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Fall 2008

Monday September 8, 6pm: Start of Semester Welcome Party. Fried Lounge, 465 Schermerhorn Ext.

Thursday September 18, 6pm: Dr. Zainab Bahrani (Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University) - "Archaeology in Iraq". 612 Schermerhorn.

Friday October 31, 6pm: Prof. Matthew Johnson (Southampton University, U.K.) - "The Fall and Rise of Empiricism in Archaeology". 963 Schermerhorn Ext.

Friday November 14, 6pm: Dr. John Collins (CUNY) - "Oh, He Must Have Been a Chicken Man Like I’: Slaves, Evidence,and Rumor in Salvador, Brazil's Pelourinho Historical Center". 963 Schermerhorn Ext.

Tuesday November 18, 6pm. Prof. David Hurst Thomas (American Museum of Natural History) "Repatriating Science, Race, and Identity: Are We Still Fighting the Skull Wars?" 963 Schermerhorn Ext.

Tuesday November 25, 1pm. Prof. Terence D'Altroy & Darryl Wilkinson (Columbia University) - "War, peace and the landscape of the Inka heartland". 951 Schermerhorn Ext.

Friday December 5, 2-6pm. "Human Worlds/Animal Worlds". A conference on the study of human-animal relations across the humanities. Organized by Prof. Brian Boyd and students of Columbia University. Discussants: Prof. Matthew Calarco (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton) and Prof. Frances Bartkowski (Associate Professor of English/Women's Studies, Rutgers Newark).
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Spring 2008

January

Thursday, January 31
New Year's Party / Open House
We invite you to join us for snacks and refreshments on Thursday, January 31st from 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Work from the archaeology lab student will be displayed.

954 Schermerhorn, 4:00-6:00 pm

February

Lecture
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.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, February 21
Ellen Belcher, PhD Candidate in the Art History and Archaeology Department, Columbia University
Embodying the Halaf: Prehistoric figurines from Northern Mesopotamia

951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

Occurring in the Fifth Millenium BCE (uncalibrated) the Halaf culture was broad-reaching horizon of distinctive painted pottery, architecture as well as technologically advanced and visually engaging material culture remains including anthropomorphic figures. This research focuses on close analysis of available and published examples of regional and chronological perspective on Halaf imagery of themselves, the body and gender. Also considered are intra regional artistic exchange of technology and imagery which may have traveled with raw materials and ideology within and beyond the traditional borders of Mesopotamia.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
*Wednesday**, February 27
Francesco De Angelis, Columbia University
Myths, Images, and Values in the Funerary Context: the Etruscan Urns from Chiu
951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

The funerary ash-urns produced in the Etruscan city of Chiusi in the 3rd and 2nd c. BCE were decorated with a great variety of scenes, most of which illustrate episodes taken from Greek mythology. Due to the lack of literary sources fro Chiusi in this age, as well as to the unsatisfactory state of the archaeological evidence pertaining to its urban center, these urns represent an invaluable source of historical knowledge. In particular, both the choice of themes and the iconographic details of the images allow us to get an insight into some of the values of the Chiusine society, and to follow the changes which they underwent during the Hellenistic period.
The talk will focus on some of the methodological issues raised by this material. To what extent is the imagery of the urns specifically linked to the funerary context? How can we use it in order to draw more general conclusions about the value system of the society of Chiusi? What role does the comparison with contemporary Etruscan centers play in this regard?

Friday, February 29
New York Archaeological Consortium

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, March 6
Sarah Croucher
In the Absence of Evidence? Archaeology, Ensavement and Identity in 19th Century East Africa
951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

When beginning archaeological fieldwork in East Africa focused on 19th century clove plantations where most of the population had been enslaved workers, O had expected to find clear material traces of this enslaved population. In contrast, evidence for enslaved people was highly intangible, with almost no archeology that could be clearly assigned to plantation slaves. The ceramic record demonstrated that clear continuities with previous centuries when the coast has not been under Omani colonial rule and had not had such large numbers of enslaved peoples living in the region. This paper will explore the implications of this continuity of practice in terms of its significance for understanding 19th century Zanzibari identities. In doing so, I shall also discuss the implications of a lack of evidence for enslaved persons -what does this mean for the way in which we consider past social identities through archaeological remains?

Lecture
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.

Lecture
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.

