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Rubina Raja

DPhil (oxon), centre director, Professor

Rubina Raja
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Rubina Raja is professor of classical archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark and director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s centre of excellence Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet, https://urbnet.au.dk/). She heads several further collective research projects: Archive Archaeology (https://projects.au.dk/archivearcheology/), the Palmyra Portrait Project (https://projects.au.dk/palmyraportrait/) as well as Circular Economy and Urban Sustainability in Antiquity (https://projects.au.dk/circulareconomy/). Recently the Ceramics in Context project came to an end after four years of intense research and publications (https://projects.au.dk/ceramics-in-context/). She was co-PI of the ERC Advanced Grant project headed by Jörg Rüpke ‘Lived Ancient Religion’ (2012–2017).

Raja is an experienced fieldwork archaeologist and co-directs fieldwork projects in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, most prominently the Danish-Italian Caesar’s Forum Project together with Jan Kindberg Jacobsen and Claudio Presicce Parisi (https://cas.au.dk/en/cfp/) as well as the Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project with Achim Lichtenberger since 2011 (https://projects.au.dk/internationaljerashexcavation/).

Raja’s research focusses on urban and landscape archaeology, on sites and their multiple networks from the Hellenistic to the medieval periods as attested through empirical evidence and sources. She is also an expert on iconography and portrait traditions in the Roman world as well as religious life in Antiquity – all topics on which she has published extensively. While being a classical archaeologist, she also works in the fields intersecting traditional archaeology and natural sciences, bringing high-definition studies of the past to the forefront – an approach, which has most prominently been pioneered through the work done within the framework of UrbNet.

Raja is actively engaged in discussions on research politics and the role of research, in particular humanities, in modern societies as well as the promotion of a better gender balance in academia. She is the co-founder of the Danish network and prize initiative Women of the Year in Academia and part of the Empower Talent mentoring scheme.

Raja is the founder of numerous international book series and the journal Journal of Urban Archaeology (https://www.urbanarchaeology.net/). She is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and she has received several national and international prizes and awards for her research and has held visiting professorships at several prestigious institutions such as Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, Sorbonne University and the Max Weber Kolleg, Erfurt University. Raja is open to supervising and co-supervising students on all levels within her fields of expertise.

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