The Denver Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Lecture Archive


Saturday October 28, 2023: Dr. M. Dores Cruz, Senior Researcher, University of Cologne, Germany

The “engenho” at Praia Melão: Archaeology in the making in São Tomé (São Tomé e Príncipe)


‘Archaeology’ often evokes elusive traces of the past, buried by the sands of time and waiting to be ‘found.’ This is not the case for Praia Melão, where monumental ruins provide the only tangible testament to São Tomé’s early plantation history. Despite its architectural magnificence, neighboring populations do not relate to the site, perceiving it as a ruin, a place of ghosts. My work represents the first scholarly research targeting this unique site, standing as an embodiment of colonial legacies and power relations that shaped the modern Atlantic world. Political awareness and community involvement are central to the archaeological investigation being undertaken, decentering São Tomé’s materiality from empire making to focus on marginalized peoples, past and present. The archaeology being launched at Praia Melão demonstrates the strength of historical archaeology in Africa as a decolonizing, interdisciplinary lens to reconcile different forms of knowledge and promote community empowerment, but also calls the attention to the obstacles to building a new disciplinary approach in a country that has never had contact with archaeology.


I am an Africanist anthropological archaeologist, with interdisciplinary research experience and interests that emphasize practice and critical academic engagement with materiality, landscape studies, historical archaeology and archaeology of the recent past, heritage, and memory studies. Currently, I am Senior Researcher at the Institute for African Studies (University of Cologne). My interest in sub-Saharan Africa is extensive and diverse: I have experience in both Lusophone and Anglophone countries. I am dedicated to collaborative work and partnerships with diverse communities, including local and descendant communities. I am actively engaged with critical examination of heritage making, archaeologies of colonialism, archaeological and historical constructions of identities. I have held academic and heritage positions, as well as fellowships in the USA, South Africa, Portugal, Germany and the UK, and have carried out research projects in Europe, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and São Tomé e Príncipe). Currently I am focusing on two projects: a) my monograph “Terra de Heróis: a landscape biography of Mandlakaze, which spotlights the biography of a landscape in Southern Mozambique during the 19th and 20th century, addressing issues of landscape(s), materiality, memory, and local knowledge; and b) the collaborative project Bitter Island: Sugar and Portuguese colonial landscapes in the making of the modern Atlantic World that aims to document, study, and preserve São Tomé’s 16 the and 17th centuries cultural heritage and history, seminal in the development of the capitalist plantation system and with a deep meaning in the construction of Santomean identity.


October 27, 2018 @ 2:00 PM: Dr. Andrea M. Berlin, Boston University

Title: Revolt! Why the Jews took on Rome

Abstract: What is the real story behind the animosities that eventually led to the catastrophe of the Jewish Revolt against Rome? Why would a small population without military capabilities or political allies dare to challenge a ruling power of such might? New archaeological evidence reveals a growing cultural divide beginning about two generations before the Revolt broke out, and sheds new light on the prehistory of this explosive event. This lecture will begin with the constructions of Herod the Great and his sons, with a focus on the places that he built to impress his patrons. The appearance and character of some of those buildings created the conditions that led Jews throughout the land to band together more intensively and eventually persuade some to organize against Rome.

Bio: Professor Andrea M. Berlin is the James R. Wiseman Chair in Classical Archaeology at Boston University. She received an MA in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, and a Ph.D. in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. She has been excavating in the eastern Mediterranean for over thirty years, working on projects from Troy in Turkey to Coptos in southern Egypt to Paestum, in Italy. Her field of expertise is the Near East from the time of Alexander the Great through the Roman era, about which she has written four books and over forty articles. Professor Berlin is especially interested in studying the realities of daily life, and in exploring the intersection of politics and cultural change in antiquity. She is one of the Archaeological Institute of America’s most accomplished teachers and lecturers, having travelled to over 60 societies across the United States and Canada, most recently as the AIA’s 2008 Joukowsky Lecturer. In 2009 she was awarded the AIA’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.Professor Berlin is an AIA Norton Lecturer for 2018/2019.

November 24, 2018-2:00 PM: R.A. Varney, PaleoResearch Institute

Chocolate, Mayans, and Climate Models

R.A. Varney and Linda Scott Cummings

Chocolate was not only “Food of the Gods” and used as currency, it was both an everyday and a ritual beverage. Access to chocolate (Theobroma cacao) throughout the Mayan empire cannot be determined based solely on modern locations. Cacao trees’ sensitivity to environmental conditions, specifically available water, controlled distribution of this valuable resource throughout history and today. Requirements include temperatures staying within the range 20–30 C, with no longer than a 3-month period with less than 100mm rainfall. Trees grow well in shady areas. Today their preferred habit appears to be deep, fertile sediments of river valleys with heavy humidity (more than 90%). Likely, these restrictive environmental requirements enhanced cacao’s monetary value in the past, as not all communities were located in close proximity to areas where cacao grew. Indeed, wars were fought to control the best cacao-growing territories. Recovering direct evidence of cacao from archaeological sites is difficult. Modeling past climate, including monthly precipitation values, and mapping the models over the Mayan region identifies areas of interest that might have supported cacao growth. Comparison of these locations with modern distribution of cacao sheds additional light on the possible importance of this resource during the florescence, growth, and subsequent decline of the Mayan civilization.

R. A. Varney, paleoecologist, has worked for PaleoResearch Institute since 2003. He attended graduate school in Arizona, studying with C. Vance Haynes. At PRI his responsibilities are many. He is co-developer of the microscopic charcoal recovery technique for AMS radiocarbon dating. He extracts microscopic remains from samples, counts pollen, and is responsible for all chemical pre-treatment of radiocarbon samples. He works as part of the team to develop new techniques for radiocarbon sample chemical treatments. His particular interests include; climate change, especially at the end of the Pleistocene; scientific method development, archaeological chemistry, and climate modeling of the past. R.A. worked in West Stoneham Pasture Archaeological district in northeastern Colorado, and worked at the Dent Site re-evaluation and Hell Gap. He participated in the archaeological survey of Rocky Mountain Park and excavated at Caribou Lake. In 2012 he was responsible for sample collection at the Laetoli Footprint site in Tanzania.

January 26, 2019 2:00 PM: Linda Scott Cummings, PhD, and R.A. Varney, MA, PaleoResearch Institute

Title: Examining Food: Beyond Identification, Calories, and Nutrients – What is the Carbon Content?

Abstract: Food is essential to life, and is an important and integral part of the archaeological record. Archaeology facilitates examination of ancient food, using those results to define our understanding of culture and chronology. Radiocarbon dating charred food crust presents challenges. We have mastered issues of recovery and lab treatment, but archaeology retains assumptions about food being a simple representation of the past. Now we ask, are these records all they appear to be and only what they appear to be? How do the principles of cooking chemistry help understand radiocarbon dating charred food in vessels?
From one Oneota (Blood Run) vessel sampled in three locations we obtained three radiocarbon dates including two that are congruent (from the rim and the exterior shoulder) and one discrepant (from the upper interior wall), pointing to the importance of understanding your sample of charred material. It also provides an example of the importance of understanding cooking chemistry. Multiple paired charred food crust and annual samples from southeastern Iowa and other locations show the effectiveness of chemical pretreatment to obtain congruent dates.

Our NSF grant was awarded to develop a chemical pretreatment method that would produce congruent dates on paired charred food crust and annual samples. We are studying dates produced on charred food obtained from rim vs. body sherds from the same vessel. A repeat of the concept of dating multiple samples from different areas of the same vessel should be paired with an annual from the same context allows us to confirm which dates are congruent. We combine our knowledge of archaeology, food chemistry, lab chemistry, and radiocarbon dating with a healthy dose of curiosity to produce recommendations and methods that will yield more accurate dates on charred food crust, as well as identify when the food cooked in the vessel just cannot yield an accurate date. We show the pitfalls of attempting a freshwater reservoir correction factor and discuss radiocarbon dates obtained on reference fish and other reference animal bones.

Bio: Dr. Linda Scott Cummings is President and CEO of PaleoResearch Institute, Inc., which she founded in 1972. She obtained both her Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado after founding PRI. With a mission to make science more accessible to archaeologists and geologists, PRI works in both the compliance (CRM and Heritage Management) and research industries. Dr. Scott Cummings is an Honorary Fellow at the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She participated in the international EARTH (Early Agriculture Resources and Technology Heritage) program sponsored by the European Union, which resulted in multiple publications in their edited volume series published by Oxbow Books. Trained primarily as an archaeologist and palynologist, Dr. Scott Cummings has expanded her expertise to include phytolith and starch identification and interpretation of FTIR and XRF signatures.

Dr. Scott Cummings leads several teams and oversees all of the research at PaleoResearch Institute. She also initiates and oversees original research outside the scope of CRM. Currently she is developing new chemical pre-treatment protocols for dating crusty charred food residues recovered from ceramics with support from the State of Minnesota and NSF. Dr. Scott Cummings directs a team of specialists at PaleoResearch Institute whose experience encompasses the remainder of the services that we offer. She has participated in field sampling and directing both laboratory and analytic operations, often developing new techniques. Her work includes projects from the entire North American continent, as well as other areas of the world such as Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim, Meso and South America, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and Oman. She has experience meeting deadlines and participating as a collaborator on large, complex, and small projects. Dr. Scott Cummings brings an innovative approach to field sampling, sample design consultation (to meet the needs of any research design), analysis, and interpretation. She works within a synergistic framework.

February 23, 2019-2:00 PM: Jamie Hodgkins, University of Colorado, Denver (UPCOMING)

Climate change and the evolution of us

Abstract: New species belonging to the genus Homo are discovered more and more frequently. Paleoanthropological research has revealed that our own family lineage is far more complex than once thought, yet it is also true that through time this diversity has been whittled down to one remaining species, Homo sapiens. Understanding why our species has survived when others did not is key to determining what makes us “human” and where we fit into the natural world. Reconstructing landscapes use patterns, hunting, and foraging behaviors, and the mobility of early modern humans and our closest fossil relatives the Neandertals can help tease apart ecological factors that contributed to our success. Using a combination of zooarchaeology, isotope geochemistry, and aerial photography this talk will summarize work currently in progress to reconstruct the daily foraging habits, and nutritional choices of early modern humans in Africa and of Neandertals in Europe. Reconstructions of the ecological changes to the environment experienced by hominids in both of these locations will also be discussed.

