Columbia University Sociology Home

CCA Events
Lecture Series
Brown Bag Research Seminars
Graduate Student Conference
New York Archaeological Consortium
Other Columbia Events
Other New York Area Lectures
Other Archaeological Events

Lecture Series
Lecture Series

Spring 2008
Fall 2007
Spring 2007
Fall 2006
Spring 2006
Fall 2005
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Fall 2003
Spring 2003
Fall 2002
Spring 2002
Fall 2001

Spring 2008


Wednesday, February 13
Oscar Muscarella, Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Veracity of 'Scientific' Testing on Antiquities by Conservators

612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

My talk will examine and confront the issue of an alleged natural distinction, a dichotomuy in archaeological investigations, that of the respective inherent value of alleged objective scientific vs. subjective archaeological/art historical analyses regarding genuine/forgery attributions. I argue that both investigations are equally subjective, suffering from the very same problems, such as errors, mistakes, misinterpretation, and lies and dissimulations. I discuss some of the reasons for this claim and present examples.

Thursday, March 13
Joan Gero, American University, Washington, D.C.
Sex Pots of Ancient Peru: Does Sex Trump Gender?
612 Schermerhorn, 7:00 pm

While so-called "erotica" are well known from many ancient societies, the Andean ceramic materials are particularly famous and well-studies. This talk will illustrate the contemporaneous and contrastive Moche (coastal) and Recuay (sierra) ceramic styles from ancient Peru (100-500 AD) to show different conventions of portraying sex acts, and how these are tied to larger social formations of the time.

Monday, March 24
Victoria Sanford, Lehman College, CUNY
The Land of Pale Hands: Feminicide, Social Cleansing and Impunity in Guatemala
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

In this paper, I explore the current human rights crisis in "peacetime" Guatemala. I provide an overview of Guatemala's internal armed conflict of the late 20th century and specifically consider the genocide of the 1980's in order to assess "post-conflict" violence in 21st century Guatemala. It is in today's post-conflict peacetime where we find the alarming high homicide rate of 42 per 100,000 Guatemalans that we can begin to analyze current selective repression (known as social cleansing) and gang violence. Within these structures of everyday institutional and organized terror, we can then begin to explore the contemporary phenomenon of feminicide -the institutionalized killing of women. An exploration of the criminal investigation of the murder of Claudina Isabel Velasquez Paiz reveals the role of the state in Guatemala's feminicide and its omission of its responsibility to guarantee equal protection before the law to all its citizens.

Tuesday, April 8
John Darnell, Yale University
The Illustrated Desert: the origins of writing in the Egyptian Desert
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm
Co-sponsored by the New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Although the Western Desert of Egypt is now-apart from the oases that lie island-like within its great expanse-a marginal and uninhabited area, the region was once a hub of international trade and interaction between widely dispersed human populations. Interacting both with other groups and with their environment, the early inhabitants of the Western Desert employed an increasingly complex system of rock art images to create places in the desert expanse, and began to communicate with other people separated from them by both space and time. These early images, cosmographs that described and thereby supported the solar cycle and cosmic order, ultimately gave birth to the hieroglyphic writing system. During a later period of increased desert activity, non-Egyptian auxiliaries of the Egyptian military borrowed Egyptian signs and rock art techniques and created their own writing system, the earliest precursor of the alphabet as we know it. The precursor of Egyptian scripts, the earliest proto-hieroglyphic inscription, and the oldest alphabetic inscription, are located in the West Desert, and developed out of activities in that hinterland of points of contact between different cultures, and places of intense human interaction with a harsh environment: these qualities of Egypt's deserts make them of pivotal importance for understanding the origins and development of pharaonic civilization, and reveal the importance of looking outside of the traditional center of a civilization to find the origins of important cultural development.

Thursday, April 17
Douglass Bailey, Standford University
Prehistoric figurines: Barbie-Dolls, Walt Disney and sex abuse
Co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and Archaeology
612 Schermerhorn, 7:00 pm

Long recognized as one of the most exciting but poorly understood artefacts form our prehistoric past, anthropomorphic figurines from the European Neolithic (6000-3500 BC) have been poorly served by modern analysis and interpretation. During the Neolithic people made, handled, and threw away 1000s of anthropomorphic figurines. Figurines fill sites, museums and the literature (though the latter struggles with their meaning). In this lecture Professor Bailey examines subtle processes that definitied fluid notions of being within Neolithic villages. Figurines homogeneity suggests emergent corporeal registers that stimulated people's thinking about being human and about how to understand corporeal similarities and differences. Stereotypes, spectation, and forced inference are all at play as are debates about body-parts and boy-image construction. Relevance is for European prehistory and other regions and periods in which the human form is represented in three-dimensions.



