Archaeological Institute of America-Milwaukee Society

2014-2015 Lecture Series

All lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Sabin Hall Room G90 on the UWM Campus (3413 North Downer, corner of Newport and Downer Avenues). On Sundays, parking is available in the Klotsche Center surface lot directly north of Sabin or on nearby streets.

All lectures are free and open to the public and followed by refreshments. They are co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages and Literature-Classics, and Art History at UW-Milwaukee.

Spring, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Sarah C. Clayton, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Title: Teotihuacan and its Countryside: the Rural-Urban Dynamics of an Ancient Metropolis

Sunday, March 29, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Susan Heuck Allen, Brown University
Title: Archaeologist Spies: the Truth behind the Myth

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Lisa Mahoney, DePaul University
Title: Inventing the Latin Kingdom: Art and Architecture during the Crusades


Fall, 2014

September 28, 2014 3:00pm
Sinclair Bell, Northern Illinois University
Title: 'The Greatest Show on Earth': Chariot Racing in Ancient Rome

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:00-4:00pm
International Archaeology Day Celebration
See International Archaeology Day for details

Sunday, November 2, 2014, 3:00pm
Michael Danti, Boston University
Title: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program in Iraqi Kurdistan

Sunday, December 7, 2014, 3:00pm
John Richards, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: City in the Wilderness: Mounds, Middens, and Ritual at a Late Woodland/Mississippian Community in Southern Wisconsin


Lecture Descriptions - Spring 2015


Sunday, February 22, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Sarah C. Clayton, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Teotihuacan and its Countryside: the Rural-Urban Dynamics of an Ancient Metropolis

Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan

Description: The first century BC in central Mexico witnessed the emergence of Teotihuacan, a city that rapidly developed into the capital of an urban state of unprecedented size, monumentality, ethnic diversity, and political power in North America. Teotihuacan's monumental center has benefited from more than a century of archaeological study. Investigations of Teotihuacan's rural communities are rare by comparison, partly due to the rapid destruction of archaeological sites as Mexico City continues to grow. To understand Teotihuacan's growth and organization as one of the earliest and largest indigenous states in the Americas, archaeologists are looking beyond the ancient city to study its regional environmental and social landscape. This talk will focus on reconstructing everyday life in Teotihuacan's countryside, the regional process of state collapse, and the challenges of excavating Mexico City's vanishing archaeological landscape.

Sarah C. Clayton

Dr. Sarah C. Clayton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the development, organization, and dissolution of early urban states in Mesoamerica. Her recent work explores rural-urban dynamics, intrasocietal diversity, and processes of political collapse and reorganization in the Basin of Mexico. She currently directs an archaeological field project at Chicoloapan Viejo, a settlement that grew in association with the decline of the ancient metropolis of Teotihuacan. This research represents a multiscalar approach in which regional political changes are examined from the perspective of the everyday practices of local households.

For more about Dr. Sarah C. Clayton: http://www.anthropology.wisc.edu/people_clayton.php

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Sunday, March 29, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Susan Heuck Allen, Brown University
Archaeologist Spies: the Truth behind the Myth

Description: Dr. Susan Heuck Allen offers a unique perspective on an untold story, the first insiders' account of the American intelligence service in WWII Greece. Archaeologists in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean drew on their personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain to set up spy networks in Nazi-occupied Greece. While many might think Indiana Jones is just a fantasy character, American archaeologists with code-names like Thrush and Chickadee took part in events where Indy would feel at home: burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to establish spies, and organizing parachute drops into Greece. These remarkable men and women, often mistaken for mild-mannered professors and scholars, hailed from America's top universities and premier digs, such as Troy and the Athenian Agora, and later rose to the top of their profession as AIA gold medalists and presidents. Relying on interviews with individuals sharing their stories for the first time, previously unpublished secret documents, diaries, letters, and personal photographs, I share an exciting new angle on archaeology and World War II.

