About Me

My name is Michael D. Press. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Agder (Kristiansand, Norway) for the project The Lying Pen of Scribes: Manuscript Forgeries, Digital Imaging, and Critical Provenance Research. My research for the project focuses on the antiquities market in Palestine, particularly in Jerusalem, in the late 19th century.

I am also a freelance writer; a regular contributor to the online arts magazine Hyperallergic, my pieces have also appeared at Aeon and Chicago Magazine. I specialize in the archaeology and cultural heritage of the Middle East, and how we interact with the remains of the past here in the present.

I received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007 (with distinction) in Near Eastern Languages in Civilizations, and have been a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), University of Arkansas and a Visiting Scholar at the Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University.

I am many things: an archaeologist, a text scholar, a writer, a lecturer. Rediscovering the past is truly exciting for me, both for thinking about how ancient people lived and for considering the implications for our modern life. I also spend a great deal of time, maybe too much time, listening to and reading about music. But I enjoy every minute of it. My tastes range widely, from Mozart and Bach to Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, from western swing to reggae to punk to indiepop. 

Most importantly, I can often be found taking care of a 7-year-old boy, who once looked like this:


My blog

My writing covers a broad range of interests: the literary culture of ancient Israel, and the material culture of the world that produced it; archaeology and its intersection with the present, especially involving archaeological ethics and politics; and music, film, and modern culture generally. I started this blog as a way to encourage myself to write more regularly on these subjects, and to provide a venue for that writing. I hope to combine detailed studies of specific artifacts, or works of music or film, with consideration of their wider historical and cultural perspectives – to write on “texts” and “contexts”. I also hope that this blog will be a platform to engage with others who share some of these interests.

To contact me, send an email to mdpress52 at gmail dot com
You can follow me on twitter at @MichaelDPress

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