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Jonathan Shea

Curator of Coins and Seals

Jonathan Shea.

Jonathan Shea joined Dumbarton Oaks in 2010 and currently serves as the curator of coins and seals. In this role, he oversees Dumbarton Oaks’ collection of approximately 12,000 coins and 17,000 seals. He is responsible for cataloguing and exhibiting the coins and seals; facilitating access to the collections for fellows and visiting scholars; and leading object sessions for Dumbarton Oaks’ various education and outreach programs. Since 2011, he has helped organize the annual Byzantine Studies Teaching Day for local area undergraduates, and, since 2013, has served as an instructor for the biennial Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program.

Jonathan Shea holds a PhD in Byzantine studies from the University of Birmingham. His research interests lie in finding ways to use material culture to address questions of individual identity and political action in Byzantium; the imperial administration and methods of government; and the social structure and economic activity in the towns of the late Byzantine empire. He has published on the mint of Thessaloniki in the fourteenth century and on the administration of Byzantium. His book, Politics and Government in Byzantium: The Rise and Fall of the Bureaucrats, uses seals and written material to explore the policies and governing priorities of Byzantium’s emperors during the turbulent eleventh century. Since 2010, he has been a contributor to the Dumbarton Oaks online catalogue of Byzantine seals