Dr. Susan Heuck Allen

Dr. Susan Heuck Allen is Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classics at Brown University. She received her Ph.D. in Classics and Classical Archaeology from Brown University, after earning degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Smith College. Her areas of expertise - Troy and the history of archaeology - were combined in her book, Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik (University of California Press -- Berkley, 1999). She is also the author of Excavating Our Past: Perspectives on the History of the Archaeological Institute of America, which is a part of the 2002 AIA Monograph Series, and recently published Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Dr. Allen has held positions at Smith College, and Clark and Yale Universities, and has done fieldwork in Cyprus, Israel, and Knossos. She was named a Mellon Fellow in 2008, and has held a number of other fellowships.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015, 3:00pm
Dr. Lisa Mahoney, DePaul University
Inventing the Latin Kingdom: Art and Architecture during the Crusades

Dr. Lisa Mahoney

Description: The story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem typically begins with the preaching of the crusades and the movement of large armies east. But there is another beginning to which we might also attend-that of establishing settlement and rule-and in so doing emphasize a different, less martial and less hostile, component of this kingdom. Indeed, it is this sense of beginning that most marks Frankish material culture, announcing as it does relationships to legendary regional figures, facilitating as it does new rituals, and relying as it does on novel artistic formulas. Together, such characteristics reveal the peculiar concerns of the Frankish population, which needed above all to unify members with diverse origins and root them to this place. Lisa Mahoney (DePaul University) will discuss works charged with this task, showing that even as kings were crowned and chronicles were written, it was material culture that played the most important role in the invention of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Dr. Lisa Mahoney specializes in the twelfth and thirteenth century artistic production of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Crusader art) and of France. She has edited a volume with Daniel Weiss called France and the Holy Land: Frankish Culture at the End of the Crusades and has published articles treating the role of cultural exchange in the construction and proclamation of identity in the eastern Mediterranean. Her current book project focuses on issues of identity as they appear within the pages of a thirteenth-century illuminated history that was made in Acre, a port city of modern day Israel. These projects have been supported by National Endowment of the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon, and Samuel H. Kress fellowships.

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Lecture Descriptions - Fall 2014

September 28, 2014 3:00pm
Sinclair Bell, Northern Illinois University
Title: 'The Greatest Show on Earth': Chariot Racing in Ancient Rome

Chariot Racing

Wild ride: The Chariot Race,
c. 1882 by Alexander von Wagner (Bridgeman Art Library)


Description: Many misperceptions surround the spectacles held in ancient Rome, especially as a result of contemporary film and television. For instance, there is the popular belief that gladiatorial combats were the premiere spectacle at Rome: that they attracted the biggest audiences and the most partisan fans. In fact, neither assumption is true. The Circus Maximus in Rome – the original and largest venue for chariot-racing – was many centuries older and considerably larger than the Colosseum. In addition, chariot-races drew the largest crowds and most fervent fans in Rome and throughout the Roman Empire, and continued to do so centuries after the gladiatorial games faded away. This lecture will explore the circus games’ activity and setting, their star performers, their spectators and fans, and the central importance of the circus games for Roman society as a whole.

Roman Charioteer

Roman Charioteer, mosaic, 3rd century A.D.
(Palazzo Massimo alle terme, Rome)


Sinclair Bell

Dr. Sinclair Bell is a Classical Archaeologist and Associate Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois, where he teaches courses on Greek, Roman and Egyptian art and architecture. He has excavated Etruscan and Roman sites in Italy and Tunisia and interned in museums in Germany and Greece. He studied Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford, the University of Cologne, and the University of Edinburgh, where he received his Ph.D. in Classics in 2004. Since then, he has given nearly fifty lectures and published five books and more than thirty scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews about the art and archaeology of ancient Italy.

For More about Sinclair Bell: http://www.niu.edu/art/Faculty/Art-History/sinclair-bell.shtml

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Sunday, November 2, 2014, 3:00pm
Michael Danti, Boston University
Title: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program in Iraqi Kurdistan

