Balmuth, Miriam S(charf) 1925(?)-2004
BALMUTH, Miriam S(charf) 1925(?)-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born c. 1925; died of cancer June 30, 2004, in Santa Fe, NM. Archaeologist, educator, and author. Balmuth was a longtime professor at Tufts University and leading authority on ancient Sardinia, especially with regard to trade patterns and coinage. Completing her undergraduate work at Cornell University in 1946, she went on to earn a master's from Ohio State University in 1950, and was one of the first women to earn a doctorate in archaeology at Harvard University in 1964. She joined the Tufts faculty as a teaching assistant in 1962, working her way up to professor of classics and archaeology in 1979 and professor of classics, archaeology, and art history in 1990. She later retired from teaching, but, beginning in 1998, was still associated with the university as a research professor. Balmuth was fascinated with coins of the classical period in the Middle Eastern regions of Palestine, Greece, Phoenicia, and lands controlled by Rome. Leading several digs in Sardinia in the 1970s and 1980s, her research helped archaeologists understand trade routes in the region at the time and showed that Sardinia was an important area for trade. In the 1990s, she concentrated her studies on hacksilber; she was also interested in how volcanoes changed landscapes and affected local cultures. Balmuth was the editor of such scholarly texts as Studies in Sardinian Archaeology (1984), Studies in Sardinian Archaeology II: Sardinia in the Mediterranean (1986), and Hacksilber to Coinage: New Insights into the Monetary History of the Near East and Greece (2001).