Lecture Schedule 2016-2017

Joukowsky Lecture – Rebooting Antiquity: How Holy Wars, Media Hype, and Digital Technologies Are Changing the Face of 21st Century Archaeology (Neil Silberman, Coherit Associates and University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

7:00pm, Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320

Abstract: There’s a revolution happening today in the way we value, discover, and imagine the past. On the negative side, ancient sites by the thousands—not only in the Middle East but all over the world—are being bulldozed, looted, vandalized, or blown up or merely vandalized. Feature films, bestsellers and specialized cable documentaries hopelessly muddle archaeological fiction and fact. Yet on the positive side, advanced satellite imagery and LIDAR sensors are uncovering complex civilizations in deserts and jungles where none were assumed ever to exist. Virtual reality environments and 3d digital reconstructions are now used both for scientific documentation and immersive museum experiences. And the sheer social reach of Facebook, Twitter, and research-by-crowdsourcing is offering archaeologists unprecedented opportunities to engage the general public in their work. This illustrated lecture will highlight some recent discoveries and ongoing controversies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia that exemplify the dramatic new directions that archaeology is taking in our globalized, internet age.

Prometheus at Pompeii: The Creation of Man and Promotion of Craft Guilds in the City (Steven Tuck, Miami University)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

7:00pm, Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320

Abstract: Two works of art from Pompeii show the figure of Prometheus and his creation of man. One is the single surviving stone sculpture from the Triangular Forum temple at Pompeii. The other is a wall painting of a tableau of carpenters carried in a parade with a Prometheus image. The widely varying dates, locations, and media of these demonstrate how deeply the image of Prometheus permeated Pompeian civic culture as these two public works of art show him as a patron of the carpenters and metal workers guilds. They provide an opportunity to consider issues of the patronage of public art and the role of craft guilds in the social and political world of Roman cities.

Parading through History in Roman Ephesos (Diana Ng, University of Michigan-Dearborn)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

7:00pm, Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320

Abstract:In the early 2nd century CE, a remarkable procession of precious statuettes was instituted in the city of Ephesos. This spectacle not only featured images of important personages, but its designated route also wound its way through the most public  and highly developed areas of the city. This talk by Diana Ng, associate professor of art history at University of Michigan-Dearborn, examines how the convergence of imagery and movement served to narrate a version of Ephesos’ history, which in turned served to project the city’s great prestige in the province of Asia. 

Big Histories: The Phoenicians and the Formation of the Mediterranean World (Megan Daniels, University of Puget Sound)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

7:00pm, Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320

Abstract: Who were the Phoenicians and why do they matter? This talk investigates the mysterious and enterprising seafarers of the ancient Mediterranean through their archaeological remains in North Africa. It explores how a Phoenician history has much to offer not only to Mediterranean archaeology, but to broader decolonizing perspectives in cultural heritage and pedagogy.

The Tombs of Scribes in Early Imperial China and Ancient Egypt (Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, UC Santa Barbara)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

7:00pm, Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320

Abstract: The officially-trained scribe played an pivotal role in the administration of early empires in both China and Egypt. Through his functions of resource and labor extraction,communication, and detailed accounting, the scribe ensured the day-to- day functioning of the state. Through his copying and embellishment of school texts and ancient literature,he also helped perpetuate and create the literate culture of the civilization. This talk focuses on the mortuary expression of the scribal class in China and Egypt, as seen through the tombs and tomb chapels of scribes. The scribe and his descendants place items in the tomb to mark the profession and status of the scribe, including writing kits consisting of brushes, palettes, ink, and grinding stones. Several scribal tombs were also outfitted with entire libraries of texts, demonstrating the learned status of the scribe and possibly providing him with reading material for the afterlife. The eclectic nature of these scribal libraries demonstrates a wide range of expertise for the trained scribe in both civilizations, identifying him as an important locus of cultural production.