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Hands of a potter

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Doctoral student uncovers hidden clues in ancient Greek ceramics

Sanchita Balachandran in museum

​Sanchita Balachandran is the associate director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and a doctoral student in preservation studies at the University of Delaware.

Editor’s note: This article appears in the new, all-digital issue of the University of Delaware Research magazine. This issue spotlights UD’s graduate students, an essential group of researchers who come from around the world, bringing fresh energy and new perspectives to their studies. It includes a special section on UD’s growing muscle in robotics and also reports on COVID-19 research with impact in Delaware, the nation and the world.

Sanchita Balachandran, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, already has two graduate degrees — in art history and art conservation. But a few years ago, after a project with her students generated more questions than answers, she gave in to the relentless desire to know more and applied to the doctoral program in preservation studies at the University of Delaware.

Her doctoral research at UD is inspired by questions that arise when you see an object from ages ago, in her case, elegant ceramic drinking vessels made in Greece some 2,500 years ago. How in the world did they make that? And who made it? Using technology, she hopes to uncover the identities of these producers of ancient Greek ceramics — the immigrants, the migrants, the women entrepreneurs and the people who were enslaved, bringing once-invisible artisans to life and changing our understanding of the past.

Learn more about Balachandran's research in this article in the UD Research magazine.

Article by Tracey Bryant; photo by James T. VanRensselaer, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum

Published Feb. 12, 2021

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Preservation studies doctoral student Sanchita Balachandran is using technology to uncover the identities of the once-invisible artisans who created ancient Greek ceramics.
2/23/2021
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Hands of a potter