Back to Top 

Tuesday, September 18
Terence D'Altroy, Columbia University
What did the Emperor Know and When did He Know it?: An Archaeology of Inka Imperial Knowledge
930 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

By 1532 AD, when the Spanish invaders put an end to a century of Inka rule, Cuzco's royalty had amassed an extraordinary range of knowledge about their empire, without recourse to a written language. The Spaniards were often astonished at the scope and precision of the Inka's information, at the same time that they were totally unpersuaded by some of the content, such as the Inkas' claims of divinity and their multiple versions of history. Among Andean people, aspects of that knowledge were accepted as factual - straightforward information about the Inka domain and the people who inhabited it. For example, censuses were periodically taken and labor duties assessed and registered. At the same time, the Inkas had also formulated a complex array of accouns about the history of the land, their place in it, and social and cosmic order. Some elements of those accounts were accepted as factual. but other contentions were open to challenge, reformulation, and even eradication.
So far as we know, there was no authoritative treatise or set of articulated principles by which new ideas could be evaluated. As a result, we face a series off questions about how the Inkas accrued and assessed the information and ideas that underpinned their empire. What constituted accepted knowledge for the Inkas? What was open to multiple readings (e.g., king lists, genealogies)? How did new ideas enter into the canon of imperial ideology? What were the relationships between knowledge, memory and power? In short, how and why did the Inkas think they knew something? To address these questions, this talk draws uses archaeology and documentary sources to explore how narratives, public performances, memory landscapes, civil war, and assassination of seated rulers and ancestral mummies were used to reshape the canon of Inka imperial knowledge.

Wednesday, November 28
Lecture co-sponsored by the New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America
Randall White, NYU
The Abri du Poisson Affair: the untidy beginnings of French antiquities law

612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

In the valley known as Gorge d'Enfer in the Vénére Valley of SW France, there is a rock shelter with a 25,000 year-old sculpted salmon on its ceiling. This bas-relief is surrounded by chisel and drill marks left in 1912 when an attempt was made to extract it for sale to a German museum. The Swiss archaeologist Otto Hauser, very active at the time in the region, is most frequently blamed for this aborted attempt at antiquities trafficking.
Using public and private archives in France, Germany and the US, the author recounts this complicated affair, dispensing with the myth that the sculpture was saves by a simple, forceful intervention by the French prehistorian Denis Peyrony. The administrative and legal procedures actually took more than three years.
The story that has been told to generations of prehistorians is largely false and hides a complex reality. The removal of the sculpture was entirely conceived bu French locals. When the director fot he Berlin museum came to the region in 1912 to negotiate the purchase of the salmon, it was at the insollicited invitation of the site's owner. Huser had nothing to do with planning, extracting or selling this important work of Paleolithic art. The role of Denis Peyrony turns out to be much less heroic than is often imagined.The whole Abri du Poisson affair can only be understood by situating it in the context of the times, marked by a crisis of national identity; German military threat; impoverished French rural population; absence of legislation protecting archaeological objects and monuments; lack of funds in France for the acquisition of collections by French museums; administrative incompetence; and severe conflicts among prehistorians.

Thursday, December 6
Sturt Manning, Director, Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology, Cornall University.
Why is there a dating crisis in second millennium BC Aegean and east Mediterranean prehistory? What is the future for the marriage of archaeology, science and chronology?
943 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

A critical review of the current debate in Aegean and east Mediterranean prehistory between 'high' and 'low' chronologies and between 'archaeology' v. 'science'. What is the evidence, why do some cases work happily whereas others do not, and what are the problems? Can the conflict be resolved or what likely needs to change? What isthe wider relevance of the debate? Is there a new history in the offing?

