Current Lecture Series

For the 2021-2022 lecture series, we are employing a hybrid format with some lectures being fully online as Zoom webinars and others having an in-person and online component. The details for each lecture will be posted as they become available. We will continue to post recorded lectures to our YouTube channel with permission of the speakers.

Here is the full program of this series:

The Archaeology of Childhood presented by Dr. Jane E. Baxter (DePaul University)

Wed. Oct. 6 @ 7pm (Zoom webinar)

Register for this webinar here:

It is hard to imagine, given how ever-present children are in our modern world, that archaeologists did not begin to study children until about 25 years ago. What can the study of children and childhood offer to archaeology that the study of adults alone cannot? Where can we find traces of children in the archaeological record? How can an archaeology of children and childhood help us develop more human understandings of our shared past?  As an archaeologist whose work on children began in the 1990s, I will answer some of these questions using examples from the paleolithic to the present, and from around the globe. I will discuss topics like children in families, education, apprenticeship, and learning, children at work and play, and the death and commemoration of children. This presentation of children living very different lives than young people in our own society can help us question the assumptions we make about our own lives while gaining an appreciation for the lives of those who came before us.

Ancient Roman Horse Toy

U2 Spy Plane Photos and The Archaeology of the Middle East presented by Dr. Emily Hammer (University of Pennsylvania)

Wed. Nov. 3 @ 7pm (Zoom webinar)

You can register for this lecture here

Declassified military imagery from planes and satellites plays an important role in landscape and environmental archaeology. Historic imagery sources, especially the large archives generated by the US during the Cold War, are far better than Google Earth for providing archaeologists with a window into the past, before development and intensive agriculture took hold in many rural parts of western Asia. In the mid-late 1990s, the archaeology of arid regions in Eurasia was revolutionized by the declassification of CORONA “spy satellite” photographs showing large swaths of the region in high-resolution, as they appeared in 1967-1972. Now there is a new source of even older high-resolution historical imagery: photos from U2 spy planes captured 1958-1960. In this lecture, Dr. Emily Hammer presents case studies showing how U2 photos can be used to shape archaeological and historical conclusions about early southwest Asia. These new datasets allow for a better understanding of the environmental distribution of prehistoric hunting traps (“desert kites”) in eastern Jordan, the size of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur in southern Iraq and this city’s ancient water supplies, as well as the spatial demography of 20th-century communities living around the marshes of southern Iraq.

City of Hatra, Iraq

Ancient Roads of the Chaco World: Monumentality, Religion, and Power presented by Robert Weiner

Wed. Dec. 1 @ 7pm (hybrid)

You can register for this lecture here:

In this talk, Rob Weiner will discuss his recent fieldwork throughout the Chaco World, which combines LiDAR, drone aerial photography, and on-the-ground documentation to investigate the history, use, and meaning of monumental roads in Chacoan society. He will focus on new insights regarding the destinations of roads and ritual practices carried out on them, with particular attention to their role in perpetuating inequality. Insights from collaboration with the Navajo Nation and comparative examples of ritual pathways from throughout the ancient world offer new understandings of the role of linear earthwork features in the ancient Southwest. 

Rob Weiner at Pueblo Bonita (photo courtesy of the Solstice Project)

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