Gil Davis

Dr, Associate Professor


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Personal profile


I was the Director of the Program for Ancient Mediterranean Studies and the Managing Editor of the Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. I taught Greek History including a popular introduction to Greek history in first year, a unit on Sparta in third year which I co-convened and a Masters level unit on the Athenian Empire. I was appointed to an Invited Professorship with the École normale supérieure de Lyon from January to July 2021 to work on the major ERC project described below. I am currently an Associate Professor at the Australian Catholic University where I run the Ancient Israel Program and the Archaeology Major and Minor.

My PhD was in Late Archaic Athenian law and economy focussed on evidence from numismatics (coins) and epigraphy (writings recorded on stone). I have published extensively in both areas. I am involved with two significant projects analysing coins and their ore sources to better understand trade and economic developments across the Greek world especially in the 6th-5th centuries BC. One of these projects involves preparing a comprehensive new corpus of early-Attic coinage and associated metallurgical studies as part of an ARC-funded research project, with two volumes being presently completed for publication. The other one is a major research project funded by the European Research Council (2.5 mil euros!) entitled: "Silver Isotopes and the Rise of Money". My colleagues and I are using a variety of analytical techniques on ores from silver sources mined in antiquity from Spain to Iran and and comparing them with analyses of coins and other artefacts to determine patterns of mining and trade. The preliminary results are quite surprising!

While at MQ, I set up and ran the Ancient Israel Program which garnered significant community support (donations totalling c. $3 mil) teaching ancient Israel in its Near Eastern context, taking students on digs in Israel and bringing leading scholars to teach and speak in Australia. Our team was delighted to be able to announce that our excavation site can be identified with the lost biblical city of Ziklag associated with King David! We have spectacular finds and even run an on-site chemistry lab. In my role as Director of Outreach for the department, I have created comprehensive 'Resources for Teachers' in the school system which you can find on our website as well as organising Teacher Conferences. I have recently co-edited a volume on Communications in the Ancient Near East (Routledge) and co-edited volume 6 of the Metallurgy in Numismatics series (Royal Numismatic Society).

One of the great joys of being an academic is the opportunity to work with postgraduate students on their exciting new research. I have a group of students working on a set of related problems in Greek history, economics, numismatics and identity across the Archaic Greek world and the Ancient Near East.

Finally, just to prove it is possible to have a second career and to bring skills and competencies from the world of business into academia, I was formerly a leading real estate agent with 25 years experience mostly on the Lower North Shore of Sydney. I wrote a guide to selling entitled Sell for more (Harper Collins) which is widely used by home-sellers and agents (approx 30,000 copies sold).


Education/Academic qualification

Ancient history, PhD, Law, money, and the transformation of Athens in the sixth century B.C.E., Macquarie University

Award Date: 20 Sept 2012

Ancient History, Master of Arts, The Athenian State Calenda c.410-399 BC - a reappraisal, Macquarie University

Award Date: 22 Apr 1996

Archaeology, Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney

Award Date: 29 Mar 1980

External positions

Associate Professor, Australian Catholic University

Aug 2021 → …

Invited Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France

6 Jan 20215 Jul 2021


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