Archaeology Events at Cal

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Updated: 5 days 17 hours ago

Ground-Penetrating Radar in California Archaeology, Dec 2

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
Ground-Penetrating Radar is a nondestructive geophysical surveying technique used increasingly in archaeological site assessment throughout the world. The technique has been very effective for characterizing features and strata at several sites in California and Oregon. These range from shell mounds and lithic sites to mission adobes and gold rush camps. This presentation outlines techniques incorporating the GSSI SIR-3000 radar equipment that is part of the ARF field equipment set. Sites discussed include Missions Santa Clara, San Juan Bautista, and Sonoma, Fort Ross Russian and Native settlement, Stege and West Berkeley Shell Mounds, adobes in Old Town San Diego, Camp Castaway, and shoreline villages.

Beginning with his Ph.D. research on intertidal wet sites on the Oregon Coast, Byram has focused on cultural and physical landscape changes along the Pacific Coast. His North American ethnohistoric research addresses topics ranging from indigenous trade and the Northwest Passage to fishing weir use in Native economies. In 2013 his book Triangulating Archaeological Landscapes appeared as ARF Contributions Volume 65. The book demonstrates the rich topographic detail of early U.S. Coast Survey maps depicting many key sites in their pre-development context. Since 2009 Byram has used ground-penetrating radar to characterize archaeological strata and identify artifacts and features, assisting with projects at a wide range of sites in California, Oregon, and other regions.

Textile Iconography and Kingship in Persia and Central Asia, Dec 4

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
Sino-Iranian Patterns in Transhimalayan Areas: a Group of Unknown Textiles in the China National Silk Museum (Gasparini)

Landscape, Ritual, and Reinvention of Persian Kingship after Alexander (Canepa)

Introductory remarks by Matteo Compareti, Guitty Azarpay Distinguished Visiting Professor in the History of the Arts of Iran and Central Asia, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Maroons and World History, May 5

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
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.

2nd North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, Jan 4-6, 2016

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
The congress, to be held in conjunction with the Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies in San Francisco (Wednesday through Saturday, January 6-9, 2016), will be the largest epigraphical event in the world for the year 2016. Building on the successful first NACGLE, which was held in 2011 at San Antonio, TX, we continue our efforts to promote epigraphical studies in North America by inviting an array of young and senior international scholars to present their work to a large audience. The second NACGLE includes parallel sessions on Greek and Roman epigraphy, graffiti, calendars, and digital epigraphy; plenary sessions on new Greek and Latin texts, and one devoted to the epigraphy of Greek religion; and two keynote addresses by Angelos Chaniotis (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), and Alison Cooley (University of Warwick).

The Book of the Dead in 3D, Dec 9

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
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.

PopUp Exhibition | Greg Niemeyer on The Materials of Memory, Dec 9

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
Greg Niemeyer is Associate Professor in the Center for New Media at Berkeley. He was born in Switzerland in 1967 and studied photography and classics. He received his MFA at Stanford in 1992, and founded Stanford’s Digital Art Center. At the Berkeley Center for New Media, Professor Niemeyer focuses on “the mediation between humans as individuals and humans as a collective through technological means, and emphasizes playful responses to technology”. His presentation will focus on the materials from which the Hanukkah lamps owned by the Magnes are made, paying particular attention to a lamp built in 1946, shortly after the Holocaust.

AIA Lecture - A Way to Immortality. Greek Myths of Divinization and Etruscan Funerary Rituals, Jan 27

