David Platt

location: Collingswood, NJ (Greater Philadelphia Area)
email: david.s.platt AT gmail DOT com; smallfind AT spoilheap DOT com
www pages: Spoilheap.com; LinkedIn
download: Full CV available on request; list of archaeological projects


Trained as a Roman archaeologist and human osteoarchaeologist. Now working in academic libraries.

Research Interests: Archaeology and history of the Late Republic-High Roman Empire; Greek and Roman architecture; Roman urbanism; Roman Britain; literacy; gift-giving; modern material culture studies (including Anthrodesign); representations of the contemporary city as ruin in art, film, and literature. Developing interest in the archaeology and history of the Greater Philadelphia Area and New Jersey; developing interest in the impact of classical antiquity on the early United States.


Stanford University, Department of Classics (1999-2008)
Ph.D. Classics (Archaeology track)
Dissertation: A Cultural Studies Approach to Roman Public Libraries: Social Negotiation, Changing Spaces, and Euergetism
Committee: Profs. Michael Shanks, Jennifer Trimble, and Ian Hodder

University College London, Institute of Archaeology (1995-1996)
M.Sc. Archaeology and Ancient History of Disease
Dissertation: The Roman/ Anglo-Saxon Transition: A Discussion of Life Stress and Its Visibility
Committee: Prof. Simon Hillson, Tony Waldron M.D.; with advice from Prof. Vivian Nutton

University of Wales, Lampeter, Departments of Archaeology and Classics (1991-1994)
B.A. (Hons) Ancient History and Archaeology, First Class
Dissertation: Ephesos: A Discussion of the Negotiation of Space Under the Roman Empire
Adviser: Keith Hopwood


Special Collections Assistant, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University (2013-present)


Library Service Assistant, University of Pennsylvania Libraries (2011-2013)
Library Clerk, University of Pennsylvania Libraries (2011)
Classics Bibliographer, Stanford University Libraries (2009-2010)
Operations Manager, Art and Architecture Library, Stanford University (2007-2010)
Evening Supervisor, Art and Architecture Library, Stanford University (2005-2007)


Co-Principal Investigator with Richard Hingley, David Petts, Michael Shanks, Melissa Chatfield, and Gary Devore on the Durham-Stanford Binchester Roman Fort Excavations (2008-2011)

Principal Project Manager of Mobile Media 2015, Stanford Humanities Lab in collaboration with Daimler-Chrysler RTNA (2005)


Excavation: Over 80 weeks' experience working in diverse and challenging environments (coastal and riverside, city center, and a remote hilltop in rural Sicily) with very different soils and conditions (waterlogged intertidal sands and peats, Essex clays, dry Mediterranean soils). Took part in rescue excavations for UK CRM companies: used to highly professionalized environment. Most recently excavated as volunteer on Elfreth's Alley Project in Philadelphia (2012).

Supervision: Co-Principal Investigator, Binchester Roman Fort Excavation in Northeast England (2009-2011); Supervisor, IRC-Oxford-Stanford Archaeological Project in the Roman Forum (2003, 2004); Zone Supervisor, Monte Polizzo Bronze Age Project (2002); Assistant Director, Monte Polizzo Magnetometry Project (2001); Finds Officer, Monte Polizzo Bronze Age Project (1999).

Skills: Identification and recording of archaeological strata and building phases. Full onsite recording including section/profile, elevation, and plan drawing, and the use of different established systems for different categories of recovered objects. Collection/interpretion of data with fluxgate gradiometer, (as magnetometry survey Assistant Director in 2001). Familiarity with the National Register Criteria for Evaluation of Historic Places.


Platt, David, Kathryn Schaeffer, and Jon Shaw, Prehistoric Wessex: Towards a Deep Map. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Libraries, 2013.

Exhibit: Prehistoric Wessex: Towards a Deep Map, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2013).

Exhibit: Elements of Interpretation: Interactions Between Archaeological Fragments, Art, and Audience, Art & Architecture Library, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2009).

