Tyler Jo Smith

Professor of Classical Art & Archaeology; Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program


Tyler Jo Smith (Professor, Department of Art) is a Classical Archaeologist who specializes in ancient Greek figure-decorated pottery, and images of performance and ritual in Greek and Roman art. She is the author of Komast Dancers in Archaic Greek Art (2010) and the co-editor of A Companion to Greek Art (with D. Plantzos, 2012), and Religion in the Art of Archaic and Classical Greece (2021). Although she was introduced to invertebrate paleontology at a very young age – digging in the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma – her research area has long been focused on the Mediterranean world. She has participated on field surveys in southwest Turkey, excavations at Knossos (Crete), Kato Phana (Chios), and Thebes in Greece, and at Morgantina in central Sicily. Currently, she serves as Lab Director and Director of Academic Programs for the Caesarea Coastal Archaeology Project (Israel), where she also co-directs the fieldschool. With Ethan Gruber, she co-founded  Kerameikos.org, a linked open data project for Athenian pottery funded by the NEH, and also heads the 3D-GV cohort focused on scanning and printing the Greek vase collection and other antiquities at the Fralin Museum of Art at UVA.  

Dr Smith serves as the Director of UVA’s Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program (2011-17, 2019-present) and the Coordinator of the Mediterranean Archaeology PhD program. Her courses include Introduction to Classical Archaeology, Greek Art and Archaeology, Anatolian Archaeology, Art and Devotion, and Theory of Classical Archaeology. She has received both national and local teaching awards, including the Z Society Distinguished Faculty Award in 2022. For the academic year 2018-2019, she was appointed Elizabeth A. Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Dr Smith’s current research is concerned with the art and archaeology of alcohol across the ancient world, the representation of animals in Greek religion, archaeology and fiction, and contextual readings of ancient Greek pottery. â€‹She currently serves as Vice President of the Charlottesville AIA.