March

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, March 27 Maria Kayafa, University of Brimingham, UK
Copper-based artefacts in Bronze Age Argolid: a qualitative and technological study

951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

One of the great success stories in the Aegean Bronze Age refers to NE Peloponnese in Greece in the 2nd millennium BC. From the humble settlements of the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Bonze Age to the palatial establishments in the Late Bronze Age, the Argolid transformed into a major economical and cultural center in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. The material manifestations for this are numerous, but I will concentrate on metallurgy and its products. The region has been the focus of extensive archaeological research and has rewardingly yielded large amounts of metal objects, best exemplified by the site of Mycenae and the extraordinary array of the gold, silver and copper/bronze finds discovered there. The turning point is the transitional Middle Helladic III - Late Helladic I period, when the products of metallurgy multiply, and, at the same time, achieve technical excellence and great typological elaboration and diversity. Indeed, more than half of the prehistoric metal objects discovered in the Peloponnese have been unearthed in the Argolid, while their majority originated from Mycenae. The aim of this presentation is to examine prehistoric metallurgy in the Argolid from the 3rd millenium to the end of the 2nd millenium BC. More precisely, I will try to a) delineate the fdistribution of metal objects chronologically and typologically, b0 to collect the available archaeological and metallurgical evidence for the definition of actual workshop areas where metals were worked and made into final products and c) to present the available chemical data in order to reconstruct the technological level of copper-based metallurgy in Bronze Age Argolid from a diachronic perspective and to chart the emergence and development of copper alloys.

Lecture
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.

Bone Workshop
Friday, April 11
4:00-6:00 pm
Pam Crabtree, New York University
Location: 308 and 309 lab, Anthropology Building (25 Waverly Place) at NYU

This workshop is designed to teach students how to identify the common domesticated animals that are found on archaeological sites in the Old World and historic North America. The workshop will focus on the osteology of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, April 17
Douglass Bailey, Stanford University
Archaeology, Land Art and spatial frames of reference
951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

For several years, I have been running a project excavating pit-houses at the Early Neolithic (6000-5500 BC_ site of Magura in Southern Romania. These pit-houses bother me. I am pretty sure that they are not 'houses' or even storage facilities, and even if they were, I am not so sure that defining them as such would help us very much. What am I to do? Is there anyvalue to looking at other region/periods where similar structures have been studied? Is there any value in seeking cross-cultural essentialisms about function, about over-generalized trajectories of settling the landscape, or about turning space into place? I am doubtful. In this seminar, I want to work through a different series of questions: what can we say about our relationship to ground (forget about 'landscape'), or about the consequences of intervening into ground? What about cutting into and dissecting surfaces? What about the diverse specificities of spatial frames of reference, of verticality, and about non-egocentric ways of living. I am not promising any answers, but I am looking for spirited discussion.

Lecture
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.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, April 24
Erica Morais Angeliker
Minoan Larnakes: A Study of Their Uses and Painting

951 Schermerhorn Extension, 4:00-5:30 pm

During the Late Minoan II-III period (ca. 1400-1200 B.C.E.), the Minoans and also some Mycenaeans had, among other funerary customs, the habit of using in their interments rectangular clay boxes (larnakes) to let the corpse decay or to hold the bones of the deceased. Some of these ceramic objects were just painted, while others were decorated with painting on all panels and on the lid. In my presentation, I will discuss the usesand meanins of the larnakes by considering them within their immediate context (the tomb) and by analyzing the painting decoration depicted on them. Particular attention will be given to the influence of glyptic art, a media that with the end of the palace culture in Crete provided a rich imagery to the artisans who were creating a funerary iconography.

Tool Workshop
Friday, April 25 3:00-5:00 pm
Severin Fowles, Barnard College
Location: TBA

All students are welcome to attend and receive a basic introduction to flint knapping. No experience required.

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Lecture

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.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, September 20
Erik Jensen, Columbia University
Roman Metalwork in the North: trade, diplomacy, and power
951 Schermerhorn, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Objects of Roman metalwork are found throughout northern Europe beyond the Roman frontier. This talk examines the finds of Roman metalwork in Scotland, northern Germany, and Scandinavia to discern the different patterns of acquisition, use, and deposition of Roman artifacts in these regions. These patterns have implications for trade across the Roman frontier, the diplomatic strategies of the Roman empire, the changing political and social realms beyond the frontier, and ultimately the interconnection of Roman and non-Roman centers of power across the frontiers.

September

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, September 27
Brian Boyd, Columbia University
Kathleen Kenyon's excavations at Jerico 1952-1958: a photographic archive
951 Schermerhorn, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Kathleen Kenyon's excavations at Jericho (Tell es-Sultan) in the 1950s have long captured the archaeological and public imagination. This presentation - illustrated with Kenyon's original color slides (there's a story there too...) - places the excavations in the context of 1950s Palestine shortly following World War II, the establishment of the State of Israel and the Nakba.