Bio: Jamie Hodgkins received her PhD from Arizona State University in 2012. She is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. Working in Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Morocco, and South Africa allowed her to explore the history of each country.  As an archaeologist her work focuses on reconstructing the behaviors of early modern humans (Homo sapiens) and Neandertals and what those behaviors indicate about what it means to be “human”. Her publications center on how humans (including Neandertals) and animals dealt with climate change in the Pleistocene. She publishes in peer-reviewed journals including: The Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Archaeological Science, Quaternary Science Reviews, Paleoanthropology, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Her highest impact publication thus far is: Climate-mediated shifts in Neandertal subsistence behaviors at Pech de l’Azé IV and Roc de Marsal (Dordogne Valley, France). Journal of Human Evolution. 96:1-18

Each year, CU Denver students are selected to participate in fieldwork at Pinnacle Point and Arma Veirana. Students rotate between excavating, running the total station (which takes 3D coordinate data for the artifacts), and helping to curate the collection, thus providing them with valuable experience in the modern methods of Paleolithic archaeology.

2018 Hodgkins J, Le Roux P, Marean CW, Penkman K, Crisp M, Fisher, E, Lee-Thorp JA. The role of ostrich in shaping the landscape use patterns of humans and hyenas on the southern coast of South Africa during the late Pleistocene. In: Pilaar Birch S (ed.) Multispecies Archaeology. Taylor & Francis/Routledge: Oxford, pp.333

2018 Hodgkins J. Taphonomical and zooarchaeological analysis of Bordes’ excavated material from levels I2 and Y-Z. In: Dibble HL, McPherron SM, Goldberg P, Sandgathe D. (eds.) The Middle Paleolithic Site of Pech de l’Azé IV. Springer: New York, pp.83

2017 Hodgkins J and Marean CW. New information from old excavations: A comparative analysis of Paleolithic zooarchaeological assemblages from the Zagros Mountains. In: Biglari F, Mashkour M, Shidrang S (eds.) The Pleistocene Archaeology of the Iranian Plateau, Iraq and the Caucasus. National Museum of Iran Paleolithic Studies Series, No. 1, National Museum of Iran, Tehran

2016 Hodgkins J, Marean CW, Turq A, Sandgathe D, McPherron SP, Dibble HL, Climate-mediated shifts in Neandertal subsistence behaviors at Pech de l’Azé IV and Roc de Marsal (Dordogne Valley, France) Journal of Human Evolution. 96:1-18

2016 Strait DS, Orr CM, Hodgkins J, Spassov N, Gurova M, Miller C, Tzankov T.
The human fossil record of Bulgaria and the formulation of biogeographic hypotheses. In: Harvati K, Roksandic M, (ed). Paleoanthropology in the Balkans. Springer: Dordrecht, Chapter 5. pp 69-78

2016 Copeland S, Cawthra HC, Fisher EC, Lee-Throp JA, Cowling, RM, Le Roux PJ, Hodgkins J, Marean CW. Strontium Isotope Investigation of Ungulate Movement Patterns on the Pleistocene Paleo-Agulhas Plain of the Greater Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews. 141:65-84.

2014 Morin E, Delagnes A, Armand D, Castel J-C, Hodgkins J. Millennial-scale change in archaeofaunas and their implications for Mousterian lithic variability in southwest France. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 36:158-180

2011 Sandgathe DM, Dibble HL, Goldberg P, McPherron SP, Turq A, Niven L, Hodgkins J. On the Role of Fire in Neandertal Adaptations in Western Europe: Evidence from Pech de l’Azé IV and Roc de Marsal, France. Paleoanthropology 2011: 216-242

2011 Sandgathe DM, Dibble HL, Goldberg P, McPherron SP, Turq A, Niven L, Hodgkins J. Timing of the appearance of habitual fire use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 108:E298


March 30, 2019 – 2:00 PM: Jordan Karsten, PhD University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (UPCOMING)

Title: Bones and Borscht: How Neolithic Human Remains from Ukraine Enable the Reconstruction of European Population History and Our Understanding of Ancient Warfare

Abstract: Recent developments in ancient DNA research have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct human migrations in ways that are reshaping our understanding of the past. One of the most remarkable aspects of this new research has been the recognition of two large-scale migrations in European prehistory. The first included the migration of Neolithic farmers into Europe from the Near East, while the second involved the movement of nomadic pastoralists out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe at the close of the Neolithic and beginning of the early Bronze Age. Many archaeologists and paleogeneticists have gone so far as to suggest this massive movement of people from the steppe was the mechanism that spread Indo-European languages and established modern European genetic signatures. However, these events remain imperfectly understood. For example, to what extent did expanding Neolithic farmers interbreed with existing Mesolithic hunter-gatherers? How did Neolithic farmers who neighbored the steppe populations interact with this important group? Is there any evidence for intergroup conflict associated with these massive population movements? These questions have been the focus of our research at Verteba Cave, Ukraine, one of the only known mortuary sites associated with the farmers of the Late Neolithic that bordered the steppe. The skeletal and genetic data we have collected from Verteba Cave are beginning to shed additional light on these extremely consequential time periods in European population history.

Bio: Jordan Karsten is Assistant Professor with the Department of Religious Studies and Anrthopology at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and he holds his degrees from Grand Valley State University and the State University of New York at Albany (MA and PhD). He is a biological anthropologist with research interests in human osteology, bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and paleoanthropology. A major focus of his current work has been investigating the biological and behavioral consequences of the transition to agriculture in prehistory, carried out through the analysis of human skeletons dating to the Neolithic period that he has excavated from Verteba Cave, Ukraine.

April 27, 2019 – 2:00 PM: Marilyn A. Martorano, MA, Martorano Consultants LLC (UPCOMING)

Did these prehistoric ground stone artifacts play the first hard rock music? What we know today about lithophones in Colorado

Abstract: A new class of prehistoric artifacts called portable lithophones has been identified from Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado. “Litho” is Greek for stone and “phone” means sound; a lithophone is a musical instrument consisting of a purposely-selected rock (often formally-shaped) that is tapped or rubbed with friction to produce musical notes. Portable and stationary lithophones have been utilized in ancient and modern cultures around the world. Only a few highly-modified, portable lithophones have been formally recognized in North America and none have been previously documented in Colorado. The artifacts being studied were originally thought to have functioned as grinding stones, pestles, and/or digging tools; however, testing has verified their acoustical properties. Twenty-two lithophones were analyzed as part of a Colorado State Historical Fund archaeological assessment grant. Their characteristics will be discussed, and a few sample lithophones will also be demonstrated.

Bio: Marilyn A. Martorano is the owner/archaeologist of Martorano Consultants LLC in Longmont, Colorado and has over 40 years of experience in cultural resource management in the Rocky Mountain region. She holds an MA in Anthropology from Colorado State University. Marilyn’s research interests include Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs), the archaeology of early Hispano settlements and the Old Spanish National Historic Trail (OSNHT) in the San Luis Valley, and the newly-identified prehistoric artifact type in Colorado, lithophones, an ancient musical instrument made of rock. Marilyn is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA). She received the 2015 Colorado State Archaeologist’s Award for her work with CMTs, a 2018 History Colorado Stephen H. Hart Award for archaeological work at the Bromley/Koizuma/Hishinuma Farm, and a 2019 History Colorado Stephen H. Hart Award for archaeological work on the Tarryall Rural Historic District National Register of Historic Places nomination.


2017-2018 SEASON

Saturday, October 14, 2017 – 2:00 PM: Dr. Kieran O’Conor, Kress Lecture

Kress Lecture

The Castles of Ireland
Sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America, Denver Society Presents:
AIA Society: Denver


Castles can be defined as the seriously-defended residences of people of lordly (and later gentry) rank. It is clear that Ireland was one of the most castellated parts of Europe by c.1600 and, even after this date, castles continued to be built there, with the final ones being erected in the 1640s. This illustrated lecture will outline the main types of castle constructed and inhabited in Ireland from the 12th century down to the 17th century. The architecture, dating, and functions of these different types of castle will be outlined in the talk. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of these places will also be discussed in the lecture and the somewhat debated question of when native Irish (ie Gaelic Irish) lords adopted fortifications that contemporaries and modern scholars would regard as castles will be addressed too. Lastly, the lecturer will try to answer the question of why anything up to 8000 castles were built in Ireland throughout the later medieval period and up to the mid-17th century.


Kieran O’Conor is a graduate of University College, Dublin (UCD) and has a PhD from University College Cardiff, Wales. He worked during much of the 1990s for the Archaeological Survey Branch of the National Monuments Service ( Dúchas – The Heritage Service) in Counties Roscommon, Sligo, Longford, Westmeath and Wexford. In 1996 he excavated Carlow Castle as part of his work for the latter institution. Dr O’Conor has also taken part in excavations and field surveys in England, Wales, mainland Greece and Crete. He was appointed a research fellow at the Discovery Programme in 1997 and was then made director of Medieval Rural Settlement project there in early 1999.

Dr. O’Conor joined the staff of NUI, Galway in September 2000. He has published widely on the subjects of castles, medieval rural settlement, elite settlement in high medieval Gaelic Ireland and medieval landscapes. Dr. O’Conor is English language editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Chateau Gaillard. He also has been very successful in linking his research to heritage tourism initiatives in County Roscommon. O’Conor strongly believes in sharing his research with rural communities throughout the West of Ireland and the Midlands.

Short bibliography

McNeill, T. E. 1997 Castles in Ireland – Feudal Power in a Gaelic World. London and New York.

O’Conor, K. 2014 Castles. In R. Moss (ed.), Art and architecture of Ireland. Volume 1 – Medieval, c.400-c.1600 (Dublin and New Haven), pp 341-55. This article outlines the various types of stone castle seen in the Irish landscape.

O’Conor, K. 2014 Earth and timber fortifications. In R. Moss (ed.), Art and architecture of Ireland. Volume 1 – Medieval, c.400-c.1600 (Dublin and New Haven), pp 341-55. Parts of this article discuss the use of motte and ringwork castles in Ireland. Remember that ringforts, crannogs, promontory forts and moated sites are not considered to be castles.

