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.

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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!

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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

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Upcoming Lecture: Ancient Roman Visual Humor in its Social and Archaeological Contexts

Ancient Roman Visual Humor in its Social and Archaeological Contexts
Speaker: John R. Clarke, University of Texas at Austin
November 7, 2013, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus
Murdock Hall 101

The ancient Romans, much like us moderns, valued humor, whether as a social safety valve, an oratorical tool, or just for the fun of it. Yet because humor is so rooted in its specific culture, most Roman comic visual representations remain opaque to the modern viewer. This lecture examines a broad range of objects, from wall paintings to ceramics, emphasizing the context of the built environment and the social status of viewers. Archaeological sites, as well as a range of ancient texts, inscriptions, and graffiti, provide the background for understanding the how and why of humorous imagery.

John R. Clarke earned his doctorate in ancient art history at Yale University in 1973. He has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1980, where he holds the title of Annie Laurie Howard Regents Professor in the Department of Art and Art History. His teaching, research, and publications focus on ancient Roman art and archaeology, art-historical methodology, and contemporary art. Clarke has seven books and over 100 essays, articles, and reviews to his credit, His early work investigated the architectural and social contexts surrounding the production and perception of Roman mosaics and wall painting, with an emphasis on Roman Italy. During the past fifteen years he has focused on how visual representations can shed light on ancient Roman attitudes toward the practices of everyday life. His 1998 book, Looking at Lovemaking, rethinks erotic art in Roman terms. Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans (2004) examines non-elite art in its lived context. In 2007 he published a scholarly book, entitled Looking at Laughter, on visual humor. In the same year Roman Life appeared, a richly-illustrated book for laypersons accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM. Since 2006 he has directed the Oplontis Project, a multidisciplinary study aimed at the publication of two ancient Roman villas buried by Vesuvius (www.oplontisproject.org). Volume one, Oplontis Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy: The Ancient Setting and Modern Rediscovery, is slated to appear this year as an open-access, born-digital e-book in the Humanities E-Book series of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Sponsored by Project Humanities and the ASU School of International Letters and Cultures

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Upcoming Lecture: Closer than We Know: Comparing the Rock Art of Australia and North America

Closer than We Know: Comparing the Rock Art of Australia and North America
Speaker: David Lee
October 24, 2013, 6pm
Deer Valley Rock Art Center
3711 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, AZ

Both Australia and the New World were originally colonized by people who brought with them rich spiritual and symbolic systems. These people successfully adapted to major environmental changes, and these adaptations may be reflected in the paintings and engravings they left on cliff faces and on shelter walls. Despite being a world apart, there are a surprising number of parallels in the production, evolution, and context of rock art on the two continents. Viewing rock art with a global perspective highlights both the similarities and the differences of people surviving under similar circumstances. This lecture will investigate the rock art of both continents, focusing on environmental and cultural context, ethnography, and current research trends.

David Lee is an independent rock art researcher, focusing on the function and context of Native American rock art in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert. He is a founding member of Western Rock Art Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and management of rock art. He has documented rock art in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Australia, and has co-authored several papers and reports on the Mojave Desert, eastern California, and Australia. For the last seven years he has been documenting rock art and associated traditional stories in northern Australia.

Sponsored by Project Humanities and the ASU School of International Letters and Cultures

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Upcoming Lecture: Athens Under Roman Domination

Athens Under Roman Domination
Speaker: Michael Hoff, Professor of Art History at University of Nebraska—Lincoln
September 19, 2013, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus
Life Sciences Building E Wing, Room 104

Few cities of the ancient world can rival Athens’ rich array of cultural splendors. Monuments such as the Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Theater of Dionysos (to name only a few) serve as visual reminders of Athens’ glory during the Classical Age. But scholars have neglected the era in Athenian history when Rome held dominion over all of Greece and the “Golden Age” of Athens was long passed. The Romans heavily patronized the city with endowments of magnificent buildings and monuments that outwardly reflect and honor Athens’ past glory, yet also readily testify to Roman domination. Considering the heavy debt the Romans owed to Greece with respect to their own art and culture, it is curious to note the Roman contributions to Athenian art and architecture.

This talk traces the topographical and architectural changes Athens underwent during the formative period of Roman control, which occurred during the late Hellenistic period and to the mid-first century AD. There is a particular emphasis on the role Augustus played in the civic transformation based on research by the lecturer. Monuments to be discussed include the Parthenon, Agora, Temple of Roma and Augustus, Roman Market, and others.

Michael Hoff specializes in Greek and Roman archaeology, particularly of Asia Minor in Turkey where he has conducts research. From 1997 to 2004, Hoff co-directed the architectural survey team of the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project that documented newly-discovered ancient Roman sites in Turkey. Since 2005, Hoff serves as Project Director for the large-scale excavations of the ancient Roman city of Antiochia ad Cragum on the south coast of Turkey. This project is conducted within a consortium of universities including UNL, Clark University in Massachusetts, and Ataturk University in Erzurum, Turkey. Hoff has excavated previously at Athenian Agora, Corinth, Crete, and at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea, Greece. Hoff also conducts research on the history and topography of Roman Athens. Hoff has authored many articles in international journals and has co-edited several books. His latest publication is Rough Cilicia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches, was published by Oxbow Press in 2013 and co-edited with Rhys Townsend. Hoff also is one of the leading lecturers with the Archaeological Institute of America and has delivered lectures on his research at over 30 colleges, universities, and archaeological societies throughout North America. Professor Hoff received his AB from the University of Missouri, MA from Florida State University, and Ph.D. from Boston University. Hoff joined the UNL faculty in 1989. In addition to his many courses in classical archaeology, Hoff offers study tours to Greece as well as archaeological fieldwork opportunities in Turkey.

Sponsored by Project Humanities and the ASU School of International Letters and Cultures

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