Senior Lecturer in Classics
School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
History Honours prepared me for a doctorate on the transition from Late Roman Gaul to Early Mediaeval Francia, by using both the idea and the reality of the villa in the Roman province of Aquitanica Prima as a thermometer for cultural change into the post-Roman period. How, why and at what point did the concept of the villa segue into the core of the mediaeval village? This research required me to endure summer field trips to the warm and sunny heartland of France, roaming the wine-growing countryside in search of villa remains which were mostly excavated in the 19th century.
Archaeology Honours also led me to Jordan, as a junior member of Sydney University's Expedition to Pella back in December 1982. This experience, initially under the leadership of the late and very much lamented Tony McNicoll and Emeritus Prof. Basil Hennessy, has fostered a life-long interest in the transition from Roman to early Islamic material culture in the region of the Roman Decapolis. I continue to be a senior team-member of this exciting and longstanding excavation project.
From 1994-1996,I co-directed a Pella Hinterland Survey jointly with Dr Pamela Watson (then Asst Director of the British Institute at 'Amman for Archaeology and History). This was a 3-year field survey which examined in detail the evidence for utilisation of the land and water systems of the hinterland of the city of Pella, in order to understand better the economic infrastructure of the local region in the Roman and Byzantine periods.
A necessity to eat in the early 1990s also developed some experience as an historical archaeologist in working on urban sites in Sydney, including First Government House - this interest in Australian archaeology post-1788 continued until 1997 in the guise of co-teaching archaeological Field Methods in conjunction with Flinders University for the now-defunct Graduate Diploma in Archaeology.
Apart from being a dirt (and sometimes dirty) archaeologist, I specialise in the analysis of glass in the ancient Near East - how it was used, in what proportions to other media of utensils, and how those uses changed over time and across regions. Most of this work is centred upon the Roman-Byzantine and early mediaeval periods in Jordan, Syria, southern Turkey and now central Greece. Occasionally, I am given the opportunity to study earlier material, and have published on glass in the Iron Age.
Here in the University of Adelaide, I am also the Director of our Departmental Museum of Classical Archaeology.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
- Glass in the Levant from the IA to Mamluk periods
- Late Hellenistic and Roman archaeology in the Levant
- Material culture of Late Antiquity
You can view a 2013 video of my Research Tuesdays lecture, Shards of History, on the importance of glass, here.
Below are some books to which I have contributed chapters on glass. I can't resist adding the cover of the 2011 journal Levant as it is my photo from my article inside.
Date Position Institution name 2001 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 1991 - 2001 Lecturer University of Adelaide 1991 - 1991 Casual lecturer University of Sydney 1991 - 1991 Contract Archaeologist Godden Mackay Heritage Consultants 1990 - 1991 Casual lecturer University of Sydney 1989 - 1989 Research Assistant University of Oxford 1989 - 1991 Contract Archaeologist NSW Office of Environment & Heritage 1984 - 1984 Research Assistant University of Sydney 1984 - 1984 Contract Archaeologist NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2010 Fellowship Society of Antiquaries of London — United Kingdom —
Language Competency Arabic Can speak and understand spoken English, Old (ca.450-1100) Can read French Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review German Can read Latin Can read
Date Institution name Country Title 1984 - 1989 Oxford (Keble College) United Kingdom D. Phil. 1979 - 1983 The University of Sydney Australia BA Double Hons
Year Citation 2013 O'Hea, M. J., & Marii, F. (2013). A new approach to church liturgy in Byzantine Arabia-Palaestinia Tertia : chemical analysis of glass from Petra Church and Dayr `Ayn `Abāṭa monastery. In Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan 11 Vol. 11 (pp. 319). 'Amman, Jordan: Department of Antiquities of Jordan. 2005 O'Hea, M. (2005). Late Hellenistic glass from some military and civilian sites in the Levant: Jebel Khalid, Pella and Jerusalem. In H. Cool (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th Congress of the AIHV (pp. 44-48). Nottingham NG2 5BJ: International Association for the History of Glass. 2001 O'Hea, M. (2001). Some problems in early Islamic glassware. In Annales du 15e Congrès de l'Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre, New York (pp. 133-137). New York: AIHV. 1992 O'Hea, M. (1992). The Glass Industry of Pella and the Decapolis. In ARAM Vol. 4 (pp. 253-262). Oxford, U.K.: Peeters.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 1989 O'Hea, M. J. (1989). The conceptual and material transformation of the villa in Aquitanica Prima from the third to seventh centuries A.D .. (PhD Thesis, Oxford University).
|1984-1987||Commonwealth Overseas Postgraduate Award to Oxford||Association of Commonwealth Universities|
|1986, 1987||Travel awards to USA||Craven Committee, Oxford|
|1989||Travel grant to Israel (Beth Shean)||Near Eastern Archaeology Fund, University of Sydney|
|1994-96||Pella Hinterland Survey||Adelaide University ARC Small Grants Scheme (AUD 24,000) and joint-funding with BIAAH grant for Dr Pam Watson (£10,000)|
|2002||Colossae Project (collaborative with Drs M. Trainor and C. Smith)||Flinders University Small Grant (AUD $9000)|
|2003||Analysis of Early Mediaeval Glass from Pella||Adelaide University Minor University Research Grant (AUD $6000)|
I co-teach and have co-ordinated both our current first year courses:
- CLAS 1003 Introduction to Ancient Greece and Rome
- CLAS 1004 Ancient World through Film (up to 2018)
Current 2nd and 3rd year courses that I fully teach and co-ordinate:
- CLAS 2033 Art and Archaeology of Rome (even years)
- CLAS 3027 Pagans, Saints and Magic in Late Antiquity (even years)
- CLAS 3028 Cities of Silk & Spice Routes in Roman Archaeology (odd years)
- CLAS 2025 Fall of Roman Europe and Birth of the Middle Ages (odd years)
Current courses that I co-teach and sometimes co-ordinate:
- CLAS 2008 Life in the Golden Age of Rome (even years)
- CLAS 2029 Rome! Rise of Empire from 509BC to AD14 (odd years)
I also teach within the Honours seminar programme.
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2019 Co-Supervisor Platonists, Magicians and Ritual Power in Late Antiquity Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Tiana Blazevic 2019 Co-Supervisor Sex in Suetonius: Salacious Gossip or Political Invective Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Tamara Jade Bremert 2019 Co-Supervisor Seneca's Moral Epistles Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Tamas Karoly Preston
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2016 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Divine Emperors and Italy: Emperor Worship in the Italian Peninsula (Excluding Rome) Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Alex Andrew Antoniou 2013 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Ancient Cyprus: Island of Conflict? Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Maria Natasha Ioannou 2008 - 2010 Principal Supervisor The Relationship between the Topographical Mosaics of Provincia Arabia and the Madaba Mosaic Map Master of Arts Master Full Time Miss Jennifer Turner 2005 - 2008 Co-Supervisor The Portrayal and Role of Anger in the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Barbara Sidwell 2002 - 2005 Principal Supervisor The Nature of the Villa Suburbana in Latium and Campania: Literary and Spatial Analysis of Social and Potential Entertainment Functions from the 2nd Century BC to the 2nd Century AD Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Geoffrey Adams
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2005 - 2008 Co-Supervisor The Portrayal and Role of Anger in the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus The University of Adelaide — Doctorate Full Time Barbara Sidwell 2005 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Understanding and dealing with evil and suffering: a fourth century AD pagan perspective. The University of Adelaide — Master Part Time Susanne Wallis 1998 - 2001 Principal Supervisor Images of the crucifixion in late antiquity: the testimony of engraved gems The University of Adelaide — Doctorate Full Time Felicity Harley 1992 - 1995 Co-Supervisor The Roman imperial cult in Alexandria during the Julio-Claudian period The University of Adelaide — Master Full Time Nicholas EId
Date Role Membership Country 2001 - ongoing Member American Center for Oriental Research United States 1998 - ongoing Member Association Internationale pour l'histoire du verre (AIHV) — 1992 - 1994 Member Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Australia 1984 - 1996 Member British School for Archaeology and History at 'Amman Jordan 1984 - 1992 Member Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies United Kingdom
Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country 2010 - ongoing Newcastle University and Cambridge University Kilise Tepe Project Scientific research Turkey 2006 - ongoing Swiss-Lichtenstein Fund and British Institute for Archaeology and History in the Levant — Scientific research Syrian Arab Republic 2006 - ongoing University of Copenhagen Jarash Islamic Project Scientific research Denmark 2003 - 2014 Australian National University and University of Melbourne Jebel Khalid Excavation Project Scientific research Syrian Arab Republic 1996 - 1999 ACOR/USAID The Petra Church Project Scientific research Jordan 1984 - ongoing University of Sydney Near Eastern Archaeology Scientific research Jordan
Date Office Name Institution Country 1994 - 1996 Co-Director The Pella Hinterland Survey, North Jordan Valley Jordan
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