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The Minor in Archaeology



Tuesday, April 27, 2010 (UMass)
New Archaeological Discoveries at Campo della Fiera, Orvieto
Professor Claudio Bizzarri, Dipartimento di Scienze Archeologiche e Storiche dell'Antichità, Università degli Studi of Macerata and Field Director for the Orvieto excavations
2:45 pm, Campus Center 905-09, UMass-Amherst.
Sponsored by the UMass Classics Department


Thursday, April 29, 2010(UMass)
Oriental Influences at Poggio Civitate
Daniel Moore, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
5:00 pm, Campus Center 803, UMass-Amherst.
Sponsored by the UMass Classics Department

Thursday, April 1, 2010
Aila: A Roman Port on the Red Sea
S. Thomas Parker, History, North Carolina State University

Archaeological Institute of America Russell Lecture,
presented by the AIA-Western Massachusetts Society

4:30 pm, Amherst College, Pruyne Auditorium (Fayerweather 115)
Various ancient sources mention a city called Aila that was one of the great international ports of the Roman empire. Founded by the Nabataean Arabs in the first century B.C., Aila flourished as a major emporium between the Roman empire and its eastern neighbors. Luxury products such as frankincense, myrrh, and spices were transferred between ships and camel caravans for transport into the Empire. Direct Roman rule began in A.D. 106, when Aila became the southern terminus of the via nova Traiana, a major road connecting Syria with the Red Sea. About A.D. 300 the famous X Fretensis Legion was transferred from Jerusalem to Aila, suggesting the strategic importance of the city. Aila continued to flourish through the Byzantine period (4th-6th centuries), then surrendered to Muslim forces in 630. Although various sources located Aila near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, its exact location remained a mystery. In 1994 an archaeological project directed by the speaker rediscovered ancient Aila, now within the modern city of Aqaba in southern Jordan. Above all, the project aims to reconstruct the economy of Aila through both excavation of the city and a regional survey of its hinterland. Excavations between 1994 and 2003 revealed major portions of the ancient city, including domestic complexes, cemeteries, the city wall, and an apparently early Christian church. This putative church, erected ca. A.D. 300, could be the oldest purpose-built church in the world. A wide array of artifacts recovered by the project is suggestive of the international trade that passed through the port and of several local industries. Faunal and botanical remains also reveal much about the ancient urban economy. Finally, the surface survey recorded other archaeological sites that place the city in a broader regional context. Professer Parker received degrees from Trinity University (TX) and UCLA (M.A. and Ph.D.), and his areas of specialization are the history and archaeology of the Roman Empire, including the Roman army and frontiers, Roman Arabia, pottery, and economy. He has conducted fieldwork in Jordan, Israel and Cyprus, and since 1994 has been Director of the Roman Aqaba Project, Jordan. For further information about the lecture, contact Geoff Sumi of the AIA-WMS.

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Cecelia Feldman Weiss
Joukowsky Institute of Archeology and the Ancient World, Brown University
5:00 pm, Thompson Hall 102, UMass
Feldman Weiss is a fourth year doctoral student at the Institute. Having earned a double B.A. at Tufts University in Archeology and Art History, her field experience is also extensive. She has taken part in excavations at Pompeii, Ostia Antica, and Caesarea Maritima, and has assisted with the survey of the Middle Phrygian architecture at Gordion. On the 23rd she will discuss the archaeology of the cities of western Asia Minor. Presented by the UMass chapter of ESPh


Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Want to get your hands dirty this summer on an archaeological dig?

Join us for a discussion on how to research and select an archaeological field school that fits with your regional, methodological, or theoretical interests. You may find an interesting opportunity across the globe or closer to home in the U.S. Students from all majors are welcome and please bring questions! Sponsored by the Program in Archaeology and hosted by Professor Elizabeth Klarich. Pizza and drinks provided.
Time/Location: 12:15 pm, Campus Center 102

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"From A(rt) to Z(oology): An Introduction to the
Excavations of the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project"
Stephen J. Davis, Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University

Professor Davis' talk will focus on Yale-sponsored excavations at two early Christian monastic sites in Egypt: the White Monastery in Upper Egypt and the Monastery of St. John the Little in Lower Egypt. At one site, excavations focus on a church built on top of a tomb; at the other, on a monastic mud-brick residence. This lecture will introduce the audience to a range of archaeological data - from art and architecture to botanical and zoological finds - that tell us much about the daily lives of ancient and medieval monks. Professor Davis specializes in the history of Christianity in late antiquity. He is the author of several books on women and the cult of the saints, and on various aspects of Christian theology, art, and religious practice in Egypt, he is currently writing a book on Jesus' childhood in the ancient infancy Gospels, and he oversees two excavations as executive director of the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project. Read more about Professor Davis' work here. This event is cosponsored by the Program in Archaeology, the Middle East Studies Program, the Department of Art, and the Lecture Committee at Smith College and the Five College Religion Seminar. Get the poster.
Time/Location: 5:00 pm, Seelye Hall 201, Smith College


