Researcher Profiles

Faculty profile

William Glanzman
Associate Professor

Sociology and Anthropology

office:B 349 K
phone:(403) 440-6437
fax:(403) 440-8420


William Glanzman

I have four inter-related areas of current research. After three decades of fieldwork in Arabia as part of several archaeological expeditions, including the Mahram Bilqis (the sanctuary associated with the Queen of Sheba), the over-riding research focus is tracking camel caravan commerce from the Sultanate of Oman (Dhofar Project), through the Republic of Yemen (Wadi Raghwan Archaeological Project, WRAP), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Jurash Project), and into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. From investigating the frankincense and myrrh brought collected and shipped out along marine routes and along major caravan routes (Dhofar Project) and stored in warehouses that are now under excavation (the WRAP and the Jurash Project)--to other pieces of evidence of camel and caravan routes caravans--I am mapping out ancient trade routes, and in the process has uncovered evidence for the early history of hominid development in the area.

Using satellite mapping and both Google and ESRI base maps, as well as traditional archaeological fieldwork, I and my Research Assistants have identified what appear to be camel caravan way-stations -- finding water distribution systems, shelters and possible remains of storage structures, and numerous ancient inscriptions and petroglyphs. These way-stations, spaced along the route to provide food and shelter for thousands of camels and workers as well as a local commercial network, are beginning to reveal the role of the camel caravans and their connection to the rise of ancient states, and help resolve the location of major camel trade routes within Arabia.

My second current research focus has evolved out of the first, and focuses on the pre-Islamic and early Islamic rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) of Arabia and associated early inscriptions. These categories of information may shed light on the early development of the alphabet as well as elucidate commercial networks and issues concerning tribal customs.

During my fieldwork I have encountered numerous burial structures in the region, especially in Yemen and Saudi Arabia; these constitute my third research focus. Some of these structures likely served the caravaneers, and reveal ancient burial customs hitherto poorly known within Arabia. I and my Research Assistants are combining satellite imagery, field notes, and published data into a GIS database to investigate various inter-relationships between rock art and camel caravan routes, burial customs, and settlement locations.