Shanks, Michael, Platt, David, and Bill Rathje, “The Perfume of Garbage: Archaeology and Modernity,” in Modernism/modernity, 11:1 (2004), 61-83.

Trimble, Jennifer and David Platt, “Magnetometry survey at Monte Polizzo, Sicily” in Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 48 (2003), 317-333.

Platt, David, Review of “Andy Boddington et al (1996) Raunds Furnells: The Anglo-Saxon church and churchyard. London: English Heritage,” in Medical History, 41:4 (1997), 523.


Geballe Research Fellowship (2003-2004)
Stanford University Graduate Fellowship (1999-2003, 2004-2005)
University of Wales Research Fellowship (Sept 1997-Dec 1998)
British Academy of Humanities Postgraduate Fellowship (Oct 1995-Sept 1996)
University of Wales, Lampeter, Ancient History Prize (Summer 1994)
British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara Travel Grant (Summer 1993)


“Prehistoric Wessex: Towards a Deep Map”—opening address for exhibit at University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Mar 2013.

“Reading Libraries: Libraries and Literary Culture in the Roman Empire” at the Stanford Humanities Center.  May 2004.

“Beyond the Façade: Reading Libraries in the Roman Empire” at the Stanford Archaeology Center Workshop.  Feb 2004.

“Where London Stood: Representations of the Contemporary City as Ruin” at the Stanford Archaeology Center.  Jun 2003.

“The Agony and the Agon: Choosing a Dissertation Topic in Archaeology”—joint presentation with Meg Butler, Stanford Archaeology Workshop.  Apr 2003.

“The Mighty Mini,” Stanford Archaeology Center.  Jan 2003.

Moderator and Organiser, Panel on The Gendered Body, Stanford Archaeology of the Body Conference. Feb 2002.

Co-Organiser, Archaeology of the Body Conference, Stanford.  Feb 2002.

“Beyond the Façade: The Library of Celsus in Ephesos,” Stanford Archaeology Center.  Oct 2001.

“Meaning and the Mini: Nostalgia, Hyperreality, and Changing Meaning,” Stanford Classics Graduate Colloquium.  Dec 2000.

“Ephesos: A Discussion of the Negotiation of Power Relations in a Greek City Under Rome,” Liverpool TAG.  Dec 1996.


Devised and taught own lecture courses at Stanford (ARCHLGY 82, Introduction to Roman Archaeology, 2005) and Rowan (ANTH 02-203-01, Introduction to Archaeology, 2011); seminar leader for 4 quarters/ terms (1999-2005). Led seminar discussions, assisted undergraduate research.

Advised undergraduates on research methods for individual projects and provided bibliographic instruction on Binchester Roman Excavation (2010). Provided bibliographic instruction for incoming Stanford Classics graduate students (2009).

Taught archaeological excavation and recording techniques in the field. Roman Forum Project (2003, 2004) and Monte Polizzo Excavation (2002).

Taught magnetometry survey and finds processing/ lab techniques in the field. Monte Polizzo (2001 and 1999, respectively).


Member of SULAIR Disaster Response Team. 2008-2010.

Member of SULAIR Circulation Planning Group. 2007-2010.

Founding Member of Stanford Archaeology Center's Theory Reading Group.  2007.

Co-compiler of bibliography for 28 articles in the Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, edited by Ian Morris, Richard Saller, and Walter Scheidel.  2004.

Chair and Organiser, Classics Graduate Colloquia.  2002-2003.

Graduate Student Representative, Stanford Archaeology Center Faculty Committee.  2002-2003.

Secretary, Archaeology Student Meetings.  2002-2003.

Moderator and Organiser, Panel on The Gendered Body, at the Stanford Archaeology of the Body Conference.  Feb 2002.

Co-Organiser, Stanford Archaeology of the Body Conference.  Feb 2002.

Teaching Support, IHUM 42: Contested Identities.  Fall 2001.

Teaching Support, CLASSART 33: Landscape.  Winter 2000.

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