Minnesota Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (MN-AIA)

Donald Hammer, President

2005-2006 MN-AIA Lecture Schedule

This year some of the lectures will be held at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, 120 West Kellogg Blvd (map), in the Argon Room. Lectures are followed by time for questions and answers. For those who are interested, dinner with the speaker precedes the 7:00 lecture at a local St. Paul restaurant--Babani's Kurdish Restaurant, 544 St. Peter St. (map). Several lectures will also be held at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings in the large auditorium of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts located at 2400 3rd Avenue South (map). The large auditorium is called "Pillsbury Auditorium" (not to be confused with the building at the U of M). The lectures at the MIA are followed by a question and answer period and also an opportunity to dine with the guest, usually at Christos Greek Restaurant at 2632 Nicollet Ave.(map). All lectures are free and open to the public.

Lecture Abstracts

Thursday, October 13, 2005, 7:00 p.m.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Argon Room

Christopher Monroe

Christopher Monroe is an Instructor in the Department of Classical and
Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has his Ph.D.
from the University of Michigan, Near Eastern studies department. Most
of his research centers on the sociological role of traders in the
Eastern Mediterranean world during the Late Bronze Age. He has
participated in land and underwater excavations in Israel, Syria,
Turkey, Lake Michigan, and Crete. He teaches courses on Near Eastern
archaeology and nautical archaeology.

Lessons from a Late Bronze Age Shipwreck: a Decade after Uluburun

Around 1300 BC a small ship loaded with enough raw bronze to outfit a
small army, and enough treasure to bribe a king, sank in a remote
location, possibly en route to a Mycenaean city. On board was a
microcosmic sample of the international world that had evolved over the
centuries. Cypriote, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Syro-Canaanite goods
were all present, and the crew looks to have been mixed as well. From
1984 to 1994 the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M
University conducted excavations of this, the oldest shipwreck ever
found off the southern coast of Turkey. Interim reports by project
directors George Bass and Cemal Pulak have appeared regularly and have
profoundly impacted the way historians and archaeologists view the Late
Bronze Age world of the Eastern Mediterranean at around the time of
Tutankhamun. Our picture of this lost venture has steadily evolved in
the decade or so since excavations ended, and now the remains of the
wreck are displayed in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum,
Turkey. The speaker was a participant in the excavations and will report
on the progress of study, what has been learned, and what questions this
remarkable find promises yet to answer.

Thursday, November 3, 2005, 7:00 p.m.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Classroom 5&6

Robert Ferguson

Robert Ferguson is Director of Undergraduate Studies and adjunt
Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture and Landscape
Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He was educated at
Washington University, St. Louis, the University of Minnesota (B. Arch)
and Pembroke College, Cambridge (M.Phil). He teaches in the Departments
of Architecture at Minnesota and Cambridge. His architectural practice
has centered on restoration and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. In
addition to articles on architecture and landscape in nineteenth-century
America, he has published one book of poetry. His current research
continues to investigate architecture as representation through the
academic work of Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, the subject of his Ph.D. work nearing completion at the University of Cambridge.

Archaeology as Science in the Age of Wren

One thing we can learn from the period of early modern science is what
kind of questions we are forgetting to ask. To ask what counts as
archaeology in the seventeenth century is really to ask the vital
question of what counts as science, which turns out to be more difficult
than we may think.

For instance, though London’s Roman origins had long been known,
concrete evidence of Londinium began to appear in any amount only with
Christopher Wren’s excavations following the Great Fire of 1666. But
Wren uses his still scanty evidence to support a broad and complete
picture of the ancient city that is already in place. Modern criteria
might incline us to dismiss such a picture as speculation, and would ill
equip us to deal with the weight still accorded to literary and
traditional evidence by such figures as Newton, who did not allow
distance from Jerusalem to deter him from reconstructing, quite
seriously, the Temple of Solomon.

William Camden, for ancient Britain, and the Oxford astronomer John
Greaves, for ancient Egypt, will open the context of knowledge into
which Wren introduced his new evidence. The physician and philosopher
Sir Thomas Browne will illuminate some of the possibilities of
interpretation available to this intellectual culture. Within Wren’s own
circle, John Aubrey’s investigations at Stonehenge and Avebury closely
parallel the London digs, and tell us more about the diggers than about
the sites themselves.

