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Spring 2008
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Spring 2008


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.

*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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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Fall 2007

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.

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 Keyon'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.

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.

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, Novermber 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.

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.

 

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Spring 2007

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friday, April 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.

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.

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.

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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Fall 2006

2:30-4:40 pm
951 Schermerhorn Extension

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

Wednesday, 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.

Wednesday, 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.

Wednesday, 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 15
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.

Wednesday, December 6
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!

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