Archaeological Institute of America-Milwaukee Society

2013-2014 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.

Fall, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 3:00pm
Virginia Miller, University of Illinois at Chicago
Title: Skeletons, Skulls and Bones in the Art of Chichén Itzá

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 1:00-4:00pm
International Archaeology Day Celebration
See International Archaeology Day for details

Sunday, November 3, 2013, 3:00pm
Lisa C. Pieraccini, University of California, Berkeley
Title: The Ever Elusive Etruscan Egg

Sunday, December 8, 2013, 3:00pm
Nicholas Cahill, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Title: Recent Archaeology at Sardis, City of Croesus

Spring, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014, 3:00pm
Kevin Cullen, Neville Public Museum, Green Bay
Title: Transportation, Trade & Treacherous Waters: Maritime Archaeology from the Irish Coast to Lake Michigan's Shores

Friday March 7 and Saturday March 8,
Fifth Annual Milwaukee Archaeology Fair
10am to 3 pm, Milwaukee Public Museum
Milwaukee Archaeology Fair for more information

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3:00pm
Maria Liston, University of Waterloo, Ontario
Title: Short Lives and Forgotten Deaths: Infant Skeletons from the 'Baby Well' in the Athenian Agora

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3:00pm
Hrvoje Potrebica, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Title: Kaptol-Princes of the Crossroads


Lecture Descriptions

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 3:00pm
Virginia Miller, University of Illinois at Chicago
Title: Skeletons, Skulls and Bones in the Art of Chichén Itzá

Virginia Miller

Description: The Aztecs considered the bones of slain captives to be powerful, a belief probably shared by the earlier Maya: one Maya hieroglyph for "captive" translates as "bone." Nevertheless, at southern Maya sites like Tikal and Yaxchilán during the Classic period (A.D. 300-900), war-related art focuses more on the capture and humiliation of enemies rather than on their sacrificial deaths or their post-mortem remains. In contrast, at northern Maya sites in Yucatán and at Chichén Itzá in particular, battle scenes, sacrifice, skulls, and bones are frequent themes in reliefs, murals, and other media such as jade and gold. The skullrack, a new architectural form decorated with sculpted impaled skulls, was prominently placed right next to the massive ballcourt. This may have served as a grim reminder of the potential power of Chichén's rulers, the Itzá, even when no human heads were on display. Why this upsurge in graphic sacrificial and death imagery between about A.D. 800 and 1000? Were the Itzá militarily more successful than their predecessors? Why are both victors and defeated presented in groups and anonymously, in contrast to the southern Maya practice of naming individual captors and captives? Did the northern Maya practice human sacrifice on a more massive scale, foreshadowing later Aztec practices? These are just some of the questions Virginia Miller will address in her lecture.

Chichen Itza Skullrack

Dr. Virginia Miller is Chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her scholarly interests focus on ancient Maya art and architecture of the northern Maya of Yucatan, particularly Chichén Itzá. She is also currently writing about monuments and buildings in the neo-Maya style in the city of Merida, Yucatán, mostly dating from the 1920s-1950s. Professor Miller is the recipient of several major fellowships, including one from the National Endowment for the Humanities, two Fulbright Fellowships to teach and conduct research in Guatemala and Mexico, and two residential fellowships at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C. She wrote The Frieze of the Palace of the Stuccoes, Acanceh, Yucatan, Mexico, edited The Role of Gender in Precolumbian Art and Architecture, and is the author of numerous articles on Maya art and architecture.

In January, 2014 she will lead an AIA tour of "Pyramids and Temples of the Yucatán" (See http://www.archaeological.org/tours/americas/11923 and http://www.archaeological.org/tours/leaders/virginiamiller)

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Sunday, November 3, 2013, 3:00pm
Lisa C. Pieraccini, University of California, Berkeley
Title: The Ever Elusive Etruscan Egg

Tomb of the Leopards Tarquinia Banquetting Couple with Egg

Description: Representations of the egg in various media are common in Etruscan art. On bronze mirrors we frequently find large eggs referring to the birth of Helen of Troy. Rich tombs of the seventh century BC often contained imported ostrich eggs, highly prized luxury items indeed. The well-known Tragliatella vase, according to some scholars, curiously displays a couple holding eggs. At the site of Tarquinia, the painted tombs frequently depict an egg being passed from one banqueter or reveler to another, or held out for display. One brazier found in the archaic Tomba Maroi III at the site of Caere even contained eggs, which we can imagine were placed on the burning coals in the brazier during the funeral banquet. Scholars have suggested that the Etruscan egg was full of symbolic meaning. But what does it really mean? Lisa Pieraccini will discuss what exactly the egg symbolized and how it functioned in the rich realm of Etruscan funerary ritual.

Lisa C. Pieraccini

Dr. Lisa C. Pieraccini is a classical archaeologist who has spent years teaching and conducting research in Italy. Active at the Etruscan site of Cerveteri, north of Rome, she does research on Etruscan burial customs, ceramic workshops, international trade, and the reception of Etrucsans and Romans in the 18th century. Her book, Around the Hearth: Caeretan Cylinder-Stamped Braziers (2003), is the first comprehensive study of over three hundred and fifty Etruscan impasto braziers. She has published on the craft of cylinder stamping, funerary rituals at Caere, the Etruscans during the Grand Tour, and even the Etruscans in film. Her current projects include comparisons of Etruscan and Roman wall painting. Lisa Pieraccini teaches in the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lisa Pieraccini holds AIA's Cinelli Lectureship in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology for 2013-14, endowed by the Etruscan Foundation in honor of Count Ferdinando Cinelli and Sarah Cinelli.