Thursday, November 19, 2009
"Telling Earth Time: Dating and Explaining Geologic Processes"
Michael L. Williams, Professor of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts

Time: 4:30 pm Location: Seelye Hall 201, Smith College
Presented by the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute project “Telling Time: Its Meaning and Measurement.”
Professor Williams lecture explores how the timing and repeat frequency of earthquakes and volcanoes, the pace of global warming, the age of mountain-belts, and the evolution of life are enabling a new understanding of our planet, its history, and its future. In addition, he will discuss how critical it is for the general population to gain an understanding of the scales of time over which our planet is shaped, from the billion-year evolution of continents to the nanosecond rupture of an earthquake fault. This understanding is central to debates about evolution, earthquake and volcano prediction, and the record of climate change. He explains how a major new exhibition he is involved in developing at the Grand Canyon will help build such understanding. Called the "Trail of Time," the exhibition will allow visitors to walk through time, one meter per million years, and experience the geologic record of the Grand Canyon in a tangible format that will facilitate their understanding of the nature of time, especially deep time, in the context of Earth processes. Mike Williams’ research is focused at the cross-roads of ductile structural geology, metamorphic petrology, igneous petrology, and tectonics. Much of his research has involved Precambrian rocks (southwestern U.S.A. or northern Canada) but he has been increasingly involved with rocks of western New England. Mike is particularly interested in finding better ways to "read" the P-T-t-D (i.e. Pressure-Temperature-time-Deformation) paths from deformed and metamorphosed rocks, and interpreting the paths in terms of the tectonic history that produced them. He loves field work but also loves working with the electron microprobe and computer models. Get the flyer.

Galilee Boat

Monday, November 16, 2009
AIA Joukowsky Lecture - "Some Went Down to the Sea in Ships:
Mediterranean Seafaring in the Bronze Age, 3000-1200 BC"
Shelley Wachsmann, Meadows Professor of Biblical Archaeology, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University

Time: 7:30 pm, Location: Dwight 101, Mount Holyoke College
Professor Wachsmann received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University and his areas of specialization are Biblical archaeology, nautical archaeology, the Near East, trade, and archery. He has done extensive fieldwork, and his publications include "The Sea of Galilee Boat" (3rd edition 2009) and "Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant" (1998, 2nd printing 2009). He is an active member of the AIA Underwater Archaeology Committee/Interest Group, and the 2009-2010 Joukowsky Lecturer. Get the flyer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Presentation of the Archaeology Minor
(for Smith students only)
Time: 12:15 noon Location: Hillyer 103
Meet the Program faculty, learn about the courses offered, find out about fieldwork opportunities and more! Pizza and beverages, first come, first served.

Theater of Dionysus
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Tragic Athens: Athenian Space in Greek Tragedy"
Suzanne Saïd, Professor of Classics, Columbia University

Time/Location: 5:30 p.m, Dwight 101, Mount Holyoke College

Pompeii - Click to enlarge

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
20th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture
"Living with Myths in Pompeii and Beyond"
Paul Zanker, Professor of Classical Archaeology
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy

Time: 5:00 pm, Location: Wright Hall, Smith College - Get the poster
Paul Zanker, professor of classical archaeology at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, will discuss the art and power of myth in Pompeii. Through a consideration of Pompeian murals depicting Aphrodite/Venus and Dionysus/Bacchus celebrating life’s pleasures and happiness, Professor Zanker will illuminate the world of myths through an analysis of the images with which people surrounded themselves. Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Massachusetts Society, the annual Lehmann Lecture honors the late Haydenville resident Phyllis Williams Lehmann. An archaeologist, scholar, and professor of the history of art at Smith College from 1946 until her retirement in 1978, Mrs. Lehmann was internationally known for her successful excavations in Samothrace, where in 1949, she unearthed a life-size marble statue of winged Nike - the goddess of victory - dating from the second century B.C. Read more about the Lehmann lecture and Professor Lehmann here.

Pompeii - Click to enlarge

Thursday, September 24, 2009
"The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012"
Anthony Aveni, Russell Colgate Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology, Colgate University
Time: 4:30 pm, Location: Stoddard Auditorium, Smith College, part of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute project "Telling Time: Its Meaning and Measurement."
Does the ancient Maya calendar forecast a cataclysmic alignment with the center of the Milky Way in 2012? Or will the much anticipated end of the longest of all timekeeping cycles in the Maya repertoire issue a global renewal of human consciousness? These are some of the predictions flooding the Internet, print media, and movie story lines as the end of the ancient Maya "Baktun 13" approaches. Modern "Y12" prophets who lay out such head-turning scenarios tell us that ancient Maya wisemen were well aware of how and when the world would end—and possibly begin anew. In this lecture, Anthony Aveni will explore the major theories of 2012 end-of-the-world predictions and measure them objectively against evidence unearthed by archaeologists, iconographers, and epigraphers. He will also attempt to place American pop culture's current fascination with ideas about World Ages in historical context. Presented by the Kahn Institute project Telling Time: Its Meaning and Measurement. Read more about Professor Aveni's teaching and research here. Get the poster.



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