New York Archaeological Consortium
Friday, September 28
612 Schermerhorn, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Open House
Friday, October 5
954 Schermerhorn, 2:00-4:00 pm

Bone Workshop: Animal Bone for the Archaeologist - An Introduction
Open first to students and others on a space available basis
Friday, October 12
Professor Pam Crabtree, NYU
308 and 309 Anthropology Building, 25 Waverly Place at NYU
5:00-7:00 pm

This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to the identification and analysis of faunal bones from archaeological sites. The topics that will be covered include identification of animal bones, ageing, sexing, measurement, and how these data are used to study past animal husbandry and hunting practices.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, October 18
Lee Ullmann, Columbia University
The Conception of Space in the Hittite World
951 Schermerhorn,
4:00 – 5:30 pm

At the end of the second millenium BCE, the Hittites were of equal status with the great powers of the ancient world, such as the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Mycenaeans, yet, despite their prominent role, comparatively little is known about this fascinating culture.
This talk will examine how the Hittites envisioned their surroundings through an analysis of both natural and constructed space. In unraveling the use of space in the Hittite world this discussion will explore the visual vocabulary of the Hittites from the macro scale, the constructed landscape, to the micro scale, mainly architecture and carved reliefs. The study will illustrate how both ancient texts and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to record and map all of the known Hittite sites with the goal of providing a finite place for the imagined ancient landscape.

Bone Workshop: Identification Human Bone
Open first to students and others on a space available basis
Friday, October 19
Jill Schapiro, Lecturer, Department of Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
954 Schermerhorn, 5:00-7:00 pm

The determination for sex is one of the first steps an archaeologist, biological anthropologist or forensic scientist undertakes upon discovery of a skeleton. Under the makeup, hair and flesh, the skull holds many clues that researchers can use to puzzle out identity. In this workshop we'll explore both observational and metric approaches to sexing modern human skulls.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, November 1
Ian Russell, School of Histories and Humanities, Ireland
Humans, Materials and Media: Overcoming the Modern Invention of Material Culture
951 Schermerhorn, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Materials and media are present all around us. It is through the negotiation of our entangled and enmeshmed encounters with them that we glean interpretations and understandings both of 'that which is occurring' and of 'things which came before'. For many years, the paradigms of 'material culture' and 'object/agency' have dominated anthropological and archaeological discussions of human encounters with things. Recently these conceptions have come under fire for their reliance on dialectical contradictions which obscure the subtleties and complexities of humans as capricious organisms, continually engaging in intermediated, transformative and revelatory encounters with things.
This lecture will explore the epistemological limitations both of the concept 'material culture' and the dialectic of 'object/agency'. It will specifically critique the last work of Alfred Gell Art and Agency (1998) and explore the obstacles and opportunities which his development of models of 'primary agency' and 'dispersed agency' present the disciplines of anthropology and archaeology.
Discussion will stem from a critique of the intellectual history off human ego/existential exceptionalism and Darwinian materialism. Elaborating on the metaphysical burden of sentience and awareness, the lecture will present the dynamic tension within the current accepted dialect of hubristic models of human exceptionalism and the current accepted dialectic of hubristic models of human exceptionalism and the absolute humility of models of materialism of machinament. It will conclude with some possible ways anthropology and archaeology could move beyond modernity through an engagement with the world not simply as materials but as media.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, November 8
Clarence Gifford, Columbia University
Domination, Resistance, and the Space Between
951 Schermerhorn, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Five field seasons at the Pambamarca Fortress Complex in Ecuador have documented military settlement and warefare practices, indigenous fortress constructions, and a contested borderland on the northern frontier during the late Pre-Colombian period. Excavations within a sample of the Inka fortresses have uncovered weaponry caches as well as clear residential assemblages. Continued exposure of indigenous fortress architecture suggests they were also stongly defended and occupied for long periods. Research in 2007 highlights the resistance to Inka domination, with new evidence suggesting the sacking and rebuilding of some Inka forts. Landscape data on roadways has also been collected in an attempt to understand the regional context of this well-known standoff.
Within this larger research effort my particular focus lies in the creation and negotiation of built space at Pambamarca as a way to document the nature of basic power relations underlying colonial encounters in the region. Not surprisingly we can trace without much difficulty strategies of domination especially in Inka fortress construction; we can also see oppositional strategies of resistance in nearby fortress construction and settlement shifting. Mindful of the critique that the complex, messy lives of people blur the binary model of domination and resistance, there were undoubtedly actors in Ecuador who to varying degrees resisted the Inka, colluded with them, or participated outright in their plans. At this point in the research process it remains far more difficult tracing these subtleties in the material record of this encounter.

Workshop: An Introduction to Conservation for Archaeologists
Open first to students and others on a space available basis

Friday, November 9 Julie Unruh, Conservator
954 Schermerhorn, 2:00-5:00 pm

This workshop will present strategies for object presentation on an archaeological site. Topics to be discussed include factors contributing to the deterioration of excavated objects, how to minimize damage immediately post-excavation, appropriate materials for conservation, a review of both past and present conservation treatments, artifact storage on-site, and resources for setting up a conservation program in the field.

Lecture
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.

