Archaeologies, Archipelagos, Maritime Small Worlds, Islands and Climate Change, and Island Populations and Migrations.
Recently taught Graduate courses:
Island Archaeologies: Geography, Resources, Connectivity, and Cultures
Archaeologies of the Mediterranean Maritime World
Archaeologies of the Greek Landscape
Archaeologies of Performance: Procession, Dance, and Footrace in Greek Sanctuaries
Archaeologies of Greek Cult: Myths, Tombs, and Temples
Cleopatra Between East and West: Archaeology of the Twilight of the Ptolemies
First Burst: Archaic Greek Sanctuaries and their Sculptured Decoration
The Athenian Acropolis: Myth, Cult, Ritual and Image
Antiquity at Risk: Conservation, Ethics, Cultural Heritage Law and Managment and Technologies for Dating and Provenience in Ancient Art (colloquium team taught with Prof. Norbert S. Baer, Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center)
Recently taught Undergraduate classes:
Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece: Urbanism and Sacred Space
Greek Sculpture: Prayers in Stone
Greek Painting: From Myth to Image
Cleopatra and her World
Representing the Divine: Images of Gods and Goddesses
Artemis and Apollo, Sibling Divinities: Myth, Archaeology, and Cult
Greek Islands: Myth, Archaeology, Networks
Learning from Objects: The NYU Classics Department Study Collections
The Parthenon and Its Reception: From Antiquity to the Present
Introduction to Classical Archaeology: Constructions of the Greek and Roman Past
Ancient Art at Risk: Conservation, Ethics, and Cultural Policy