The History Department Family is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Sarah Malena!
Sarah Malena is an ancient historian and archaeologist who specializes in the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and the ancient Near East. Her research focuses on intercultural relations, especially of the ancient cultures of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. Sarah’s work explores how interactions influence social and cultural change. Her current project investigates how cultural exchange in the eleventh and tenth centuries BCE affected the development of cultural identities and state systems in the southern Levant, such as the first kingdoms of the Israelites, Philistines, and Phoenicians. These cultures contributed to the invention and spread of the alphabet, the formation of the Hebrew Bible, and the spread of political, ethical, and artistic traditions throughout the Mediterranean and later Europe.
Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Iowa and master’s and doctoral degrees in History from the University of California, San Diego. Sarah has served as a staff member and excavator on digs in Jordan and Israel, especially in the Faynan region of southern Jordan where a copper trade flourished in the Early Bronze and Iron Ages. Previously Sarah chaired the Study of Religion program at Wells College. She has more than ten years of experience teaching history, religion, and the humanities to undergraduates and is very excited to be joining the History program at St. Mary’s.