Esen Ogus

Faculty Member

Dr. Esen Ogus


I completed my PhD at Harvard University, Department of History of Art and Architecture. My research interests lie in the art, visual culture and social history of the Roman Empire in the Imperial period and Late Antiquity. I specialize on relief-decorated sarcophagi, honorific statuary, and in general the urban culture and history of the Greek East between the first and sixth centuries C.E. My research interests involve archaeological method and theory, namely 'thing theory' and historical network analysis, and the novel interpretive depth that these paradigms might offer to classical art and archaeology. I am also a field archaeologist, with several years of excavation and supervision experience at Aphrodisias (Turkey), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unique for its sculpture workshop and extraordinary amount of historical evidence it provides.

My first book was a monograph named Columnar Sarcophagi from Aphrodisias. My second book-in-progress is on the 'end' of the honorific statuary in Late Antiquity and early Medieval period. I explore the cultural and administrative reasons why the thousand-year habit of honorific statuary came to demise, drawing conclusions from historical and archaeological evidence in the Greek East, particularly Asia Minor. My current article project involves the 'agency' and 'ontology' of portrait statuary in Late Antiquity, and provides an account of how statues were perceived not as inanimate media representative of, but rather as their subjects.

At UVU, I offer a wide range of courses, including Art History surveys, Medieval art, and seminars on Greek and Roman art.
Please reach me at:


Ph D, Harvard University, 2010

Major: History of Art and Architecture

MA, Bilkent University, 2003

Major: Archaeology


ARTH 3020

Ancient Greek Art and Architecture, Spring 2024


Introduction to Non Western Ancient Art GI, Spring 2024

ARTH 2710

Prehistoric Through Gothic Art History FF, Spring 2024

ARTH 2710

Prehistoric Through Gothic Art History FF, Spring 2024

Scholarly/Creative Works

Ogus, Esen , Crostini, B. , Høgel, C. , "Stylites and Roman Honorific Statues_ On the Visual and Conceptual Impact of Human Figure on a Pillar" . The Reception of Stylites_ Rereadings and Recastings of Late Ancient Syrian Super-Heroes. Transactions of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2022.
Ogus, Esen , (2022) "‘A statue of bronze, by which times of old used to honor men of rare example’ Materials of Honorific Statues in Late Antiquity" (vol. 115). Byzantinische Zeitschrift.
Ogus, Esen , Draycott, C. M., Raja, R. , Welch, K. , Wootton, W. W., (2019) "Statues of Men, Men as Statues_ Distancing the Body from Its Portrait Statue in Late Antiquity" . Brepols: Visual Histories of the Classical World. Essays in Honour of R.R.R. Smith.
Ogus, Esen , Ng, D. , Swetnam-Burland, M. , (2018) "Urban Transformations at Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity_ Destruction or Intentional Preservation?" . Re-use and Renovation in Roman Material Culture. Functions, Aesthetics, Interpretations.
Ogus, Esen , (2018) "Book: Columnar Sarcophagi from Aphrodisias" (vol. Aphrodisias Monographs IX). Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Ogus, Esen , (2017) "'Till death do them part': Reconstructing Graeco-Roman family life from funerary inscriptions at Aphrodisias" . Life and Death in Asia Minor from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine times. Studies in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology, 121‒30. Oxford_ Oxbow Books.


Hetty Goldman Membership

Institute for Advanced Study


Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation