Katy Knortz

Ancient Art
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Katy Knortz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art & Archaeology, specializing in Classical Art & Archaeology. Before coming to Princeton, she completed an M.A. in Classical Studies at Columbia University, a post-baccalaureate in Classical Languages at the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from the College of William & Mary in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology.

She currently excavates at Hadrian’s Villa with Columbia University and she is also currently part of an initiative to digitally catalogue the Olcott collection of Roman coins at Columbia. Her previous excavation experience includes projects with the Apolline Project in Pompeii and the Bay of Naples at large. In 2016, she also participated in an excavation at the 3rd-century baths of Carsulae in Umbria, Italy. During her time at William & Mary, she was fortunate enough to receive several research grants to travel on Classical tours through both Italy and Greece with the Classics Department.

Her current research focuses on the ways in which Classical cultures engaged with the material world they inhabited and how they used built environments to forge social identities. She is particularly interested in the intersection of status and domestic architecture and how movement within these built environments both informed and reinforced gender and class differences.

Some of her other immediate research goals are to rethink the scholarly language surrounding ‘non-elite’ or presumed ‘non-elite’ homes owned by freedmen and other traditionally less privileged  classes, especially in the Bay of Naples. In her M.A. thesis on the same topic, titled Aesthetics of Excess: Challenging the Theory of ‘Elite’ Imitation in Trimalchio’s Home, she argues that freedmen art, more than mere imitation, is worthy of its own study independent of its relation to other art because different social experiences informed it.