Professor Emeritus Robert Lindley Vann alternates with other faculty members teaching the two basic survey classes in architectural history. In addition he offers advanced courses in the fields of Greek, Roman, Islamic, and Pre-Columbian. Since 1995 he has developed his interests in various aspects of non-western architecture into an elective survey class. Drawing from wide-ranging travel and research in disparate fields such as South Asia, Oceania, Pre-Columbian civilizations of Central and South America, and the Islamic world, Professor Vann has developed one of the few courses of this type in the country. In addition to his survey classes and advanced lecture courses, during the past three years Professor Vann has offered seminars focusing upon the city in the classical world, the town of Pompeii, as well as the field of architecture for entertainment in the Roman world.
Lindley's archaeological fieldwork continues. He has participated in excavations at Sardis (Turkey), Carthage (Tunisia), Humeima (Jordan), and Sigiriya (Sri Lanka). From 1981-1990 Professor Vann co-directed underwater excavations in the harbor of Herod the Great at Caesarea (Israel) and since 1991 has directed the University of Maryland Survey of Ancient Harbors in Turkey. From 2001-2004 he also co-directed a project in Pompeii (Italy) investigating the role of food and drink in the ancient city. He will begin work on a new project recording the villas at Stabia (Italy) this year.
Professor Vann continues to involve his students in fieldwork and research on these various programs in both Turkey and Italy. He also offers travel opportunities for students as well as alumni during the January semester break and spring vacation. Destinations during the past several years have included Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, and Cambodia. His trip planned for January 2006 will be to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).
Lindley continues to lecture widely. During the past year has presented aspects of his research at the Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University, the University of Mississippi, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Israel Exploration Society, the Scarsdale (NY) Society of the Archaeological Institute of America as well as delivering papers at conferences in Boston and Hololulu. This year he was named the Ahmanson Lecturer for the AIA. His plans for the coming year include delivering papers in Boston, Washington DC, and Antalya (Turkey).
Vann is author of The Unexcavated Buildings of Sardis, British Archaeological Reports International Series 538 (1988) and editor of Caesarea Papers: Straton's Tower, Herod's Harbour, and Roman and Byzantine Caesarea published in 1992 by the Journal of Roman Archaeology. Vann has published numerous articles in journals such as Archaeology, Journal of Field Archaeology, Archaeological News, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Old World Archaeology Newsletter, Journal of the Israel Exploration Society, Biblical Archaeology Review, Biblical Archaeologist, and Asian Art. His most recent publications focus on the baths and churches at Aperlae and with upcoming work on the fortifications at that same site as well as an overview of harbors in the eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine period.