Back to Top 

Spring 2007

Tuesday, February 6
Daniel Sandweiss, University of Maine
Explorations with Thor Heyerdahl: Peruvian Pyramids and a Cuban Connection
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

The vast, barren ruins of the pyramids of Túcume rise out of the flat coastal plains of northern Peru. Though eroded over the centuries, these massive monuments still bear witness to the original grandeur. Covering over 220 ha (540 acres) and including 26 major pyramids as well as myriad smaller structures, the ancient city is truly impressive. Norwegian explorer and scientist Thor Heyerdahl first visited Túcume in 1987; though best known for his pioneering trans-Pacific voyage on the Kon-Tiki balsa raft in 1947, Heyerdahl began a major research project at Túcume in 1988. Over the following six years, we learned much about this ancient city. First built around AD 1100 by people of the Lambayeque culture, it survived and even grew under successive waves of conquest by the Chimú and later Inca armies, only to fall into ruins within a few years of the Spanish conquest. While the Túcume project was still on going, Heyerdahl was also instrumental in re-opening Cuba to American archaeologists in the early 1990s. In this illustrated lecture, I review Heyerdahl's contributions to New World prehistory through our joint work at Túcume and in Cuba.

Tuesday February 20
Rowan Flad, Harvard University
The Origins of Sanxingdui. An Early Complex Society in Sichuan 
This lecture is co-sponsored by the New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

In 1986 two pits filled with fabulous bronze, jade, gold, and ivory objects were found in Guanghan City near Chengdu, Sichuan Province. These discoveries forced a complete revision of our understanding the origins of this "Sanxingdui Civilization" with particular focus on the precursor communities associated with the "Baodun Culture." I discuss the background for this research and the current fieldwork being conducted in the Chengdu Plain to address these issues.

Wednesday, February 28
Demetrios Michaelides
Visit sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)
Medicine in Ancient Cyprus
(In Professor Natalie Kampen's seminar, AHIS G4278: Roman Art and the Image of the Family)
934 Schermerhorn, 9:00-10:50

The important role that Cyprus played in the science of medicine during Antiquity must, to a large extent, be due to the richness of her vegetation and the abundance of her minerals. For centuries, its plants as well as many of its minerals were used for the preparation of medicaments, and the local tradition was ancient and famed. The paper will present the most important of the surviving evidence, culled from ancient texts, and brought to light by excavation. Within a Cypriot perspective, it will deal with the following main themes: doctors, surgical instruments, vegetal and mineral pharmaceutical substances, gods associated with medicine, ex-votos of medical nature, prophylactic amulets, water and public hygiene, and some new evidence from the palaeopathological study of skeletal remains.

Wednesday, February 28
Demetrios Michaelides
Hellenistic and Roman Mosaics in Cyprus
Visit sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)
612 Schermerhorn, 6:00 pm 

The lecture will deal with the development of Cypriot mosaics ans their role in East Mediterranean art. Their beginnings, towards the end of the 4th century BC, are rather timid and the hitherto known Hellenistic examples are not particularly numerous. Both in technique and subject matter, however, they form an integral part of contemporary Greek art. After an apparent lull at the beginning of the Roman period (for which some possible explanations will be put forward), mosaics reappear and witness an unprecedented boom during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. Made of specially cut tesserae, these mosaics exhibit an incredibly rich repertory of mythological representations, including some compositions which remain unique in ancient art. An analysis of the decorative motifs helps to establish some of the workshops that made these mosaics and to define the artistic milieu in which they were created. It will be shown that the closest parallels during the Roman periods are not with Greece, as was the case in earlier times, but with the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Syria. The paper will examine all the most important (and lesser known) discoveries of the last three decades, right up to the 5th century, when Christian art expelled mythological compositions from the decoration of even private houses.

Tuesday, March 20
Glenn Wharton, New York University
Research and Training in a Field Conservation Laboratory: Kaman-Kalehoyuk
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

This paper describes the research and training program at the Kaman-Kalehoyuk expedition in Turkey. The excavation is managed by The Middle Eastern Culture Center on Japan, a research institution based in Tokyo. Each year since 1986, an international team of excavators, researchers, and conservators convene to excavate and research the site during a four-month season. The institute is currently constructing a permanent facility that will house a museum, library, conservation laboratory, analytical laboratory, classroom, and living facility. The fields conservation laboratory trains interns, teaches field conservation courses, holds symposia, and coordinates research and publications. Work in the conservation laboratory includes regular presentations to other staff members, training Turkish conservation students, and oversight of excavation and post-excavation processing of artifacts.