If William Stukeley, following the same tracks in the eighteenth
century, seems poised to emerge from antiquarianism into the light of
something we more easily recognise as archaeology, Wren and Newton will
continue to stand as reminders that our constructions of scientific
truth could not be taken for granted by the founders of modern science.

Thursday, December 1, 2005, 7:00 p.m.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Classroom 5&6

Gilbert Tostevin

Gilbert Tostevin is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the
Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He received
his Ph.D. from Harvard University. His work focuses on the archaeology
of modern human origins. His research on the stone tool technologies
left by our hominid predecessors is designed to recognize the causal
agents behind changes in hominid material culture, such as the Middle to
Upper Paleolithic transition. Since 1997, he has been part of two
international excavation projects in the Czech Republic investigating
the origins of the Upper Paleolithic in Central Europe. In addition to
Paleolithic topics, Tostevin's interests include the role of material
culture in shaping human thought and behavior from the Stone Age to the

Culture Contact of a Different Type: Neanderthals and Modern Humans in
Central Europe at 40,000 years ago.

The Neanderthals, an archaic Homo sapiens species, lived in Europe and
the Near East for 250,000 years before anatomically modern humans, Homo
sapiens sapiens, intruded upon them between 40 and 35,000 years ago. By
30,000 years ago, the Neanderthals and other archaic Homo sapiens across
the Old World were extinct. This amazing transformation of the
biological landscape of the Old World is one of the most intriguing
subjects in human evolution. This change was not only biological,
however; it was also cultural. With the Neanderthals died a material
culture complex known as the Middle Paleolithic. As modern humans
arrived in Europe from Africa, they brought with them a new form of
material culture behavior known as the Upper Paleolithic. In fact, some
scholars argue that the Upper Paleolithic cultural repertoire itself was
the advantage which allowed our modern human ancestors to displace their
archaic predecessors. Yet the replacement of the Neanderthals and their
Middle Paleolithic traditions was not instantaneous; it took between
5,000 and 10,000 years. By examining this period of contact, Paleolithic
archaeology has been able to give us a view into the possible
interactions between these populations. This lecture will discuss how my
recent research in this time period in Central Europe suggests that
particular cultural traits, as much as biology, were responsible for the
success of modern humans and the mysterious disappearance of Neanderthals.

Thursday, January 19, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Pillsbury Auditorium

Ronald T. Marchese is Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology in
the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at the University of Minnesota,
Duluth. He received his Ph.D. from New York University. His work
focuses on ancient history and ethnographical cultural studies. He is
co-director of the Plataiai Archaeological Excavations undertaken in
conjunction with the Austrian Institute of Archaeology, Vienna and the
Thebes Archaeological Museum, Greece.

More than a Famous Battle: Recent Archaeological Investigations at the Ancient Town of Plataiai, Greece

Plataiai, northwest of Athens, was the scene of one of the most pivotal
battles in the ancient world. In 479 B.C. the united forces of the Greek
city-states defeated the remnant of Xerxes’ grand army. Throughout the
fifth and fourth centuries the town, an Athenian possession, possessed
high strategic value. Plataiai controlled the lines of communication
between Thebes, Athens, and the Peloponnese. On at least three occasions
the control of the town determined the outcome of major military
campaigns that changed the course of Greek history. The site is
associated with all the major events of the fifth and fourth centuries -
the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, the Corinthian War, continuous
conflict between Thebes and Athens, and finally the struggle for control
of Greece with Philip and Alexander of Macedon.