Tea and Coffee Discussion
Thursday, November 29
Nicholas Vogt, Columbia University
An Introduction to the CASS/Columbia Joint Project at Guicheng, Shandong, China
951 Schermerhorn,
4:00 – 5:30 pm

In the summer of 2007, representatives of Columbia joined scholars and staff from the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)i n preliminary survey of pre-Qin settlement remains near Longkou, Shandong province, on the east coast of the People's Republic of China. Long a source of potter, inscribed bronzes, and other cultural relics, this settlement, known as Guicheng, was host to extensive human activities from the prehistoric period through at least the Han dynasty. In its heyday, it was one of the largest urban complexes in China and marked the easternmost extent of the control of the Zhou dynasty's royal house. Large sections of the inner city wall still stand testifying to the original scale of the complex. The presentation will provide basic information on the Guicheng site, including previous archaeological work in the area and appearances of the site in early Chinese documentary sources. It will also cover the result of the 2007 summer survey, aimed mainly at determining the original extent of the city wall, and will if possible introduce data from work currently underway at the site.

 

Lecture
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?

Pottery Workshop: Overview of clay and ceramic vessel formation from the perspective of a contemporary potter.
Open first to students and others on a space available basis
Friday, December 7
Jeffery Lamia, professional potter
Mugi Studio, 993 Amsterdam Avenue, 2:30 - 5:30 pm

The workshop presents an overview of ceramics from the perspective of a contemporary potter. It begins by having the attendees put their hands into various clay bodies in order to feel the differences among them.From this "feel" the workshop interrelates: the chemical qualities of each type of clay body; the practical throwing effects for different types of vessels; tools; glazings and aesthetic considerations, and firing issues. The potter will throw various types of vessels during the workshop. The attendees will also try their hand at throwing vessels on a pottery wheel. From time-to-time questions/comments concerning anthropological, archaeological and utilitarian issues will be introduced.

 

 

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Spring 2007

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, January 19
12:00-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Nikolas Bakirtzis, Columbia University
The Menoikeion Research Project; Exploring the Living Tradition of a Holy Mountain

The 'Menoikeion Research Project' studies the diverse cultural heritage of the homonymous mountainous region close to Serres in Northern Greece. This rich tradition relates to the history and the archaeology of the monastery of Hagios Loannis Prodromos, founded by monk Loannikios between 1270 and 1275. Since 1986, a flourishing community of nuns maintains the monastery's long tradition. Today, the well-preserved monastic complex, surrounded by a relatively untouched rural environment, is considered a primary example of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monastic art and architecture. This presentation will attempt an introduction to this monastic world and the challenges presented in its study.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, February 2
12:00-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Deborah Vischak, Columbia University
Locality and Community in Old Kingdom Egypt: the provincial cemetery at Qubbet el Hawa

The cemetery at Qubbet el Hawa was associated with the nearby town of Elephantine (in modern Aswan), located on the border of Old Kingdom Egypt, 700 km south of the capital at Memphis. An analysis of the Old kingdom tombs in this cemetery as an interrelated group reveals that the images and texts within them constitute a system of tomb decoration that is unique among contemporary monuments of the same type. Egyptian provincial material culture, such as the tombs at Qubbet el Hawa, is often dismissed as unlearned and unskilled, and therefore with limited information value, yet by recognizing the intentionality of this local image and text system and identifying the tomb owners, artisans, and their local community as the agents of its formation, the informative potential of the material is revealed. This presentation will provide an overview of the programs and discuss the way in which these programs emerged from the experiences of the local community at Elephantine during the second half of the Old Kingdom.

Open House
Friday, February 2, 2:00-4:00 pm
954 Schermerhorn Extension

The Program in Archaeology invites you to visit its open house. Faculty members will be there to help you learn more about the major and concentration in archaeology. Faculty will talk about their collections and projects, such as the Phlamoudhi project from Cyprus, the Strong collection from Peru and a Roman lantern collection. Selected objects from these collections as well as Columbia's Clarence Young Collection of Antiquities from ancient Greece will be on display.

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.

New York Archaeological Consortium
Friday, February 9
612 Schermerhorn, 2:00-4:00

Tuesday, February 13 
Textile Workshop: Weaving on a Warp-Weighted Loom
Susan Edmunds, producer and host of the DVD Textile: An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latin.
954 Schermerhorn extension, 5:00-7:00

The warp-weighted loom was the principle means of cloth production in Europe for thousands of years. It is easily made of simple materials, is adaptable to many different weave structures, can accommodate warps that are both long and wide, and takes up very little floor space. Although gradually superseded in southern Europe at the time of the Roman Empire by other types of looms, warp-weighted looms continued to be used in remote areas -into the 20th century in northern Scandinavia.
This workshop will cover the essential skills needed to weave on a Mediterranean-type warp-weighted loom, including making a warp, attaching it to loom, and weaving simple types of cloth.
The workshop should provide archaeologists with a better understanding of this weaving technology and should help classicists visualize the basis of one of the most common metaphors in ancient Greek and Roman literature.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, February 16
12:00-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Brian Boyd, Columbia University
People, Objects and Space: Reflections on Technologies of Containment.

