Upcoming Lecture: Weaving as Worship: Reconstructing Ritual at the Etruscan Site of Poggio Colla

Weaving as Worship: Reconstructing Ritual at the Etruscan Site of Poggio Colla
Speaker: Dr. Gretchen Meyers, Franklin & Marshall College
April 16, 2015, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus, Business Administration Building C Wing Room 116

Excavations on the acropolis of the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla have uncovered a monumental structure with at least three construction phases, spanning the seventh-second centuries B.C.E. Sacred architecture and votive deposits, including a hoard of women’s jewelry, secure the designation of this space as a sanctuary with a history of ritualized usage. The discovery in 2010 of a ceramic fragment with stamped image of a female figure giving birth, together with numerous tools for both weaving and spinning uncovered within the confines of the sanctuary, point to the veneration of a female deity as well as the potential involvement of female craft production in ritual.

This lecture examines how archaeological evidence can be used to reconstruct Etruscan ritual through an analysis of the architecture and finds from the sanctuary at Poggio Colla. In addition to more than ten votive contexts, production of sacred cloth or garments is indicated by the distribution of weaving tools on the site into distinctive areas for spinning and weaving. Two of the site’s votive deposits appear to contain gold adornment for cloth alongside other ritual implements. Analysis of this evidence, together with comparative material from Etruria, Latium and Southern Italy, suggests a particularly inclusive role for Etruscan women as producers of ceremonial cloth, and hence active participants in ritual.

Gretchen Meyers is with Franklin & Marshall College, and holds her degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D.) and Duke University. Her research interests are Roman and Etruscan Archaeology, the Tiber River and Roman topography, Roman space and urban theory. She is Director of Archaeological Materials for the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project (Poggio Colla) in Italy.

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

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

Upcoming Event: In the Shadow of the Monuments of Bahariya Oasis, Egypt

In the Shadow of the Monuments of Bahariya Oasis, Egypt
Speaker: Dr. Hussein Bassir, University of Arizona and Ministry of Antiquities, Egypt
March 5, 2015, 6pm
ASU West Campus, Kiva Lecture Hall

Dr. Hussein Bassir is an Egyptian archaeologist and former Director General of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. He is one of the field directors of excavations at the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt, and he is completing his post-doctoral work at the University of Arizona. He received his BA in Egyptology from Cairo University, and his MA and Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he has written extensively on Arabic literature and cinema and has published several fictional novels.

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

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

CANCELLED – Upcoming Lecture: Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean

Due to a last-minute emergency, the February 5th talk by Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou has been cancelled. We will do our best to reschedule Dr. Papalexandrou on a future date. In lieu of the talk, the AIA Central Arizona Society will be having a movie night starting at 6pm at the ASU Tempe Campus, Business and Administration Building, C Wing (BAC) Room 116. We will be showing “The Man Who Discovered Egypt”, a BBC special on Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, one of the foremost Egyptologists of all time. Snacks will be provided for all attendees.

We apologize for this sudden change, and we hope that you will join us for the movie and the remainder of the springtime lectures.

Upcoming Lecture: Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean

Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean
Speaker: Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou, The University of Texas at Austin
February 5, 2015, 6pm
ASU Tempe Campus, Business and Administration Building, C Wing (BAC) Room 116

The visual apparatus of Orientalizing cauldrons introduced radically new technologies of visual engagement in the Preclassical Mediterranean of the seventh century BCE. Hitherto the Orientalizing innovation has been understood in terms of the wholesale importation or adaptation of objects, techniques, iconographies from the Near East. Dr. Papalexandrou’s study proposes instead that change was ushered in by a radical shift in ways of seeing and interacting with what today we call “art.” The new technologies of visual engagement (new ways of seeing and being seen) he explores in this study reshaped the cognitive and aesthetic apparatus of viewing subjects. He argues that the griffin cauldrons were devised to establish an aesthetic of rare and extraordinary experiences within the experiential realm of early Greek sanctuaries or in sympotic events of princely elites of Orientalizing Italy. This aesthetic was premised on active visual engagement as performance motivated and sustained by the materiality of these objects.

Professor Papalexandrou received his Ph.D. from Princeton University focusing on the ritual dimensions of Early Greek figurative art. Prior to teaching at The University of Texas at Austin, he taught at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and spent the 2001-02 academic year as a research fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC. His first book, The Visual Poetics of Power: Warriors, Youths, and Tripods in Early Greece, was published in 2005. He is currently working on a second book that explores the role of monsters in the arts and rituals of Early Greece. He is currently involved in two projects that have to do with the archaeology of ancient Italy. One focuses on the translation/reception of the Greek tripod cauldron in Magna Graecia and Sicily in the Geometric, Archaic, and Classical periods. The other has to do with the importation and emulation of griffin cauldrons from the Aegean to Italy, especially Etruria, in the Archaic period.

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: 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