Christopher M. Monroe

Senior Lecturer


Chris M. Monroe is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University. He specializes in socioeconomic and maritime aspects of life in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean and Near East, including Egypt. He holds the Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan and the M.A. in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University. Chris has excavated on land and underwater in Turkey, Syria, Israel, Greece and Cyprus. He has taught at Cornell since 2006, was a Society Fellow at the Society for Humanities in 2008, and received a Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2021.

Courses Taught

  • Powerful Words: Reading Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian Literature
  • Ancient Egyptian Civilization
  • Ancient Ships and Seafaring: an Introduction to Nautical Archaeology
  • Drinking Through the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History
  • Wealth and Power in Ancient Near Eastern States
  • Archaeology of the Phoenicians
  • The Late Bronze Age World of Ugarit
  • Marginal Archaeology: Liminality and the Power of Borders in the Maritime Past
  • Akkadian I
  • Ancient/Hieroglyphic Egyptian II

Research Focus

  • The Near East and Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze and Iron Ages
  • Assyriology
  • Ancient Economics
  • Egyptology
  • Phoenicians
  • Trade and Intercultural Relations
  • Nautical/Maritime Archaeology


2021 “The Enchanting Scale: Magic and Morality in the Bronze Age Economic Balance.” In J.-C. Moreno Garcia (ed.) Markets, Money and Exchanges: Their Economic Logics in Pre-modern Societies. Oxbow.

2020 “Informed or at Sea: On the Maritime and Mundane in Ugaritic Tablet RS 94.2406.” In A. Gilboa and A Yasur-Landau, eds. Nomads of the Mediterranean: Trade and Contact in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Brill.

2020 “Money and Traders.” In D. Snell, ed., Blackwell Companion to the Ancient Near East, 2nd ed., pp. 145-64.Wiley-Blackwell.

2020 “Markets, Ancient Near East,” “Ships, Shipping, Ancient Near East,” and "Trade, Ancient Near East.” Entries in R. Bagnall, et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell.

2018 “Marginalizing Civilization: the Phoenician Redefinition of Power, ca. 1300-800 BC.” In K. Kristiansen, T. Lindkvist, and J. Myrdal, eds. Trade and Civilisation Economic Networks and Cultural Ties, from Prehistory to the Early Modern Era. Cambridge University Press.

2016 “Measure for ‘Measure’: Connecting Text to Material through Late Bronze Age Shipping Jars.” In S. Demesticha A.B. Knapp &, eds., Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology pocket book, pp. 79-96. Uppsala.

2015 “Tangled Up in Blue: Material and Immaterial Relations of Exchange in the Late Bronze Age World.” In T. Howe, ed., Traders in the Ancient Mediterranean (Publications of the Association of Ancient Historians 11), pp. 7-46. Chicago: Ares.

2011 “From Luxuries to Anxieties: A Liminal View of the Late Bronze Age World-system.” In T. Wilkinson, S. Sherratt and J. Bennet, eds., Interweaving Worlds: Systemic interaction in Eurasia 7th to 1st millennia BC (Sheffield).

2010 "Sunk Costs at Late Bronze Age Uluburun," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 357:15-29.

2009 Scales of Fate: Trade, Tradition, and Transformation in the Eastern Mediterranean ca. 1350–1175 BCE. In series, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 357 (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag).

2009 "Seeing the World." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 356:67-73.

2007 “Vessel Volumetrics and the Myth of the Cyclopean Bronze Age Ship.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50:1-18.