Jacob Damm

Hirsch Potsdoctoral Fellow


I am an archaeologist who focuses on the southern Levant, especially the periods of the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE. My primary emphasis has been on the mutually transformative encounter between local populations and agents of the Egyptian New Kingdom empire (c. 15th to 11th centuries BCE), exploring how both sides negotiated daily life in an oftentimes mercurial colonial contact zone. Foodways form my primary body of evidence, with ceramics analysis, organic residue analysis, and human-plant relations especially factoring into how I use daily practices as a window into the social world of garrison communities. Since 2013 I have been part of a team excavating one such garrison community at the site of Tel Yafo in modern-day Israel and, currently, I am a director of the Turning Points Project, which seeks to explore the sociocultural realities of the southern Levant during and after the collapse of the New Kingdom imperial system during the 12th-11th centuries BCE. While at Cornell, I plan to teach courses on foodways, archaeological science, archaeological approaches to ancient identities, ancient systems of colonialism and imperialism, and archaeologies of the broader Levantine region.


Select Publications

  • Joshua Driscoll and Jacob C. Damm. 2023. “A First Draught: Pitfalls and Potentials in the Archaeological Chemistry of Beer,” pp. 11-63 in Chemistry in the Service of Archaeology, edited by Ruth Ann Armitage and Daniel Fraser. American Chemical Society: Washington, DC.
  • Freikman, Michael, David Ben-Shlomo, Jacob Damm, and Oren Gutfeld. 2023. “V-Shaped Bowls and Feasting Ceremonies in the Late Chalcolithic Period in the Southern Levant: A Case Study of Neve Ur,” pp. 343-358 in “And in Length of Days Understanding” (Job 12:12): Essays on Archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond in Honor of Thomas E. Levy, edited by Erez Ben-Yosef and Ian W.N. Jones. Cham: Springer.
  • Damm, Jacob C. 2022. “Identity at the Twilight of Empire: Domestic Foodways and Cultural Practice at 12th Century BC Beth-Shean,” pp. 92-110 in No Place Like Home: Ancient Near Eastern Houses and Households, edited by Laura Battini, Aaron Brody, and Sharon R. Steadman. Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • Burke, Aaron A., Martin Peilstöcker, Amy Karoll, George A. Pierce, Krister Kowalski, Nadia Ben-Marzouk, Jacob C. Damm, Andrew J. Danielson, Heidi Fessler, Brett Kaufman, and Krystal Pierce. 2017. “Excavations of the New Kingdom Fortress in Jaffa, 2011–2014: Traces of Resistance to Egyptian Rule in Canaan”. American Journal of Archaeology 121(1): 85-133.

CLASS Courses - Spring 2024