Other Archaeology Events at Cal

Syndicate content
Upcoming Events
Updated: 5 hours 13 min ago

The Development of Observational and Predictive Astronomy during the Neo-Babylonian Period, Oct 7

5 hours 13 min ago
Babylonian astronomy activity during the first millennium BC included astronomical observation, the prediction of future astronomical events using cycles, the development of mathematical astronomy, and the use of astronomical data in various kinds of astrology. Most of our preserved astronomical texts date from the Achaemenid and Seleucid periods and attest to an already fully developed practice. Recently identified tablets containing material from the early Neo-Babylonian period, however, show that there was considerable development in the kind of astronomical observations that were made between the middle of the seventh and the middle of the sixth centuries BC. Furthermore, these texts also show that methods of astronomical prediction which relied upon the identification of astronomical periods and the use of past observations were developed and used during this same period. In this presentation I will outline the evidence for these developments and the forms that they took during what I will argue is a key stage in the formation of Babylonian astronomy as we know it.

Time Again to Gather, Oct 15-17

5 hours 13 min ago
30th Annual California Indian Conference.
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the California Indian Conference by bringing it back to where it began in 1985! The University of California, Berkeley is excited to host this historic occasion.

The California Indian Conference (CIC) is committed to the sharing and exchange of knowledge, scholarship, and issues of importance related to California Indians, past to present. The conference also supports the promotion of excellence in collaborative, multidisciplinary, cutting-edge scholarship in Native American Studies, anthropology, history, social and environmental sciences, and other disciplines.

The opening day of the conference (10/15) will be held at California Memorial Stadium. The following two days (10/16 - 10/17) will be held at the UC Berkeley School of Law in Boalt Hall. The conference program, schedule, and additional information about visiting the Berkeley area will be posted to the conference website as soon as these resources become available.

Accommodations & Travel
Hotels in the Berkeley area

">Traveling to and around Berkeley

Keynote Speakers and Panels
Dr. Deborah Miranda

Chairman and Dr. Greg Sarris

CIC Retrospective Discussion with Past Organizers

Elders Panel Discussion

Please send inquiries to

**If you have copies of photographs or other memorabilia from past conferences you would like to share, please send them to the above email address as well! We hope to showcase memories and experiences from past conferences**

Living on the Edge of Empire, Nov 6

5 hours 13 min ago
Stephanie H. Brown will be presenting the data collected from two domestic structures at the excavation site of Busayra, in southwest Jordan. Because households embody society and reproduce its values at the most fundamental level, household archaeology has the ability to inform us about larger social, economic, political, and religious trends. Brown will use household archaeology to understand daily activities in the Edomite capital city.

The Book of the Dead in 3D, Dec 9

5 hours 13 min ago
The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is especially known in its two-dimensional version as recorded on funerary papyri. However, selections of these magical spells are also recorded on a series of other items of the tomb, in particular coffins. Thanks to a grant provided by the DH Department of UC Berkeley through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in cooperation with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the Archaeological Research Facility, photogrammetric techniques are being utilized in order to create visualizations of coffins with Book of the Dead texts kept at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley. During this talk the preliminary results of this research project will be presented to the public.

Matching Marks, Sep 30

5 hours 13 min ago
Ainu objects at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology are a valuable resource for comparative research due to the variety of times and locations in which they were collected. The collections have only recently become accessible to researchers in preparation for the museum's reopening. Following previous research on collections in the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, the Penn Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, this talk focuses on examining these newly available objects for marks of use and ownership. These marks serve as the basis for interpretations of the events of their creation and collection.

Decolonizing Foodways, Oct 1

5 hours 13 min ago
The Food, Identity and Representation Working Group at UC Berkeley and University of the Pacific Food Studies program invite you to participate in an evening of critical thinking and tasting at the Decolonizing Foodways Symposium. Understanding food as a site for de/colonial struggles and strategies in the ways it is produced, consumed, circulated, prepared, and represented within a transnational advanced capitalist economy, this interactive workshop grapples with what it means to liberate our diets from colonial relationships of production and consumption both in theory and in practice. Building off the work of scholar/activists Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel, authors of “Decolonize Your Diet: A Manifesto,” we explore and continue to question what the process of decolonizing foodways means. We ask, for example: How do we increase the vitality of oppressed and indigenous peoples, maintain the integrity of our ancestral traditions, and embrace food and ways of cooking/eating that resist subjugation and instead nourish our palates, bodies, and lives? How do we make sense of the different realities of lived food experiences across time and space, taking into account the influences of power and privilege? How might we think through the intersections of diaspora, colonialism, assimilation, generational differences, and food gentrification/cultural appropriation? Utilizing an intersectional, audience-participatory, and multi-sensory approach, this symposium will include a panel of activists and scholars and a freshly-prepared meal by local chefs that cooks up decolonizing possibilities.

