Ambra Spinelli

Affiliation: Classics
Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Ambra Spinelli holds a B.A. in Classical Studies and a M.A. in Archaeology from the Università di Bologna, as well as a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History, with a specialization in Roman Art and Archaeology, from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her scholarship examines the intersection of material culture, archaeology, classical literature, and social history, with a primary focus on Roman everyday life, religious and funerary practices, and the archaeology of the household. Ambra’s current research integrates the analysis of artifacts, architecture, decorative and textual evidence to explore ancient domestic and everyday life in Roman Italy, with a particular focus on the room known as the tablinum. Her interests also encompass the legacy of Etruria in the Roman world and she has published an article in the American Journal of Archaeology (July 2017) that examines the revival and reshaping of Etruscan commemorative practices in the early Roman Empire.

Over the years, Ambra has participated in several archaeological excavations and research projects involving Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval sites in Italy, such as Marzabotto, Bologna, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Acquaviva Picena, and Albinia. Since 2011, she has served as Head of Archival Research and Assistant to the Director of the University of Cincinnati’s Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia. In addition, she has worked on a number of exhibitions at the J. Paul Getty Museum, including The Art of Ancient Greek Theater (2010–2011), The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection (2012–2013), and Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World (2015). She was also an organizer of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s 19th International Congress on Ancient Bronzes (2015) and co-edited the resulting volume, Artistry in Bronze: The Greeks and their Legacy (2017).

Ambra Spinelli


  • PhD, Art History, University of Southern California
  • MA, Art History, University of Southern California
  • MA, Archaeology, University of Bologna
  • BA, Classical Studies, University of Bologna