O’Keeffe, T. 2015 Medieval Irish Buildings, 1100-1600, Dublin. Chapters 4 and 5 are the relevant chapters

Sweetman, D. 1999 Medieval Castles of Ireland. Dublin.

November 11, 2017- 2:00 PM: Dr. Peter Wood, Emeritus Professor of History, Duke University

Missing the Boat: Ancient Dugout Canoes in the Mississippi-Missouri Watershed


When archaeologists discuss the great Mississippian site at Cahokia near East St. Louis, a crucial piece of the puzzle still seems to be missing. They know much about the great mound-building center, and about the trade goods and tribute that flowed to it. But they rarely talk about how those objects moved great distances. So far, we have never recovered a huge and ancient wooden canoe in the Mississippi Valley (Indeed, we can’t even imagine the immense trees from which such dugouts were made a thousand years ago!). But indirect evidence from other places and disciplines strongly points to the existence and importance of such vessels. This slide talk by a Duke University historian of early America, explores how long such boats were in use, and why they disappeared.


Peter H. Wood, born in St. Louis, has had a life-long interest in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. He studied history at Harvard (BA and PhD) and at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar in 1964. He taught early American history at Duke University from 1976 to 2008, and in 2011 he received the Asher Distinguished Teaching Award of the American Historical Association. He is the co-author of an important college-level U.S. History survey, Created Equal, now in its fifth edition. Wood is the author of several widely used books on early American slavery, Black Majority and Strange New Land. A wide-ranging scholar, Wood has written about Native American demography and African American slave labor camps, as well as “Television as Dream” and Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon. In addition, Dr. Wood is the author of three books that focus on the images of black Americans created by the great artist Winslow Homer. The most recent (Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War) is based on the 2009 Huggins Lectures at Harvard.

Intrigued by seventeenth-century French exploration, Professor Wood published an article on LaSalle in the American Historical Review (April, 1984), and another on Baron Lahontan in the Journal of the Iowa Archaeology Society (vol. 62, 2015). An interest in material culture has sparked Wood’s research on African American dipper gourds and Sea Island fanner baskets. Recently he has completed an essay, entitled “Missing the Boat,” on ancient Mississippian dugout canoes. It will appear in the interdisciplinary journal Early American Studies (Spring, 2018). Dr. Wood lives in Longmont, Colorado, with his wife, Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Elizabeth Fenn, who teaches in the History Department at CU-Boulder.

January 20, 2018 – 2:00 PM Dr. Michael Hoff, University of Nebraska

Title: Antiochia ad Cragum in Rough Cilicia: From Piracy to Mosaics

Abstract: Since 2005 the Roman-era city of Antiochia ad Cragum in Rough Cilicia (Turkey) has been undergoing excavation by a team of researchers, engaged in new technologies to explore the ancient site. Since its beginning the excavation has been revealing much of the public quarter of the ancient city, exploring the Great Bath with an adjacent courtyard resplendent with a large colorful mosaic, and Imperial Temple, Recently the team discovered the Civic Bouleuterion, or council-house, that may have also served as an odeion. Before the city was founded in the first century CE, the site once served as a base for the notorious Cilician Pirates in the late Hellenistic period, and the research project is seeking to find traces of the site’s pirate past.

Bio: Dr. Michael Hoff specializes in Greek and Roman archaeology in which he conducts his research on the archaeology of Asia Minor. He has excavated in Wales, and Greece in the Athenian Agora, Corinth, Crete, and at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea. Hoff currently conducts research in Turkey where from 1997 to 2004 he co-directed the architectural survey team of the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project, and since 2005, serves as Project Director of the Antiochia ad Cragum Excavations in Rough Cilicia on the south coast of Turkey. Prof. Hoff is also interested in the topography of Athens in the Roman period. Hoff was educated at the University of Missouri and Florida State University, and received his Ph.D. from Boston University. He is currently Hixson-Lied Professor of Art History at the University of Nebraska where he has taught since 1989.


February 10, 2018 – 2:00 PM: Dr. Mark Varien, Executive Vice President of the Research Institute at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

The Deep History of Pueblo Indians: A People Transformed by the Neolithic Revolution


The Neolithic Revolution refers to what may be the most important transformation in human history: the shift from hunting and gathering to domesticated food production. The southwestern United States—especially the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado—is one of the best documented cases in the world of the expansion of this new Neolithic life way.

Four thousand years ago maize (corn) farming was introduced into the region, and this marks the beginning of one of the world’s most innovative and resilient cultures: Pueblo Indian society. The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has conducted research into the deep history of Pueblo peoples since its founding in 1983.

Varien will discuss the Center’s research, including the most recent projects: the Village Ecodynamics Project; the Basketmaker Communities Project; and the Northern Chaco Outliers Project, Crow Canyon’s current project. These innovative studies use a combination of computer simulation, and archaeological excavation, and laboratory analysis to reconstruct thousands of years of Pueblo Indian history.

This research illustrates how the Neolithic Revolution played out in the Four Corners region. One consequence of the Neolithic Revolution is a period of exponential population growth accompanied by unprecedented rates of culture change, circumstances that also describe the world we live in today. Also like today, Pueblo people also had to respond to climate change. The research presented shows how Pueblo people’s response to climate change transformed their lives and their society.

This transformation includes the complete depopulation of the Mesa Verde region at the end of the thirteenth century and the subsequent concentration of settlement into areas of New Mexico and Arizona that continue to be occupied by Pueblo people to this day. This new research clarifies why the Mesa Verde region was depopulated and how this dramatic event shaped the development of the modern-day Pueblo world. These projects provide new insights into the Pueblo history and show how the lessons learned from Pueblo past are relevant to the world we live in today.


Mark Varien currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Research Institute at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado. In this position he seeks to further Crow Canyon’s three-part mission: to increase knowledge of the human experience through archaeological research, to conduct that research in the context of public education programs, and to partner with American Indians on the design and delivery of those research and education programs.

Formed as a new initiative in 2014, the Crow Canyon Research Institute seeks to create an institution without walls—a network of archaeologists, other social scientists, native scholars, and educators—that will conduct archaeology in the public interest and improve our understanding of the human experience for the betterment of society.

Mark received his B. A. in Archaeological Studies (1976) and M. A. in Anthropology (1984) from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University (1997). Mark’s Ph.D. dissertation was awarded the Society of American Archaeology’s 1998 Best Dissertation Award.

Mark joined the staff at Crow Canyon in 1987. Prior to his current position he served Crow Canyon as a research archaeologist (1987-1997), director of research (1997-2007), vice president of programs (2007–2010), and Research and Education Chair (2010–2014). His first book, Sedentism and Mobility in a Social Landscape, was published in 1999 by the University of Arizona Press. Since then, he has published numerous other books as edited volumes, including Seeking the Center Place: Archaeology and Ancient Communities in the Mesa Verde Region (2002, University of Utah Press), The Social Construction of Communities: Agency, Structure, and Identity in the Prehispanic Southwest (2008, AltaMira Press), Leaving Mesa Verde: Peril and Change in the Thirteenth Century Southwest (2010), and Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages: Models of Central Mesa Verde Region Archaeology (2012, University of California Press). He has also published articles many scientific, peer-reviewed journals, including American Antiquity, Kiva, Ancient Mesoamerica, and World Archaeology, and he has published works for the interested public, including a contribution to The Mesa Verde World and articles in Scientific American and American Scientist. His research has been featured in articles in the popular journals American Archaeology and Nature.

Mark’s research interests include household and community organization, migration studies, the formation of cultural landscapes, human impact on the environment, the human response to climate change, archaeology and public education, and American Indian involvement in archaeology.

Saturday, March 10, 2018- 2:00 PM: Forsyth Lecture: Dr. Caroline Goodson, Birkbeck College, University of London

Power in the Medieval Italian Countryside. The Village and Monastery of Villamagna (Lazio)


The passage from antiquity to the middle ages meant major changes to the social structures, economies, and qualities of life for people living in central Italy. Power structures became local and new social orders, including the church and monasteries, emerged in the centuries after the collapse of the Roman empire. The site of Villamagna, Italy, about 70 km south of Rome, provides a unique vantage point into this process of transformation. Over five seasons of open-area stratigraphic excavation, and five further years of analysis of materials and finds, our international team has revealed the transition of an imperial Roman villa into a proprietary monastery and then a feudal estate which is abandoned at the time of the Black Death. From the vantage point of an imperial villa, one of the highest-status, best-connected settlements of the Roman world, we can chart in fine detail the changes in social structures, economies, and representation of power in this period, and examine the effects of the legacies of the ancient estate on its medieval realities.

Medieval Villamagna gives us entirely new insight into the transformation to a medieval landscape of power. We have excavated a high-status residence built into the ancient Roman buildings, dated to c. 900. In the late tenth century, the property was endowed to a monastery, and we have excavated its buidldings next to the Byzantine church at the center of the estate. The abbots of the monastery became the most significant landholders in the region, they created a castle on the hill above the site for their vassals, and acquired agricultural properties throughout the valley, which were farmed by peasants. The village of peasant huts which we excavated tells us about the lives of the people who worked the lands up to c. 1400, while the structures of the monastery reveal for us the wealth of the community, and their strategies for projecting power and prestige. In front of the monastery and church is an extensive burial ground, containing over 400 medieval graves. It provides a new lens for examining life and death in a medieval monastery and village—ongoing bio-archaeology research is examining life course and changes in health, in the population. This paper will present the findings in the context of the current research in medieval settlement and monastic archaeology, showing how the imperial legacy Villamagna remained a significant tool for advancement through the middle ages.


Caroline Goodson is Reader in Archaeology and History, Department of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. She holds her degrees from Columbia University (Ph.D.), Istituto Internavionale di Studi Liguri, Bordighera, and the Rhode Island School of Design; Dr. Goodson is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, was the recipient of a 2003 Rome Prize, and 2016 she was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for her project, “Urban gardening in Early Medieval Italy: cultivating the city”. She is Field Director at the site of Villa Magna in Italy.