Does absence have a presence? Archaeology has developed a fairly sophisticated understanding of "presence" in the literal sense of "things being there", and in its recent theoretical encounter with materialities and their varied manifestations (including the expression of immaterial ideals). Given that the greater part of human history (prehistory) is materially absent, invisible, intangible, it might follow that prehistory should have something to offer the study of the intangible that is original and interesting. This presentation will consider how prehistory's belated encounter with gender demands that "absence" be seen as a legitimate area of archaeological inquiry. I will argue that only once archaeology deals with intangibility and absence as well as it deals with materiality will the subject be in a position to contribute more fully to the wider humanities. I will use the example of "containment" as a starting point for these explorations.

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.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, March 2
12:10-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Demetrios Michaelides
Visit sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)
"Ayioi Pente" at Yeroskipou: A new Early Christian site in Cyprus

The area north of Yeroskipou is famous for the Late Bronze Age and Hellenistic tombs that have come to light there over the years. For this reason, the discovery in 2002, of Early Christian remains during the opening of a new road, came as a complete surprise. After some rescue work by the Department of Antiquities, the site was passed over to the University of Cyprus which, under the direction of the speaker, undertook its systematic excavation and study. After only three season, and despite the dreadful damage it had suffered in the recent past, the site is beginning to fall into shape. The main building complex is associated with a basilica, traces of which were located only this last summer, and includes rooms that were originally paved with mosaics. Most of these have been destroyed, but two survive intact. One bears three inscriptions from the Book of Psalms, and both are of funerary character as they overlie burials. Nearby there is another larger room housing four large ossuaries. Despite the fact that these were looted, they yielded important material including a considerable number of gold jewellery and bronze coins. It is the hope that further excavation will throw light on other nearby structures that have began to appear. This will be the first presentation of this important new site outside Cyprus.

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.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, March 30
12:10-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Kyle Killian, Columbia University
Approaching Monastic Architecture

Walking into one of the great cathedrals of Europe, like Chartres and Amiens, or even Notre Dame in Paris, it is easy to understand why they have had such a hold over our view of medieval architecture. They are deeply moving buildings both for their beauty and for their grandeur. One effect that they have had on the scholarship of medieval architecture is to produce a kind of top down approach to typology that traces the influence of these 'great churches' on smaller less important buildings. Even when influence is replaced by more sophisticated ideas about appropriation, there is still a tacit assumption that the great churches were clearly the targets of that appropriation.
The effect of this kind of typology on the study of monastic architecture has been two fold. First, the study of monastic architecture has been largely synonymous with the study of the monastic church. Lost in this is the reality that monastic churches were built by different people for different purposes than were cathedrals. It also ignores the degree to which the rest of a monastery's built environment was conceptually and, as recent archaeology is starting to demonstrate, physically integral with approached on their own terms the typologies with which they are discussed have still been organized hierarchically around a dominant monument or ideal of a monument.
One of the goals of my recent research has been to explore other ways of categorizing and explaining medieval monastic architecture. There are two approaches in particular that I would like to present for discussion and comment by you all, who have a wider experience of their application. One approach is what I have, perhaps naively, called an anthropology of monastic architecture. What I mean by this is using the use and experience of a space as a way to categorize and understand architectural choices. The other is the use of Landscapes as an organizing principal in the hopes of establishing a horizontal set of typologies, or at least deceptions, for the actions and interactions of a monastic community (building being a particular important example of these) to set beside and compliment the vertical typologies represented by the history of style. 

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, March 6
12:10-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Amanda Anderson, Columbia University
Villanovan Hut Urn

Miniature spatial representations are used to solve problems and teach lessons; to put something into a controllable scale. In archaeology these have rarely been discussed in this context. The Villanovan hut urn from the Olcott collection of Columbia University is an interesting example of scale reduction; in the context of miniaturization as a means of making something controllable, what does this indicate about the culture and community that created this item? How does the funerary context add to this? The cremated remains interred in the urn are also part of Columbia's collection and were analyzed with the urn, giving an added level to a miniature hut. Unlike most miniature spatial representations this hut had an occupant. 

