Main Page Content

Alexander Smith

Alexander Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor
(585) 395-5709
Office:  C-25 Cooper Hall


  • PhD, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, 2015
  • B.A. (summa cum laude) Anthropology and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Brandeis University, 2009

Courses Taught

  • ANT 101 - The Human Condition
  • ANT 202 - Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANT 343 - Rivers, Cities and Empires
  • ANT 381 - Aliens and Archaeology
  • ANT 383 - Archaeological Methods
  • ANT 440 - Historical Archaeology
  • ANT 463/563 - Museology
  • DCC 215 - Society and Culture
  • DCC 310 - Human Heritage
  • DCC 315 - Global Development

Areas of Specialization

  • Survey and landscape archaeology
  • Geographic information systems
  • Indigeneity and colonialism in the archaeological record
  • Historical archaeology
  • Western New York History
  • Colonial dynamics in the Mediterranean (Iron Age through the Twentieth Century)

Current Research Projects

I am a historical archaeologist with roots in the study of the Mediterranean Iron Age and episodes of colonialism and cultural interaction around the world. I have worked in the Rome, Jordan, Montserrat (West Indies), Guatemala, Providence (Rhode Island), and am currently working in Naples, New York, Sardinia, Italy, and Menorca, Spain. I am also heavily involved in public outreach in the Rochester area, working closely with the Memorial Art Gallery (as a Creative Workshop instructor and volunteer) and the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Together with the Cumming Nature Center in Naples, New York, in 2017 I began excavating a previously known 19th century foundation, located on the nature center's property, an area once known as Frost Town. This foundation belonged to a family and a settlement that based its livelihood on the exploitation of the old growth forests of the region. As a logging settlement, Frost Town was largely abandoned by the beginning of the 20th century as the forests began to decline and the farmland proved too difficult to exploit. This project, in conjunction with the Cumming Nature Center, a branch of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, aims to explore the daily lives of the people of Frost Town with respect to increasing inter-regional connectivity, Erie Canal traffic to the north, and the environmental degradation wrought by the logging establishment. Frost Town Archaeology had its inaugural season in 2019 and will be offering a field school in the summer of 2021. For more information visit this website:

I also continue to work in the Mediterranean as a co-director of a new project investigating the Medieval Islamic communities of Menorca, Spain. There I help run an international team of experts that investigate the remains of 13th century Islamic households built into the remains of Iron Age settlements. I have been working on Menorca intermittently since 2007 and wrote my doctoral thesis on the prehistory of the island. I am also a former co-director of the Sinis Archaeological Project (SAP) in West-Central Sardinia, a multi-scalar archaeological survey that aims to understand the human occupation of the Sinis Peninsula from the Neolithic to the 20th century.

Last Updated 5/13/22