David Pettegrew

David Pettegrew, professor of history and archaeology



Professor of History and Archaeology

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

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

Webpage / Blog

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., History, The Ohio State University
  • M.A., History, The Ohio State University
  • B.A., Anthropology and Greek, Wright State University


David Pettegrew is a scholar of the ancient Mediterranean world who studies the transformation of local society, culture, and religion in the final centuries of antiquity. He is a passionate teacher in the subjects of late antiquity, classical archaeology, and early Christianity, and he enjoys collaborative research with students on a range of topics. As a field archaeologist, he undertakes field research in Greece, Cyprus, and central Pennsylvania. His current projects include studying and publishing an archaeological survey near Isthmia, Greece, and writing an introduction to the archaeology of early Christianity. Pettegrew is active in digital humanities activities on campus and can often be found in the Beatrice Howe Humanities Lab working alongside students on public history projects related to significant questions of local history.


  • Western Civilization
  • Roman History
  • Late Antiquity
  • The Early Church
  • Historical Archaeology
  • 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 Abandonment: The Case of Lakka Skoutara, Corinthia,” with W.R. Caraher, in Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean, edited by Rebecca Seifried and Deborah Brown. Grand Forks: The Digital Press of the University of North Dakota, 2021.

  • “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.

Public History Projects and Activities

  • Corinthian Matters: a collection of stories and scholarship related to the history and archaeology of Corinth, Greece
  • One Hundred Voices: Harrisburg's Historic African American Community, 1850-1920: Digital book, with Calobe Jackson, Jr., and Katie Wingert McArdle, and including the contributions of 30 Messiah students. The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, July 2020.
  • "Waking up to our region's history of racial injustice": Op-Ed essay, with Dr. Bernardo Michael. Penn Live, July 2020.
  • The Commonwealth Monument Project: A collaborative community-based initiative of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, a project of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. The project, which includes a significant student component, celebrates the passing of the 15th and 19th amendments, Harrisburg's historic African American community, and the multi-ethnic neighborhood of the Old Eighth Ward.
  • Digital Harrisburg: A student-driven website with digital exhibitions, oral histories, projects, and resources related to the history, society, and culture of Pennsylvania's capital city.  
  • Harrisburg, Digital Public History, and the ‘City Beautiful’Special issue of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies (February 2020) involving articles from local scholars, community historians, artists and journalists, and several Messiah University students. Select articles available for free download here
  • The Big Dig at the Stouffer Farm: Excavations of Messiah University's Historical Archaeology courses at a historic farm in northern York county.