Updated: 1 day 3 hours ago
In the past three decades intensive archaeological landscape projects in Greece have produced a rich, diachronic record of rural settlement and land use. The diachronic scope of these projects has opened up new opportunities for the study of the 12th and 13th centuries, the transition from the Middle to Late Byzantine period. Many regional surveys have identified remnants of settlement and ceramics dating to this period; the regional patterns may differ but the emerging picture is clear, there is a proliferation of sites and off-site material which must reflect dense habitation as well as the intense level of agricultural activity during this time. In addition, the widespread distribution of diagnostic glazed wares in the rural landscape indicates increased availability, which may reflect changes in the organization of ceramic production, from centralized to dispersed. The archaeological evidence suggests that glazed pottery in the Middle-Late Byzantine period was produced in regional workshops located in urban as well as rural areas. These developments fit well with the centrifugal economic trends, the territorial shrinking of Byzantium and the growth of urban centers and rural settlement during this period. This presentation will conclude with an overview of the archaeological evidence from Nemea, advocating for an integrated approach that blends archaeological (surface survey, excavation) and historical perspectives.
Ceramic potsherds are one of the most plentiful and valued archaeological artifacts. In the last decade, considerable technological improvements have made high-‐resolution digital documentation available to archaeology. As 3D modeling methods continue to become more user-‐friendly and affordable, they offer an attractive alternative for artifact documentation, analysis and sharing of data. This presentation builds on the growing body of 3D laser scanning applications to the study of ceramics. It discusses 3D models of a selection of medieval ceramics from Nemea. Digital technologies such as 3D scanning strengthen the connection between research, heritage and preservation by broadening participation and making accessible material that previously had been available only to specialists!
Mortuary data forms one of the primary sources for studying the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean. It is often, however, examined in isolation from the complex, multi-staged processes and performances that made up the funeral and everything that followed it, given that the most popular tomb types, the tholos and chamber tombs, were used for multiple burials. The depositional sequence of these actions is most frequently overlooked, not least because of practical difficulties in identifying and reconstructing these events and the ephemeral and often ambiguous nature of the evidence. Despite these limitations, however, there are many clues, both direct – in the form of residual remains – and indirect – in the form of purposefully destroyed things – that hint at a whole range of funerary and post-funerary actions, involving the bodies and bones of those previously interred as well as the objects placed with them in the graves.
This lecture revisits the methodologies used in the identification of these actions and the interpretations that have been put forward to explain the post-funeral manipulation of bones and objects in Late Bronze Age tombs. ‘Essential’ as these actions may have been, because of the reuse of the tombs, scholarship may have actually conflated different sets of information to produce a rather homogeneous picture that is still extensively used in the reconstruction of ‘Mycenaean burial customs’. These post-funeral actions, however, may have actually entailed a number of different performances, which formed part of multi-staged episodes and of a more complex and nuanced web of social practice than previously thought.
How can we identify and reconstruct post-funeral manipulation? What did these processes and performances entail? What can we learn about the Aegean Late Bronze Age societies from the examination of their post-funeral practices? These questions are pertinent to current discussions in Mediterranean archaeology regarding the extent and significance of funeral manipulation of bones and objects and of intentional acts of fragmentation in the archaeological record.
Please join us for a special presentation by Perry Chocktoot Jr., who will discuss his role as the Director for the Klamath Tribes’ Culture and Heritage Department. If you are interested in learning about archaeological research and Cultural Resource Management from a Native American perspective, you are encouraged to attend.
“I was raised and attended schools in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I started work fairly young doing farm work and later worked for the Weyerhaeuser Co., before becoming Director of the Klamath Tribes’ Culture and Heritage Department.
During my life I have been blessed to learn about our traditional practices and the culture of our people. Having been tutored as a traditional practitioner by several elders alive and deceased has given me opportunities that can’t be measured by modern standards as the knowledge that I have acquired is from the past as well as the present.
I take great pride in transferring the knowledge that I have acquired to our youth annually at our summer Culture Camp. We teach everything from basket-making and flintknapping to language and beading. As Tribal educators, our mission is to instill in our young people an interest and respect in our traditions and cultural heritage.”
- Perry Chocktoot Jr.
Meet Medhin Gebreselasie. Medhin was born and raised in Bieta Giyorgis, a small village in Northern Tigray, in the heart of the Ethiopian highlands. She wanted to go to school. Instead she got married at an early age and became a potter, like her mother and her grandmother before her. Pottery making here is not rewarding, and not even sustainable. But it is Medhin’s only skill.