Thursday, April 19
Carla Sinopoli
Historical Landscapes of the Tungabhadra Corridor South India: The View from Archaeology and History
612 Schermerhorn, 6:00 pm
Co-sponsored by the Southern Asian Institute

The harsh, rugged, semi-arid inland regions of peninsular South India seem an unlikely location for the emergence of South India's largest historic empire -the 14th through the 17th century Vijayanagara empire. Yet, the Tungabhadra River Valley region has long been a core zone in the political and economic history of South India. In this talk, I draw upon archaeological and historical research to explore the long-term history of the Tungabhadra corridor, spanning from the South Indian Neolithic to the Vijayanagara period. I focus particularly on the period from c. 1000 BCE to 300 AD, the focus of my current archaeological research in the region. It was during this time that the first territorial, hierarchical polities took form, as interactions intensified between South India and polities and communities throughout the South Asia, and ultimately beyond -to the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. This talk both presents a broad overview on some of these long term processes and reports on results from recent architectural research.

Back to Top 

Fall 2006

Tuesday, September 12
Roger Bagnall, Columbia University
Excavations at Amheida
930 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

Amheida was the chief town of the western part of the Dakhlen Oasis, in Egypt's Western Desert, for more than a millenium. By the early first millenium BCE, and perhaps much earlier, it had a temple of the god Thoth, and in the Roman period, as Trimithis, it became a city. In late antiquity, a Roman military garrison was stationed nearby (on the site of the medieval and early modern town of El-Qasr). The site was surveyed in the late 1970s by the Dakheleh Oasis Project, and for the past three winters a team sponsored by Columbia Univerity has been conducting excavations and conservation work in the central part of the site. The principal areas of work have been a large, wealthy late Roman house with wall paintings; a more modest Roman house; the site of the entirely dismanteled early Roman Temple of Thoth; and a funerary pyramid of mud brick.

Thursday, October 5
Martin Stadler (Wurzburg)
The Resurrection of an Egypt Temple: Cult, Ritual and Mithology of Soknopaiou Nesos in the Fayyum.
832 Schermerhorn Hall, 5:00 pm
Lecture co-sponsored by The Center for Ancient Mediterranean.

At the northern fringe of the Fayyum oasis in Egypt, in a town known as Soknopaiou Nesos, a temple dominated the skyline. This sanctuary was classified among the first class temples, which underlines its importance. This lecture presents a ritual text concerning the daily cult of worshipping the crocodile god, Sobek, the Lord of Pai (Greek Soknopaios). This ritual text has survived in various papyri that are scattered all over the world. With it we can better understand the functioning of the temple, the temple's architecture, and the purpose of its rooms. By comparing this temple with other, features common to Egyptian sanctuaries as well as unique characteristics of the temple in Soknopaiou Nesos become evident. The sancturay as a place of worship, however, cannot be understood fully without considering the place's mythology. Therefore, some new evidence from recently published and still unpublished papyri will give insight into Soknopaiou Nesos' religion.

Tuesday October 17
Professor Alexandros Mazarakis Ainian, University of Thessaly (Volos)
Visit sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)
Temples-hestiatoria in Geometric and Archaic Greek revised: Excavations at the sanctuary of Apollo at Amphanes (Thessaly)
930 Schermerhorn, 6:00 pm

During excavations of the University of Thessaly at the Archaic fortified settlement at Soros, near Volos (Thessaly) a sub-urban temple was investigated. The site is usually identified with the city of ancient Amphanai or Pagasai. The temple had been partly excavated by a team of German archaeologists in 1973 but the results were never properly published. The excavation of the temple and various adjacent rooms in 2004-2006 made it clear that the temple was in use from the Archaic period to the early 3rd c. B.C.. and served for the practice of ritual meals. The plan of the temple (an axial colonnade, an eschara and bench along the three sides), as well as its function for dining, trace their origins back to the Geometric period. The numerous utensils related with food preparation and drinking, as well as the votives, as well as the architectural layout of the sanctuary, provide a new insight in the study of the function of this specific category of temple of ancient Greece, which appears to have been more widespread than previously thought.
Thus, in this paper we will discuss the extent of the practice of ritual meals with various contexts in Early Iron Age Greece, from the Protogeometric through the Archaic periods. During the earlier Iron Age down to the Late Geometric period, food consumption for religious purposes was not restricted to sanctuaries, but appears to have been taking place within the household as well, especially in the houses belonging to the elite. Towards the end of the 8th c., with the formation of the polis, ritual dining starts to shift outside from the household and gradually moves into the urban temple. The latter, in many occasions, seems to take over activities previously held within certain houses, notably those related with food consumption. By the Archaic period ritual dining, as a rule, will be confined to edifices specially designed for such a purpose, the hesitiatoria. Nevertheless, temples-hestiatoria seem to have survived in some places, as at Soros, Delos (Oikos of the Naxians), Naxos (Yria), Andros (Hypsile), Thasos, etc.

