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Home, Haven, Haunt, Feb 3

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
This paper will reintroduce the audience to the goals and research of the Fort Davis Archaeology Project with a focus on this past summer's (2015) fieldwork. We will be discussing our findings from the the fort's laundress' quarters through both historical and geo- archaeological lenses. We aim to address how archaeological materials associated with daily life at a multi-ethnoracial, western military fort in Fort Davis, Texas, can show how army laundresses acted as cultural brokers, navigating often contentious social and physical landscapes. With their identity as care-takers, military employees, and racialized individuals constantly in flux, these women balanced their relationship with one another, the civilian community, and their military colleagues as a way of redefining and creating new personhoods and identities that were defined by their living on a geographic and cultural boundary.

The Work of the Dead, Feb 3

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
The Work of the Dead by Thomas W. Laqueur, 2015 Princeton University Press.
The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes’s argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters—for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century.

The Work of the Dead draws on a vast range of sources—from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. And finally, he tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed—and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture.

An interview with Professor Laqueur on NPR Fresh Air with Terry Gross about his new book "The Work of the Dead" was aired on 15 Dec 2015 and can be streamed online.

Thomas W. Laqueur is the Helen Fawcett Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud and Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

Brown Bag Lecture, Feb 10

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Notes from the Altai Mountains of Mongolia: Rock Art and Paleoenvironment, Feb 16

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
The rock art of the Mongolian Altai offers insights into the paleoenvironment of northwestern Mongolia. Conversely, an understanding of paleoenvironmental conditions allows us to propose dating for imagery that is otherwise difficult to organize chronologically. Moreover, traces on the landscape carry clues to major geophysical events that ultimately shaped human culture and rock art. Taken together, the interconnection of rock art and paleoenvironment is fundamental for the reconstruction of prehistory in this region reaching back to the late Paleolithic.

Brown Bag Lecture, Feb 17

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Feb 24

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 2

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 9

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Berkeley Food Institute Diversified Farming Systems Roundtable: Edible Memory: How Tomatoes became Heirlooms and Apples became Antiques, Mar 14

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Speaker: Jennifer Jordan

How do the stories we tell each other about the past shape the food we eat? Even as countless varieties of edible plants have vanished permanently from the face of the earth, people are working hard to preserve the biodiversity and “genetic heritage” not only of rare panda bears or singular orchids, but also the plants of the backyard vegetable garden. A major consequence of this work is the emergence of heirloom food—varieties of fruit, vegetables, grains and livestock left behind by modern agriculture, but now experiencing a striking resurgence. Through a close examination of apples and tomatoes, this talk reveals the phenomenon of edible memory—the infusing of food, heirloom and otherwise, with connections to the past, in ways both deeply personal and inherently social. Paying attention to edible memory reveals deep connections between food and memory, social and physical landscapes, pleasures and possibilities.

Jennifer Jordan is a professor of sociology and urban studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is the author of Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and other Forgotten Foods (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Structures of Memory: Understanding Urban Change in Berlin and Beyond (Stanford University Press, 2006), among other publications.

This talk is part of the Diversified Farming Systems Roundtable.

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 30

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 13

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 20

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 27

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
ARF Sponsored Brown Bag Lecture

Patrick Kirch on Marshall Islands Navigational Charts, Feb 26

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Patrick V. Kirch is Chancellor's Professor Emeritus and the Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology and Integrative Biology, as well as curator of Oceanic archaeology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Kirch’s research focuses on the Pacific islands as a way to understand the complex dynamics between humans and their ecosystems, which he will explore through a discussion of the intricate Marshall Islands navigational charts on view.

Beyond Destruction: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in the Middle East, Mar 11-12

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
The destruction of antiquities at the hands of the self-proclaimed Islamic State has highlighted the urgent, long-standing need for a global discussion of cultural heritage protection in the Middle East. In Spring 2016, we are starting that conversation.

This symposium aims to move public discourse around cultural heritage beyond reactions to looting and destruction and to engage more deeply with responses from academic and governmental institutions. The program will also focus on emerging currents within the discipline of Middle Eastern archaeology that emphasize a well-rounded approach to cultural heritage and ask practitioners, government officials, artists, and the public to engage both with archaeological remains and the living communities in which research is conducted.

Visit the event website for a full program.

Susan Billy: The Pomo Basket, Apr 10

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Susan Billy, a tribal member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, a founding member of the California Indian Basketweaver’s Association, and one of few remaining artists practicing traditional Pomo basket weaving, offers insights into this native art form. Susan will share examples of baskets from her personal collection, explaining the traditional process and answering your questions, and she will speak about the Pomo baskets on view in Architecture of Life.

