Will Bruce

Will Bruce
  • Assistant Professor
  • Departmental Study Abroad Co-ordinator

Contact Info

Wescoe, Rm 1034


Will Bruce was drawn to archaeology when doing research in Rome for his Master's Thesis on the Tiber Island. He has excavated at Sardis in Anatolia since 2008. He currently serves as Senior Archaeologist at Sardis. Will enjoys teaching archaeology courses as well as Greek and Latin and ancient history. He regularly enlists students to pursue study abroad experiences. Fluent in Turkish, Will also teaches Turkish language to students who plan to excavate in Turkey. When not working, he can be found at Clinton Lake photographing the nighttime sky.


Ph.D. in Classics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2015
M.A. in Classics, University of Florida, 2004
B.A. in English and Classics, University of Florida, 2001


Will’s research focuses on the status of Sardis in western Asia Minor as a bridge between the Aegean and Near Eastern worlds and Lydia’s transformation from a sovereign kingdom to a Persian satrapy at the terminus of the Royal Road. His book project on Sardis sector Pactolus North addresses these issues as well as the effects of Lydia’s changes in monetary policy from electrum to gold and silver currency, religious life under Persian suzerainty, and the movement of the Lydian people from city center to suburb during the Persian period (ca. 547–323 BCE).

Research Interests:

  • Religion
  • Urbanism
  • Gold Refining


Will teaches courses in Greek and Roman Archaeology, Roman History, Greek and Latin language, and most recently on Greek Athletics and the Olympic Games

Selected Publications

Bruce, W. and R. Oreshko (forthcoming) ‘Hipponax fr. 3a, Puppy Dinners, and the Lydian Word for ‘Dog’,' in Between Sardis and Gordion: Aspects of Culture and Society in pre-Hellenistic Lydia and Phrygia. Harvard University Press.

Bruce, W. 2021 (forthcoming) ‘The Ptolemies and the Myth of Andromeda and Perseus: Edition of P.Vindob. Inv. G 42484,’ Bulletin for the American Society of Papyrologists 58.2.

Bruce, W. 2019 ‘Life Outside the Walls before the Seleucids,’ in Spear-Won Land: Sardis, from the King’s Peace to the Peace of Apamea, edited by A. Berlin and P. Kosmin. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 44-9.

Bruce, W. and K. Jackson 2017 ‘Toward a Typology of Triangular Bronze Hekate Bases: Contextualizing a Recent Find from Sardis,’ Journal of Roman Archaeology 30: pp. 509-16.

Bruce, W. 2014 ‘A Rupestral Boundary Marker in the Marble Quarries South of Sardis,’ Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 191: pp. 193-94.

Selected Presentations

‘Recent Excavations at the Lydian Palace at Sardis,’ San Francisco, CA. Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, January 2022.

‘Cybele, Puppy Dinners, and Religious Cult in the Lydian and Persian Periods,’ Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies: The Lydians and Their Neighbors: Ethnolinguistic Identities and Cultural Contact in Anatolia around 700-330 BC. Washington D.C. 2019.

‘American Excavation in Turkey and Cultural Heritage,’ Gustavus Adolphus College: After Chapel Group, St. Peter, MN 2019.

‘Industry, Cult, and Puppy Dinners in the Suburbs at Sardis,’ Boston, MA. ASOR Annual Meeting, November 2017.

Awards & Honors

2011-12, Samuel H. Kress Advanced Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA)

2010-11, Eugene Vanderpool Advanced Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA)

2008-9, Heinrich Schliemann Fellow, ASCSA Regular Program


Will Bruce is KU’s representative for the American School of Classical Studies’ Managing Committee.