The Decolonizing Foodways Symposium is a project of the “Food, Identity, and Representation Working Group” at UC Berkeley, a consortium of cross-disciplinary scholars joined together to learn, share, and create public events around the intersection of culture, race, gender, class, sexuality, and colonialism in food systems studies.

Cosponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute; Department of Sociology; Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Department of Geography; Department of Ethnic Studies; Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Townsend Center for the Humanities; Center for Research on Social Change; Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues; Student Environmental Resource Center; Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; Berkeley Student Food Collective; Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence; and University of the Pacific Food Studies Program.

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required. Register here.


4:10pm – Introduction
Food, Identity and Representation Working Group members

4:15pm – Decolonizing Foodways Panel
Moderator: Catriona Rueda Esquibel,
Associate Professor, Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco State University
Gail Myers, Founder, Farms to Grow, Inc. and Freedom Farmers Market
Ron Reed, Co-Founder, Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative; Cultural Biologist, Karuk Tribe
Lok Siu, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley
Dawn Weleski, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh

5:15pm – A Sensory Experience in Three Courses
Each chef will introduce their course and its relation to the topic of decolonizing foodways, and participants will discuss a set framing questions with each course.

Saqib Keval,
Founder, People’s Kitchen, Oakland
Aileen Suzara, Chef and Food and Agriculture Editor, Hyphen Magazine
Bryant Terry, Chef, Educator, and Author

6:15pm – Closing
Report back from actionables/take away experiences

7 – 7:30pm – Holding space for lingering discussion, networking, and booksigning

Auspicious Images to Feminist Critiques, Oct 5

5 hours 13 min ago
Since at least the 14th century women from the Mithila region of Bihar have painted images of the Hindu gods and goddesses on the walls of their homes to create auspicious spaces for domestic rituals – especially elaborated for marriage rituals. In the late 1960s they began painting these images on paper for sale. Since 2000 their repertoire has expanded to include contemporary social and political issues and events, and powerful feminist critiques of patriarchy, purdah, gender inequalities, dowry, arranged marriages, bride burning, female infanticide, even marriage itself. This presentation will make passing reference to the other political issues, but focus on the gender dynamics and gender politics increasingly central to this ancient painting tradition.

Image title: "Has this ever happened? No, but it should!" by Supriya Jha, 2012 (Acrylic on hand made acid free paper)

Integrating Archaeological Evidence on the Origins of Sociopolitical Complexity in the Holocene, Oct 7

5 hours 13 min ago
Investigating changes in sociopolitical complexity is an important theme in archaeological research. Building upon previous work, the research project presented investigates the changes in complexity worldwide, questioning where increasing complexity first occurred and whether identifiable stages exist. The assessment compares patterns of change by pulling from archaeological and economic theories and data. Global archaeological sites are recorded from authoritative sources and digitized in a data set that records, through the use of covariates, time since initial settlement of regions and the subsequent changes in complexity. Covariates that have been identified for each site incorporate geographic, technological and ethnographic variables. Approaching the question of increasing complexity at the granularity of the archaeological ‘site’ as opposed to pre-established cultural complexes allows for a more explicit analysis that considers the impact of regional change on the daily lives of ancient peoples. The future goals of the project include the incorporation of site information from a wide range of regional experts in order to build a robust database that will allow for an increasingly sound analysis utilizing multiple lines of evidence. The resulting data will add to our archaeological and economic knowledge of temporal and spatial change in sociopolitical complexity.

