Coins of the Greek and Roman world are University of Mary Washington Professor of Classics Liane Houghtalin's specialty. A numismatist and an archaeologist of the Roman world, she's been involved with excavations in Greece, Tunisia, Italy and beyond, recovering more than 6,000 specimens for UMW students to clean and study.
Dr. Houghtalin is an expert on how coins reflect history. She's adept at determining what they say about a society's economy, art and architecture; the light they shed on excavation-site layers and phases, trade contact and foreign invasion; and what their images reveal about city symbols, patron deities, and rulers. Her work also delves into the daily lives of the ancient Romans, the spread and influence of Rome, and the impact of the classical world on the modern one,
"I cannot remember a time when I was not interested in digging for evidence of past civilizations," Dr. Houghtalin said. "There's a picture of me as toddler simply staring, transfixed, at an archaeological excavation in progress."
She has presented on classical archaeology and numismatics at the community, state and national levels; organized a semester-long public lecture series on slavery, another lecture series on Rome’s contacts with the East; and a symposium on the biographical tradition of Mary Washington. She has published on topics as far-ranging as inserting mathematics into the Latin classroom to the use of Vergil’s Aeneid in Western art. She has also contributed to books, including "Underwater Investigations at Roman Minturnae" and "Bir Ftouha: A Pilgrimage Church Complex at Carthage."
The recipient of various fellowships for research and study, Dr. Houghtalin is a member of the American Numismatic Society, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Society for Classical Studies. A loved and respected adviser to her students, she enjoys helping them find excavation opportunities and apply for research grants.
"I get to hear about what's going on and live vicariously through a student who is doing what I do, but for the first time," Dr. Houghtalin said. "It gives me a fresh perspective."
Areas of Expertise (3)
Archaeology in Tunisia and Greece
Bryn Mawr College: Ph.D., Post-Graduate Studies
Bryn Mawr College: M.A., Graduate Studies
University of Michigan Ann Arbor: A.B., Undergraduate Studies
Roman Coins from the River Liri IIIThe Numismatic Chronicle
The Summers of 1974, 1977, and 1981 saw the continued investigation, under the direction of Bro.S.Dominic Ruegg, F.S.C., of the River Liri or Garigliano next to the site of ancient Minturae. A total of 701 Greek and Roman coins were recovered, adding to the 2,404 found in the 1967 season. ..
Lessons for Classics from the History of MathematicsThe Classical Journal
Presented here are examples of two problems set by ancient Greek mathematicians that engaged scholars for centuries and could be included in a course on Greek civilization. Also presented are samples from mathematical works published in Latin and some Latin anagrams produced by mathematicians and scientists, all of which could be introduced into the Latin classroom.