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
Greek mythology was the core of a religious, ideological and visual language shared by the peoples of the Mediterranean as part of the broader phenomenon of Hellenization. This phenomenon began earlier and developed in greater depth in Etruria than elsewhere; this involved an unprecedented reception of Greek myth, which prefigured a similar phenomenon that occurred later in the Roman culture.
In actuality, Etruscan selection and representation of particular Greek myths shed light on their own concept of religion and demand for self-identity. From this perspective, any discrepancy and inconsistency in the shared mythological language is particularly relevant, and can be compared with known differences between Etruscan and Greek ritual behavior. This approach provides the key to deciphering the peculiarities of the selection and adaption of Greek myth in Etruria, where figural monuments often represent mythological scenes that do not correspond to the narratives preserved for us in Classical literary sources.
Our knowledge of Etruscan civilization derives in large part from tomb contexts, thus providing a somewhat funerary-biased image of this people. Still, it is clear that funerary religion played an important role in Etruscan ideology, with special regard to their beliefs and expectations in afterlife.
From a few passages found in Roman sources, we know that Etruscan lore knew a ritual destined to make the soul of the deceased immortal and divine by means of special, recurring sacrifices. The dead arising to the rank of (minor) deities were then called di animales, “animal gods” (or, better, “gods (deriving) from souls”).
The existence of such a ritual could then encourage the proliferation of myths that concerned the divinization of human beings; in turn, this provides an explanation for the preference of such myths on the side of the Etruscans. This is the case, for instance, with Hercules, very often represented as ascending to Olympus or presented to the gods in an apotheosis; this could work as well for Leucothea, Ariadne, Tithonus, and so on. These heroic and divine figures were all much more frequently represented in Etruria than in Greece, the Etruscan often selecting rare variants of a myth that would show the performance of a sacred ritual (such as, for instance, a libation offered by Hercules, or the liquid of immortality offered by Athena). Even Tydeus, the only Greek hero who was refused immortality because of his impiety (in the saga of the Seven Against Thebes), in Etruria acquired a popularity that was unparalleled in the Greek world.

AIA Lecture, Feb 10

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47

AIA Lecture, Apr 5

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47

The Melpomene Chair Greek Studies Conference, Dec 7

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
A conference of invited papers on the language, literature, culture, and reception of Ancient Greece.
The conference marks the retirement in December 2015 of Donald Mastronarde, Melpomene Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures, and the speakers are Berkeley PhD's and Scuola Normale (Pisa) PhD's from past decades and recent years.
Session 1 will include papers on reception by Michelle Zerba, Barbara Goff, and Donald Mastronarde.

The Melpomene Chair Greek Studies Conference, Dec 8

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 15:47
A conference of invited papers on the language, literature, culture, and reception of Ancient Greece.
The conference marks the retirement in December 2015 of Donald Mastronarde, Melpomene Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures, and the speakers are Berkeley PhD's and Scuola Normale (Pisa) PhD's from past decades and recent years.
Session 2 (10 to noon) features papers on Sappho and Corinna by Luigi Battezzato, Melissa Mueller, and Lucia Prauscello.
Session 3 (1:30 to 3:30) features papers on tragedy by Naomi Weiss, Davis Jacobson, and Bruce Louden.
Session 4 (4 to 6) features papers by Virginia Lewis (Pindar), David Goldstein (Greek linguistics), and Mario Telò (Heliodorus).

3D Film "The Final Passage", Dec 9

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:45
Join us to experience the first screening in the Bay Area of a new 3D film about the Grotte Chauvet-Pend D'Arc in Ardeche, France.
"The Final Passage" offers a 3D single-shot of the reconstructed Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave. In the spirit of the stunningly beautiful "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" comes the similarly striking "The Final Passage," an immersive 3D exploration of the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave in France.
Offering a full view of the original cave using 3D models, special effects and what looks to be a single 28-minute shot as the camera traverses the ancient art and carvings of a civilization long gone, the film provides a unique look at the rich past of the historic cave. Watch the eerily beautiful trailer above.

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

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 14:51
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.

Rock Art and Identity, Nov 18

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 14:51
Both on and off the rocks, pictographs and petroglyphs are powerful tools. In many countries, cultural and socio-political identities are shaped, manipulated, and presented through rock art. In this talk, I present results from recent fieldwork in southern Africa, northern Australia, and west Texas. I focus on heritage centres concerned with conservation, job creation, promoting community archaeology, and – above all – challenging visitors’ preconceptions of rock art and of the Indigenous peoples who made it. I also consider re-contextualised rock art images, in commercial settings, in academic publications, and as integral components of national symbols.