Friday October 27
Marcello A. Canuto, Yale University
The Classic Kingdoms of the Maya: New Discoveries, Novel Ideas
Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Ellen Sparry Brush Lecture
612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 pm

Classic Maya society has long been celebrated for its architectural, artistic, and literary achievements. Moreover, the decipherment of the Classic Maya hieroglyphic system has opened a window into the history of the ancient complex civilization. Provided with a record of dates, events, and names, archaeologists have been able to determine how noble Classic Maya families arose, ruled, warred, and declined for almost a millennium. However, kings alone do not make a kingdom, and Classic Maya city-states were complex entities that included much more than the ruler and his relatives.
Thanks to the hieroglyphic record, there is a vast record regarding the varied nature of Classic Maya political hierarchy. In fact, there exists a lively and continuing debate on the extent of their realms, the size of their population and efficacy of elite power, and the integration of city-states. Some have claimed that Classic Maya kings had only a loose kinship-based control over their dominion; others claim that they were "moral" figureheads enclosed by a large complex court. Finally, still others see them as the powerful heads of a complex and highly-differentiated state government.
New archaeological research focusing on the "kingdom" rather than on the "king" (and his royal center) is helping to better explain Classic Maya political organization. To present a more comprehensive model about Classic Maya society, this talk will focus on recent research from the regions corresponding to the kingdoms pf Copan, Piedras Negras, and Calakmul.

Wednesday November 1
Dr. Geoffrey Summers, Middle East Technical University, Ankara
Excavations at Iron Age Kerkenes Dagh on the Anatolian Plain
832 Schermerhorn, 5:30 pm

Kerkenes Dagh is a low granitic rise of almost two and a half square kilometers extent in the Anatolian Plain of Turkey, about 200 kilometers east of Ankara. Previous excavations in the 20th century have now been continued since 1993 by Middle East Technical University under the direction of Geoffrey and Francoise Summers. The remains are thought to represent the site of Pteria, an important sixth-century BC city mentioned by Herodotus. Occupied briefly by the Medes, Pteria was destroyed by the Lydians in 547 BC. Archaeologists at Kerkenes Dah have reconstructed significant portions of the ancient city by combining conventional excavation methods with some creative high-tech approaches, including several kinds of ground-based and aerial remote sensoring. Over the last three years, the charred remains of ancient Pteria's central gateway (known as the Cappadocia Gate) was uncovered.

Back to Top 

Spring 2006

Professor Severin Fowles, Columbia University
Fertility, Power, and the Cloistering of the Sacred in Pueblo Prehistory
Monday January 30, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn

The religious life of the Pueblo communities of the American Southwest is preoccupied with a notion of fertility. Until recently, the Pueblos were committed farmers, famous for their ability to coax corn, beans, and squash out of an arid and often capricious environment, and it is this agricultural insecurity that is often invoked to explain the impressive complexity of Pueblo rituals aimed at the fecundity of the natural world. In this lecture, however, I draw attention to the fact that such religious practices also have a great deal to do with ideologies of gender and power relations within the social world. Fertility rituals--while making extensive use of female reproductive symbolism--are nevertheless a male preoccupation among the Pueblos that is guarded by taboos and strict rules of secrecy, many of which have been designed to exclude “actual women” at the same time that “symbolic women” are drawn into the religious core. How did such a seemingly paradoxical position of women in Pueblo religious life develop? Here, I explore the prehistoric foundations of this complicated web of religion, gender, and secrecy, suggesting that Pueblo fertility rituals may have evolved as much in response to male political contests as from a concern with agricultural success.

