Most of my early work was within a framework I call Analytical Humanities - establishing a structural- historical framework in which documentary papyri can be interpreted. With that as a technical base, my earlier work has been done in Hellenistic Mediterranean economic history with a focus on Ptolemaic Egypt. I am now working within an even broader historical scope examining climatic change at various scales, and global societal "responses" on both micro and macro scales. That means for my purposes the investigation of human societies since the last Ice Age and the role of climatic change, among many other factors, in understanding change. In this case the goal is to understand complexity, rather than to simplify. I lay out my philosophy, including the necessity of working in teams, in the first chapter of my latest book, The Open Sea, Princeton University Press, 2018. As I suggest at the beginning of the book, I am not interested in building new theories of the ancient world. Not yet anyway. Each sub field requires particular theory. At the moment, I think that the Seshat project via cultural evolutionary theory and Cliodynamics is on the right methodological track in terms of integration at the societal level. My intent in Open Sea was simply to summarize some of the best work in the field of Iron Age Mediterranean and western Asian history ca. 1000 - 200 BCE) toward suggesting that there is a great deal yet to do in pre-industrial history worldwide, and far beyond a Classics paradigm.
My former students hold positions at NYU, USC, UC-Berkeley, Fairfield University, The University of Basel, and the Getty and Metropolitan Museums.