Saturday, April 14
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
612 Schermerhorn
Graduate Student Conference : Archaeology and Landscape

Lecture
Thursday, April 19
612 Schermerhorn, 6:00 pm
Carla Sinopoli
Historical Landscapes of the Tungabhadra Corridor South India: The View from Archaeology and History
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.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, April 20
12:15-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Erin Hasinoff, Meredith Linn and Lindsay Weiss, Columbia University

Erin Hasinoff: Things of the Past: The Afterlife of Rev George Geis' 'Kachin' Collections
    This talk explores the material trajectory of four 'Kachin baskets' sold by American Baptist pioneer missionary Rev George Geis to Clark Wissler in 1908 for an exhibition on basketry techniques and weaving at the American Museum of Natural History. Six years later Geis sent ten photographs of 'Kachin dances' -through Charlotte Wheeler Cuffe, an avid botanist- to William Ridgeway at Cambridge University for his study of the origins of tragedy. The locations of Geis' collections not only demonstrates how anthropologists relied on missionary-collectors, but how 'hill tribes' material culture followed social lives. Rather, the objects and photographs have the potential to elucidate how Burma continues to be construed in the afterlife of their accession. I discuss how 'official' and 'unofficial' museum projects in Burma (now Myanmar) have provided incongruous representations of the Kachin since the 1994 ceasefire agreement was reached between the Kachin Independence Army and the military government. What this brings to bear are the implications for how Burma was understood in the past, and continues to be represented in contemporary borderland museum projects that collect and curate Kachin culture.

Meredith Linn: Medical Materialitis and the Making of Irish Immigrants into Irish-Americans
   
During the late 1840s and early 1850s nearly one million sick, starving, and poor Irish immigrants arrived on the shores of New York City (NYC) fleeing the potato famine and oppression in Ireland. These immigrants presented the emerging metropolis of NYC, having only recently fought off a serious cholera epidemic, with a public health nightmare. The body of Irish immigrants became a site off enormous ideological conflict, which has been nearly forgotten today, but crucially shaped how Americans attempted to control and refashion Irish immigrants through quarantine, proselytizing, incarceration, and hospitalization. My dissertation aims to bring to light, using historical and archaeological evidence, the many ways in which Irish immigrants actively responded with strategies that not only forged Irish-American identities, but also changed healthcare in America. This paper focuses on patent medicines, one class of health-related artifacts found in association with mid 19th C Irish tenements in the Five Points, a so-called slum in lower Manhattan. Attempts at understanding Irish consumers' purchasing choices as well as the way in which they were advertised in the Irish-American and "native" American press. This analysis finds that Irish immigrants actively participated in the American consumer economy by selectively employing new medical technologies that were compatible with Irish world views. By purchasing and ingesting these commodities, these immigrants became American while still remaining Irish.

Lindsay Weiss: On the Diamond Fields of South Africa
    My project takes as its point of study the historical changes that occurred on the diamond fields of late 19th century South Africa. The question that my project poss is, to what extent can we better understand the story of imperialism through the daily life of its lowest cadres -the diggers that rushed to the fields from all over southern African and the world with dreams of fortunes.
Archaeologically, I examine the micro-history of a hotel located on the outskirts of the diamond fields, a hotel which moves just at the moment of consolidation and radical segregation of the digger community. The questions that I ask are, to what extent can we understand the daily life of such liminal space as roadside canteens and taverns to reflect the social imaginary of these diggers? And ultimately, how can we better read these historical figures, not only as proletarians, but as actively manufacturing a social world that, for all intents and purposes, imagined itself to be unfettered by Victorian mores and any political strictures at all. The insight to be gained from this investigation is that these figures, precisely in their imagined extra-political status, marked a peculiar culture of imperial borderlands, where it was this bohemian disavowal of overt class and social boudaries that made possible a much harsher and deeper illiberal spatial and social transformation in a matter of a decade. 

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, April 27
12:30-2:30 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Sarah Roland, Columbia University
Corinth and the Birth of Figural Representation in Greek Monumental Architecture

Traditional scholarship usually associates the city of Corinth with the first used of figural representation in Greek architecture. Based mainly on literary sources, this statement however shows a clear discrepancy with the archaeological record, which points instead to three sites of Northwestern Greece, Thermos, Calydon and Corcyca, as the starting point for major developments in temple decoration. The structures built there at the turn of the 6th century BCE indeed represent a crucial moment in the history of Greek architecture, as for the first time, the upper part of temples, /i.e./ the entablature and roof, become elaborately decorated. This new attitude to temple decoration had a major impact on future building practice, since it progressively developed into the archetypical ornamental scheme of Doric architecture: frieze made of triglyphs and metopes, antefixes, acroteria and pediments. My presentation, which directly draws from the theory I am developing in my PhD dissertation, is an attempt to reconcile the apparent contradiction between literary and archaeological evidence, which I believe can be explained through an analysis of the socio-political context in Corinth and Northwestern Greece at the time when the new structures were constructed.

Tea and coffee discussions
Friday, May 4
12:15-2:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Dr. Sergiu Musteata, "Ion Creanga" State University, Chisinau, Moldova
Rock-cut Monasteries Phenomena.
Case Study: Orheiul Vechi, Republic of Moldovado

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The rock monuments from Southeast Europe represent an important part of world cultural heritage and a large number of them have been taken into special evidence by UNESCO and other national and international bodies. This type of monument is archaeologically recorded from five to four thousand years BC. A significant number of them are located in the Carpathian-Balkan area and consist of ancient sanctuaries, churches, temples, hermitages or medieval monastic complexes. The rock monasteries are characteristic of the epoch of the spread of Christianity, some of them maintaining their function until today. The complexes of sacred rock architecture from the Republic of Moldova situated in the limestone terraces of the Dniester and Raut Rivers are also included in this framework.
Prof. Musteata will present the rock monasteries of Moldova, their historical evolution, and area of spread and architectural features. His study will draw a real picture of this cultural phenomenon in its relationship with specific historical timing and events and in comparison with other regions.