Book Talk: The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy, Oct 9

5 hours 13 min ago
The complete disappearance by the tenth century of the medieval Chinese aristocracy, the “great clans” that had dominated China for centuries, has long perplexed historians. In his book, Nicolas Tackett resolves the enigma of their disappearance by using new, digital methodologies to analyze a dazzling array of sources. He systematically exploits the thousands of funerary biographies excavated in recent decades—most of them never before examined by scholars—while taking full advantage of the explanatory power of Geographic Information System (GIS) and social network analysis. Tackett supplements these analyses with an extensive use of anecdotes culled from epitaphs, prose literature, and poetry, bringing to life the women and men of a millennium ago.

The Immortality of the Soul - An Ancient Egyptian Invention?, Oct 9

5 hours 13 min ago
Jan Assmann will present the Foerster lecture on October 9, 2015 titled "The Immortality of the Soul - An Ancient Egyptian Invention?" The lecture will be held at Anna Head Alumnae Hall and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

About Jan Assmann:

Jan Assmann is best known for his research of ancient Egyptian literature and religion, Egyptian funerary beliefs and practices, and modern uses of Egyptian culture (“Egyptomania”). His work reflects on the history of religion, especially the rise of monotheism in the ancient world. Assmann is also recognized for making notable contributions toward the development of the concept of “cultural memory,” shaping it into an exploratory tool capable of illuminating varied aspects of human culture. Assmann served as Professor of Egyptology at Heidelberg University from 1976 until 2003. In 2005, he was named Honorary Professor of Cultural and Religious Studies at the University of Constance where he continues today.

About the Lecture:

The Egyptians believed Pharaoh to be a god on earth who after his death would fly up to heaven and unite with the sun, his father. After the collapse of the Old Kingdom, this idea of royal immortality became accessible for non-royal persons but dependent on justification before a divine tribunal, the judgment of the dead. Immortality became a question, not of royalty but of morals. The lecture will investigate the origins and the evolution of these concepts.

Bioarchaeological Approaches to Looting, Oct 14

5 hours 13 min ago
Looting is a destructive force at archaeological sites and sites of cultural heritage around the world. Looting is historically specific and situated in culture practice, religious beliefs and practices, political climate, and economic stability. With the prevalence of looting both in antiquity and modernity it has become increasingly important to understand the effects of looting on archaeological and skeletal collections from recent fieldwork as well as remains in museum storage. This research contributes to the development of quantitative bioarchaeological methods, which are utilized here to understand taphonomic processes and reconstruct mortuary practices. Based on qualitative (in situ and laboratory conditions) and quantitative (fragmentation size and weight) observations, there are statistically significant differences between skeletal remains from looted and unlooted contexts, but not within each context, which point to consistent and differential taphonomic patterns recognizable at any point during or after excavation.

*Note: this lecture may include images of human remains.

AIA Lecture - Reports fron the Field, Oct 15

5 hours 13 min ago
Young scholars from UCB archaeology programs present their research conducted during the past season.

The Iceman Otzi and Prehistoric Landscape Use in the Northern Tyrolean Alps, Oct 21

5 hours 13 min ago
Since his discovery in 1991 the Iceman Otzi been the focus of international interest and study. This talk will review the history and major findings stemming from analysis of the body and finds. It will then discuss some of the evidence for prehistoric, particularly Neolithic, landscape use in the Northern Tyrolean Alps, including pastoralism, transhumance and early agriculture. It will close with thoughts about future research directions.

*Note: This talk may include images of human remains.

PopUp Exhibition | Jon Voss on the Power of Digital History, Oct 28

5 hours 13 min ago
Jon is the Strategic Partnerships Director at Shift (formerly We Are What We Do) , a non-profit that allows a global community of individuals to share historical documents that matter to them. HistoryPin was created with initial funding support from Google (2011) and consists of a “web platform and a series of local volunteer ­led community projects that together increase local social capital and reduce social isolation”. In this presentation Jon will explore the uses of HistoryPin and other Digital Humanities platforms for cultural institutions such as The Magnes, by capitalizing on HistoryPin’s partnerships with cultural institutions the world over.

Brown Bag Lecture, Oct 28

5 hours 13 min ago
This is part of a series of brown bag lectures.

Berkeley Book Launch: What the Rest Think of the West, Oct 29

5 hours 13 min ago
A new series highlights recent publications by CMES faculty with a book talk and reception.

