February 3, 2011 (Amherst College)
"The Temple of Athena at Sounion"
Professor Barbara A. Barletta,
University of Florida
The Temple of Athena at Sounion, in the district of Attica some 44 miles from Athens, is one of the more unusual examples of Greek architecture. It was constructed with columns on two adjacent sides, rather than at front and back or entirely surrounding the building. Instead of the Doric order typical of Mainland Greece, it employed the Ionic order characteristic of the Aegean Islands, and at an earlier date than the better-known temples on the Athenian Acropolis. It thus stands as a harbinger of things to come. Yet because of its fragmentary state and lack of thorough publication, it is not well known. This lecture presents evidence for the building, including its remains, its reconstructed appearance, and the artistic context in which it developed. The temple is also important for its afterlife. During the Roman period, it was dismantled and parts were transported to Athens, to be re-used in a new temple constructed in the Agora. Other Attic buildings experienced the same fate. Several were placed, as was this temple, in a prominent location along the Panathenaic Way. This lecture will explore the possible reasons for the reuse of fifth-century architecture in the Roman period and of the Temple of Athena in particular.
Time/Location: TBA, Amherst College
Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Classics
November 4, 2010 (UMass)
"Exploring Tristán de Luna’s Lost Galleon:
A Study of Florida’s Earliest Shipwreck"
Dr. Roger Smith, State Underwater Archaeologist
Florida Division of Historical Resources
Discovery of a well-preserved early Spanish shipwreck in Pensacola Bay, Florida, has reopened a long forgotten chapter of Latin-American history. Assembled by the Viceroy of New Spain, a fleet of eleven ships under the command of Tristán de Luna embarked from Mexico in 1559 to establish a colony on the shores of La Florida. Aboard the ships were more than 1,500 soldiers, settlers, and servants equipped with livestock, agricultural and construction tools. The colonists disembarked at Pensacola, only to suffer a hurricane that destroyed all but three of the ships anchored in the harbor, some of which had not yet been unloaded. The catastrophe doomed the Luna colony, which was eventually abandoned in 1561. During a survey of shipwrecks in Pensacola Bay, underwater archaeologists from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research have discovered the remains one of the larger galleons in Luna’s fleet buried beneath a shallow sandbar. Two campaigns of careful excavation have revealed a surprisingly well-preserved array of colonial artifacts, as well as faunal and botanical specimens, that present a fascinating portrait of Spain’s ill-fated attempt to secure a foothold on the frontier of its American empire. Follow the archaeologists as they explore Florida’s earliest shipwreck.
Time/Location: TBA, UMass-Amherst
Sponsored by the UMass Department of Classics
September 28, 2010
"Dressing in Splendor: The Moche of Ancient Peru"
Christopher Donnan, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
Moche civilization flourished on the north coast of Peru between approximately 100 and 800 AD. Although the Moche had no writing system, they left a vivid artistic record of their beliefs and activities in beautifully modeled and painted ceramic vessels, many of which portray high status adults dressed in elaborate clothing and ornaments. In recent years, elite Moche tombs have been excavated that contain numerous examples of the clothing and ornaments depicted in Moche art. Fashioned from gold, silver, shell, and semi precious stones, these garments and ornaments exhibit an extraordinary level of artistic and technological virtuosity. Analysis of how the objects were made, and how they functioned when worn, provides important insights about what the Moche valued and the significance of dressing in splendor. Time/Location: 7:30 pm, Graham Hall
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