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Tea and Coffee Discussion
Tuesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Beginning September 6

Monday September 11
Informal Introduction for students to GIS Lab and its Resources, Columbia University
Tour by Youri Gorohovich
Mudd Building, 8th floor, 827 (GIS lab), 5:00-6:00 pm

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.

Friday, September 15
New York Archaeological Consortium: Fieldwork projects
612 Schermerhorn, 3:00-6:00 pm

September 20, Micaela Sinibaldi will talk about:
-Forms and characters of settlements in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: the contribution of archaeology
-The topography of the Frankish settlements in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
-The University of Florence's archaeological team project in Joran

Tea and coffee discussions
Wednesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
October 4, Zoe Crossland, Columbia University: The Performance of Exhumation: Creating Bodies and Evidence in Archaeology and Forensic Science
The portrayal of human bodies as objectified evidence is fundamental to the discourse of forensic archaeology, used to underwrite truth claims that archaeologists make when testifying in court in the context of criminal proceedings, or in the prosecution of those responsible for human rights abuse. This presentation explores the effects of this understanding of the dead body, focusing in particular on the ways in which the materiality of the corps is constituted through the performative acts of excavation and analysis. In particular, I am concerned with the ways in which the idiom of empiricism popularly drawn upon in forensic archaeology has an effect of marking out the body as dead and separating it from the living. In this way exhumation may be seen to act as a materializing practice which brings the dead into being as not-living, creating specific ways of relating to the dead and narrowing their potential agency and efficacy as people. The conflict that often surrounds the work of recent exhumation therefore reveals hidden beliefs about the body, and makes visible the ways in which archaeological practice is implicated in the very constitution of the dead. Through the unearthening of the dead body we can begin to see the ways in which we understand its potentiality, its force and its reality.

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 10
Textile Workshop (first of a four part series)
Susan Edmunds, producer and host of the DVD Textile: An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latin and Nelda Davis, Master Spinner and teacher of spinning
From Fiber to Thread- A hands-on workshop
Open first to students and other s on a space available basis
954 Schermerhorn extension, 5:00 pm

Topics covered:
- The condition of fleece as it comes from the sheep
-Washing
-CArding/combing and other means of homogenizing the fiber
-Drawing out the fiber to prepare it for spinning
-From fiber to continuous thread: how spinning works
-Using a hand spindle to produce thread
Participants will have the opportunity to handle wool fibers, to practice drawing out and spinning with a hooked stick, and to try spinning with a spindle.

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.

Tea and coffee discussions
Wednesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
October 18, Phoebe Segal, Columbia University Art History and Archaeology graduate student.
The Functions and Meanings of Archaic Greek Sphinx
The appearance of votive statues on columns and pillars at the beginning of the sixth century B.C.E. marks a critical moment in the history of Greek art. Demanding that the observer direct his or her eyes skyward, these images produce a powerful, majestic effect. This presentation considers the figure deemed the image of choice for these archaic dedications: the sphinx. Having made her debut in Greek art in the eighth century, chiefly in pottery and relief sculpture, in the archaic period sphinxes attain monumentality not only as votive dedications, but also as acroteria and as grave markers. In each case, the winged, female sphinx literally soars above the viewer. In my presentation, I look at the parallel development in the sixth century of the use of sphinxes on temples, graves and votive columns in order to enhance our knowledge of their votive and funerary meanings. In particular I am interested in the incongruous appearance of these hybrid beings, equal parts seductive maidens and ravaging beasts, whose static but ready-to-pounce pose, although canonical in the sixth century, was in no way obvious. Rather, as the result of more than a century of adaptation and refinement, the monumental sphinxes represent a specifically Greek response to a motif that originated in Egypt and was received by way of the Near East.

October 12 and 19
Global Positioning System (GIS) Workshop with Yuri Gorohovich
Open first to students and other s on a space available basis
Room 827, Mudd Building, 4:00-8:00  For more information click here
Space limited. Please RSVP to cm2418@columbia.edu .

Friday October 20
Pottery Workshop with Jeffery Lamia
Open first to students and other s on a space available basis
Plimpton Hall, 1235 Amsterdam Avenue, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

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.

