Upcoming Lecture: Mysteries of the Delphic Oracle

AIA Central Arizona Society March 2018 Lecture

Title: Mysteries of the Delphic Oracle

Speaker: John H. Hale, University of Louisville, Kentucky

When and Where: Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 6pm, Pueblo Grande Community Room, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034

Ancient Greek and Roman authors stated that the Apollo’s sacred oracle at Delphi in central Greece was located at the site of unusual geological features and phenomena: a chasm or fissure in the rock; an emission of sweet-smelling vapor or gas; and a sacred spring.  The priestess who pronounced the oracles, known as the Pythia, sat on a tall tripod above the fissure where she could inhale the vapor, thus triggering a prophetic trance in which she could serve as a medium for the prophetic oracles of the god Apollo.  So great was the influence of the woman’s words that scarcely a colony was founded or a war undertaken in Greece for over a millennium without the sanction of the Delphic Oracle.  Famous figures from Oedipus and Agamemnon to Alexander the Great and various Roman emperors consulted the shrine.

During the 20th century, most scholars adopted a skeptical attitude towards the ancient traditions about Delphi, denying that there had ever been a fissure or a gaseous emission in the crypt of the temple.  However, in 1995 an interdisciplinary team was created to study not only the archaeology of Delphi, but also the evidence from geology, chemistry, and toxicology that related to the oracle.  The results of the research vindicated the ancient sources.  Our team has gone on to study Greek oracle sites elsewhere in the Aegean and Asia Minor, where we have found similar geological features.

Dr. John R. Hale serves as Director of the Liberal Studies Program and the “Individualized Major” in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.  He is also an Adjunct Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology.  John Hale earned his B.A. in 1973 at Yale University (Major: Archaeology), and his Ph.D. at Cambridge University in England (Dissertation: “Bronze Age Boats of Scandinavia”).

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Upcoming Lecture: Soundways, Archaeology, and the Byzantine Acoustic

AIA Central Arizona Society February 2018 Lecture

Title: Soundways, Archaeology, and the Byzantine Acoustic

Speaker: Amy Papalexandrou, Stockton University

When and Where: Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 6pm, Common Room, Main Campus Building, Benedictine University, 225 E. Main Street, Mesa

The material remains of Byzantine sites and buildings offer opportunities for archaeologists to record and reconstruct important visual and tangible components of space and place. More elusive yet equally important are the intangible elements of sensory environments that once permeated all aspects of life but have now disappeared without a trace. I confront the issue of sound as a neglected arena for discovering undercurrents of human interaction of the Byzantines with their immediate surroundings. Acoustics of standing structures form the basis of my analysis, although perceptions of sound (from literary sources) and study cases of interaction with reverberant spaces – both past and present – offer potential inroads into a basic understanding of sound’s heretofore ignored yet crucial role within Byzantine society.

Dr. Papalexandrou is the Constantine George Georges and Sophia G. Georges Endowed Professor of Greek Art & Architecture at Stockton University

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Upcoming Lecture: Politics, Power and Prayer: Facets of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland

AIA Central Arizona Society November 2017 Lecture

Title: Politics, Power and Prayer: Facets of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland

Speaker: Stephen Mandal, Irish Archaeology Field School

When and Where: Monday, November 20, 2017, 6pm, ASU Tempe Campus, SCOB (Schwada Classroom Office Building) 252, 620 E. Orange Ste, Tempe, AZ 85281

The lecture will begin with a brief history of Ireland, focusing in on the Medieval Period.  The political context and chronology of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland will be discussed. The main body of the lecture will focus on two community based archaeological excavation and research projects co-founded by the lecturer: Ferrycarrig, County Wexford – the site of the first Anglo-Norman fortification after the invasion in 1169; and Blackfriary, Trim, County Meath, the site of a Dominican friary founded in 1263.The excavations are only part of the story though, as the lecture will demonstrate the value of engaging the local community in seeing their past as an amenity for the enjoyment of all and worthy of preservation for generations to come.

The projects were founded by the Irish Archaeology Field School (http://iafs.ie) and Cultural Tourism Ireland (http://culturaltourismireland.ie), working in partnership with the local community, local government authorities and local businesses.

Stephen Mandal holds BA and PhD degrees in Geology (1991) and Geoarchaeology (1995) from Trinity College Dublin. Steve is co-founder and CEO of the Irish Archaeology Field School, Cultural Tourism Ireland, Dig it Kids, and CRDS Archaeological and Historical Consultancy.

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Upcoming Lecture: The Pericles Cup: New Archaeological Evidence for Athens’ Most Famous General?

AIA Central Arizona Society October 2017 Lecture

Title: The Pericles Cup: New Archaeological Evidence for Athens’ Most Famous General?

Speaker: Matt Simonton, Arizona State University

When and Where: Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 6pm, ASU Tempe Campus, Discovery Hall Room 150. Address: 250 E. Lemon St., Tempe, AZ 85281

Discovered during a rescue excavation in 2014, an ancient Greek cup incised with six names may shed light on the life and career of Pericles, long considered the greatest politician and general of the Athenian democracy. In this presentation, the circumstances of the cup’s finding, questions of forgery, and the possible meanings behind the curious incision of names will be discussed. The cup, and the media frenzy around it, invite us to consider the impact of such “Holy Grails” on our conception of ancient history and the people who made it.

Matt Simonton is Assistant Professor at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU. He holds a doctorate in Classics and has published on politics, memory, and material culture in ancient Greece.