“For the past 15 years, I have been exploring the formation of early medieval societies in the post-Roman world, especially Italy and North Africa. My research concentrates on the nature of power in these places, looking at how different groups positioned themselves as successors of the Romans’ past glories or innovators in a new world order. I am particularly interested in two issues: how religious beliefs related to day-to-day experiences (and how these have been transmitted to us through the material and textual records) and how cities facilitated new forms of social interaction and political authority. My work deliberately moves between the disciplines of archaeology and history. I work as a field archaeologist and, in addition to excavation, I use standing buildings archaeology, archaeological archives, and material culture studies in my research. I have also published extensively on medieval documentary and historical texts, such as chronicles, hagiography, and more recently charters and diplomata.”

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Site Website:

Interim reports:

On Villamagna:

Fentress, E. and Goodson, C. (forthcoming 2016) “Structures of power: from Imperial villa to monastic estate at Villamagna (Italy),” In A. Reynolds (ed.), Power and Place in Later Roman and Early Medieval Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Governance and Civil Organisation (London).

Fentress, E., Goodson, C., and Maiuro, M. (forthcoming 2016) Villa Magna: an Imperial Estate and its Legacies. Excavations 2006–10, Archaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome (London).

Fentress, E. and Maiuro, M. (2011) “Villa Magna near Anagni: the emperor, his winery and the wine of Signia.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 24: 333–69.

On medieval settlement archaeology in Italy:

Francovich, R. and Hodges, R. (2003) Villa to Village. The Transformation of the Roman Countryside in Italy c. 400–1000 (Duckworth Debates in Archaeology). (London).

Christie, N. (ed.), Landscapes of Change: Rural Evolutions in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. (Aldershot).

Christie, N. (2006) From Constantine to Charlemagne; An Archaeology of Italy, AD 300–800. (Aldershot).

4 April 2018: Mr. Jim R. Jansson, Trustee, National AIA Governing Board, Member Executive Committee, Member Finance Committee, Member Society Committee, Subcommittee Chairman Society Outreach Grant Program

‘Finding the Ancient River Called Sagra: How Archaeology Spoke When History Was Silent’


Around 560 B.C., a legendary battle was fought on the banks of the Sagra River in Magna Greacia between a greatly outnumbered Locrian army and the invading forces of their belligerent neighbor Kroton. The resulting Locrian victory was so unlikely that it became an item of Greek folklore. Sadly both the location of the Sagra and the battlefield were lost over time. This is the story of how archaeological detective work beginning in 2010 led not only to the identification of the river and the battlefield, but also allowed the construction of a reasonable hypothesis as to how the Locrians managed to win the Battle of the Sagra.


Jim Jansson has over 18 of experience in excavation, survey, lab work and research in Calabria, Italy involving both Hellenized Italics and Locrian Greeks under the auspices of the Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology and the University of Kentucky. Mr. Jansson is a 1967 graduate of the University of New Mexico and 1981 graduate of the College for Financial Planning. He served 5 years in the United States Navy as an Intelligence Officer and has 47 years of experience in the securities industry. He is a past branch manager, department head, and general partner of a New York Stock Exchange Firm. Currently, Mr. Jansson is a senior vice president & financial adviser of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Wealth Management, Inc. His current positions in archaeology include the following: Trustee, National AIA Governing Board, Member Executive Committee, Member Finance Committee, Member Society Committee, Subcommittee Chairman Society Outreach Grant Program Founding Director and a senior excavator of the Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology and Honorary President and Board Member Denver AIA Society.


“A Greek battlefield in southern Italy: new light on the ancient Sagra” Paolo Visona and James R. Jansson, October 2017 volume of the Journal of Greek Archaeology, Cambridge, UK

5 May 2018: Dr. J. W. Hanson, University of Colorado, Boulder, The Social Reactors Project

Oppidum Cadavera: Assessing the impact of ancient urban systems on the development of Europe


Although we have always known that cities were one of the hallmarks of the ancient world and that they have had a fundamental impact on the development of urbanism in modern Europe and beyond, we still have very little idea about the exact nature of the relationship between the ancient and modern urban systems. In this talk, I will use new data and innovative methods to explore some of these issues. How similar or different are ancient and modern urbanism? To what extent has ancient urbanism acted as a template for the modern world? What does this tell us about the survival or destruction of urban systems? And what can we say about the resilience of urban systems in the long run?


J. W. Hanson is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the urbanism and economy of the Greek and Roman world. He holds a B.A. in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from the University of Oxford, as well as an M.St. in Classical Archaeology and a D.Phil in Archaeology from the same institution. He is now a Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, working for the Social Reactors project.

Hanson, J. W., (2016), An Urban Geography of the Roman World, 100 BC to AD 300, (Oxford: Archaeopress).


2016-2017 SEASON

September 17, 2016: Dr. Tammy Stone, University of Colorado, Denver

Point of Pines Pueblo


Point of Pines Pueblo, located in the mountains of central Arizona, is an 800 room pueblo occupied from 1265-1400 AD occupied by people ancestral to modern day Zuñi peoples. For 35 years of its occupation (1265-1300) an enclave of people from the Kayenta region to the north (ancestral to modern day Hopi) were present at the site. The nature of the relationship between these two groups, before, during and after the presents of the enclave at the site is the topic of the talk.


Tammy Stone, Ph.D., R.P.A. is a Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialty in Archaeology from Arizona State University and her certification from the Register of Professional Archaeologist prior to coming to UCD. Stone has a distinguished record of teaching, research, and service and has served in numerous leadership positions on her campus including chairing Anthropology, as well as two departments that were placed in academic receivership by the college and as acting dean. Stone’s academic background is concentrated in archaeology, with particular emphasis on the dynamics of factionalism and alliance formation in communities in Southwestern Pueblos with a secondary interest in Higher Education Administration. She has published 4 books and more than 25 articles and book chapters.
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 2:00 PM: Dr. Mark Aldenderfer, University of California, Merced

“All compounded things are subject to decay”: The archaeology of Tibetan Buddhism


For most westerners, Buddhism is timeless, and Tibet remote and romantic. For the historical Buddha, his last words remind us of the impermanence of all things. For the archaeologist, however, the material expression of Buddhism on the Tibetan Plateau, offers fascinating insight into the transformation and evolution of Buddhist thought as it encounters indigenous, pre-Buddhist conceptions of landscape and religion, borrowings of ritual from Central and East Asia, and the changing political fortunes of the emerging Tibetan empire. The story, one of change and continuity, has resonance in the modern world because the Tibetan past is so emotionally charged and deeply contested. In this lecture, I hope to offer some insights into that past though a discussion of my research through four vignettes: the “pagan” Buddhists of Mustang, the tombs of the Buddhist kings of Tibet, the top-down Buddhists of Dulan, and the lost Buddhist past from Tholing in far western Tibet. My perspective is unique: I am the only western archaeologist to have been granted formal permission to conduct research in the Tibet Autonomous Region.


Mark Aldenderfer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Merced, and Adjunct Professor with the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He holds his degrees from Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.) and Wake Forest University, and his areas of specialization include the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan arc, the archaeology of foraging societies, Archaic/Pre-ceramic Andes, comparative analysis of high altitude cultural and biological adaptations, the archaeology of Buddhism, and the archaeology of religion. He has conducted fieldwork in Tibet, Nepal, Peru, Argentina, Ethiopia, and at sites throughout the United States. Professor Aldenderfer was the AIA’s Norton Lecturer for 2013/2014.

Saturday, November 12, 2016, 2:00 PM: Erik DeMarche, MA, Dickinson Excavation Project and Survey (D.E.P.A.S.) & The Mycenae Foundation

The Throne of Agamemnon


Dubbed by the media as the ‘Throne of Agamemnon,’ the discovery of the throne of Mycenae constitutes the first Mycenaean throne found on mainland Greece. On June 12, 2014, a large fragment of a stone seat was discovered directly below the citadel by Erik DeMarche and Daniel Fallu. For the next two years, the stone seat was studied intensely by a interdisciplinary team of specialists and securely identified as part of the royal throne from the last phase of the citadel at Mycenae.


Erik DeMarche is a field archaeologist and surveyor with experience in Greece, Turkmenistan, and the Americas. He attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and University College London in Qatar. His primary interests include Mycenaean archaeology and archaeology endangered by conflict.

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 2:00 PM: Dr. Jack Hanson, University of Colorado

New Perspectives on Ancient Urbanism


Although we’ve always known that cities were one of the most important features of the Greek and Roman world, we’ve actually had very little idea about basic aspects of the urbanism of the ancient world, such as how many of these settlements there were, where they distributed and how they changed over time, how large they were, and how many people lived in them compared to villages, hamlets, and farms. In this talk, I will attempt to answer some of these questions, drawing on the new research on ancient urbanism that has been put forward in my forthcoming book, and explore what it can tell us about what it was like to live in the ancient world and how it compared to the medieval and modern world.


J. W. Hanson is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the urbanism and economy of the Greek and Roman world. He holds a B.A. in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from the University of Oxford, as well as an M.St. in Classical Archaeology and a D.Phil in Archaeology from the same institution. He is now a Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, working for the Social Reactors project.

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2:00 PM: Nick Card, University of the Highlands and Islands

Secrets of the Ness of Brodgar: a Stone-Age Complex in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site


Off the northernmost tip of Scotland lies the Orkney Islands where it is said that if you scratch its surface Orkney bleeds archaeology! This is nowhere truer than in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site that is renown for some of the most iconic prehistoric monuments of Atlantic Europe: the great stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness; Maeshowe the finest chambered tomb in northern Europe; and the exceptionally well preserved 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae.

Recent research and excavation in this area is radicalizing our views of this period and providing a sharp contrast to the Stonehenge centric view of the Neolithic. In particular, the stunning discovery of a Neolithic complex at the Ness of Brodgar that was enclosed within a large walled precinct is changing our perceptions. The magnificence of the Ness structures with their refinement, scale, and symmetry decorated with color and artwork, bears comparison with the great temples of Malta.

These excavations are revealing a 5,000 year old complex, socially stratified, and dynamic society.
The Ness excavations were recognized by the American Institute of Archaeology as one of the great discoveries in 2009; named the 2011 Current Archeology Research Project of the Year; winner of the international Andante Travel Archaeology Award in 2012; and featured in cover article in National Geographic in 2014.