Medhin’s story is similar to many other stories I heard during my ethnoarchaeological research in Tigray. For me, she became both a symbol of the unfortunate condition of many women in Tigray and a beacon that guided my own journey into the culture and history of this region. As an archaeologist in Ethiopia, I wondered in which way these lands and the deep layers of their history, had contributed to, if not determined entirely, Medhin’s destiny. The powerful empire of Aksum disintegrated in Tigray between 800-900 AD. With it, went dense urban and suburban networks, palaces, the demand for highly specialized skills, and the very glue that had maintained these lands within a powerful political and social framework. What happened to the people then? Archaeological surveys and excavations in the region tell us that soon after Aksum collapsed, the settlement pattern became what it is today, small rural communities clustered around the few remaining natural resources. Together with settlement patterns, many other aspects of modern life in this region have direct connections with the archaeological past: farming techniques, architecture, technological skills, ethnicity, and religion. This talk will intertwine personal experiences with the larger archaeological history of this region. I will demonstrate that much of the modern Tigrean culture is rooted into its ancient past and traditions, and that Medhin’s and the other potters’ condition might be one of the consequences of this long historical and cultural process. Given these deep roots, is life for Medhin and her daughters destined to remain the same? Is this the end of the story? I think not…
Dr. James D. Keyser is the (retired) Region 6 Archaeologist for the USDA Forest Service, and is also a world rock art specialist with hundreds of publications to his name. He routinely leads rock art tours in both Europe and North America, and is a past president of Oregon Archaeological Society, in Portland, Oregon where he continues to add to his publication repertoire and conduct a variety of archaeological training modules for members of the public who are interested in exploring archaeology as volunteers.
On March 10th he will visit Dr. Robert David's class in 61 Barrows to present two discussions. Between around 12:30 and 1:30, he will discuss aspects of Federal archaeological protection laws that directly affect the public. Following this, he will discuss his research on the rock art of both the Columbia Plateau and the North American Great Basin. All are invited to attend.
Jim is a very dynamic and accomplished speaker. Anybody interested in Cultural Resource Management and/or rock art should seriously consider attending.
The discovery in 1900 — and dispersal worldwide within little over a decade— of a Library Cave hidden for almost 1000 years in the Buddhist cave temples of Dunhuang was a catalyst for China's positioning itself as a key player in a pre-modern 'global' world, the Silk Road. Dunhuang, a UNESCO world heritage site, remains at the forefront of China's bid to consolidate this through the current international Silk Road nomination. In her talk, Susan Whitfield will introduce the collections, their discovery and dispersal and the role of China in the collaborative work of the past two decades to reunite the collections digitally, through the International Dunhuang Project (http://idp.bl.uk).
Global Chinese Studies Colloquium
The Unidentified Persons Project began in 2007 as a collaboration between members of the Coroner Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department and a group of volunteer forensic archaeologists and anthropologists. The goal of the project is to exhume individuals who were buried by the county without identification in unmarked graves over the past hundred years and apply modern forensic analysis to the remains. By updating what we know about decedents through the extraction of DNA and more thorough methods of skeletal and tissue analysis, we seek to identify these individuals, providing closure to their families and an opportunity for re-burial in marked graves. In some cases, identification of those who died as a result of foul play provides law enforcement with additional opportunities to prosecute those responsible. In 2014, this project was expanded with assistance from the Institute for Field Research into a forensic archaeology and anthropology field school, providing additional opportunities and challenges for those involved. This talk will summarize the Unidentified Persons Project, focusing on the methodology we use and what we have learned so far. The talk will then discuss the broader impact that forensic archaeology can have on the identification of individuals and the challenges that face forensic archaeologists, using the project as a case-study.
The GGSC is pleased to present this talk by Greater Good editorial board member Frans de Waal--world-renowned primatologist, one of Discover magazine's "47 Great Minds of Science," and a pioneer in the study of the evolutionary basis of empathy and kindness. Dr. de Waal's research is not only foundational to the GGSC's work but is always highly entertaining and eye-opening.
In this talk, he will explore the evolutionary roots of empathy and sympathy--and consider why this discovery has received relatively little attention.
He'll consider two factors that might explain this lack of little attention.
One is that evolutionary biology, until recently, preferred a "nature red in tooth and claw" view that had no place for kindness. The second has been an excessive fear of anthropomorphism and a taboo on the term "emotion" in relation to animals.
Both of these influences take little account of actual animal behavior, which would lead one to agree with Darwin that "many animals certainly sympathize with each other's distress or danger." However, in Dr. de Waal’s work with monkeys, apes, and elephants, he has found many cases of one individual coming to another's aid in a fight, putting an arm around a previous victim of attack, or other emotional responses to the distress of others. In fact, hel posits that the entire communication system of nonhuman primates is emotionally mediated.
At this talk, Dr. de Waal will review expressions of empathy in animals, which ranges from a core mechanism of emotional linkage (known as emotional contagion) to higher levels of perspective-taking and targeted helping. This increases the effectiveness of sympathetic support, care, and reassurance. He will also discuss the sense of fairness in animals, including the Ultimatum Game which his research team recently played with chimpanzees.
Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books -- translated into many languages -- have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest books are The Age of Empathy (2009, Harmony) and The Bonobo and the Atheist (Norton, 2013).
De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science.
This is a brown bag lecture
This is a brown bag lecture.