What the Rest Think of the West, edited by Prof. Laura Nader
Over the past few centuries, as Western civilization has enjoyed an expansive and flexible geographic domain, Westerners have observed other cultures with little interest in a return gaze. In turn, these other civilizations have been similarly disinclined when they have held sway. Clearly, though, an external frame of reference outstrips introspection—we cannot see ourselves as others see us. Unprecedented in its scope, What the Rest Think of the West provides a rich historical look through the eyes of outsiders as they survey and scrutinize the politics, science, technology, religion, family practices, and gender roles of civilizations not their own. The book emphasizes the broader figurative meaning of looking west in the scope of history.

Focusing on four civilizations—Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, and South Asian—Nader has collected observations made over centuries by scholars, diplomats, missionaries, travelers, merchants, and students reflecting upon their own “Wests.” These writings derive from a range of purposes and perspectives, such as the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist who goes west to India, the missionary from Baghdad who travels up the Volga in the tenth century and meets the Vikings, and the Egyptian imam who in 1826 is sent to Paris to study the French. The accounts variously express critique, adoration, admiration, and fear, and are sometimes humorous, occasionally disturbing, at times controversial, and always enlightening. With informative introductions to each of the selections, Laura Nader initiates conversations about the power of representational practices.

Brown Bag Lecture, Nov 4

5 hours 13 min ago
This is part of a series of brown bag lectures.

"Immerse yourself in the Past": Baths (hammamat) in Time and Space, Nov 5

5 hours 13 min ago
Baths and communal bathing once constituted a common spatial form and cultural practice that spanned the Middle East and Mediterranean from ancient times to the early 20th century. The recent revival of the baths (hammamat) in these regions is embedded in neo-liberal notions of the body and new forms of consumption and leisure. While the meaning and usage of the baths has been profoundly transformed, continuity with the past is evident architecturally, spatially, and in the sequencing of activities. Moreover, they are once again sites for leisure, life-cycle celebrations, and the performance of bodily rituals - sacred, profane, and medicinal. As the baths have been repurposed for a novel set of consumers and to new ends, they have been endowed with new and markedly different meanings. Although imbued with nostalgia for an imagined Arab-Islamic, as well as an Ottoman past previously conceptualized in rather negative terms, they now operate under market principles and are geared to tourists and young local consumers.

Heritage and Ancestors: The Politics of Chinese Museums and Historical Memory, Nov 6

5 hours 13 min ago
The current Chinese boom in museum-building and in the construction of memorial sites coincides with a broad re-definition of the official and predominant view of China’s history and identity. The Mao-era Communist orthodoxy of history as a sequence of class struggles is replaced across the board, with a story of unbroken, if interrupted, national glory. In this presentation I ask, how are the current developments related to older Chinese conceptions of culture-hero ancestry and imperial glory? Moreover, in what ways should we understand the new Chinese developments within their broader context — especially the simultaneous, yet seemingly paradoxical current world trends of economic globalization and narrow nationalism?

Elvera Kwang Siam Lim Memorial Lecture

AIA Lecture - Transportation and Regional Exchange in the Ancient Andes, Nov 17

5 hours 13 min ago
The Inca road system that much impressed 16th century Spanish explorers is thought to have extended over nearly 25,000 miles, and yet the Inca empire existed for less than 100 years. How did the empire grow so quickly from Cusco Peru to cover much of western South America and develop such a tremendous road network in their mountainous lands? The answer lies in studying the polities that preceded the Inca and the trade networks that had emerged over millennia that moved items between ecological zones and linked communities across distances. One type of evidence for the development of these ties between distant regions comes from studying artifacts like obsidian that can be sourced using geochemistry, and the links between obsidian source areas and sites where obsidian has been recovered by archaeologists.

This talk will describe my work in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile examining obsidian quarries in the high Andes and patterns in the distribution of archaeological obsidian over time that has been organized in a geographical information system (GIS). These patterns are considered in light of observations gathered during a two-week ethnoarchaeological study in 2007 with a llama caravan bearing salt on a 200 km journey to neighboring valley in southern Peru. The regular circuits traveled by llama caravans over thousands of years transported portable goods but these traders also moved information and maintained social ties, which enabled the forging of cultural traditions over a broad region long before the Inca.