Nick Card is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of the Highlands and Islands, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland, a Member of Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Research Committee, Chair of the Ness of Brodgar Trust and Vice president of the American Friends of the Ness of Brodgar.
Since the inscription of Orkney’s World Heritage Site (WHS) the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, he has been involved in research and fieldwork relating to the sites: as director of the excavations at Bookan Chambered Tomb; as co-ordinator of the WHS geophysics programme; and as a major contributor to the Research Agenda. His interests lie in all aspects of the prehistory of Britain and the Highlands and Islands with particular reference to the Neolithic. He has also co- directed the major excavations at the extensive Bronze Age cemetery of the Knowes of Trotty and the Iron Age complex at Mine Howe, both of which are nearing publication.
Since 2004 Nick has directed the Ness of Brodgar excavations in the very heart of the WHS. This project has evolved from several seasons of small-scale test trenches and evaluations to large scale excavation that has become internationally recognised and reported widely in both the popular and academic press including the cover article in National Geographic August 2014.
Nick has lectured widely in the UK and abroad at all levels on the Ness excavations, the WHS and Orcadian archaeology in general. Since 2010 he has also undertaken four mini-lecture tours of the USA speaking by invitation to a number of institutions including the Smithsonian, Harvard Clubs of DC and NY, the Sorbonne, the British Museum, the Australian Museum, the AIA in Salem, Oregon, the George Bush Memorial Library in Texas, and the Explorers Club in DC. He is an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2016/2017.

Saturday, April 15, 2017, 2:00 PM: Dr. Minette Church, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

“The line is a line drawn upon a map, and the Country is a wilderness”: British Colonial Memory and the San Pedro Maya of Western Belize


Notwithstanding documentary evidence of which he surely was aware, Sir John Alder Burdon, governor of British Honduras from 1925-1931, wrote that “there is no record of any indigenous population and no reason to believe that any such existed except far in the interior. There are traces of extensive Maya Indian Population…all over the Colony…but this occupation was long before British settlement” (Burdon 1931, vol. 1, p. 4). The effects on historical and social memory of truth-through-repetition in post-colonial settings is not a new area of historical and archaeological critique, yet such cases bear exploration for the sake of setting the record straight at scales both geopolitical and local. These narratives have impacts on Maya descendants and their relations with sites, and with archaeologists who continue to work in Belize.


Minette Church is Associate Professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Faculty Director of the UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities. She has just completed a term as visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Paleoecology, in the School of Natural and Built Environment, at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Her areas of geographic interest are Belize, Central America and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; in both regions she focuses on the archaeology of parenting and childhood, landscape archaeology, border regions, and colonial/post-colonial transnational identities.


January 24, 2016
Erik DeMarche
D.E.P.A.S. (Dickinson Excavation Project and Survey)

All forms of cultural heritage, whether they are mobile or immobile, tangible or intangible are threatened by conflict. This talk examines methods that can be taken to preserve mobile tangible cultural heritage from the deleterious effects of conflict using World War II as a case study.

Erik is a field archaeologist and surveyor with experience in Greece, Turkmenistan, and the Americas. He attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and University College London in Qatar. His primary interests include Mycenaean archaeology and archaeology endangered by conflict.

Sunday, February 21, 2016
Dennis Murphy
Modern Uses of Ancient Water Technology in Anatolian Turkey


The ancient Greek and Roman builders employed a great deal of engineering skill in constructing water systems utilizing aqueducts, pipelines, cisterns and various flow control devices. This study provides an excellent opportunity to look at how ancient water systems can still be utilized in a modern context and see how many of the technical problems faced by the ancient Romans are also experienced by today’s modern engineers.

Anatolian Turkey provides excellent examples of how ancient water technology and existing structures can still be used into the modern era. Modern hydraulic engineers face the same problems of gradient and velocity that the ancient builders experienced. The Elaiussa Sebaste aqueduct brought water down the Lamas River Valley to the coastal plain. Ancient builders experienced engineering problems maintaining the aqueduct in several places either due to centrifugal forces or steep gradients experienced while the channel followed the contour of the valley. Interesting examples of water leaks occurred in the aqueduct in the same challenging areas of the valley as experienced by today’s modern water systems.

In testament to the skill of the ancient engineers, farmers retrace the ancient route of the aqueduct in many places utilizing new concrete conduits or simply repairing the ancient channels and using them for both domestic and agricultural use.

The hinterland included many small settlements and farmsteads which relied upon numerous cisterns to support agricultural activities and daily life. These same structures are still used today for the same purposes as well as being repurposed for new uses such as tourist attractions and special event venues.

In testament to the skill of the ancient engineers, farmers retrace the ancient route of the aqueduct in many places utilizing new concrete conduits or simple cut channels in the ground to irrigate fields and orchards. This aqueduct is a prime example of bringing the old and new together.This paper will look at the construction techniques employed in building these water systems, aqueduct bridges, arch construction, water off take devices and cistern design within the context of their continued use into the modern era.


Dennis Murphy is a long time member of the AIA and an avid “avocational archeologist”. He is focused on the study of ancient water systems, primarily in Southern Turkey, and has presented the results of his work at AIA annual meetings and international conferences. He holds a Liberal Arts Degree from the University of Calif. At Long Beach and is an active member of several European Archeological Societies (Frontinus Gesellshaft & Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft) through which he publishes the results of his studies. When not researching ancient water systems he is engaged in the aerospace industry and is currently a consultant on the NASA Orion Mars Exploration Spacecraft program.

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Jennifer Campbell
State University of New York at Potsdam


Caravanserai spaces (palatial rest-stops on medieval caravan routes) are of particular interest as places with historic associations and as spaces where historic memory can be actively formed. The detailed recording and analysis of these transit and trade vestiges is the directive of the long-term Caravanserai Networks Project. This research has focused on Mughal period caravanserais (1500-1900 CE) located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Provinces of Pakistan, examining how these structures were intended to be used during the Mughal rule of South Asia and how they were reused in the periods that followed (Sikh, Afghani, British, and Pakistani). These trajectories of use continue into the present and at each site there is a unique and nuanced life history. Such unfolding histories anchor our relations to these structures today; not just as historic artifacts to some distant and abstract past but as active places of identity maintenance and as heritage and tourist sites; where site management involves balancing expectations toward tourism, education, protection, preservation, and development. This presentation will outline the work completed on sites in northern Pakistan, present the projects expansion into northern India, and consider the contributions of this research to broader international heritage and traditional landscape dialogues.


Jennifer Campbell is Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Potsdam. She holds her degrees from the University of Toronto (Ph.D.) and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research interests include architectural life histories, trade, complex societies, and cultural heritage. She is currently the Co-Director of the Caravanserai Networks Project in Northern Pakistan and Northern India, and is Director of Architectural Heritage of Upstate New York. Forthcoming publications include “Surveying and Recording Standing Architecture: an Archaeological Approach” for the Journal of Field Archaeology, and “Edging an Empire: The Effect of Edge Proximity on Cores and Peripheries in Mughal South Asia” for the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.


February 15, 2015

Dr. Charles M. Musiba

University of Colorado, Denver

Towards a Community Based Conservation and Sustainable Use of Tanzania’s Heritage: The Laetoli Footprints Project

Cultural World Heritage Sites in Africa are increasingly playing a major role in shaping the socioeconomic, stewardship, preservation, conservation, and sustainable use of these sites. Many African countries now recognize that apart from constructing national and socio-cultural identities, cultural World Heritage Sites have the potential to also propel the economic growth for communities surround these sites. If properly managed, these sites have the capacity of not only becoming beacons of peace but they can also become centers of tourism (Ho and McKercher 2004; Mabulla 2000). For many years, the management of cultural heritage sites and the designation of some of them as World Heritage Sites in Africa were based on European ideas of conservation and this disconnected many African local communities from their cultural heritage sites. As a result, local African communities living near cultural heritage sites were not involved in their conservation and management. Discourses on the administration of cultural heritage sites in many African countries, such as Botswana South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, are now making it possible to engage local people in the management of these sites (see for example, Pwiti 1997; Musiba and Mabulla 2003). Part of the strategy of sustainable management of cultural World Heritage Sites in many parts of Africa includes creating opportunities for the local communities to be involved in tourism activities so as to economically empower them and improve their lives. Here I will discuss the planned development of paleoanthropological sites of Laetoli and Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania as examples to show how local communities can benefit from cultural World Heritage Sites.

About Dr. Musiba:

My research focuses on human origins in East Africa with research theme that covers four areas: paleoecology of Laetoli, animal trackways and their paleoecological potentials, and taphonomy. I am interested in research questions that link human evolution with climate change, especially the reconstruction of ancient landscapes using multiple sources of data (from fossil faunal remains to stable isotopes, pollen remains, and animal prints) at the 3.5 million years old Pliocene paleoanthropological Site of Laetoli in northern Tanzania.

The aim of my research work at Laetoli (which currently combines research and field-based teaching) is to explore the question of whether combined paleontological data can successfully be used to tease out ecological interpretations of past landscapes and their impact on human evolution at Laetoli. The scope and focus of my current research is: (1) to continue with field excavation and recovery of fossil faunal remains (including hominin (hominid) and other associated mammalian bones) from Localities 7, 8, and 10; (2) to conduct a systematic study that compares recently discovered Laetoli hominin specimen with well established Australopithecus afarensis specimens from Laetoli and other East African sites from Ethiopia and Kenya in order to establish firmly their taxonomic status; (3) to establish a better geologic (stratigraphic) framework that can be used as a benchmark on Laetoli depositional environments and hominin variability using multiple sources of data; (4) to systematically document the animal trackways and establish snapshots of Laetoli past fauna communities based on animal prints; and (5) to apply multiple analytical methods to identify past ecological changes at Laetoli in the past 3.5 million years ago.

MARCH 8, 2015

Dr. Matthew Johnson

Northwestern University

Understanding Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle, built in the 1380s in south-eastern England, is perhaps the most extensively-discussed castle in medieval Europe. It is certainly the most controversial – was it built as defence against the French, or was it an old soldier’s dream house, a fairytale castle set in a symbolic landscape? In this talk, I report on three seasons of archaeological survey at Bodiam. A team from the University of Southampton in the UK and Northwestern University in the USA, working in collaboration with the National Trust, have surveyed the castle fabric, mapped the surrounding landscape, and conducted geophysical survey. Our conclusions are that the academic ‘battle for Bodiam’ has generated more heat than light. I present a new view of the castle, stressing its active role in regional politics and economics, and understanding Bodiam at a series of scales from the smallest action of washing one’s hands in the chapel piscine out to the castle’s place in world history.

