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AIA-OC 2017 Educational Grants


The Orange County Society of the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to announce its 2017 grant recipients.

The first winner of our 2017 AIA-OC Society Award of $2000 is Mikael Fauvelle a PhD candidate at the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Fauvelle’s research is focused on a residential settlement on the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico. By excavating both elite and non-elite households on the site, his project aims to investigate how local people from different social strata negotiated their relationships with distant power centers such as Teotihuacan. Recent excavations indicate that this site was not only occupied during the Early Classic (200-600 CE), but possibly also during the Early Postclassic (900-1250 CE). This grant will be instrumental in developing chronology allowing for more accurate analysis and interpretation.

Because of healthy fundraising and generous donations from our members and Friends, the Society is granting an additional stipend of $2000 to Daniele Candelora, who is a PhD candidate at UCLA. Ms. Candelora seeks to redefine our understanding of the Hyksos, a small group of immigrant Levantine dynasts who ruled for over a century before being expelled by a southern Egyptian king. This includes both the construction of Hyksos identity as well as the extent and character of Hyksos-Egyptian interaction. She will accomplish this by examining various types of archaeological material that have been largely overlooked, demonstrating that broader social significance can be drawn from these mundane objects. Utilizing the digital humanities resources at UCLA and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, she will create a database constructed to accommodate these distinct material categories, allowing for easier analysis and future dissemination of this evidence.

The Evaluation Committee consisted of seven Society members all of whom read, evaluated and discussed the grant requests to reach its selections. We thank all the applicants who presented wonderful proposals and those who provided them stellar references. We hope to see some again next year.

Congratulations to our winners!

Mikael Fauvelle

Mr. Fauvelle received his M.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Northridge in 2010 and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, San Diego.  His research focuses on the role that regional and long-distance connections played in the development of complex political systems.  He examines this issue on two levels, studying both hunter-gatherer societies from pre-colonial California as well as archaic states in Mesoamerica.  In California, Fauvelle has focused on exchange systems in the Santa Barbara channel region, examining the role played by trade in plant, shell, and mineral resources on the development of coastal chiefdoms.  He has argued that California and adjacent areas of North America were connected through intensive trade networks that played important roles in the area’s historical development.   In Mesoamerica, Fauvelle has worked on projects in Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico.  Since 2015 he has been the director of investigations at the site of Fracción Mujular, located on the pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Chiapas.  At Fracción Mujular, Fauvelle has been investigating the relationship between coastal Chiapas and the famous Central Mexican city of Teotihuacan.  Fauvelle is especially interested in how the influence of Teotihuacan during the Early Classic Period (circa 200-600 CE) affected the lives of non-elites at Fracción Mujular, and how the site’s relationship with Central Mexico changed following the collapse of Teotihuacan in the sixth century CE. Fauvelle has published his work in journals including American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, and the Journal of Archaeological Science.


Mikael Fauvelle



Danielle Candelora

Ms. Candelora is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. She studied both Aegean and Egyptian archaeology at Brown University as an undergraduate, then attended the University of Chicago to complete her Master’s degree at the Oriental Institute. Her Master’s thesis focused on the Minoan-style frescoes discovered in Northern Egypt at the site of Avaris, modern Tell el Dab’a. Her dissertation will build on this work, investigating the processes of identity negotiation at this site during a period of intense immigration from the Levant which culminated in the rule of the foreign Hyksos Kings in the Nile Delta. Danielle has excavated a Revolutionary War battlefield in New Jersey, a Roman fortress in Spain, a Crusader site in Israel, as well as a Greco-Roman settlement in Egypt. She aspires to pursue a career in academia while continuing to engage in public archaeological outreach.

Danielle Candelora

Project Summary: Danielle’s research is centered around the Hyksos, a small group of immigrant Levantine dynasts who ruled northern Egypt for about a century during a period of political fragmentation known as the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1725-1550 B.C.E.). While the larger question of identity negotiation in the Second Intermediate Period is the subject of her doctoral dissertation, Danielle’s current project is two-fold and will explore both explicit and implicit elements of Hyksos identity. First, she seeks to better understand the title HqA xAswt (ruler of foreign lands), the ancient Egyptian term from which the word “Hyksos” is derived, investigating how these kings adopted an Egyptian title to advertise their foreignness and leadership from an Egyptian perspective. Second, she will be investigating technological transmission under these kings. While the Second Intermediate Period is characterized by the influx of numerous foreign technologies imported from the Levant (e.g., the chariot, bronze production, etc.), many scholars still propose that the Hyksos themselves acted as a block to the transmission of this specialized knowledge. Danielle will analyze the archaeological paraphernalia of these technologies in order to demonstrate that instead, the Hyksos acted as a conduit, drawing Near Eastern technologies into Egypt. Her research will be conducted at the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, which is the largest collection of ancient Egyptian material outside of Cairo. Turin is also home to the Turin King List, a highly fragmented papyrus and a contentious source for the Hyksos period, making Turin the ideal institution for this research. The AIA-OC grant will permit Danielle to contribute to a new image of the Hyksos by helping to elucidate the conscious and purposeful negotiation of their identities, as well as redefining the nature of their rule and their influence over later Egyptian society and language.