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Upcoming Lecture: Looking Beyond the Temples: Exploring the Residences of the Ancient Angkorians

AIA Central Arizona Society September 2017 Lecture

Title: Looking Beyond the Temples: Exploring the Residences of the Ancient Angkorians

Speaker: Allison Carter, University of Oregon

When and Where: Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6pm, Benedictine University Community Room, 225 E. Main Street, Mesa AZ

Angkor, centered in the modern nation of Cambodia, was one of the largest preindustrial settlements in the world and has been the focus of more than a century of epigraphic, art historical, and architectural research. However, few scholars have examined the lives of the people who built the temples, kept the shrines running, produced the food, and managed the water. This presentation will focus on my recent work with the Greater Angkor Project examining Angkorian habitation areas and specifically the excavation of a house mound within the Angkor Wat temple enclosure. Through this multidisciplinary research, we aim to better understand the nature and timing of occupation within the Angkor Wat temple enclosure and the types of activities taking place within an Angkorian household.

Alison Carter is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been working in Cambodia since 2005. She has worked in Angkor since 2011 as a member of the Greater Angkor Project and is co-directing a project exploring Angkorian household archaeology. Additionally, she has an interest in examining trade and exchange patterns in Southeast Asia, with a focus on glass and stone beads.

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Upcoming Lecture: Bucolic Architecture: Hellenic Pastoral Temples in the Peloponnese

AIA Central Arizona Society April Lecture

Title: Bucolic Architecture: Hellenic Pastoral Temples in the Peloponnese

Speaker: Sara Franck, Ph.D.

When and Where: Thursday, April 27, 2017, 6pm, ASU Tempe Campus, Coor Hall Room L1-10

The role of small Hellenistic extra-urban temples has been overlooked in favor of larger and more easily accessible temples within the city or predominant sanctuary.  The Peloponnese is rich in such modest rural temples, all exhibiting architectural similarities which point to, not only a specific architectural style in this region, but a multi-functional role of these small temples for the city and surrounding landscape. They were critical in bolstering civic identity, social cohesion and territorial integrity among a diverse constituency, and were vital to the formation of major cities seeking to establish and legitimize their political position.

Sara graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in the Fall of 2014, spending four years on fellowship in Greece at the American School of Classical Studies during her graduate career.  Her focus is in ancient Greek architecture archaeology with a secondary focus in East Indian art and a Masters in Geographic Information Science. She has excavated at the sites of Ancient Messene and Ancient Corinth in the Peloponnese of Greece, and spent 1999-2006 serving as field supervisor working on the reconstruction of the heroon, a small commemorative monument at Ancient Messene. She also participated in developing a digital installation for visitor use of sites information ranging from Mycenean to Frankish periods for the Pyrgos Museum in Greece. Sara has worked with a small team assisting the Minneapolis Police Department using a program originally designed for reassembling pottery to aid the police in a murder investigation requiring the reassembly of a pane of glass.  She is currently working on an article regarding how rural temples related to ethnos and identity of the communities alongside their phases of construction activity, as well as collaborating with two colleagues on a catalog of Peloponnesian temples from Archaic-Roman periods, and a project with the 7th Ephorate of Greece for the in-depth documentation and study of the Perivolia Temple.

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Upcoming Lecture: ISIS and Crowdsourcing Cyber Archaeology

Title: Crowdsourced Monitoring of Damage to Archaeological Sites in Conflict Zones: The TerraWatchers – ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative Collaboration.

Speaker: Stephen H. Savage, Arizona State University

When and Where: Thursday, March 23, 6pm, ASU Tempe Campus, Coor Hall Room L1-10

The deliberate looting and destruction of archaeological sites and museum objects by ISIS has been widely reported by western media, and widely condemned by political leaders and academics.  The world watched in sorrow as the Temple of Bel at Palmyra was blown up two years ago; before that, we witnessed the deliberate destruction of priceless materials from the Mosul Museum.  Widespread looting of ancient sites has flooded the illegal antiquities market with objects whose sale helps fund ISIS and other groups. While the West has mostly focused on these and other acts of deliberate destruction, the collateral damage to archaeological sites caused by military activity in the region has generally gone unnoticed or under-reported.  The American Schools of Oriental Research created their Cultural Heritage Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of State in order to monitor damage to sites caused by these activities.  But the job is so big, with so many sites to examine, that ASOR could not do it without help. A crowdsourced solution to the monitoring problem was required, and the TerraWatchers web platform provided a solution.  With the assistance of a Catalyst grant from the Office of the President of the University of California system, TerraWatchers is working with the Center for Cyber-Archaeology & Sustainability, at Qualcomm Institute, University of California, San Diego to train and supervise students from UCSD, UC Berkeley, UC Merced, and UCLA to monitor nearly 11,000 sites in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.  The results of the TerraWatchers mission are reported back to ASOR and the State Department, and through them, to international law enforcement agencies.  This presentation will explore some of the results of our ongoing efforts.

Stephen H. Savage has worked in the Near East for nearly 40 years, including fieldwork in Jordan, Israel and Egypt.  He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1995.  At ASU, he was an Affiliated Professor in the School of Human Evolution & Social Change, IT Manager for the Archaeological Research Institute and a Scientific Software Engineer for the Institute for Humanities Research.  He develops large-scale archaeological and GIS database applications for a variety of platforms, including the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land, the Aegean Digital Archaeological Atlas, and the Mediterranean Archaeological Network. He is the author of the TerraWatchers web platform for crowdsourced satellite image analysis.  He has conducted workshops in the United States, Jordan, Greece and Norway.  His research interests include early complex societies in the Near East and North Africa, the Levantine Bronze Age, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt, mortuary analysis, spatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing, and database development and design.  In addition to numerous contributions to edited volumes, he has published in American Antiquity, the Journal of Archaeological Science, the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Radiocarbon, the Journal of Archaeological Research, the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.  Recently retired from Arizona State University, he is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, and an Affiliated Investigator at the Center for Cyber-Archaeology & Sustainability, Qualcomm Institute, University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Capitol Archaeological Institute, George Washington University.

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