David Pettegrew

David Pettegrew, Professor of History and Archaeology



Co-Chair, Department of History, and Professor of History and Archaeology

Areas of Interest: Greek and Roman History, Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, Historical Archaeology, Digital History

Office: 266 Boyer Hall
Phone: 717-796-1800 x 2738

Webpage / Blog

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Ancient History, The Ohio State University 2006
  • M.A., Ancient History, The Ohio State University, 2000
  • B.A., Anthropology, Greek, Wright State University, 1998


David Pettegrew is a scholar of the ancient Mediterranean world, who uses material evidence and digital tools to write and produce regional histories. As an archaeologist and historian, David has participated in and directed archaeological research programs in the United States, Greece, and Cyprus, and authored articles and books on Greek and Roman cities and landscapes. As a digital historian, David manages blogs, websites, and interactive historical maps, and coordinates digital humanities activities at Messiah, including especially the Digital Harrisburg Initiative. He lives in Camp Hill, PA, with his wife and three children.


  • History of Western Civilization
  • Roman History
  • Late Antiquity
  • Archaeology and Historical Interpretation
  • Digital History 
  • Indiana Jones and Me (First-Year Seminar)
  • History and Archaeology of Greece (delivered on-site in Greece)

Books and Edited Works

Recent Articles

  • “Life in an Abandoned Village: The Case of Lakka Skoutara,” with W.R. Caraher, in Deborah Brown and Rebecca Seifried (eds.), Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean, Digital Press of the University of North Dakota (forthcoming 2020).

  • “Harrisburg, the City Beautiful: Recasting the History of Urban Reform in a Small American Capital,” with James B. LaGrand. Pennsylvania History 87.1 (2020), pp. 1-10.

  • “The Digital Harrisburg Project: Placing the Population of a Progressive Era City,” with Albert Sarvis. Pennsylvania History 87.1 (2020), pp. 22-44.

  • “The Greek Communities of Harrisburg and Lancaster: A Study of Immigration, Residence, and Mobility in the City Beautiful Era,” with Kostis Kourelis. Pennsylvania History 87.1 (2020), pp. 66-91.

  • “Harrisburg's Historic African American Community: An Interview with Calobe Jackson Jr.,” with Kostis Kourelis. Pennsylvania History 87.1 (2020), pp. 212-224.

  • “The Archaeology of Early Christianity: The History, Methods, and State of a Field,” with W.R. Caraher. In The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology, edited by D.K. Pettegrew, W.R. Caraher, and T.W. Davis. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

  • “Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project: Recent Work at the Site of Pyla-Vikla,” with W. Caraher, R.S. Moore, and D. Nakassis. Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 2017.

  • “The Changing Rural Horizons of Corinth’s First Urban Christians.” In The First Urban Churches 2: Roman Corinth, edited by J.R. Harrison and L.L. Welborn. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2016.

  • “Imperial Surplus and Local Tastes: A Comparative Study of Mediterranean Connectivity and Trade,” with W.R. Caraher. In Across the Corrupting Sea: Post-Braudelian Approaches to the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by C. Concannon and L. Mazurek. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2016.

  • “Corinthian Suburbia: Patterns of Roman Settlement on the Isthmus.” In ‘The Bridge of the Untiring Sea’: The Corinthian Isthmus from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, edited by B. Gebhard and T.E. Gregory. Princeton: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2015.

Current Activities

David is on sabbatical in 2020-2021 to finalize and begin new research projects. He will be working an introduction to the archaeology of early Christianity (under contract with Oxford University Press) and preparing the publication of final archaeological publications for an excavation of coastal sites discovered through the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project and the archaeological survey of the Eastern Korinthia in Greece.