Tea and coffee discussions
Wednesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
November 1, Mara T. Horovitz, Columbia University Anthropology graduate student.
Phlamoudhi-Vounari: Regionalism and Society in the Late Cypriot I Period
This thesis re-examines the Cypriot site of Phlamoudhi-Vounari with a specific focus on its use and function within the context of the Late Cypriot I period (LCI: c. 1650-1450 BC). Long thought to be a rural sanctuary or isolated fort, Vounari is in fact a vital component of the developing network of Cypriot chiefdoms as reflected in the emerging site hierarchy and diversity of site function on LCI Cyprus. It will be argued that the site functioned as a local ceremonial center and economic hub or depot where interactions between Vounari's 'owners', the inhabitants of nearby Phlamoudhi - Melissa, and the larger world were mediated. Vounari is also part of a moment to colonize marginal lands in this period, suggesting a rise in population on the island contemporary with the emergence of ranked society. This thesis also considers the concept of cultural, economic, and political regionalism and its application to LCI Cyprus by investigating Vounari's place as part of the Karpass Peninsula area. The study of these issues also impacts on the understanding of the site of Enkomi - Ayios Iakovos, a possible inter-regional center and gateway community between Cyprus and the greater Eastern Mediterranean. The full catalog of excavated context, original documentation, and artifact collections is republished as a part of this thesis.

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.

Tea and coffee discussions
November 15
Wednesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Joseph Yellin, Visiting Scholar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Sourcing Pottery by Instrumental Chemical Analysis

Various instrumental methods for determining the elemental composition of pottery have been applied to the problem of pottery origin. The methods all rely on spectrometric measurements of pottery composition. Some methods are based on electromagnetic radiations emitted by the atomic nucleus and some are based on electromagnetic radiations emitted by atoms. Each method has specific features that make it suitable for special problems but to date only one method is especially and generally suitable for pottery origin studies. That method is gamma-ray spectrometry following neutron activation, more commonly known as neutron activation analysis (NAA). After briefly reviewing some of the methods currently applied to pottery studies the lecture will concentrate on NAA, thus far the most successful method. Case studies will be presented to emphasize specific problems encountered in pottery origin studies. The emphasis will be on sample preparation, reading the results of a measurement, and what can and what cannot be expected from the specialist analyzing pottery.

Tea and coffee discussions
December 6
Wednesday 2:30-4:00 pm, 951 Schermerhorn
Chad Gifford

Barnard and Columbia project members of the Pambamarca Archaeological Project will talk about their research in the Northern Highlands of Ecuador. Their studies of ancient, historic and living social landscapes will be discussed.
The first goal of the presentation is to provide a basic overview of the research being conducted in the Pambamarca by this international project; the second goal is to provide a forum for some of the project's undergraduate members to present their own findings in a semi-formal setting for the first time. Your suppot of and questions for these student archaeologists and anthropologists will be invaluable. So please be there!

Tuesday December 12
Textile Workshop with Susan Edmunds (second of a four part series)
Open first to students and other s on a space available basis
954 Schermerhorn extension, 5:00 pm
For more information click here

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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.

New York Archaeological Consortium
Friday, March 24th from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.
930 Schermerhorn Extension
The Center for Archaeology at Columbia University invites you to participate in a renewal of the New York Archaeological Consortium. Graduate students and faculty are invited to talk about and have an open discussion on their current research projects. Art History, Classics, Anthropology and other related departments are encouraged to take part in this event.
The event’s main objective is to divulge current research projects in which students and professors are engaged, and to establish contacts between alumni and faculty of different colleges within the city.
Speakers:
Scott Kremkau,
PhD candidate Anthropology, Columbia University
Community and Ritual in the Inka Empire.
Chad Gifford, Faculty PhD 2003, Columbia University                          
Pambamarca Archaeological Project in
Ecuador.
Julie Anidjar, PhD candidate Anthropology, NYU
"Late Woodland Seasonality at Palmetto Bluff"
Kyle Killain, PhD candidate Art History, Columbia University
The abbey church of Orbais in rural Cahmpagne.
Andrew J. Manson, PhD candidate Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University  
Architects, archaeologists and restoration in 1930s
Rome.
Blair Fowlkes, Ph.D.. in Classical Archaeology, NYU
The Dolichenum, Community and Religion on the
Aventine.
Anna Kouremenos, MA student, Hunter University
Romanization and the elite of the Fayum: study of public versus private identity in Roman Egypt.
Mara Toby Horovitz, PhD candidate Anthropology, Columbia University              
Phlamoudhi-Vounari: Regionalism and Society in LCI Cyprus.
Jason W Earle, PhD candidate (ABD) Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Trade and Culture in the
Cycladic Islands during the Late Bronze Age.

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: http://radiocarbon.ldeo.columbia.edu/ 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).
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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.

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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

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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

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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,
Argentina)
April 5th,12:00, Archaeology Brown Bag Lunch, 951 Schermerhorn
Extension
Topic: Historical archaeology in Patagonia

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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"

 

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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”

 
 

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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"

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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"
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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"

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