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University of Delaware Faculty

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  • Steven Sidebotham, Professor

    University of Delaware
    Newark, DE 19716


    Steven Sidebotham is professor of ancient history and archaeology at the University of Delaware, where he teaches courses on the ancient Near East and Greece, ancient Rome, ancient Greek and Roman sports and recreation, ancient religions and a seminar on World War II through oral history. Fluent in Arabic, Professor Sidebotham was educated in Egypt, Greece and the United States and received his PhD at the University of Michigan in 1981. He has excavated or undertaken archaeological survey work in Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel and India and, since 1972, has participated in or directed over 60 field projects (both on land and underwater). Professor Sidebotham’s main research interest is ancient trade and cultural exchange between the Mediterranean Basin/Near East on the one hand and the Red Sea-Indian Ocean littorals on the other. He has written, coauthored and co-edited thirteen books with his most recent one on his primary area of research being Berenike and the ancient Maritime Spice Route (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2011).

    His current projects include archaeological excavations at Berenike, an ancient port on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, and small scale excavations and surveys in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. A Discovery/Science Channel television documentary entitled When Rome Ruled Egypt, which first aired in 2008, highlights his archaeological discoveries in Egypt. Professor Sidebotham is a well-recognized speaker and has lectured on cruise ships, at museums, universities and conferences throughout the world.

    Prof. Sidebotham and his wife Mary Sidebotham also have an abiding interest in World War II. Since June 6, 2004 they have conducted over 230 oral interviews of veterans (both American and others) who served in that conflict in all theaters of operation; they have included women as well as men in their oral interview project. Sidebotham’s first foray into publishing about the conflict resulted in J.J. Hurt and S.E. Sidebotham (eds.), Odyssey of a Bombardier: The POW Log of Richard M. Mason (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).



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