Upcoming Event: The World of the Ancient Greek Potters: Their Places, Practices, and Prayers

The World of the Ancient Greek Potters: Their Places, Practices, and Prayers
Speaker: Dr. Eleni Hasaki, University of Arizona
October 16, 2014, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus, Schwada Building (SCOB) Room 152

Greek pots, with their delicate shapes, lively scenes, and varied contexts of use and deposition. have enjoyed great popularity with ancient and modern viewers alike. They have also been scrutinized as documentation of gender roles, extent of literacy, social and economic status, and as media for political propaganda. Scholars have recently widened their research scope to highlight the potters who produced these vessels. A closer look at the spatial layout and technological equipment of their workshops and at the workforce relationships brings these establishments alive with masters, apprentices, middlemen, and purchasers, constantly negotiating their roles inside and outside the workshop. Inside their workshops, potters operated the wheel or the kiln not by using high-tech settings but by applying low-tech techniques, fine-tuned over decades or even generations. Even when technical secrets were well-guarded in an environment of relentless competition, everyone knew and appreciated the long hours that a potter had to practice to achieve perfection. A potter’s apprenticeship at the wheel was so long and arduous that even Greek philosophers used it as the most effective metaphor for conveying the importance of mastering all topics in a slow and structured manner. But, while patiently controlling forms and fire, Greek potters often prayed to gods to secure successful firings and to protect their businesses from local and global competitors in ever-changing configurations of trade networks.

Professor Eleni Hasaki is born in Athens and received her BA at the University of Athens (summa cum laude) and went to the University of Cincinnati with a Fulbright fellowship where she received her Ph.D. with a dissertation on ceramic kilns. She is now an Associate Professor at the School of Anthropology and an Honors Professor at the Honors College at the University of Arizona. She co-directs the Laboratory of Traditional and Experimental Technology and is a collaborating partner at the Center for Mediterranean Archaeology and the Environment. Her publications cover the themes of the craft technologies of Classical antiquity, the spatial organization of workshops, craft apprenticeship, and the negotiation of social status through crafts, especially ceramics. Her archaeological fieldwork in Greece (Paros, Cyclades), the ethnoarchaeological project in Tunisia (Moknine) and an experimental open-air lab for pyrotechnology locally (Tucson) promote the knowledge of crafts both in antiquity and its relevance for modern societies.

For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Hasaki Flyer

For a printable PDF parking map for this lecture, click here: Parking Map

Upcoming Event: International Archaeology Day: Mudslinging at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

International Archaeology Day: Mudslinging at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
October 18, 2014, 8am-12pm
Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Calling all volunteers! Join the Central Arizona Society of the AIA and Pueblo Grande Museum for a fun, unique, educational, and hands-on archaeology experience that’s great for all ages: Mudslinging! Our version of Mudslinging has nothing to do with politics; instead, it is a stabilization technique for earthen structures and has been employed for decades to shore up and repair the ancient Hohokam platform mound at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park in Phoenix. It’s very important work at this time of year, as the mound suffers from erosion during the monsoon rains.

Come get your hands dirty and help preserve the site! Master Mudslinger Jim Britton will be on hand to explain the history of preservation of the mound, discuss the ingredients and process for making and applying the mud, and direct volunteer efforts. You can also visit the museum and learn about the Hohokam if you don’t want to get muddy.

Reservations are necessary for this event. To reserve, please contact Mike Zajac (michel.j.zajac@gmail.com) at the Central Arizona Society.

For a printable PDF flyer for this event, click here: IAD 2014 Flyer

Upcoming Lecture: Reclaiming the Sky as a Cultural Resource: Applied Archaeoastronomy in South Africa

Reclaiming the Sky as a Cultural Resource: Applied Archaeoastronomy in South Africa
Speaker: Dr. Keith Snedegar, Utah Valley University
September 18, 2014, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus, Schwada Building (SCOB) Room 152

The recent inauguration of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and the prospects of developing the even more ambitious Square Kilometer Array (SKA) have opened a public space for the discussion of knowledge heritage in South Africa. It is now appropriate to reassess the country’s scientific culture, confronting rather than ignoring issues of national identity, scientific politics, and racism. There are also great opportunities to apply scholarship on archaeoastronomy and indigenous astronomical knowledge to nation building and basic science education. Scholars such as Jarita Holbrook and Thebe Medupe are leading proponents of the quest to reclaim the sky as a cultural resource for African peoples. In the case of South Africa astronomy, conciliation with a rich if troubled history will only come to pass when the science is not only pursued by members of an international elite but when its African heritage has become fully repatriated.

