2018-2019 Events Download PDF here
Friday, Sept 21, 2018
Where the beer flowed like wine: Beer and Brewing in Bronze Age Mesopotamia
Tate Paulette - North Carolina State University
For thousands of years people have been fermenting cereal grains to create the beverage we now call beer. In ancient Mesopotamia, beer served many practical and social functions, and was produced and consumed on a massive scale across the socioeconomic spectrum. Dr. Paulette will explore archaeologic evidence of beer culture in Mesopotamia (3000-1200 BC), and discuss recent efforts to recreate Mesopotamian beer.
Note: This presentation will be held at 7 pm at Mother Stewart's Brewing Co., 109 W. North St, Springfield. The brewery opens at 3:00 and offers beer, wine, and soft drinks. As no formal dinner is planned, no reservations are needed for this event.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The 'Empty Lands' of Assyria: An Archaeology of Terra Nullius
Melissa Rosenzweig - Northwestern University
Imperial powers throughout history have appropriated territory by declaring it 'terra nullius' (empty lands). Dr. Rosenzweig will present the example of Neo-Assyria, a Mesopotamian superpower (c.900-600 BCE). With the help of ancient plant remains, she will show how and why its rulers systematically ignored the inhabitants of these not-so-empty provinces, and their many activities. This event is sponsored by Wittenberg University.
Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018
Barbarians & Bronzes: Origins of Civilization in Ancient Viet Nam
Nam C. Kim - University of Wisconsin, Madison
Two thousand years ago, China's Han Empire reached south to modern-day Viet Nam, referred to by the Chinese as the "barbarians." While Chinese tradition holds that ancient Vietnamese culture was the result of Chinese "civilizing" influence, Vietnamese historians believe this culture sprang naturally from its indigenous predecessor. Dr. Kim will address the question by presenting excavations at Co Loa, the likely first capital of Viet Nam.
Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019
Insights of Afro-Latin American Archaeology
Kathryn Sampeck - Illinois State University
Since the 1517 landing of the first Spanish expedition to the Mexican mainland, both archaeologic and historical studies of the Spanish colonial period have routinely overlooked the presence and contributions of people of African descent. Yet this population was significant both in numbers and influence. Dr. Sampeck will demonstrate this influence using archaeologic evidence from western Central America - specifically the birthplace of chocolate.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Cybele and the Polyxena Sarcophagus from Troy
Timothy McNiven - The Ohio State University
In 1994, rescue excavations at a burial mound east of Troy produced a beautiful marble sarcophagus that graphically depicts the sacrifice of Polyxena at the tomb of Achilles. Dated to around 500 BCE, the sarcophagus is by far the oldest decorated with reliefs known in the Greek world. All the reliefs taken together strongly suggest a female occupant, but the remains are in fact male. Dr. McNiven will present a surprising explanation involving cross-dressing priests and worship of the goddess Cybele.