Archaeologically, little is actually known about Plataiai outside of the
fact that its geographic location between Theban and Athenian territory
determined its importance in the highly charged political atmosphere of
fifth and fourth century Greece. Its place in history is fixed by the
great battle that took place in front of the fortified site in 479. Here
the Persian army, under the command of Xerxes’ brother-in-law Mardonios,
was soundly defeated by the combined Greek forces. It is estimated the
well over 150,000 combatants took part in the battle, the final event in
the Persian invasion of Greece. For many the battle of Plataiai is the
culmination of the Persian Wars and thereafter the site lacks
importance. Plataiai, however, was highly connected and involved in the
outcome of numerous wars that shaped the character, destiny, and history
of central and southern Greece. It dominated major roads in the region -
access to Theban or Athenian territory through the Kaza Gorge and the
Dryos Kephalai pass as well as movement into the Isthmus of Corinth via
Megarian territory - and was heavily fortified due to the hostile
character of the frontier. Plataiai, along with the fortified town of
Eleutherae farther south, controlled a vast region south of Mount

Given its high strategic importance in international and regional
history, Plataiai possessed unique opportunities for growth, especially
economic exchange along the Megarian-Athenian-Theban frontiers. This,
however, appears not to have taken place since the visible
archaeological remains at the site are modest. The fact that the cities
of Thebes, Athens, and Corinth dominated cross-isthmus trade little
investment was made in the town outside of its fortifications. The
Athenian-Theban-Megarian frontiers were fluid and animated by
cross-border conflict. This probably inhibited the development of
Plataiai beyond its primary function as a strategically placed frontier

Thursday, February 2, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Pillsbury Auditorium

William Saturno

Dr. William Saturno is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at
the University of New Hampshire, as well as a Research Associate at
Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. He received his
Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University, and completed his
undergraduate education at the University of Arizona. He specializes in
the Preclassic Maya, as well as in the origins of complex society. Dr.
Saturno is director of the excavations at Proyecto San Bartolo in
Guatemala, and has also worked in Honduras, Mexico, and Belize.

Camino en Mal Estado: Archaeological Exploration and Discovery in Guatemala

This lecture discusses the jungle adventures and misadventures that led
to one of the most important discoveries in Maya archaeology in the last
century, the 2000 year old murals at San Bartolo, Guatemala. Planned as
only a few hour journey the ensuing three day ordeal leads to the
discovery of the first extensive Maya mural program since the 1946
discovery of Bonampak by Giles Healy.

Thursday, March 2, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Pillsbury Auditorium

Michael Roaf

Dr. Michael Roaf will be the Joukowsky lecturer for the AIA National
Lecture season 2005/2006. He received both his MA and PhD from Oxford
University. Dr. Roaf, a specialist of the ancient Near East,
particularly of Mesopotamia and Iran, is Professor of Near Eastern
Archaeology at Munich University. Subjects of special interest and
study for him include Assyrian and Achaemenid Persian relief sculpture,
archaeological excavations, architecture, historical geography,
metrology and ancient mathematics.

Art and War at the Achaemenid Court

The walls of the palaces of the Assyrian kings and of the Persian
Achaemenid kings (c. 550-330 BC) were decorated with carved stone
reliefs. While those of the Assyrians often show scenes of warfare and
torture, The Persian palaces in Pasargadae, Susa and Persepolis display
no such violent imagery although in many other respects they follow
Assyrian models and according to the available historical sources the
Persian rulers were no less blood-thirsty than previous and subsequent
oriental despots.

This talk explores possible reasons why the Persian kings chose to
display only non-confrontational imagery in their official art.

Thursday, April 6, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Pillsbury Auditorium

James C. Anderson

Dr. Anderson is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia.
He is the author of Roman Architecture and Society, and is currently
finishing his next book, The Architecture of Roman Provence. These books
reflect his focus of research, as he is particularly interested in Roman
art and architecture and the western provinces of Rome. Dr. Anderson
received both his doctorate and his master’s from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his BA from Colorado College. He is
currently the director of UGA’s Classics Studies Abroad Program in Rome,
and is the former Director of the Classical Summer School of the
American Academy in Rome.

Ghostwriting? Or Lying in Stone?: Can We Believe Roman Building Inscriptions?