Keith Snedegar is Professor of History at Utah Valley University, and holds his degrees from Oxford University (D. Phil), the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Michigan. His fields of research are the history of astronomy (including variable star astronomy and photometry) and archaeoastronomy, particularly of South Africa and African indigenous knowledge systems. His awards include the 2009 Dudley Observatory Pollock Award for the History of Astronomy, and he is currently preparing a book, Lost in the Stars: A.W. Roberts at the Intersection of Science, Mission and Politics in South Africa.

Professor Snedegar is the AIA’s Webster Lecturer for 2014/2015.

For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Snedegar Flyer

For a printable PDF parking map for this lecture, click here: Parking Map

Upcoming Lecture: Genetics and African Prehistory: Possibilities and Challenges

Genetics and African Prehistory: Possibilities and Challenges
Speaker: Scott MacEachern, Bowdoin College
April 10, 2014, 6pm
Business Administration Building, C Wing, Room 116 (BAC 116)

There has been less archaeology done in Africa than on any other continent, and the prehistory of much of this vast continent remains more or less unknown. Historical genetics provides us with a new and extremely powerful way of looking at population movements and contacts in the past, and the comparison of archaeological and genetic data offers the prospects of immense improvement in our understanding of African prehistory. At the same time, there are dangers involved in such interdisciplinary undertakings: archaeological and genetic data offer insights into different aspects of human history, and each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses. In particular, genetics can reinforce assumptions that African populations are ‘people without history’, remnants of humanity’s past. This lecture will offer a discussion of these issues, with examples drawn from the Lake Chad Basin and other parts of the continent.

Scott MacEachern is Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College. He holds his degrees from the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Calgary (M.A. and Ph.D. in Archaeology), and his areas of specialization are African archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, state formation processes, and archaeology and genetics. He has conducted fieldwork in Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, as well as a number of sites in Canada, and is Director of the DGB Archaeological Project in Northern Cameroon. He has published extensively, and has been the recipient of many grants and fellowships.

For a printable PDF parking map for this lecture, click here: Parking Map

For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: MacEachern Flyer

Upcoming Lecture: Cops and Robbers, Egyptian Style: Police Work in Ptolemaic Egypt

Cops and Robbers, Egyptian Style: Police Work in Ptolemaic Egypt
Speaker: John Bauschatz, University of Arizona
March 20, 2014, 6pm
Business Administration Building, C Wing, Room 116 (BAC 116)

Throughout the nearly 300 years of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt (330–30 B.C.), victims of crime in all areas of the Egyptian countryside called upon local police officials to investigate crimes, hold trials and arrest, question and sometimes even imprison wrongdoers. In this lecture I will examine the evidence for four of the main areas of police activity—arrest, investigation, detention and resolution—via case studies. As will become clear over the course of the lecture, the police system in place to tend to the needs of Egyptian villagers was efficient, effective and largely independent of central government controls.

John Bauschatz received his BA in Classics from Brown University in 1997, and his PhD from Duke University in 2005. He has taught in the Classics Departments at Duke and Swarthmore College, and has been an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Arizona since 2007. When not prepping for the introductory ancient Greek courses he teaches regularly for the Classics Department, you can find him reading up on crime in antiquity or trying to fill in the holes in pieces of ancient Egyptian papyrus. He lives in Tucson with his wife and three small children, and enjoys a pun once in a while.

This lecture is our third annual partnership with the Arizona chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt!

For a printable PDF parking map for this lecture, click here: Parking Map

For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Bauschatz Flyer

Upcoming Lecture: Towards a Geometric Perfection: the Arts and Crafts of Early Greece

Towards a Geometric Perfection: the Arts and Crafts of Early Greece
Speaker: Irene Lemos, Oxford University
February 13, 2014, 6pm
Business Administration Building, C Wing, Room 116 (BAC 116)

This lecture will look at the work of the craftsmen and artists of the period from 1200 to 700 BCE. Though Mycenaean architecture and art have been greatly admired and the Archaic and Classical Greek monuments, ceramics, and sculpture are well known and discussed, the achievements of the early Greek artists and craftsmen are less acknowledged and often even ignored.

In the lecture Professor Lemos will explore the ceramics, personal ornaments, tools, and buildings of the period and argue that the early Greek craftsmen and artists achieved and accomplished a lot during a period when much social and cultural change took place. Indeed, their skills and achievements pioneered the perception of what is considered to be Greek art.

Irene Lemos is Professor of Classics at Oxford University and has been the Director of excavations and publications at Lefkandi in Euboea, Greece since 2002. She has authored and edited a plethora of books, articles and other publications on the archaeology and art of early Greece from 1200-500BCE, most recently Ancient Greece. From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer, Edinburgh University Press 2006.

This is the AIA’s Kress Lecture for 2013-2014

For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Lemos Flyer

For a printable PDF parking map for this lecture, click here: Parking Map