Wesleyan portrait of Andrew J. Koh

Andrew J. Koh

Visiting Assistant Professor of Archaeology

Exley Science Center, 351


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BS University of Illinois Urbana
MA Biblical Theological Seminary
PHD University of Pennsylvania

Andrew J. Koh

Andrew J. Koh is an archaeologist with a strong investment in the natural sciences and digital applications. Before earning his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in archaeology (ANTH, ARTH, CLASNELC) at the University of Pennsylvania, he completed Master's research in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and majored in Biophysics (Pre-Medicine) and Classics. This diverse background explains in part why he espouses transdisciplinary approaches that seamlessly integrate the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to nurture new creative spaces. He has taught courses and advised theses in anthropology, chemistry, classical studies, east asian studies, and fine arts. He is heavily involved in the digital humanities as a founding academic co-director and managing director of the Brandeis Digital Humanities Lab. He has been a faculty member at the MIT Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology since 2009, teaching a unit in both its introductory archaeological science course (3.985J) and its year-long ceramic technology course (3.984).

His research focuses on organic commodities and luxury goods, and what their production, exchange, and consumption reveal about ancient societies and their cross-cultural interactions (e.g. the Silk Road). This has been the impetus behind the ARCHEM Project, which he founded in 2003 as a resource to characterize ancient organic goods and their related palaeoecologies through phytochemical, ethnobotanical, and ethnohistorical research. This project has been recently reimagined as the OpenARCHEM Project, which is producing a collaborative online archaeometric database to better integrate ARCHEM and archaeological science into global academic research.

After a decade of field work, his immediate goal is to finish a monograph under contract with Cambridge University Press called Luxury Trade and Social Complexity in the Ancient Mediterranean World. His identification of the earliest palatial wine complex at the Canaanite site of Tel Kabri, where he is Associate Director, was published in PLoS ONE and featured in the New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, NPR, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Haaretz, Guardian, Spiegel, Donga Ilbo, Live Science, Science Daily, International Science Times, Jezebel, Newsy TV, Wine Spectator, and Listverse. His research on East Crete has been published in MAAJASR, and JEMAHS, and the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Herakleion Archaeological Museum recently granted permission to study and publish the “Warrior Graves” from the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age cemetery at Mouliana Sellades (moulianaproject.org) with a comprehensive scientific and digital approach. This field project is complementary to the study of artifacts from the same period and region housed at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, which will be published as the Cretan Collection in the University Museum, Volume 3.

He is a national lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America and serves as a delegate to its national council. He is the invited organizer and chair of the American Schools of Oriental Research sponsored session on recent work in the archaeological sciences at its annual meeting. He has served on the Getty Research Institute NEH selection committee and on the managing committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Regionally, he is a member of the Concord Historical Commission and chairs its archaeology advisory, which has sponsored the Brandeis-Concord archaeological field school on land originally attached to the Colonel James Barrett House of Revolutionary War fame. The Commission is on the lookout for the living quarters of freed slaves, whose existence has been orally passed down for generations among abutters, along with evidence for the World War II German POWs known to have subsequently worked the fields.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00-4:00pm and by appointment


Spring 2018
ARCP 258 - 01
Science in Archaeology