Matthew Johnson studied at Cambridge for his PhD and worked at Sheffield and Lampeter before moving to Durham University where he was Professor until 2004. Matthew then moved to the University of Southampton before moving across the Atlantic to become Professor in Anthropology at Northwestern University in 2011. Matthew has published six books, including Behind the Castle Gate, English Houses 1300-1800, Ideas of Landscape, and Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. Matthew’s interests cover the archaeology of England and Europe AD1000-1800, and include castles, houses great and small, landscapes, and theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches. Matthew is conducting fieldwork in south-east England in collaboration with the University of Southampton and the National Trust; in 2013, they will be working at the great medieval houses of Knole and Ightham.

Sunday May 17, 2015

Dr. Chris Beekman: The Original Performance Piece: The Shaft Tomb Figures of Western Mexico

Abstract: Anthropomorphic ceramic figures have been looted from shaft and chamber tombs in western Mexico for well over a century, and literally thousands of them exist today in museum collections, not to mention those in the hands of private collectors. The very small number of examples excavated by archaeologists remains a problem for any serious understanding of their significance. Recently however, there has been increasing evidence that the figures had a use-life before being placed in the tombs. This has major implications for our understanding of their uses, their meaning, and their interpretation as visual culture.

Bio: Dr. Beekman received his B.A. in Anthropology from California State University San Bernardino in 1985, during which time he pursued archaeological fieldwork in California, Ecuador, and Egypt. He pursued graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, working in El Salvador, Guatemala, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 based on fieldwork in the state of Jalisco, western Mexico, where he continues his research into ancient Mesoamerican society. He taught at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, University of Louisville, and the University of Michigan before joining the University of Colorado in 2001.
Sunday October 18

Dr. William Fitzhugh
Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Basque Whalers and Southern Inuit


Two hundred years before the great 19th century explosion of Arctic whaling the Spanish Basques were sending scores of ships to hunt whales in Labrador and Newfoundland. Because they never settled, their role in the early history of North America was forgotten until the discovery of the Basque whaling center in Red Bay, Labrador, in the 1970s. This lecture reconstructs the Basque enterprise in North America during the 16-17thcenturies with new information gleaned from the speaker’s archaeological research at Petit Mecatina on the Quebec Lower North Shore. Combining land and underwater archaeology, this research not only helps flesh out a dark chapter of history; it also reveals how Eskimos—the first New World whalers—partnered with Basques and for 200 years kept other Europeans at bay in a period that could be called “The Eskimo Wars.”


William Fitzhugh is Director of the Arctic Studies Center and Curator of the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and holds his degrees from Harvard (Ph.D. and M.A.) and Dartmouth (B.A.). Dr. Fitzhugh’s areas of specialization are arctic archaeology, circumpolar cultures, Mongolia, and Vikings (especially in the Western Atlantic). He has done fieldwork in the North Atlantic regions and arctic Russia, and in Mongolia, and has been recognized for his work in exhibits, documentaries, and research.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Dr. Paul Miller
University of Edinburgh


As immortalized in D. H. Lawrence’s Etruscan Places, the Orientalizing (720-580 BC) and Archaic (580-400 BC) tombs of Etruria have compelled amateurs and archaeologists alike to pause and consider the lifestyles and habits of the ancient Etruscans. Alongside the lavish grave goods and monumental architecture of the tombs themselves, the vivacious scenes of Etruscan tomb frescoes have come to symbolize and shape many modern perceptions of the Etruscan culture. Such perceptions of the Etruscans in death have also shaped our scholarly understanding of the Etruscans in life, including how they built their homes, public buildings, and temples. By comparing these other aspects of the Etruscan built environment with their tombs, this presentation highlights the similarities and differences between how the Etruscans portrayed life and how they actually lived it.

Speaker Bio

Paul M. Miller is a recent PhD Archaeology graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona and an MSc in Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh. In addition to his work in Scottish and Italian pre- and proto-history, he has practiced archaeology throughout the US southwest and the Great Basin. His doctoral thesis examines the interaction between humans and the built environment in Early Iron Age central Italy and the Etruscan civilization. He and his wife, Annahita, currently live in Castle Rock.

Suggested Readings

Izzet, V. 2007. “Domestic architecture: public and private.” In The Archaeology of Etruscan Society, edited by V. Izzet, 143-164. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rapoport, A. 2000. Housing, Theory and Society. Theory and Society 17(4):145-165. Riva, C. 2010. “A long process and a rapid change.”

The Urbanisation of Etruria; Funerary Practices and Social Change, 700-600 BC, edited by C. Riva, 11-38. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dr. Michelle Koons, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Water and Power: The Political Dynamics of the Moche of Ancient Peru

This presentation will examine the role of water and irrigation in the sociopolitical organization of the Moche archaeological culture (A.D. 250-900) from the arid north coast of Peru. Moche is recognized by distinct archaeological signatures (exquisitely decorated ceramics, monumental architecture, polychrome murals, metalwork, etc.) found over ten valley systems. I will discuss my research at the previously
unexplored site of Licapa II, a mid-sized ceremonial center in the Chicama Valley and explore how water and politics were integrally entwined in this desert landscape. Excavations, surface collection, and geophysical surveys contributed to understanding the nature of Licapa II and the activities performed there. I compare architectural, ceramic, and radiocarbon data from Licapa II and other Moche centers to better understand Moche sociopolitical dynamics across space and time. I also examine how the marginal location of Licapa II, located over 25 km from the river, would have played a part in defining its political role. Finally, I explore how the engineering and management of the complex irrigation network were vital to Moche organization and how these patterns are similar to patterns recorded in the Colonial era.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dr. Katina Lillios, University of Iowa

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Archaeological Institute of America
Joukowsky Lecturer

Dr. Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Ancient Synagogue and Village at Huqoq, Israel

Since 2011, Professor Magness has been directing excavations in the Roman-Byzantine village and synagogue of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. In June 2012, excavations reached the synagogue’s floor and revealed that it is paved with stunning mosaics. One section, made of tiny stone cubes, depicts female faces flanking a Hebrew or Aramaic inscription referring to rewards for those who perform good deeds. Another section preserves part of a large male figure dressed in a Roman military-style tunic. To the figure’s left are pairs of foxes facing outwards, with their tails tied together and a lighted torch between them. This is a depiction of the episode related in Judges 15:4, in which Samson takes revenge on the Philistines by tying torches to the tails of three hun- dred foxes and releasing them to burn the agricultural fields. In this slide-illustrated lecture, Magness presents an overview of the excavations, including the discoveries from the summer 2013 season.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
Dr. Sarah Nelson, University of Denver

The Gold Crowns of Silla (Korea) and the Tomb of a

The largest mounded tomb from the Silla kingdom in Korea was found to be that of a queen, who wore a pure gold crown and a golden belt of leadership. These make it clear that she was a ruling queen, but she does not appear in the official list of kings, although some queens do. How can archaeology solve this mystery, without any writing in the tomb?


January 13, 2013

Dr. Payson Sheets, University of Colorado:

What was that Horrible Thing that happened around the World in AD 536?

The few literate cultures in AD 536 recorded intense cold, crop failures, starvation, and deaths. About 75% of the people in a northern Chinese kingdom died. Similar problems were reported around the Mediterranean. Tree rings in North America, Europe, and Asia record 15 years of cold beginning in AD 536. Ice cores in Greenland and in Antarctica record a dramatic increase in sulfur in the same year, indicating a volcanic eruption was the cause and not an asteroid impact. Since 1969 I have been investigating the eruption of Ilopango volcano in El Salvador, at 14° north latitude. I have struggled with radiocarbon dating, but recent improvements and work with colleagues have indicated the eruption must have occurred more recently than the 5th century. It appears the Ilopango eruption is the most likely candidate for the worst worldwide disaster in the past few millennia. With the contributions from multiple disciplines, it appears we are moving toward understanding what happened in AD 536 and afterward.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dr. Nicholas Hudson, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Of Pots and People: Updates from the Field, Tell Timai, Egypt

Over 4,500 kilograms of pottery have been recovered and processed by the University of Hawa’ii at Manoa excavations at Tell Timai in Egypt during the course of two full field seasons. The pottery spans over 1000 years of occupation at ancient Thmuis. It is now possible to begin linking this ceramic history to a history of the people and industries that built the city up from a small suburb of the Pharaonic city of Mendes to a Roman regional capital and an important Early Christian bishopric. This talk presents the highlights of the ceramic finds at Timai, covering the contexts of discovery, historical settings, and the personal histories of the people who inhabited the city. These contexts include evidence of the cities ancient perfume industry, a household’s place on the wrong side of history, the transformation of a residential and industrial area to an open public space, and evidence of a population occupying a fading city in the seventh century AD. The talk is also an exploration of telling grand histories from the smallest and commonest of archaeological artifacts, the pot sherd.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dr. Nicholas Rockwell, University of Denver

Uncovering the Lower Classes in Ancient Greek Warfare and Politics

The traditional focus in ancient Greek warfare has been on the heavily-armed infantryman called the hoplite. For roughly three hundred years (c. 650-350 BC), Greek hoplites, arrayed in the compact mass formation known as the phalanx, dominated the way states waged war. However, over time light-armed soldiers such as slingers, archers, javelin-men, and small-shield bearing soldiers called peltasts increasingly made significant contributions to military engagements, bringing about fundamental changes in hoplite warfare. Connected to these military developments were transformations in the political sphere. As light-armed soldiers, generally from the lower classes, came to play a more significant role in war there was a tendency for states to become more democratic, often abolishing property qualifications for political participation and relying on a primary assembly for all major state decisions. This lecture will examine these military and political developments and their broader implications for ancient Greek society.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sally J. Cole Ann Axtell Morris: Art in Archaeology of the Southwest and Mesoamerica

Ann Axtell Morris, archaeologist, artist, and author,was the wife of prominent archaeologist, Earl H. Morris, and mother of Colorado State University Professor and archaeologist, Elizabeth A. Morris. Ann
accompanied Earl on major, multi-year expeditions sponsored by the Carnegie Institution during the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico. During those years, she recorded architecture, rock art, murals, landscapes, and expedition work in watercolor paintings and drawings and pioneered methods of documentation that remain in use today. She painted studies of historic Navajo and sought ethnographic information. Her works provide context for important sites including those of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chichen Itzá, Yucatan, and Mesa Verde National Park. The watercolors offer information about ancient use of color in a time of black and white photography. In 1933, Ann wrote two books, Digging in Yucatan and Digging in the Southwest, that have inspired generations to know and be interested in the methods and goals of archaeology, pursue it as a career, and value the challenges in remote places.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dr. Lanny Bell, Brown University