Professor Mark Leone, University of Maryland
The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capitol: Excavations in Annapolis

Thursday, February 23
Louis Blumengarten Lecture in Urban Archaeology in cooperation with the New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

What do archaeological excavations in Annapolis, Maryland reveal about daily life in the city’s history?  Considering artifacts such as landscapes, printer’s type, ceramics, and spirit bundles, this engaging, generously illustrated, and original study illuminates the lives of the city’s residents – walking, reading, talking, eating, and living together in both freedom and oppression for more than three hundred years.  Interpreting the results of one of the most innovative large-scale and long-range project in contemporary American archaeology, The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capital speaks powerfully to the struggle for liberty, particularly among African Americans and the poor. Leone uses material excavated from several dozen sites in and around Annapolis to show what historical archaeology can tell us about the past and present of this key city in American history. We learn how slavery and racism coexisted with freedom and how deepening poverty coexists with wealth amassed in every fewer hands. We come to understand how a steep hierarchy of wealth before the American Revolution produced an independent American with that hierarchy intact afterwards, but with the wealthy even more powerful than before. This rich study of power uses the archaeological record to connect social conditions in the eighteenth century to their results in the twenty-first.

Richard Fairbanks, Columbia University
Radiocarbon Clock Needs Repairs

612 Schermerhorn, 6:30 p.m..
Wednesday, April 19

Over the past decade we have witnessed a remarkable development and proliferation of accelerator mass spectrometers; these instruments have reduced the radiocarbon counting time by a factor of 100 and reduced the sample size by a factor of 1000 compared to the classic B-counting systems. It is estimated that nearly 90% of all measurements made at the more than 50 active accelerator mass spectrometry laboratories are radiocarbon dates. Of practical importance to archaeology and a wide range of other scientific disciplines is the radiocarbon calibration, which is used for converting radiocarbon ages to calendar years; essential for measuring time and rates of change for numerous scientific fields.  The radiocarbon clock is erratic and has stopped and started repeatedly, sometimes halting for more than 500 years.  In general, the clock is running too fast and is more than 5000 years offset from the true calendar age around 30,000 years ago.  The use of uncorrected radiocarbon ages has wrecked havoc in those sciences that study rates of change and those that inadvertently mingle calendar ages and radiocarbon ages.  Using atomic uranium clocks locked in fossil corals, it is possible to “correct” radiocarbon ages and determine the geochemical and geophysical factors that drive the errant clock’s behavior.  Approximately 40,000 years ago the Earth’s geomagnetic field nearly collapsed allowing a flood of cosmic rays to enter the upper atmosphere that produced a surplus of 14C atoms.  The 14C excess anomaly has been slowly decaying away over most of the radiocarbon time-scale and is the primary reason why a 14C age does not match a calendar age.   A 14C age to calendar age conversion program has been developed at Lamont-Doherty Observatory and can be accessed at: along with other pertinent information about carbon-14 dating.

Simon Stoddart
Divergent Trajectories of Settlement Development in Etruria and Northern Umbria 1200-500 BC.
930 Schermerhorn, 6:30 p.m..
Tusday, April 25

The cultural diversity of the Etruscans and their immediate neighbours has been known for some considerable time. Different cities have different traditions of art, burial and production. However, it is only more recently that the underlying diversity of the organisation of settlement has been investigated through urban excavation and rural settlement survey, bringing out a marked contrast between north and south Etruria. My lecture will give an overview of some of my thoughts on the different organisation of society and identity that can be read from settlement distributions in parallel to rich readings already presented from the cultural evidence. I will base my presentation on excavations I have undertaken at the two limits of Etruria (Gubbio in Umbria and Nepi in the Faliscan territoy) combined with the considerable work in the intervening broad expanse of Etruria undertaken by other scholars. This synthesis will be presented in my forthcoming book for Cambridge University Press and be further investigated through joint fieldwork I plan with Gabriele Cifani, currently on a two year EU fundded Marie Curie Fellowship in Cambridge and who was a recent guest at Columbia University (Spring 2004).
Back to Top 

Fall 2005

Nan A. Rothschild, Ann Whitney Olin Professor, (Barnard College)
Monday, September 12, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
Recovering Seneca Village 

