Samuel Holzman

Assistant Professor of Art and Archaeology
Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies
Office Phone
Green Hall 1N-4
Office Hours

On Leave: AY 2023–24



Samuel Holzman is an archaeologist and architectural historian focusing on Greece and Anatolia, from the Early Iron Age through Hellenistic periods. His research is grounded in archaeological fieldwork and the technical study of ancient building methods (Bauforschung). His first book, Bilingual Ionic Column Capitals: Perceptions of the Past in Greek Architecture, which is in production with Princeton University Press, examines how Greek temple builders revisited earlier structures in their designs. It looks closely at nine buildings from Greece, Italy, and Turkey (550-250 BCE) with “bilingual” designs juxtaposing archaic and contemporary Ionic elements. These designs conjured earlier temples that were focal points for conceiving community identities.

Holzman’s recent publications have revealed engineering innovation and structural daring in ancient stone construction, as well as lifting devices used by ancient builders. Holzman’s architectural research interests include ancient aesthetic theories of architecture in the works of Vitruvius and Hermogenes, quantitative assessments of the labor and transportation logistics underlying monumental building, construction tools and structural technologies, architectural polychromy, as well as the reception of ancient architecture in the modern world. His archaeological research has also included studies of ancient musical instruments in domestic contexts and tapestry weaving. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Kolb Society of Fellows at the Penn Museum. In 2023-2024, he is a fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington D.C.

Digital modeling is a method of particular interest for documenting, analyzing, and presenting reconstructions of fragmentary ancient buildings. In 2017 and 2019, Holzman participated in the Parthenon Restoration Project, conducting photogrammetric documentation for the west pediment, and he was the architectural consultant for Athens Reborn: Acropolis a VR teaching app.

Holzman leads the architectural research team of American Excavations Samothrace. The architectural research team is currently completing its investigation of the site’s Hellenistic stoa and beginning a study of the fortification wall of the ancient city. Princeton students interested in participating in archaeological/architectural fieldwork on Samothrace should contact Holzman about participating. Holzman is one of the co-organizers of a Getty Connecting Art Histories traveling seminar studying architectural networks between the northern Aegean and Black Sea regions. He is also a co-organizer of PITHOS (Princeton-Ioannina-Thessaly On-Site Seminars), which brings together advanced graduate students in archaeology from Princeton and Greece.

Teaching Interests

Holzman teaches a range of courses in history of art and architecture, archaeology, and cultural heritage. All courses have a hands-on component that examines museum collections, rare books, or historic buildings. Having also taught archaeological drawing, his courses integrate exercises in sketching and technical drawing as tools of analysis, which foreground the way visual representations shape our image of the past.

  • ART 102: Introduction to the History of Architecture
  • ART 207: Greek Architecture
  • ART 401: Archaeological Methods and Theory
  • ART 407: Drawing Archaeology
  • HUM 417: Historical Structures: Ancient Architecture’s Materials, Construction and Engineering
  • ART 504: Studies in Greek Architecture.



Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019

Selected Publications

“Antonio da Sangallo and Saint Peter’s Keys: Building Technology and Vitruvian Theory,” co-author with Carolyn Yerkes, Architectural History vol. 66 (2023): 21-56

“Concealing Structural Innovation in Greek Architecture: Flat Arch Construction in the 3rd–Century BCE Stoa on Samothrace,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians vol. 82 no. 3 (2023): 275-293

“Unfolding a Geometric Textile from 9th-Century Gordion,” Hesperia vol. 88 no. 3 (2019): 527-556

“Tortoise-Shell Lyres from Phrygian Gordion,” American Journal of Archaeology vol. 120 no. 4 (2016): 537-64

“Visualizing Asperitas. Vitruvius (3.3.9) and the 'asperity’ of Hermogenes’ pseudodipteros,” co-author with Lothar Haselberger, Journal of Roman Archaeology vol. 28 (2015): 371-91

Home Department and Other Affiliations
Art & Archaeology
Hellenic Studies
Program in the Ancient World