The Magic of Art and Writing in Ancient Egypt

Writing literally was an art in ancient Egypt; on the other hand, art was also, strictly speaking, hieroglyphic—in that images were employed not merely as decoration, but as symbols intended to convey ideas. Writing (text) and art (iconography)were intimately related: they were complementary, each explaining, illustrating, or generally elaborating the other. Hieroglyphs are among the symbols used in works of art, and we need to study the grammar and vocabulary of this art to learn to “read” the iconography of scenes as surely as we would read a text. The magical power of representations, as well as the spoken or written word, consisted in the fact that the outer form or appearance of an item determined its true being or reality; and the whole essence or nature of a thing was revealed in its name. They seem to have been particularly interested in the repetition of events, those that conformed to mythological prototypes, as established at the Beginning of Time—these were real. Other occurrences that were random (i.e., unpredictable or unique)—those unusual, distinctive, or specific events with which we are particularly concerned on the 6:00 news or in our morning newspaper—these were unreal and were normally not worth recording or commemorating. The Egyptians saw the course of history against a mythological background dominated by certain fundamental themes; actual events were particular instances of great movements or tendencies. So the victor gets to write the history, and we must be extremely cautious about taking any report or representation too literally.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dr. Lanny Bell, Brown University

Tutankhamun: The Life and Death of a God King

The Son of the Sun, Tutankhamun (1334-1325 BCE) was a god in his own time; but he was also a mortal on earth. While his monuments and the contents of his tomb tell us a great deal about his divine status, what do they tell us about his life and death—his human side? What did he really look like? Who were his parents? How did he die, and how old was he? Did he have any children? What role did his widow Ankhesenamun attempt to play in the selection of the next king? What was his relationship with his successor, the aged Aye. Why was his tomb equipment so richly provided, including personal gifts donated by important officials and courtiers? Tutankhamun is still a man of mysteries: many uncertainties remain concerning his life and death. Scholars hold very different opinions about him; and many details of their narratives cannot be proven, nor can they be disproven. The new traveling Tutankhamun exhibits present us with an occasion to reexamine some of these issues, even though some of them cannot yet be resolved with complete confidence. Ancient history is built up of probabilities, based on “facts” and their sometimes complex interrelationships. The simplest explanation is often the best, and the most probable hypothesis explains the greatest number of data, with the fewest loose threads, gaps, and inconsistencies. The recent DNA analysis undertaken on the mummies of Tutankhamun and several of his relatives has come under professional criticism, both in terms of historical method and scientific technique. A reconstruction of Tutankhamun’s family relationships is presented here, along with the factors which seem to have determined the line of succession at the end of the 18th Dynasty.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dr. Mark D. Mitchell, Paleocultural Research Group

Before Lewis and Clark: The Rise and Fall of the Heart River
Confederacy, A.D. 1400-1750

The villages and towns near the confluence of the Heart and Missouri rivers stood empty when the Corps of Discovery passed by in October 1804. Two hundred years earlier, though, the political and economic alliance uniting these communities had been the hub of a vast commercial network encompassing 1 million square kilometers of the Northern Plains. Heart River traders dealt in marine shell, copper, pottery, chipped stone raw materials, maize, tobacco, and bison hides and meat. Mobile hunter-gatherers living across a broad swath of interior North America travelled regularly to the settlements on the Missouri and Heart region émigrés took up residence in communities scattered across the region. These population movements, in combination with economic intensification, settlement aggregation, warfare, and other social processes occurring within the Heart River region, built the political-economic landscape that European traders encountered when they entered the Northern Plains in the 1700s. Archaeological methods and archaeological data are crucial for tracking the changing fortunes of the Heart River communities, and for understanding the long-term impact their history had on the course of colonial interaction the Northern Plains.


October 28, 2012

Dr. Larry Conyers, University of Denver

Mapping the Ice Age Landscape of Coastal Portugal with Ground-Penetrating Radar: Using Geology,Geophysics and Archaeology to place Ice Age Hunters in their Environment

Reindeer and auroch hunting groups in the Upper Paleolithic of Europe were big-game hunters who survived in a landscape that is very different from today. In coastal Portugal ground-penetrating radar and geological mapping has placed a number of sites ranging in age from 30,000 to 25,0000 years ago in an environment that as dry, cold and populated by herds of large herbivores. Hunting strategies and subsistence methods can be inferred by placing information from standard archaeological methods into this complex ancient world.

November 4, 2012

The Samuel H. Kress Lectureship in Ancient Art

Dr. Nikos Xanthoulis, Academy of Athens and the Greek National Opera:The Sounds of Ancient Greece

The subject of the lecture-concert will be ancient Greek music, dating from 800 B.C. to 400 A.D. The study of this sophisticated art leads us to the roots of western culture: music, melody, chord, tone, rhythm, poetry, are all words with Greek origins. Our knowledge of ancient Greek music has increased dramatically during the last hundred years, through the evidence of archeology and art, the abundance of references to music in Greek literature from the 8th century onwards, books on ancient Greek music theory from 4th c. B.C. to 4th century A.D that survive until through the present, the non-literary documents, the musical scores, and many rediscovered papyri. The lecture will also cover the myths concerning music and musicians, and will include songs performed by reconstructed instruments, ancient lyre, and salpinx (ancient trumpet). The combination of lecture and performance will transport the audience to a world which was the cradle of western civilization.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kevin Black

Assistant State Archaeologist

Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation

“Colorado Mountain Archaeology”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

AIA NATIONAL VISITING LECTURER for the Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecture

Dr. Deborah Carlson

“The Tektas Burnu Shipwreck”

For three summers between 1999 and 2001, underwater excavations off the Aegean coast of Turkey at Tektas Burnu revealed the remains of a small Greek merchant ship that sank between 440 and 425 B.C. or shortly thereafter. Remains of the ship include a pair of marble ophthalmoi – the only eyes ever found in association with an ancient vessel – and the earliest securely dated examples of lead-filled anchor stocks. The vessel was carrying a primary cargo of wine and pine tar contained in more than 200 transport amphoras and smaller quantities of East Greek pottery. The amphora cargo includes jars from Mende, Chios, and the Samian peraia, but the largest portion is represented by previously unattributed type that can now be assigned to Ionian Erythrae.
At the time the Tektas Burnu ship was wrecked in the third quarter of the fifth century B.C., Athens was the leading naval power in the Mediterranean, a position the Athenians achieved through the economic exploitation of allied city-states and heavy-handed control over maritime trade. As the only Classical shipwreck ever to be fully excavated in Aegean waters, the Tektas Burnu ship promises to shed light on local trade networks at a time when Ionia was thought to be mired in an “economic paralysis” brought on by the high cost of Athenian imperialism in the decades following the Ionian Revolt of 499 B.C.

Suggested Bibliography:

Carlson, D.N. 2003. “The Classical Greek Shipwreck at Tektas Burnu, Turkey,” American Journal of Archaeology 107: 581-600.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dr. Craig Lee

Metcalf Archaeology and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research

“Withering Snow and Ice in Your Backyard: A 10,000-year-old Archaeological Record Under Threat by Global Warming in the Mid-Latitude Rocky Mountains”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dr. Marc Levine

Assistant Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder

“Teotihuacan Attraction: Examining the demand for Teotihuacan Artifacts in US Museums and Art Market”

October 23, 2011

2011 AIA Norton Lecturer

Dr. Nancy T. de Grummond

Florida State University at Tallahassee

Etruscan Human Sacrifice in Myth and Ritual
The Etruscan were the forerunners of the Romans from 700 B.C. to their assimilation into the Roman Republic in the 1 st century B.C., with a rich and fascinating culture.Scholars have long been reluctant to believe that the Etruscans practiced human sacrifice, and many specific references in written sources and artwork have at one time or another been dismissed as not sufficient for determining if the Etruscans did in fact engage in this practice. Recent excavations in the monumental sacred area on the Pian di Civita at Tarquinia by the University of Milan (directed by M. Bonghi Jovino and G.Bagnasco Gianni) have proven once and for all that human sacrifice was indeed practiced by the Etruscans, through the discovery of a number of burials of infants, children and adults. Some individuals were demonstrably “marginal” in society, as diseased, foreign or of lower social status. One child, an 8-year old, was decapitated and his feet placed at the base of and underneath a wall, evidently as a foundation deposit.A stone altar, a sacred building, and a ritual deposit of symbols of secular power (an axe, a shield and a ceremonial trumpet) were all part of the archaeological context in which the killings took place.

There are many representations in Etruscan mythic art that clearly depict human sacrifice. While the myths may show a kind of surrogate for actual killing, they nevertheless may reflect actual rituals and beliefs associated with such killing. In her lecture,“Etruscan Human Sacrifice in Myth and Ritual,” Professor Nancy T. de Grummond will discuss literary, archaeological and iconographical evidence to be studied anew with an open mind in order to determine real sacrificial practice as opposed to fictional, exaggerated, symbolic, or mythological matter. Nancy T. de Grummond is the Distinguished Research Professor with the Department of Classics at Florida State University in Tallahassee. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and specializes in Etruscan archaeology,
religion and myth, and Scythian archaeology. Professor de Grummond has been honored for her work and teaching, and is a past holder of the AIA’s Joukowsky Lectureship. Recent publications include The Sanctuary of the Etruscan Artisans at Cetamura del Chianti (2009), Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend (2006), and The Religion of the Etruscans (co-edited and co-authored with Erika Simon, 2006).