For more about Lisa Pieraccini: http://arthistory.berkeley.edu/Faculty_Pieraccini.html

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Sunday, December 8, 2013, 3:00pm
Nicholas Cahill, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Title: Recent Archaeology at Sardis, City of Croesus

Nicholas Cahill

Description: Recent archaeological work at Sardis in western Turkey has provided many new insights into the history and culture of this ancient city. Sardis was the capital of the Lydian empire, which conquered all of western Turkey in the seventh and sixth century BC; it was a satrapal (regional) capital under the Persians in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., and remained an important city in Hellenistic and Roman times. Recent excavation has tentatively located the palace of the Lydian kings, legendary until today for their fabulous wealth. New discoveries and analyses of some of the world's earliest coins, invented by the Lydians in the seventh century BC, reveal unexpected results about the sources of gold, nature of the earliest coinage, and the relationships between money and empire. Excavation and research in two of Sardis' major Hellenistic and Roman temples, the temple of Artemis and a temple of the cult of the Roman emperors, help us understand the intricacies of these complex buildings and the close historical, economic, and cultic relationships between them.

Sardis Temple

Dr. Nicholas Cahill is Professor of Art History at UW-Madison, where he has taught since 1993. He has been Field Director of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis since 2008. He holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in ancient history and Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of California at Berkeley. His main research and teaching interests are Greek, Roman and Near Eastern art; Greek city planning and social organization; Archaic Greece; Anatolia; Interrelations between Greece and the Near East; Achaemenid Persia; and Greek epigraphy.

For more information on the excavations at ancient Sardis see: http://athome.harvard.edu/programs/cos/.

Read more about Nick Cahill at: https://arthistory.wisc.edu/nicholas-cahill-biography.htm

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Sunday, February 9, 2014, 3:00pm
Kevin Cullen, Neville Public Museum, Green Bay
Title: Transportation, Trade & Treacherous Waters: Maritime Archaeology from the Irish Coast to Lake Michigan's Shores

Kevin Cullun Illustrating the SS Milwaukee

Description: Kevin Cullen's talk will highlight recent maritime archaeology expeditions off Achill Island, Co. Mayo Ireland, as well as new and old discoveries pertaining to Wisconsin's maritime heritage. He will show how new insights from these disparately connected regions shed light on the foundations of local and global commodity maritime trade, the evolving architecture of historic shipwrecks, ongoing education potentials, tourism opportunities and increased public advocacy for long term preservation.

Kevin Cullen is Archaeology Associate at Neville Public Museum where, as head of the Distant Mirror program, he leads programs on underwater archaeology in Lake Michigan, as well as the popular, hands-on brewing program "Ale through the Ages", and archaeology in some of Milwaukee's parks. He is currently serving as President of the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology.

For more on the Kevin's work with the Distant Mirror programs see: http://distantmirror.wordpress.com/about/

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Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3:00pm
Maria Liston, University of Waterloo, Ontario
Title: Short Lives and Forgotten Deaths: Infant Skeletons from the 'Baby Well' in the Athenian Agora

Maria Liston

Description: In 1932, excavators in the Athenian Agora discovered a disturbing deposit one of the wells on the site. The skeletons of hundreds of infants and dogs were recovered from debris deposited after the well ceased to be used as a water supply. The mass of infant burials led to much speculation, and possible explanations for the large number of infant skeletons included a cult of infant sacrifice, previously undocumented plague, and association with military disaster. A recent multi-disciplinary project has at last clarified the date and nature of the deposit, and provides insight into the high infant mortality rates that plagued the ancient city. In her lecture Dr. Liston examines the causes of death of nearly 450 infants deposited in the well, and explores the possible explanations for the creation of this unusual mass grave.

Dr. Maria Liston is Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology department. Dr. Liston pursues research as a skeletal biologist and archaeologist, focusing on the excavation and analysis of human remains and their mortuary contexts. Since 1987 she has worked as the skeletal biologist for the Iron Age excavations at Kavousi, Crete, and various other projects in Crete. Since 2002 she has been participating in the excavation of the Iron Age site of Azoria in Crete. She also has directed the analysis of the remains of previously recovered British and colonial soldiers at Fort William Henry, in New York, and in 1996 conducted the first excavations at the fort in over 30 years.

Maria Liston holds AIA's William D. E. Coulsen Memorial lectureship for 2013-14.

For more on Dr. Liston's work see: https://uwaterloo.ca/anthropology/people-profiles/maria-liston

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Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3:00pm
Hrvoje Potrebica, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Title: Kaptol—Princes of the Crossroads

Hrvoje Potrebica

Description: Two necropolises and a fortified settlement discovered near the village of Kaptol in the Požega Valley (Croatia) form one of the most important Hallstatt complexes in this part of Europe. The importance of the large and prosperous settlement accompanied by elite burials with prestigious goods from distant areas is probably based on the transitional position of the Hallstatt centre in Kaptol within the communication network, which connected the Mediterranean cultural area with the rich seats of Hallstatt princes in Central Europe. An important role in this system was played by the Iron Age cultures of the Balkans and Pannonia, which were closely and directly connected with the centre at Kaptol. The lecture presents the research on the necropolis at Gradci, where fifteen tumuli were excavated in the period between 2001 and 2012. The lecture also briefly presents the results of initial stages of research at the hillfort, which suggests a longer life span for the settlement and its possible continuity into the La Tène Period.

Dr. Hrvoje Potrebica is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Zagreb. He earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Zagreb. His research focuses on Iron Age Europe, and on Bronze and Iron Age elites.

Dr. Potrebica holds the AIA's prestigious Kress Lectureship for 2013-14.

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