Aurora Camaño

PhD Candidate, Sabrina Higgins

Areas of interest

Forced Migration; Landscape Archaeology; History of Archaeology; Identity and Social Memory Studies, Archaeology of Medieval Cilicia and Cyprus, Anatolia, and Transcaucasia; Byzantine and Armenian Cilician Numismatics.


  • MA: (2014) Early Medieval and Byzantine Archaeology, Newcastle University
  • BA (Hons.): (2012) Archaeology, Minor in Religious Studies Minor, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Other: (2011) Diploma in Heritage Resources: Memorial University of Newfoundland. (2019) Byzantine Numismatics and Sigillography Summer School, Dumbarton Oaks


Following a diploma in Heritage Resources in 2011, I received a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Archaeology/Physical Anthropology and a Religious Studies minor from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2012. In 2014 I obtained my Master of Arts in Early Medieval and Byzantine Archaeology from Newcastle University.

Currently, I am a PhD Student in the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University with a cross-appointment with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies where I am working on questions surrounding identity, restorative nostalgia, social memory, and place-attachment in contexts of forced migration in 11th and 12th century Armenian Cilicia and neighbouring Cyprus.

In addition to my ongoing doctoral research I am trained as a numismatist (Late Roman, Byzantine, and Armenian Cilician) as well as an active field archaeologist, having worked on several excavation and survey projects in Turkey, Armenia, Macedonia, the United Kingdom and Canada.

PhD Research

My PhD thesis examines the Byzantine relocation of the Armenians in the 11th and early 12th century through a comparative analysis of their built landscape of origin (Bagratid Greater Armenia) with that of their resettled landscape (Armenian Cilicia and neighbouring Cyprus). Through a combination of archaeological, architectural, and archival resources, this project aims to demonstrate how medieval Armenian identity, social legitimacy, and connection to place and past was socially redefined and materially monumentalized through the experiences of forced migration.

To read more about this research, please see my recent graduate feature on the Peopling the Past Blog:


A.E. Camaño. Towards A Social Archaeology of Forced Migration: Comparing Memory, Myth and Place-Making in Medieval Armenian Cilicia. In Homo Migrans: Modelling Mobility and Migration in Human History, edited by M. Daniels, The Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) Distinguished Monograph Series. SUNY Press, Albany. (In Press, 2021)

J. Meyers, A.E. Camaño, S. Greening, C. Kubiak, and L. Termes. What I Wish I Had Known as a Master’s Student. The SAA Archaeological Record 19(2) p. 10-13 (2019)

Conference Presentations 

‘Missing Material? Teaching Byzantine Material Culture without Teaching Collections’ BSANA Byzantine Studies Conference, Plenary Session: Virtual Format (2020)

‘Architectures of Forced Migration’ Society of Architectural Historians: Virtual Format (2020)

‘The Rebuilding of an Armenian Kingdom: Memory, Myth, Restorative Nostalgia and the Archaeological Landscape’ Memory and Trauma through Culture and History Symposia: Migrations: Virtual Format (2020)

‘Armenian Cilician Coins in Context’ Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Coins and Seals Summer School Research Symposia: Washington, DC. (2019)

‘Landscapes of Restorative Nostalgia: Resettlement, Myth, and Memory in Armenian Cilicia’ People on The Land: SFU Archaeology Graduate Symposia: Vancouver, British Columbia (2019)

‘Introducing the Digital Mary Project: Digital Humanities and Mariology at Simon Fraser University’ The Virgin Beyond Borders: The Early Cult of the Mary in Byzantium, Egypt, and Syria: Vancouver, British Columbia (2018)

‘Finding Common Ground: Comparative Landscape Analysis and Rebuilding Home and Memory in Medieval Armenian Cilicia’ International Medieval Congress: Leeds, UK (2018)

‘Remembering Through Resettlement: The Archaeological Landscape of Medieval Armenian Cilicia’ International Young Archaeologists’ Conference: Vardzia, Georgia (2018)

‘Familiar Grounds: An Anthro-Archaeological Approach to Forced Migration through Landscape and Memory in Armenian Cilicia’ Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) Visiting Scholar Conference, Modelling Mobility and Migration in Human History: Buffalo, USA (2018)

‘Finding Familiarity: Forced Migration Archaeology and the Case of Medieval Armenian Cilicia’ Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Graduate Student Association 22nd Annual Symposium: Toronto, Canada (2018)

‘Movement, Memory, and Rebuilding a Landscape of Legacy in Medieval Armenian Cilicia’ Narrative Exchanges Between Byzantium and Armenia: Contact, Conflict, & Connotation: Uppsala, Sweden (2017)

Public Lectures

‘Rebuilding Memory: Landscapes of Resettlement and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia’ Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies Spring Seminar Series, Simon Fraser University (2018)

Van Kalesi, Turkey 2016
Follis of Justinian, Konjuh, North Macedonia
Excavations in Yozgat, Turkey 2014