From the International Catacomb Society:
The International Catacomb Society (ICS) is dedicated to the preservation and documentation of the Jewish catacombs and other rare vestiges of history that illustrate the common influences on Jewish, Christian, and pagan iconography and funerary practices during the time of the Roman Empire. The society also strives to increase knowledge about the interconnections between Judaism, Christianity, and the surrounding ancient world by issuing grants, sponsoring lectures, and disseminating information and publications.
With its annual Shohet Scholars Program, the ICS desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. The focus of the work should be within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. The work does not need to be related to the Roman catacombs, although applications for projects focused on the catacombs are welcome. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives. Successful applicants will be expected to present a public lecture in Boston reporting the methods, results, and significance of their work and submit a written article for publication by the ICS.
The application deadline for the 2016-2017 academic year is December 15, 2015, for funding to be disbursed on July 1, 2016.
2015-2016 Shohet Scholars:
Elizabeth S. Bolman, (Temple University) “Publishing Late Roman Paintings.”
Bolman has directed a project that recovered magnificent secco paintings in the Red and White Monasteries near Sohag in Egypt. Some years ago she also gave a Shohet Memorial lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on the subject.
Steven Fine, (Yeshiva University) “The Arch of Titus Project.”
Fine attempts to contextualize this monument, which has been and continues to be contentious in the history of Judaism and Western culture. He is also directing high-tech digital reconstructions of the polychromy of the menorah panel on the arch.
Rosa Maria Motta (Christopher Newport University) and Davide Tanasi (Arcadia University) “Burial Practices and Funerary Rituals between the Late Roman and Early Medieval Periods in the Catacombs of St. Lucy in Syracuse (Sicily).”
This project will investigate the transformation of cemeterial spaces into cult places for religious practices relating to the worship of the holy relics of St. Lucy and of other holy men and women buried in the catacombs.
Robert Tykot (University of Southern Florida) and Kevin Salesse (Université de Bordeaux), “Quantifying the Roman diet: improving the accuracy and precision of paleodietary reconstructions by isotopic analysis.”
This project investigates dietary composition and variation of the ancient imperial-period Roman diet through isotopic analyses of both human and faunal remains from the catacomb of Santi Marcellino e Pietro (Rome, Lazio, central Italy) and other Italian sites.
More information about the ICS on our website www.catacombsociety.org.