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Jessica received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 with a double major in Classics and Archaeology and a minor in Anthropology. Her senior honors thesis, titled "Settlement Patterns in Veii and Arezzo between 400 BC and AD 14", focused on combining archaeological and literary evidence to better understand the cultural interaction between Rome and Etruria as Rome began its expansion. After one season of excavation in Belize (2004), she conducted the majority of her fieldwork with the Institute of Classical Archaeology (Univ. of Texas), including two years of excavation in Chersonesos, Ukraine, one year of survey in Metaponto and Croton, Italy, and one year as the GIS specialist for the excavation of a Roman tile factory in Metaponto. She currently conducts fieldwork as a member of the topography team at the excavation of the early urban site of Gabii in northern Latium, Italy. Here she specializes in photogrammetric recording of archaeological features. Jessica is broadly interested in dissecting processes of cultural contact and interaction within central Italy, such as ‘romanization’ and particularly, the Orientalizing period. She is now working on her dissertation, tentatively titled "Reorienting Orientalization: Local Consumption and Value Construction in Central Italy between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Sea”. This work explores the ways in which local Italian populations actively incorporated eastern materials through inland trade networks that cross the central Apennines between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts. It focuses on investigating the entire funerary context instead of isolating 'exotica', entire cemeteries instead of solely elite tombs, and the interior Italian landscape rather than only the costal contact zone. Her other research interests include landscape archaeology, the application of GIS and remote sensing, economy and trade, road networks and boundaries, public archaeology and archaeological ethics.
From Fall 2013-Summer 2015 she is working on her dissertation at the American Academy in Rome.