Samuel Holzman specializes in Greek architecture, as well as the archaeology of the Aegean and Anatolia from the Early Iron Age through Hellenistic periods. His current book project, Perceptions of the Past in Greek Architecture, 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 has also published on ancient aesthetic assessments of the Hellenistic architect Hermogenes in the writing of the Roman architect Vitruvius. Other publications include examinations of ancient musical instruments and textiles, and he is exploring the connections between textiles and architectural decoration, particularly mosaics. His research has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Kolb Society of Fellows at the Penn Museum.
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 virtual reality (VR) teaching app.
He is a member of the American excavation of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, Samothrace, where he leads the architectural study to reconstruct the site’s Hellenistic stoa. He 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, which will visit Romania, Ukraine, and Turkey in 2022.
At Princeton, Holzman is also affiliated with the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies.
Professor Holzman teaches courses in architectural history, 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.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019
“Modeling Hermogenes: an experiment of Bauforschung in 3D,” in Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Practice, ed E.A. Dumser and D. Borbonus (Oxford University Press 2021)
“Unfolding a Geometric Textile from 9th-Century Gordion,” Hesperia 88 (2019)
“Tortoise-Shell Lyres from Phrygian Gordion,” American Journal of Archaeology 120 (2016)
“Visualizing Asperitas. Vitruvius (3.3.9) and the 'asperity’ of Hermogenes’ pseudodipteros,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 28 (2015)