Seneca Village was a nineteenth century community occupied by African Americans who settled there and were subsequently joined by Irish immigrants. It was a genuine community, with religious and educational institutions; residents owned or rented their homes. Some of the African American residents were leaders in the city’s abolitionist movement. The villagers were evicted so that Central Park could be built. These minimal facts have been supplemented in the last seven to eight years by a concerted effort to bring Seneca Village to light in contemporary New York City. Historic research has produced considerable information about the people who lived there and those who were buried there. Archaeological research, thus far minimally intrusive, has identified some areas of promise for excavation. The administrators of the Park have opposed the idea of any archaeology. How will this situation be resolved?  How does it represent many contemporary archaeological situations in which knowledge of the past may be empowering or disturbing, depending on one’s political position?

Jack Sasson, (Vanderbilt University)
Monday, October 10, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
Brides and Diplomats: Elite Women in the Mari Archives

Around 1760 bce, King Zimri-Lim ruled from Mari on the Euphrates River, roughly where modern Syria meets Iraq. His contemporary was Hammurabi of Babylon, who prepared the famous Code of Law. The archives that Zimri-Lim left behind consist of thousands of cuneiform tablets, including very personal letters exchanged among the king's immediate family, most of whom were women. With these documents, we have an unparalleled opportunity to observe how women created influential places for themselves in a world otherwise dominated by men. Professor Sasson will share with you a few details about their lives, and perhaps even read a sampling from the more striking letters.

Dr. Pavlos Flourentzos (Director of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus),
Monday, November 14, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
Topic: Paralimni-Nissia, Cyprus

A unique settlement of the Neolithic B period was excavated at the locality Nissia in the coastal area of Paralimni, Cyprus. 1994 brought the first information about this particular settlement to light and its excavation was conducted by the Department of Antiquities in five campaigns from 1995 to 2001. The excavation revealed forty dwellings of four-sided plan with rounded corners. Many of them were enclosed by a massive wall in the shape of a horseshoe starting from the seashore and surrounding the settlement. It has its main entrance in the south and a narrow exit at the north leading to the nearby river. An extra-muros extension also existed. The excavation of the floors of a house to bedrock proves the existence of five successive phases in the history of the settlement. The settlement yielded a large number of interesting and unique finds such as long blades and sickle blades of flint, stone vessels, pottery vessels of various shapes (flasks, basins, bowls etc.) decorated mostly in Red-on-White ware or combination of Red-on-White and Combed Ware, andesite axes, pestles, stone idols and objects of picrolite. Moreover the excavation of the settlement supplies us with extremely interesting information about the fauna and everyday life of the inhabitants of the settlement.

Back to Top 

Spring 2005

Wednesday, February 2nd, 6:15 pm
Dr. Oleksandr Symonenko, University of Pennsylvania
"At the North-East Border of the Roman Empire (Finding Samaritan Royalty)"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Saturday February 12, 3:00 pm
Dr. William G. Dever, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona
"Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, Phoenicia and Cyprus"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Thursday, February 17, 6:30 pm
Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, Archaeologist and Journalist for Lebano's "The Daily Star"
"Mesopotamia Endangered: Witnessing the Loss of History"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Wednesday March 2, 6:30pm
Professor Michael K. Toumazou of Davidson College
"Athienou-Mallaura: excavations at a rural sanctuary in central Cyprus"
To be delivered in association with the exhibit
"Settlement and Sanctuary: Views from the Columbia University Excavations at Phlaoudi, Cyprus"
in the MIriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Tuesday, Arpil 12, 5:30 pm
Matthew Palus
"Land Rich: Archaeologies of Home in the Eastport Neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland"
612 Schermerhorn Hall

Back to Top 

Fall 2004

Monday, November 15, 6:30 pm
Dr. Stephen Murray
"Medieval Spaces and Virtual Spaces: Creating a Database for Romanesque Architecture"
612 Schermerhorn

Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 pm
Dr. Alexandra Karetsou, Director of Archaeological Institute of Crete
"The Palace of Knossos after Evans: Past Interventions, Present State and Future Perspectives"
409 Barnard Hall

Back to Top 

Spring 2004

Monday, March 8, 5:00 pm
Joe Schuldenrein, Geoarchaeology Research Associates
"What's to Tell About a Tell?" The archaeology of mound formation in the Indus River Valley
963, Schermerhorn Extension

