Jessica Nowlin

Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Classics

Jessica Nowlin


Jessica Nowlin is an Assistant Professor in Classics who is interested in the archaeology of the western Mediterranean during the 1st millennium BCE, methods of digital recording and preservation, and critical historiography of classical archaeology and art history. She received her BA in Classics and Archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin, and her PhD in Archaeology in 2016 from the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology at Brown University. Her dissertation research was supported by a two-year Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Her research focuses on the local acceptance, adaptation and transformation of imported objects and practices from the eastern Mediterranean by communities in mainland Italy and Sardinia. Her recent book, Etruscan Orientalization, explores the influences of orientalism, nationalism and colonialism on the historiography of the terms ‘orientalizing’ and ‘orientalization’ to critique the art historical and archaeological frameworks that have been employed to investigate connectivity in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE.

Dr. Nowlin has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Belize, Crimea, and in multiple regions in Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Lazio and Sardinia). Currently, she co-directs the Sinis Archaeological Project, a pedestrian field survey near Oristano, with Linda Gosner from Texas Tech University. This project seeks to explore changes in landscape, settlement, and resources use within the Sinis Peninsula as the indigenous Nuragic peoples encountered Phoenician, Carthaginian and later Roman colonizing forces.

In addition, Dr. Nowlin is deeply engaged in digital humanities and digital history. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Bexar County Historical GIS Project, which is a collaboration between UTSA, Bexar County’s Heritage and Parks Department, and numerous local historians and archaeologists. The project has focused on making scholarship and primary source documents, especially historic maps, related to Bexar County history accessible to the general public. The website contains modules with dynamic GIS mapping content and other media from the earliest indigenous settlement until the railroad arrived in 1877, and in this current phase, will continue to bring Bexar County’s history up until the end of WWII.

Research Interests

  • Mediterranean Archaeology
  • Digital Humanities
  • Critical Historiography
  • Colonialism
  • Globalization
  • Imperialism


  • Ph.D. in Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University (2016)
  • B.A. in Classics, The University of Texas at Austin (2007)
  • B.A. in Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin (2007)

Honors and Awards

2020 President’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching Excellence, UTSA
2018 Award of Excellence in Media Achievement, Texas Historical Commission, for the 300th Anniversary of Béjar: Historical GIS Story Maps Project.
2013 - 2015 Frank Brown/Samuel H. Kress Foundation/Helen M. Woodruff Fellowship of the
Archaeological Institute of America Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize, American Academy
in Rome (Two-Year Residential Fellowship in Rome).


Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials

2022 - 2023 Seed of Texas Teachers Workshops and Walking Tours. $10,000.
2020 - 2022 Bexar County Historical GIS Project PHASE III. $175,845.
2018 - 2019 Documentation Condition Assessment and Treatment Plan for Mission Espada North Gate. $26,021.
2018 Rust Family Foundation Archaeology Grant, Sinis Archaeological Project 2018: Landscape Survey in West-Central Sardinia, Principal Investigators: Linda R. Gosner, Alexander J. Smith, Jessica Nowlin. $7,420.
2018 Julie Herzig Desnick Endowment Fund for Archaeological Field Surveys, Archaeological Institute of America, Sinis Archaeological Project. Principle Investigators: Jessica Nowlin, Linda R. Gosner, Alexander J. Smith. $5,000.
2018 The Curtiss T. and Mary G. Brennan Foundation Grant, Sinis Archaeological Project. Principle Investigators: Linda R. Gosner, Alexander J. Smith, and Jessica Nowlin. $5,000.


2021 J. Nowlin. Etruscan Orientalization. Research Perspectives in Ancient History. 3.2. Leiden: Brill.

2023 Nowlin, J. Etruria and Anatolia: an ancient relationship framed by the modern views of ‘Orientalization’. In E. Baughan and L. Pieraccini eds. Etruria and Anatolia: Material Connections and Artistic Exchange. Cambridge University Press.

2021 Nowlin, J. Funerary Ritual in Iron Age Infant Burials from Area A at Gabii. In L. Banducci and A. Gallone eds. A Cemetery and a Quarry from Imperial Gabii. University of Michigan Press.

2021 Gosner, L., Nowlin, J. and Smith A. Ground-truthing the Site-based Survey at S’Urachi and Su Padrigheddu (West-Central Sardinia): Results of the 2016 and 2017 Seasons. Fasti Online Documents & Research Survey Series.

2020 Gosner, L.R., Hayne, J., Madrigali, E., Nowlin, J. New Evidence for Local Continuity and Phoenician Influence in the Ceramic Assemblage from Iron Age Su Padrigheddu (West-Central Sardinia). Proceedings of the IX Congreso de Estudios Fenicios y Púnicos. Myrta (Instituto de Arqueología, Mérida). 5: 1705-1713.

2020 Plekhov, D., Gosner, L., Smith, A., Nowlin, J. Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeological Survey: A Case Study from the Sinis Archaeological Project, Sardinia. Advances in Archaeological Practice. 1-14.

2019 Madrigali, E., Gosner, L., Hayne, J., Nowlin, J., Ramis, D. Tradizioni e interazioni nella quotidianità dell’Età del Ferro. Nuove evidenze da Su Padrigheddu (San Vero Milis, OR). Quaderni. Rivista di archeologia, 30: 107-127.

2012 R. Opitz & J. Nowlin. Photogrammetric Modeling + GIS. Better methods for working with mesh data. ArcUser, Spring 2012: 46-49.

2011 J. Becker & J. Nowlin. Orientalizing infant burials from Gabii, Italy. BABESCH 86:27-39.

2021 The Seed of Texas: An Interactive Exploration of Bexar County History (hyperlink:
GIS Specialist, Digital Advisor, and Editor on all modules

2018 300th Anniversary Celebration of Béjar: Historical GIS (hGIS) Story Map Projects (hyperlink: 
Primary Author:
The Natural Environment of Bexar County
12,000 Years of Human History: Prehistoric Bexar County
Late Prehistoric Era: The Olivas and Barajas Sites
Additional Author:
The Payaya
GIS Specialist, Digital Advisor, and Editor on all modules