Justin Leidwanger

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Justin Leidwanger

Justin Leidwanger

  • Assistant Professor of Classics
  • Affiliated faculty of The Europe Center
  • Fellow of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center

Building 110, Room 210



Justin Leidwanger is a classical archaeologist with interests in maritime economies and interaction as well as human mobility, especially during the broad millennium of the Roman Empire. The current vantage point for this research is southeast Sicily, where shipwrecks and ports provide primary evidence for connections between south and north, west and east, and the long-term development of communities situated in the middle of an economically, socially, and politically changing world. His current Project ‘U Mari (Sicilian for “the sea”) aims to understand and integrate the diverse maritime heritage of interactions and livelihoods that have defined the central Mediterranean, and to mobilize this heritage in support of local engagement and sustainable development. Aside from archaeological survey and excavation of historic shipwrecks and ports, the project’s diverse focuses include more recent Sicilian fishing communities and their socioeconomic dynamics, archaeological documentation of contemporary refugee journeys to Europe, and a new Museum of the Sea with associated coastal and underwater heritage trails. He is the author of Roman Seas: A Maritime Archaeology of Eastern Mediterranean Economies (Oxford), and editor or co-editor of three more volumes, including recently Maritime Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Cambridge).