Susan Billy studied basket weaving with her great aunt, world-renowned Pomo basket weaver Elsie Allen, for sixteen years. She has participated in many cultural programs and native community events as an artist, speaker, demonstrator, and curator. Her involvement in museum exhibitions is extensive and includes the Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah, CA; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Oakland Museum of California; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) / Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. She was a founding member of the California Indian Basketweaver’s Association. Billy Susan currently resides in Ukiah, California, where she is the sole proprietor of Bead Fever.

Berkeley Book Chat with Thomas Laqueur, Apr 20

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Professor of History Thomas Laqueur is a pioneer of new cultural history and his books include The Work of the Dead (Princeton, 2015), Solitary Sex (Zone, 2003), Making Sex (Harvard, 1990), and Religion and Respectability (Yale, 1976). His new book,The Work of the Dead, offers a richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century.

The Work of the Dead (Princeton, 2015) draws on a vast range of sources—from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. Finally, Laqueur tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed—and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture.

After an introduction by Catherine Gallagher (English), Laqueur will speak briefly about his work and then open the floor for discussion.

Maroons and World History, May 5

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Papers for this conference will be precirculated. Panels will feature short formal responses followed by open discussion. Registration to attend the conference is free but required.

The aim of this conference is to engage with marronage both as an empirical case and as an occasion for thought. We are especially interested in structural aspects of marronage that resist explanation when maroon communities are seen as a creole amalgam of recognizable elements retained or recombined. What historiographical, cartographical, or philosophical approaches are best suited to conceptualizing the world from the perspective of the maroon? What assumptions obstruct this focalization? We intend to address these questions both as problems of practical knowledge conceived at a range of scales and as a theoretical problem of orientation. What would it mean to identify the maroon as the subject of history? What happens when we imagine neither the factory nor the plantation but the instead the unenclosed wasteland as the setting for the development of political consciousness? Our plan then is to look to specific examples, from Saint Malo to Queen Nanny, Palmares to the Great Dismal Swamp, pressing on their implications for our thinking about sovereignty and self-organization; outlawry and escape; crime and custom; kinship and ethnogenesis; knowledge, conspiracy, and the paranoid style; treaty, fetish, and sacred oath; settlement, subsistence, and so-called secondary primitivism.

AIA Lecture - Magic and Demonology in Ancient Egypt, Feb 10

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
In this lecture the character of ancient Egyptian magical practices, with a special focus on the role that demons played in magical texts and images, will be thoroughly discussed. Questions of definition, function and understanding of what is meant by "magic" and "demons" in ancient Egypt and in the ancient world at large will be addressed according to the most recent studies on the topic and on available textual and material sources (magical spells, ritual and magical objects) produced from the early Pharaonic to the Greco-Roman periods in Egypt. Comparative views with other demonologies of the ancient world will be also explored; contacts and influences existing among the magical practices and demonologies of Egypt and those of the ancient Near East, Greece and Jewish world will be also illustrated.

AIA Lecture - The Marzamemi “Church Wreck” in the Shrinking World of the Late Antique Mediterranean, Apr 5

Archaeology Events at Cal - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 13:29
Situated at the crossroads of Mediterranean shipping, the southeast corner of Sicily witnessed its share of maritime disasters over the millennia. Among the dozens of ancient shipwrecks that foundered off these shores, the large vessel that sank near Marzamemi in the 6th century AD stands out. Since 2012, investigations by a team from Stanford University and the Soprintendenza del Mare have shed light on this monumental cargo of several hundred tons of partially prefabricated religious architectural elements, almost certainly en route from the northern Aegean region for decoration of some new, or newly renovated, early Christian church in the recently recaptured west. This peculiar site, the so-called Marzamemi “church wreck”, serves as vivid testimony to the struggle for integration—religious, economic, and political— among the disparate fragments of the once unified Roman world. Yet the wreck reflects far more than a prefabricated or “flat-pack” structure sent at imperial behest for rote provincial assembly. Together with emerging clues about the ship, crew, and cargo—from cooking pots, iron fasteners and tools, to transport amphora lids and mineral pigments—this assemblage raises critical questions about interrelated issues of private commercial and directed exchange, local and imperial patronage and propaganda, urban and provincial religious life, and maritime connectivity more generally. Through a more holistic approach that embraces the complexity of the site and situates it within its historical and archaeological context, we explore the social, political and other processes that fostered and sustained connectivity during the turbulent late antique world.
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