2020-2021 Series

Our 2020-2021 lecture series has concluded. For information on our next series, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AIABoulder)

Spring 2021 Lecture Series – Abstracts and Dates

Accumulating Identities in “Trash”: Examining Depositional Patterns within Ancestral Pueblo Villages presented by Dr. Samantha Fladd (CU Boulder Museum of Natural History) on May 5, 2021

While often overlooked as “trash,” the materials that accumulate in archaeological sites can signify intentional decisions demarcating relationships within a community and ties to architectural settings. In particular, the ways in which architectural spaces were prepared, altered, and decommissioned or closed through the placement of materials (objects and sediment) can reveal important cultural traditions and enduring relationships within and beyond the structures themselves. In this lecture, I discuss how reorienting our view of “trash” can reveal important aspects of identity in the archaeological record of the Ancestral Puebloan culture. I utilize examples from several sites spanning centuries of occupation to highlight the ways in which material deposition can alternately be used to express continuity or signal social change in large aggregated pueblos.

You can now watch this lecture on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/zbHvNo02gSU

Materiality for the Archaeological Enthusiast: Case Studies in Human-Thing Assemblages from Ancient Mesoamerica (Wed. Apr. 7)

Dr. Jeff Brzezinski (Anthropology, CU Boulder)

Recent developments in archaeological theory have demonstrated that the relationships between humans and things are far more complicated and instructive than previously thought. Of course, humans make things, but things also make us human. In this lecture, Dr. Brzezinski discusses the application of contemporary theories of material culture to a range of archaeological contexts from ancient Mesoamerica. By exploring the ways in which ritual paraphernalia, architecture, ancestors, deities, and even trash middens helped to mediate human lives and shape histories, we may come to a more nuanced understanding of our distant past.

You can view this lecture on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/_HEmFcLk_dw

The Lost City of Sikyon

The Lost City of Sikyon (Thurs. Feb. 25)

Dr. Sarah James (Classics, CU Boulder)

Sikyon is probably the most important ancient Greek city that you’ve never heard of. Known for centuries only from brief mentions in Classical literature, intensive archaeological work began here in the late 1990s by Greek and Danish teams. Thanks to their efforts, the secrets of this large and prosperous city have been slowly revealed and enable Sikyon and its ancient past to be reconstructed in surprising and impressive ways. 

An Embarrassment of Riches: Tree-Ring Dating and the History of Archaeology in the American Southwest

Dr. Steve Nash (Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

Tree-ring dating burst into Southwestern archaeology on June 22, 1929, when Andrew Ellicott Douglass of the University of Arizona and his colleagues discovered specimen HH-39, the piece of charcoal that “bridged the gap” in his tree-ring chronology and allowed him to date, for the first time in history, archaeological sites at Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and elsewhere. Over the last nine decades, tree-ring dating has been refined, expanded, and matured into a full-blown science in its own right, with near world-wide application. In this wide-ranging presentation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of archaeology Stephen E. Nash will examine the development and application of tree-ring dating in Southwestern archaeology and beyond.

You can watch this lecture on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/SEdEZfGHx18

Dr. Sarah James (Dept. of Classics, CU Boulder):

Across a Narrow Sea: Ancient Greeks and Romans in the Adriatic Sea

Often neglected by Classical scholars, the coastal region of Dalmatia in southern Croatia held significant appeal to the ancient Greeks and Romans for over a thousand years. Positioned on a major trade route from central Europe into the Mediterranean, the archaeology of Dalmatia from the 6th c. B.C. to the 3rd c. A.D. reveals how first the Greeks founded colonies and then the Romans dominated the region and its peoples. This paper discusses both the history of the region and a new CU Boulder archaeological project that will generate fresh insights into this fascinating part of the Adriatic Sea.

Dr. Erin Baxter (Denver Museum of Natural and Science): Archaeology and Demography of Local Cemeteries

Cemeteries and burial practices are a rich source of information about post-colonial societies in America, offering unique insights into early communities not easily gained through written records. This talk will explore the history, demographics and archaeology of Colorado cemeteries and share findings of CU-Boulder student-led research at the Colombia cemetery. In addition, the funerary art of the 19th century as preserved on tombstones and mausoleums will be explored, as will the origins of post-colonial death practices themselves. 

You can watch this lecture here on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/0x5_1a1gQpg

Watch this lecture here: https://youtu.be/hcPWHeNiXF8

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