Friday, March 26 & Saturday, March 27
Fabrications: Material Reflections on the Social World
The CCA Graduate Student Conference

Nick Sheperd (Director, National Parks Service, Sydney,
Australia;Getty Scholar)

March 26,12:00, 963 Schermerhorn Extension
Adam Blowing-In-The-Wind; Encrypted
Labour and the Making of African
Archaeology, 1932-57

Daniel Shapiro
March 30th, 6:15, Location TBA
Topic: On the law of cultural property
In collaboration with the Columbia-American Museum
of Natural History Master's program in Museum Anthropology

Denis Byrne (University of Capetown Harvard University):
April 9, 12:00, 963 Schermerhorn Extension
'Divine Heritage: the religious significance of  "old places" in
Southeast Asia and China'

Maria Ximena Senatore (Universidad de Buenos Aires,
April 5th,12:00, Archaeology Brown Bag Lunch, 951 Schermerhorn
Topic: Historical archaeology in Patagonia

Back to Top 

Fall 2003

Ian Hodder (Stanford University)
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Towards a hybrid archaeology: excavating Catalhoyuk"

AIA-NYC Ellen Sparry Brush Lecture: William A. Saturno (University of New Hampshire and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University)
Monday, October 23, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
"Painting in the Details: The San Bartolo Murals and the Maya Preclassic"

Dr. Douglass W. Bailey (Cardiff University)
Tuesday, October 21, 6:00 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
“Prehistoric figurines: miniaturism and the human form in the Neolithic (6500-3500 BC)”

Jim Delle (Franklin and Marshall)
Wednesday, November 12, 6:00 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Race, Radicals, and Republicans: Urban Archaeology in Lancaster, PA."

Klaus Randsborg, University of Copenhagen, Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology
Wednesday, December 3, 6:00 pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
"Ancient Dahomey. An Archaeology of Deferense, Might & Growth"

Back to Top 

Spring 2003

Dale Rosengarten (Historian and Curator, College of Charleston, SC)
Tuesday, January 28, 6:00 pm, 465 Schermerhorn Extension
"A Portion of the People: the Making of an Exhibition"

Ella Weed room, Milbank Hall, Barnard College
Mary Voigt (College of William and Mary)
Thursday, January 30, 4:30 pm
“Galatian Gordion: Migration and Ethnicity in Hellenistic Anatolia”

Norman Hammond (Boston University)
Thursday, February 13, 6:00 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
“La Milpa: A Classic Maya City in Belize”

William Kelso (Director of Archaeology, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities)
612 Schermerhorn
"The Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project"
(sponsored by the NYC-AIA)
Li Liu (La Trobe University)
612 Schermerhorn
“Chinese Archaeology: Searching for the Cultural Origins”

Back to Top 

Fall 2002

T.J. Ferguson (Archaeological Research, LLC)Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Archaeologists and Ancestors: Collaborative Research in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona."

John Stubbs (World Monuments Fund)
Tuesday, November 5
 "Saving Angkor-A Race Against Time"

Franz Bauer
Thursday, December 5
"The Constantinian Church at Ostia: A Report on the Recent Excavations"

Back to Top 

Spring 2002

Joe Watkins (University of New Mexico)
Monday, April 22, 6:3 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Politics of Native American Archaeology"
Mark Aldenderfer (UCSB)
Tuesday, April 23, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Silk Road and Diamond Paths: The Archaeology of Buddhism in Tibet"
(AIA NYC Chapter Lecture)
Chris Godsen (Oxford University)
Friday, May 17, 6:30 pm, 612 Schermerhorn
"Archaeology and Colonialism a Comparative Approach"

Back to Top 

Fall 2001

Clark Maines (Wesleyan)
Thursday, October 18 (4:30-6:30)
"Monastic Life through an Archaeological Lens."

Martin Hall (University of Cape Town)
Tuesday, October 23 (6:30-8:30), 612 Schermerhorn "The archaeology of remembering and forgetting aboutcolonial South Africa."

Alan Kolata (UChicago)
Monday, November 5 (6:30-8:30), 615 Schermerhorn
"Mimesis, Monumentalism, and Kingship in the Ancient Andes"

Rosemary Joyce (UC Berkeley)
Monday, December 3 (6:30-8:30), 614 Schermerhorn "Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica"

Back to Top 

Web Services Link Web Services Image