Justin Leidwanger's work focuses on Mediterranean mobilities, maritime communities, and systems of exchange. Shipwrecks and port sites, especially in southeast Sicily and southwest Turkey, are central to exploring these themes in the field, providing evidence for connections and the long-term dynamics of communities situated amid the economically, socially, and politically changing worlds from the rise of Rome through late antiquity.

Between 2013 and 2019, he led investigations of the 6th-century “church wreck” at Marzamemi (Sicily), which sank while carrying nearly 100 tons of marble architectural elements. Work continues through underwater survey, 3D analysis, and publication as well as immersive heritage initiatives in the local Museum of the Sea and associated pop-up exhibits and dive trails. Project 'U Mari extends this collaborative field research in southeast Sicily, interrogating the heritage of diverse but co-dependent interactions with and across the sea that have long defined the central Mediterranean and offer a resource for deeper engagement with the past and sustainable future development.

Building on survey since 2017, the project’s newest work examines socioeconomic dynamics spanning 2500 years of tuna fishing through maritime landscape archaeology and documentation of fading material culture and traditional knowledge of the mattanza. Our efforts simultaneously foreground heritage activism through community-based archaeology of the spaces, materialities, and memories of contemporary journeys of forced and undocumented migration across the central Mediterranean.

Justin teaches courses and advises students on topics in Hellenistic, Roman, and late antique archaeology, economies and interaction, port networks, ceramic production and exchange, and Greco-Roman architecture and engineering. The Maritime Archaeology Lab at the Archaeology Center serves as a fieldwork base and resource for digital modeling (structured light scanning, laser scanning, photogrammetry, GIS, network analysis) and pottery analysis (petrography, pXRF, computational morphological analysis).

Author of Roman Seas: A Maritime Archaeology of Eastern Mediterranean Economies (Oxford), and editor or co-editor of three more volumes, including Maritime Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Cambridge), his current project is titled Fluid Technologies: Standardization, Efficiency, and the Roman Maritime Economy. This newest work arises from research with students in the field, lab, and museum, analyzing transport amphoras, port infrastructure, and other clues to ancient technologies of distribution.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Classics

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Faculty Member, Stanford Archeology Center, Stanford University
  • Affiliated Faculty, Institute of Nautical Archaeology
  • Consulting Scholar, Mediterranean Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Co-Director, Excavations of the 6th-century AD Marzamemi “church wreck," coast of Sicily, Italy
  • Member, Marzamemi Maritime Heritage Project
  • Co-Director, Excavations in the Archaic through late Roman harbors of Burgaz, coast of Datca peninsula, Turkey
  • Director, Maritime landscape surveys, coast of Cyprus (2003 - 2009)

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Art and Archeology of the Mediterranean World (2011)
  • M.A., Texas A&M University, Nautical Archeology
  • B.A., Loyola University, Chicago, Classics

2020-21 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Amanda Gaggioli, Anja Krieger
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    David Pickel, Sarah Wilker
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Gabrielle Thiboutot

All Publications

  • Archaeological Investigations in the Harbours of Burgaz, Turkey: 2011-2015 field seasons INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Tuna, N. 2019; 48 (1): 103–22
  • Knidian "Anyports": a model of coastal adaptation and socioeconomic connectivity from southwest Turkey MEDITERRANEAN HISTORICAL REVIEW Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J. 2019; 34 (1): 9–25
  • Virtual simulation of a late antique shipwreck at Marzamemi, Sicily: Integrated processes for 3D documentation, analysis and representation of underwater archaeological data ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROSPECTION Repola, L., di Carlo, N., Signoretti, D., Leidwanger, J. 2018; 25 (2): 99–109