Description: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program (RAP) seeks to revitalize archaeology in Iraqi Kurdistan through the implementation of a long-term, integrative program of multidisciplinary archaeological research projects and cultural heritage management initiatives. The area represents one of the most compelling and unknown corners of the Near East — over a century of warfare and political strife have prevented most archaeological research. In 2013, the Department of Antiquities of the Kurdistan Regional Government granted RAP a five-year permit to conduct archaeological surveys and excavations in the Soran District of northeastern Erbil Province. The surrounding mountain ranges of the western Zagros have been renowned for millennia for their scenic wonders and strategically prized as a natural stronghold controlling the mountain routes afforded by the erosional forces of the Greater Zab and its tributaries, especially the immense Rowanduz Gorge and the passes at Kel-i Shin and Gawra Shinka. The high valleys provide summer pastures for herders and tracts of arable land that supported prosperous highland settlements as early as the Pre-pottery Neolithic. Remote sanctuaries, grotto shrines, and monumental rock inscriptions and stele dedicated to ancient storm and mountain deities stand testament to the primordial powers attributed to the awe inspiring landscape and the vitality of the rivers that emanated from the highlands to water the neighboring arid Mesopotamian plain and intermontane basins of Iranian Kurdistan. The Zagros also inspired fear, standing as a byword for the forces of chaos and the haunts of wild beasts, mythical creatures, bandits, and marauders. Previously scholars knew little about this region in antiquity save for its hidden potential gleaned from historical sources, travelers’ accounts, or the occasional archaeological reconnaissance. Cuneiform texts spanning the Early Bronze Age to the early Iron Age suggest the Soran District formed the territorial core of the Hurro-Urartian kingdom of Musasir/Ardini, doubly famed as home to the trans-regional cult center of the Hurrian storm-god Haldi and for the sacking of this temple and its treasury by the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II in 714 BC during his renowned Eighth Campaign. Archaeological reconnaissance and excavations have revealed evidence for human occupation over the long duration of occupations with clear evidence of the region’s prosperity in the later Bronze and early Iron Age. RAP promises to shed much new light on this Zagrosian buffer state, whatever its ancient name(s), as well as its vacillating relations vis-à-vis its hegemonic neighbors Assyria and Urartu and their complex and shifting networks of vassals and allies.

Michael Danti

Michael Danti is Assistant Professor with the Department of Archaeology at Boston University, and Consulting Scholar with the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He holds his degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.) and Purdue University, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His areas of specialization are Near Eastern archaeology, Mesopotamia, Iran, cultural heritage management, museum studies, archaeological method and theory, and complex societies. He is currently Director of Excavations at Tell es-Sweyhat (Syria), Rowanduz (Iraqi Kurdistan), Mosul (Iraq), and Director of the Hasanlu (Iraq) Publication Project. Professor Danti's current publication projects include Hasanlu IVb: The Iron II Cemetery, Hasanlu Excavation Reports IV (with M. Cifarelli, University of Pennsylvania Musem, in preparation), Hasanlu V: The Late Bronze and Iron I Periods, Hasanlu Excavation Reports III (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), and "Searching for Musasir: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program" in New Agendas in Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology in the Near East (The Oriental Institute, in preparation).

For more about Michael Danti:

For further reading:

  • Danti, Michael. 2014. The Ancient Near East Today. Friends of Asor: Current News about the Ancient Past, vol. II(7). http://asorblog.org/?p=7612
  • Hamilton, A.H. 1958. The Road Through Kurdistan. New edition. (London: Faber & Faber Limited).
  • Radner, H. 2012. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Musasir, Kumme and Subria — The Buffer States between Assyria and Urartu. In S. Kroll, C. Gruber, U. Hellwag, M. Roaf & P. Zimansky (ed.) Biainili-Urartu. (Leuven: Peeters), pp. 243–264.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014, 3:00pm
John Richards, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: City in the Wilderness: Mounds, Middens, and Ritual at a Late Woodland/Mississippian Community in Southern Wisconsin

Southwest Mound at Aztalan

Southwest Mound at Aztalan, Photo: John Richards


Description: The Aztalan site in Jefferson County, Wisconsin is a mound and village complex that was occupied by a mixed population of Late Woodland and Mississippian Indians from about A.D. 900 to 1300. The site first captured the public imagination in 1837 when it was described as a mysterious “city in the wilderness”. Although certainly not a “city” as currently defined, one hundred and seventy-six years of archaeological investigations at the site have yet to fully dispel many of the mysteries surrounding Aztalan’ s presence in southern Wisconsin. However, recent investigations by UWM archaeologists have shed new light on previously under reported aspects of site structure, settlement chronology, subsistence practices, external relations, and community ethnogenesis.

Aztalan

Map of Wisconsin, Aztalan indicated


Nicholas Cahill

John Richards is an Associate Scientist in the UWM Department of Anthropology. Dr. Richards directs the UWM Cultural Resource Management program, serves as Associate Director of the UWM Archaeological Research Laboratory, and is an Adjunct Curator at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Richards began his archaeological career in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and after a brief sojourn in Mexico has worked in the Midwest ever since. His interests include the social dynamics of the late prehistoric period in the Great Lakes region, ceramic analysis, historic preservation, and the history of anthropology and archaeology.

For more information on the excavations at Aztalan, see: http://www.mpm.edu/research-collections/anthropology/online-collections-research/aztalan-collection/site-history

Read more about John Richards at: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/anthropology/faculty/richards-jd.cfm

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