Chris Hallett is best known as a specialist in Roman sculpture, having published a number of studies on Roman portraiture, including a book-length treatment of nude portraiture—The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC–AD 300 (Oxford 2005).
He is a practicing field archaeologist, and has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Israel, Turkey, and in Egypt. Since 1991 he has worked at New York University’s excavations at Aphrodisias in southwestern Turkey. His research interests thus include the visual culture of Roman Asia Minor. He is co-author (with R.R.R. Smith, Sheila Dillon, Julia Lenaghan, and Julie van Voorhis) of Roman Portrait Sculpture of Aphrodisias (Mainz am Rhein 2006), and he is currently preparing for publication the sculpture from the city's Bouleuterion (Council House).
As a graduate student Hallett also trained as an Egyptologist, spending five years studying Egyptian hieroglyphics and all phases of the Egyptian language. In 1989 he worked as an epigrapher on the Giza Mastaba Project under the direction of Dr. A.M. Roth. He occasionally teaches graduate seminars on Egyptian art, and has maintained a research interest in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt—particularly the Roman period mummy portraits, the hard stone portraits of Egyptian priests, and the Pharoanic portrait images of the Ptolemies and Roman emperors.