This lecture will investigate the truthfulness, or lack of truthfulness,
to be found in a source whose veracity is hardly ever questioned: the
inscriptions that Roman dedicators placed on their buildings. I shall
begin by considering two notorious examples from famous monuments in
Imperial Rome: the Pantheon, and the Column of Trajan. In both cases,
what the Latin inscriptions still preserved on those monuments say can
be shown, through archaeological and historical evidence independent of
the inscriptions, to be false. Is this simple error, or a more complex
attempt to deceive the unwary? A second category of erroneous building
inscriptions may also be seen in Rome: those that were altered after
they were inscribed. A notorious example of that phenomenon is the
extant inscription of the arch of Septimius Severus that still stands in
the Roman Forum. Here the deception is clearly intentional.

The question of veracity becomes far more complex -- and potentially a
more serious obstruction to our knowledge of Roman architecture and its
chronology -- if we turn to one of the greatest assemblages of Roman
architecture left to us: the ancient monuments of Gallia Narbonensis,
i.e. modern Provence. The chronology commonly asserted for the buildings
of that province has been based for over one hundred years on the texts
of inscriptions -- published as if they were fact in the Corpus
Inscriptionum Latinarum -- ascribed to two Romano-Provençal monuments:
the temple commonly called the "Maison Carrée" at Nîmes, and the
free-standing arch at Orange. But in fact no legible text for either
inscription survives at all. Rather the frieze course of each building
carries a series of clamp holes for bronze capital letters of the Roman
alphabet which were never carved into the stone. Since just about all
upper case letters of the Latin alphabet, when supported in this manner
by clamps, would leave behind them a square or rectangular pattern of
holes, in fact no text can be assigned to them with any more certainty
than any other text. And therefore, there is no factual, textual basis
for the usual datings assigned to the temple (late in the reign of the
emperor Augustus) or to the arch (the middle of the reign of Tiberius).

An investigation of each monument disregarding the supposed inscriptions
reveals that each fits much more readily -- both through comparison of
architectural and sculptural features, and in the historical context of
the cities in which they exist -- in the second century A. D. or later.
Once this incongruity in the traditional chronology is established by
close examination of the monuments, I shall consider its ramifications
on and implications for our knowledge of other surviving ancient
monuments in Provence, possibly including the temple at Vienne, the
so-called "temple of Diana" at Nîmes, the mausoleum at St. Rémy, and the
arches that survive at St. Rémy and Carpentras. In other words, the
lecture will conclude with a "revisionist" tour of the ancient remains
of Roman Provence set into a (perhaps) more believable architectural and
historical chronology than that traditionally asserted.

Short bibliography on lecture topic:

Anderson, J., "The Date of the Arch at Orange," Bonner Jahrbucher vol.
187 (1987) 159- 192.

-------, Roman Architecture and Society. Baltimore & London: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1997; 2nd ed., 2002.

-------, "Anachronism in the Roman Architecture of Gaul: The Date of the
Maison Carrée

at Nîmes," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 60
(2001) 68-79.

Claridge, A., "Hadrian’s Column of Trajan," Journal of Roman
Archaeology, vol. 6 (1993) 5- 22.

Fagan, G., "The reliability of Roman rebuilding inscriptions," Papers of
the British School

at Rome, vol. 64 (1996) 81-94.

Thomas, E. & C. Witschel, "Constructing reconstruction: claim and
reality of Roman rebuilding inscriptions from the Latin West," Papers of
the British School at Rome,

vol. 60 (1992) 135-178.

Thursday, May 4/11, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Classroom 5&6

Scott Anfinson, Ph.D.; Dr. Anfinson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota and he is the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) archaeologist for Minnesota.

What Wilford Didn't Know: 80 Years of Minnesota Archaeology

In 1937, Lloyd Wilford finished his doctoral dissertation at Harvard
University. This was the first attempt to write a comprehensive overview
of Minnesota prehistoric archaeology and in many ways represents the
birth of professional archaeology in Minnesota. Wilford retired from the
University of Minnesota in 1959 and was replaced by Elden Johnson. A
considerable amount of archaeological research has been completed over
the last 80 years and recent technological advances (e.g., radiocarbon
dating) have given us new insights into Minnesota's ancient cultures.
The talk will examine Wilford's view of the state's past and how we view
the same past today.

Links to other sites on the Web

Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Home Page
Archaeology (AIA's magazine)
Arch Net (mega links)
Art Serve (19,000 images of the classical and Mediterranean world)

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