    View details for DOI 10.1002/arp.1592

    View details for Web of Science ID 000434408200001

  • New investigations of the 6th-c. AD "church wreck" at Marzamemi, Sicily JOURNAL OF ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY Leidwanger, J. 2018; 31: 339–56
  • From Time Capsules to Networks: New Light on Roman Shipwrecks in the Maritime Economy AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY Leidwanger, J. 2017; 121 (4): 595–619
  • A Late Antique Ceramic Assemblage at Burgaz, Datca Peninsula, South-west Turkey, and the "Normality of the Mixed Cargo' in the Ancient Mediterranean INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Leidwanger, J., Greene, E. S., Tuna, N. 2015; 44 (2): 300-311
  • Burgaz (Palaia Knidos) 2012 Yılı Çalışmaları Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı Tuna, N., Atıcı, N., Sakarya, I., Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J. 2014; 35 (1): 60-75
  • Maritime Networks and Economic Regionalism in the Roman Eastern Mediterranean Les nouvelles de l’archéologie Leidwanger, J. 2014; 135: 32-38
  • Implementing Underwater Cultural Heritage ‘Best Practices’ in the Mediterranean: The Noto Meeting International Journal of Nautical Archaeology Leidwanger, J., Greene, E. S., Daniels, B. I., Leventhal, R. M., Tusa, S. 2014; 43 (2): 453-455
  • A Preliminary Archaeometric Analysis of the Late Roman 1 Amphoras from the Cargo of the Seventh-Century Yassıada Shipwreck, Turkey LRCW 4. Late Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean Leidwanger,, J. edited by Poulou-Papadimitriou, N. Oxford University Press. 2014: 897–906
  • Marzamemi II ‘Church Wreck’ Excavation: 2013 Field Season Archaeologia Maritima Mediterranea Leidwanger, J., Bruno, N. 2014; 10: 191-198
  • Integrating an Empire: Maritime Trade and Agricultural Supply in Roman Cyprus Skyllis: Zeitschrift für Unterwasserarchäologie Leidwanger, J. 2014; 13 (1): 59-66
  • Review of "Trading Communities in the Roman World: A Micro-Economic and Institutional Perspective" Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition Leidwanger, J. Leiden: Brill. 2014
  • Excavating the Harbors of Old Knidos INA Quarterly Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Tuna, N. 2014; 40 (4): 8-13
  • Opportunistic Ports and Spaces of Exchange in Late Roman Cyprus JOURNAL OF MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY Leidwanger, J. 2013; 8 (2): 221-243
  • Between Local and Long-Distance: A Roman Shipwreck at Fig Tree Bay off SE Cyprus Journal of Roman Archaeology Leidwanger, J. 2013; 26: 191-208
  • Review of "Maritime Technology in the Ancient Economy: Ship-Design and Navigation" Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series, American Journal of Archaeology Leidwanger, J. 2013; 117 (2)
  • Expanding Contacts and Collapsing Distances in Early Cypro-Archaic Trade: Three Case Studies of Shipwrecks off the Turkish Coast Transport Amphorae and Trade of Cyprus Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Özdaş, H. edited by Lawall, M. L., Lund, J. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. 2013: 21–34
  • Modeling Distance with Time in Ancient Mediterranean Seafaring: A GIS Application for the Interpretation of Maritime Connectivity Journal of Archaeological Science Leidwanger, J. 2013; 40: 3302-3308
  • Burgaz 2011 Yılı Çalışmaları Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı Tuna, N., Atıcı, N., Sakarya, I., Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J. 2013; 34 (3): 5-24
  • Law, Ethics, and Deep-Water Archaeology: the Wreck of Cesnola's Napried IKUWA3: Beyond Boundaries: The 3rd International Congress on Underwater Archaeology Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J. edited by Henderson, J. Frankfurt: Roman-Germanic Commission. 2012: 83–88
  • Sourcing the Cargos of Three Archaic Shipwrecks: Kekova Adası, Kepçe Burnu, and Çaycağız Koyu Arkeometri Sonuçları Toplantısı Leidwanger, J., Özdaş, H., Greene, E. S. 2012; 27: 393-409
  • Mare Nostrum? Ethics and Archaeology in Mediterranean Waters AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Leventhal, R. M., Daniels, B. I. 2011; 115 (2): 311-319
  • Two Early Archaic Shipwrecks at Kekova Adasi and Kepce Burnu, Turkey INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Ozdas, H. A. 2011; 40 (1): 60-68
  • Amphoras from an Early Imperial Shipwreck at Fig Tree Bay, Cyprus: International Imports and Local Imitations Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautorum Acta Leidwanger, J. 2010; 41: 9-16
  • Toward Best Practices in Mediterranean Underwater Archaeology International Journal of Nautical Archaeology Greene, E. S., Leidwanger, J., Leventhal, R. M., Daniels, B. I. 2010; 39 (2): 437-439