We announced in November 2017 that Regents’ Professor David Soren was to be awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by the Archaeological Institute of America at their meeting in Boston in January 2018. We can now bring you this lovely paragraph describing Dr. Soren’s achievements, which was included in the event program. Thank you to Professor David Gilman Romano for providing this, and congratulations again to Dr. Soren!
David Soren is Regents Professor of Anthropology and Classics at the University of Arizona and former head of Art History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been a professor for 45 years. Initially hired as a research archaeologist, he became known in archaeology primarily for three discoveries. His archaeological excavations at Kourion, Cyprus identified the epicenter of the famous Mediterranean earthquake of July 21, 365 A.D. offshore approximately 25 miles southwest of the town of Kourion. Brian Fagan described this discovery as one of the 50 most significant in world archaeology. His second discovery was the identification of Plasmodium falciparum malaria as a significant contributor to the downfall of the Roman Empire. This was done through analysis of DNA of infant bones from a cemetery he excavated at Lugnano in Teverina, Umbria between 1987 and 1991—the first such use of DNA evidence on an archaeological site. The third discovery was the site of the famous Roman fontes Clusini or Springs of Chiusi, a healing sanctuary featuring a cold water spring said by the poet Horace in his Epistles to have cured the gravely ill emperor Augustus from his stomach pains in 23 B.C. Soren discovered the largest cold water ancient spring and sanctuary in Italy, near Chiusi in the Tuscan town of Chianciano Terme. As a teacher of undergraduates Soren has over the years become a mainstay at the University of Arizona, having taught in class more than 20,000 students and another 17,000 in online courses. It is believed that this may be the record for sheer numbers of students taught ancient art and archaeology in the country. Soren has married to archaeologist Noelle Soren for more than 50 years and they often publish articles and books and do international film work together.