My fourth current research focus is the investigation of ancient pottery, from distribution patterns to technology and use behaviour throughout the Middle East, especially Arabia and the Levant, in Nubia (modern Sudan), and Central America. My research indicates several vast commercial networks covering the entire Middle East over three thousand years, and has established several important technological developments in the history of ceramic production. I am currently investigating Nabataean painted wares as a reflection of commercial activities during the first century BC through the 3rd century AD. I and my Research Assistants and Volunteers are also investigating the technology and variability of Meroitic pottery using MRU's vast ceramic collection from the site of Meroe, once the capitol of the Meroitic Kingdom in the Sudan. We are examining the development of specific ceramic traditions, utilizing the collections of Meroitic pottery in various museums within Canada, the US and the UK. In addition, I and my Research Assistants are collaborating with a colleague's project from the University of Calgary, focusing on organic residue and pigment analyses of pottery from excavated contexts in Central America.
Ph.D. in Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, 1994. University of Pennsylvania. Dissertation title: "Toward a Classification and Chronology of Pottery from HR3 (Hajar ar-Rayhani), Wadi al-Jubah, Republic of Yemen". Supervised by: Muhly, James D, & Zettler, Richard L.
M.A. in Department of Oriental Studies (Archaeology of Syria, Palestine and Arabia Graduate Group), 1989. University of Pennsylvania.
B.A. (Cum Laude) in Department of Anthropology, 1975. University of Utah.
Recent Publications
Glanzman, W.D. (2015, February). "Building Hypotheses: The Shallow Carinate Bowl and the Notion of the Ceramic Province in Ancient Southern Arabia". In. (Z. Kafafi, & M. Maraqten, Eds.), A Pioneer of Arabia. Studies in the Archaeology and Epigraphy of the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula in Honor of Moawiyah Ibrahim,((Rome «La Sapienza» Studies on the Archaeology of Palestine & Transjordan, 10)) (pp.59-81). Rome: Università di Roma «La Sapienza». (Status: In Print).
Glanzman, W.D. (2014, July). "Caravan Kingdoms: Trade & Power in Ancient Arabia". Ancient History Encyclopedia, online at (In Print).
Glanzman, W.D. (2014). Pottery, People. And Politics: A Case from Southern Arabia. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 44, 169-180 (In Print).
Glanzman, W.D.. Exchange Networks and Trade in Pre-Islamic Arabia: New Archaeological Evidence. In. (H. Sader, M. Kropp, & M. Maraqten, Eds.), Tentative title: conference papers from the International Conference on the Economy and Society of Pre-Islamic Arabia. Beirut: Beiruter Texte und Studien. (Status: Submitted).
Glanzman, W.D.. The Relationship between the pottery of South Arabia and the territory of the various kingdoms during the first millennium BC. In. (S. Weninger, Ed.), Epigraphik und Archäologie des antiken Südarabien. Germany:. (Status: Submitted).
Glanzman, W.D. Arabia on the Rocks: Past and Current Directions, and Implications for Future Research. Journal of Arid Environments (Not Yet Submitted).
Glanzman, W.. The Place of Things: Interpreting Occupation Sites, Irrigation Complexes, Cemeteries and Tombs, Rock Art, and Inscriptions in the Wādī Raghwān, Republic of Yemen. In. ( , Ed.), 2010 Adumatu Forum. In. ( , Ed.), The Adumatu 2010 forum. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: King Saud University. (Status: Submitted).
Conference Presentations
Glanzman, W.D. (2014). "Arabia on the Rocks: Past and Current Directions, and Implications for Research". Presented at Ravetta, D.A. (Eds) The First International Conference on Rock Art in the Negev and Beyond (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker, Israel). Elsevier, Journal of Arid Environments: U.S.A. (Not Yet Submitted). (Role: Keynote Speaker).
Educational Institution Employment
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Mount Royal University (Mount Royal University Campus), Canada, 2009 - Present (Full Time).
Instructor, Continuing Education Department, University of Calgary, Canada, 2001, January - Present (Sessional).
Courses Taught
2015, January 9 - 2015, April 16 HUMN 2201 "Outstanding Lives" (002). Level: Undergraduate Y2. Students: 14. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Other Contact: 4.
2015, January 12 - 2015, April 15 ANTH 3309 "Ceramic Analysis" (001). Level: Undergraduate Y3. Students: 13. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Lab: 3 Other Contact: 4.
2015, January 9 - 2015, April 16 ANTH 2225 "Ancient Civilizations" (001). Level: Undergraduate Y2. Students: 24. Credits: 3. Hours: Lecture: 3 Other Contact: 4.
Course Development
2015, May "The Origins and Consequences of Agriculture". new senior-level (3000-level) course currently under development.
2015 "Practical Problems in Archaeological Interpretation". developed new senior-level course for Anthropology for Mount Royal University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Book Reviews
(2014). Review of Late Antique Zafar, Capital of Himyar: Rehabilitation of a 'Decadent' Society, Excavations of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg 1998-2010 in the Highlands of the Yemen. [Review of the book Late Antique Zafar, Capital of Himyar: Rehabilitation of a 'Decadent' Society, Excavations of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg 1998-2010 in the Highlands of the Yemen, Vol. Abhandlungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, Band 29 (2013), by Yule, P.] Journal of the American Oriental Society, forthcoming (Not Yet Submitted).
(2014). Review of Temples and Sanctuaries from the Early Iron Age Levant: Recovery after Collapse. [Review of the book Temples and Sanctuaries from the Early Iron Age Levant: Recovery after Collapse, Vol. History, Archaeology and Culture of the Levant (2012), by Mierse, W.E.] Bryn Mawr Classical Review (online) (Not Yet Submitted).
(2014). Review of Cultures in Contact: From Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. [Review of the book Cultures in Contact: From Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C, Vol. Metropolitan Museum of Art Symposia (2013), by Aruz, J., Graff, S.B., & Rakic, Y.] Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) (Not Yet Submitted).
Encyclopedia Entries
Glanzman, W.D. (2014). Caravan Kingdoms: Trade & Power in Ancient Arabia. Ancient History Encyclopedia online Edition. Ancient History Encyclopedia. (Status: In Print).
Broadcast Interviews
2015, May 21 On CBC Morning Show, live interview, about 12 minutes in length: CBC Kelowna, B.C, by Walker, C. "Destruction of Palmyra in Syria by "ISIS"".
Event Participation
2015, August 28. GFC Orientation. (Workshop).
2015, August 21. MRFA Committee Transition event. (Other).
2015, May 8. MRFA AGM. (Other).
2015, April 17. Get Crackin' Handling Sensitive Topics in Classroom. (Workshop).
2015, April 1. MRFA special meeting. (Other).
2015, March 20. Get Crackin' on Classroom Sizes. (Workshop).
2015, March 6. MRFA general meeting. (Other).
2015, February 26. pre-GFC drop-in discussion. (Workshop).
2015, February 13. Status of and encouragement to participate in letter writing campaign to province re. budget issues. (Workshop).
2015, February 13. Potential impact of provincial transfer funds on MRU budget. (Workshop).
2015, January 30. Team Teaching. (Workshop).
Committee Memberships
2014, August 15 - 2015, August 15 Professional Standards and Governance Committee, Mount Royal University (Committee Type: MRFA (Faculty Assoc.)). Role: Member. As Member, attended committee meetings, assisted with developing workshops and events for faculty development.
Offices Held
2006 - 2013 Advisory Board, Adumatu (Journal on the Archaeology of the Arab World).
Journal Reviewing/Refereeing Activities
2015, May 30 - 2015, June 3 Journal of Arid Environments. 1 Blind Review. "Elsevier".
Other (Teaching, Schol, Service)
(2005, August - 2015, August). Supervision of Volunteers (MRU students & external individuals) processing modern and ancient ceramics from cultures worldwide. MRU.
Projects In Progress
2015, April, "Fine Wares at Meroe, Capitol of the Meroitic Kingdom". Stylistic and technical analyses of the large category of fine wares recovered by the site excavations of the Late Prof. Peter Shinnie, 1960s-1970s. Other Investigators: Robertson, J., Gillespie, M., Gudrian, G., Paquette, J.
2012 - 2015, "Commerce in Antiquity (Tentative title)". A presentation intended for use in educational venues, of ancient commerce in Egypt and Arabia (Role: Co-applicant). Other Investigators: Sidebotham, S., Rivard, J.
2012 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), "Ceramic analyses of Nicaraguan and Costa Rican ceramics". Technical studies of the composition and characteristics of cermaics from several past projects and a projected fieldwork project (Role: Collaborator). Other Investigators: McCafferty, G.
2011 - 2015 University of Miami, "Hellenistic Petra Project". Excavate into the earliest deposits of this ancient capitol city of the Nabataeans in Jordan (Role: Collaborator). Other Investigators: Graf, D., Sidebotham, S.
2008 - 2015, "Jurash Project (Prof. David Graf, Director and Coordinator, University of Miami)".
2005 - 2015, "Wadi Raghwan Archaeological Project (WRAP), Marib Governate, Republic of Yemen".
2005 - 2015 Brigham Young University, "Dhofar Expedition, for Brigham Young University". Archaeological investigation of sites in the region of Khro Mughsayl, Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman (Role: Collaborator). Other Investigators: Johnson, D., Brown, K.