Sunday, January 24

“Delving into the Mystery of the Visible, Nearly Visible, and Invisible Records of PaleoEnvironment and PaleoSubsistence at Archaeological Sites”

Linda Scott Cummings, PhD

Understanding the environmental setting in which people have lived is critical to understanding any people. So, too, does our picture of diet color our opinion of people of the past? Both combine to build a picture of the past as “real people” who lived in well-defined time and space.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dr. John G. Younger

AIA NATIONAL VISITING LECTURER for the Clarence and Anne Dillon Dunwalke Lecture

Professor of Classics and Director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

University of Kansas

“Women in Prehistoric Greece”

This talk presents an overview of what we know (or think we know) about the lives of women in the Minoan-Mycenaean world. From images in fresco, on seals and finger rings, and in pottery, and from information recorded in Linear B, we will examine their production of textiles and cooking pottery, their work-groups, their participation in cult, their administration of sanctuaries, and their coming of age ceremonies. We can say only a little about their sexuality and family life since Aegean art rarely portrays intimacy, sex, or children. Occasionally it is their absence that reveals information; for instance, women are not portrayed on stone relief vessels and they are not depicted playing musical instruments; in both cases, however, we can infer their presence as too powerful to represent.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dr. Nicole Branton

Field Office Archaeologist

Arapahoe Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland
USDA Forest Service

“Searching for Lost Towns along the Laramie River”



Sunday, April 6th, 2008
Dr. Robert Hohlfelder, University of Colorado:
“Poseidon’s Deepest Secrets: A Shipwreck Survey off Southern Crete, 2007”

Sunday, March 9th, 2008
Dr. Albert Leonard, University of Arizona:
“New Bottles Old Wine”

The Denver Society of the Archaeological Institute of America joins us in presenting Dr. Albert Leonard, from the University of Arizona, Classics and Near Eastern Studies department and also a wine expert with Le Cordon Bleu (London) and the Culinary Institute of America (Napa Valley). Dr. Leonard will offer a lecture entitled “New Bottles — Old Wine.” Wine expert or archaeologist? Dr. Leonard is both, and will weave these two topics into a discussion that is discussion for all. With a background in Mediterranean excavations and the culinary arts, this will surely be a presentation with a new twist!


Sunday, December 16th, 2007
Dr. Payson Sheets, University of Colorado:
“Ancient Maya Villagers, What the volcano preserved in Ceren, El Salvador”

Sunday November 4th, 2007
Dr John K. Papadopoulos, University of California – LA:
“The Art of Antiquity: Piet de Jong and the Athenian Agora”

Dr. John Papadopoulos is a member of the Classics Department at UCLA. His expertise includes extensive work in Greece and southern Italy, as well as at aboriginal and historic sites in Australia. He will present a lecture entitled “The Art of Antiquity: Piet de Jong & the Athenian Agora,” based on his excavations in the heart of Classical Athens.

Tuesday February 20th, 2007
Dr Richard Talbert, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:
“Milestones, Itineraries, Sundials: Roman Travel Aids and Their Value”

Wednesday March 14th, 2007
Dr. Cyprian Broodbank, University College, London:
The Making of the Mediterranean : From the Earliest Times until the Iron Age

Sunday October 8th, 2006
Dr. Jonathan Kent, Metropolitan State College of Denver:
“Human and Animal Sacrifice in Northern Peru ”

Sunday November 12th, 2006
Dr Stephen Lekson, University of Colorado:
“Chaco Canyon : An 11th century Pueblo capital”

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Prof. Shelley Wachsmann, Nautical Archaeology Program Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M College Station

Some went down to the Sea in Ships (Psalms 107:23): Mediterranean Seafaring in the Bronze Age (3000-1200 B.C.)


Monday, February 23, 2004
Bill Hammond
Prehistoric Denver: In Praise of Hunter-Gatherers


Euroamericans have lived in the Denver area for the past 150 years or so. However, the area was occupied by humans for 11,000 years or more before that. Thus the history of the area is far longer and more complex than most of us usually realize. During the long prehistoric era, the Hogback Valley west of Denver, between the Dakota ridge and the foothills of the Front Range, was by far the most densly inhabited part of the region. During this time the Native American inhabitants were huntr-gatherers rather than agriculturalists (let alone city dwellers). In 1973 the Denver Chapter began an intensive program of archaeological survey and excavation in the Hogback Valley, on the Ken-Caryl Ranch. Dr. Hammond will give an overview and update of the work and a perspective on the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.


Dr. Bill Hammond is an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has taught and practiced there and at the Denver VA hospital for almost 40 years. He was Chief Medical Officer at the VA from 1979 to 1983, and President of the Faculty at the Medical School in 1984. He has won numerous teaching awards and is an author of over 40 articles in the medical literature. Dr. Hammond joined the Colorado Archaeological Society in 1979, and has been active in its Denver Chapter ever since. He has been President, Treasurer and a member of its Board of Directors. He has been active in its scientific activities since joining the Chapter, primarily its excavations on the Ken-Caryl Ranch. From 1991 to the present he has been co-principal investigator of the Denver Chapter’s excavation at Swallow Site on the Ranch. He is currently working on artifact analysis and writing the report on Swallow Site, and is Vice-President and Program Chairman for the Chapter. He represents the archaeology community on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Historical Society.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 AIA VISITING LECTURER
Stephen Dyson: Looking at Ancient Pompeii


Pompeii because of the nature of its destruction is often treated as a special, even unique archaeological site. Emphasis is often placed on a limited range of finds made there. However, Pompeii was a very typical medium sized Roman community. Such small towns were the background of the Roman system and their success explains how Rome survived so long.
This lecture will look at Pompeii as a working community. After a short introduction on the history of Pompeii and the history of excavation, I will ‘walk’ the audience through the site in the manner of an ancient Roman, looking at the ways in which the archaeological record provides insight into social, economic and political activity. The lecture will provide both an overview of the site and an understanding of its place in Roman community history.


Monday, September 15, 2003
Carol Patterson: Form Follows Function: The depiction of ancestry, power and ceremony through gesture in Hawaiian Petroglyphs


This presentation examines the gestures, postures and proxemic arrangements of anthropomorphic figures found in Hawaiian petroglyphs and demonstrates the way in which they find parallels the Hawaiian social structure. Sites can be grouped in three categories that are consistent with Hawaiian religious beliefs, class and ranking systems, and family kinship structures. Variations in “style” are more likely to be deliberate forms that functioned in a broader communication system, rather than the result of a stylistic evolution of form.

Monday, October 13, 2003
JOINT LECTURE WITH CAS (Colorado Archaeological Society)
Adrienne Mayor: The Monster of Troy: Fossil Discoveries in Ancient Greece

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
John K. Papadopoulos:
Shameless Potters and Ravagers of Kilns: Athenian Pots & Topography


Athenian black- and red-figure pottery of the Archaic and Classical periods have enjoyed a prominent place in the history of 18th through 20th century scholarship in classical archaeology. This lecture goes beyond the pots, the scenes depicted on them, and the changing attitudes towards their interpretation, in order to focus on the makers: the potters themselves. This lecture attempts to understand who they were, how and where they worked. Many clues are offered by the scenes on the pottery itself, and this is supplemented by a re-examination of the archaeological and literary evidence. New discoveries in central Athens, however, including much unpublished material from the American excavations in the Athenian Agora, add significantly to our knowledge, particularly for the location of the Potters’ Quarter (Kerameikos) and the identity of some of the potters, both in terms of their ethnicity and gender. In reviewing this evidence, some radical revisions are suggested for the topography of early Athens.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

J.K. Papadopoulos, Ceramicus Redivivus: The Early Iron Age Potters’ Field in the Area of the Classical Athenian Agora (Hesperia Supplement 31) (Princeton 2003)

J. Camp, The Athenian Agora: Excavations in the Heart of Classical Athens (London 1986)

CV for John Papadopoulos

John K. Papadopoulos (Professor; Doctor)

Department of Classics and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

University of California, Los Angeles, Fowler A210

Los Angeles, CA 90077


Education: BA (Honors), MA (Honors), PhD (Archaeology): University of Sydney
Honors and awards: Max Le Petit Memorial Prize for Classical Archaeology (1978); James R. Stewart Prize for Near Eastern Archaeology (1979); Fellow of the Athens Archaeological Society (1992)
Past positions: Deputy Director, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (1987-1991)
Assistant Professor, Classical Archaeology, University of Sydney (1991-1993)
Associate Curator of Antiquities, the J. Paul Getty Museum (1994-2001)
Professor, Department of Classics & Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA (2002-present)
Areas of specialization: Classical Archaeology & Aegean Prehistory; Archaeology of Colonialism
Fieldwork: Has excavated widely in Australia (Aboriginal & historic sites), as well as Greece & South Italy. Served as Field Director of the Torone Excavations in northern Greece, as well the geophysical & underwater surveys of the site (1986-1995).
Main publications: Torone I: The Excavations of 1975, 1976, and 1978 (with A. Cambitoglou & O. Tudor Jones) (2001); The Archaeology of Colonialism (co-edited with C.L. Lyons); Ceramicus Redivivus (Hesperia Supplement 31) (2003); Theory & Practice in Mediterranean Archaeology: Old World & New World Perspectives (co-edited with R.M. Leventhal) (2003); The Extramural Sanctuary of Sybaris at Francavilla Marittima Recovered: The Archaic Votive Metal Objects (2003); The Early Iron Age Cemetery at Torone (forthcoming); The Athenian Agora: The Early Iron Age (2 volumes; forthcoming); author of over 50 scholarly articles and some 20 book reviews.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Catherine Gaither: Sacrificial Foundations in Andean Prehistory


This presentation will focus on the behavior of human sacrifice in the Andean region. The practice of child sacrifice among the Inca will be briefly discussed and then the talk will focus on the practice of human sacrifice among the Moche (AD 200 – 800) of the north coast of Peru. Specifically, the sacrifice victims found at the site of Huaca de la Luna will be discussed with regard to the significance this behavior may have had within the Moche culture.

Monday, January 13, 2003
Sarah Nelson
Do Jade and Pigs Create Complex Society? The Hongshan Culture in Northeast China in Perspective

The Hongshan Culture is an anomaly among the early jades cultures (4500-3000 BC) in China. Not only is it the earliest culture of the “Jade Age” in China, but also the Goddess Temple with lifesized statues made of unbaked clay, the finely-carved pendants and other ornaments in the burials, and the ceremonial structures all set Hongshan apart. This talk explores the questions of how it came to be in northeastern China, and what kind of socio-economic structure might have supported these developments.

Monday, February 17, 2003
Andrew Gulliford
Preserving Sacred Indian Landscapes


Andrew Gulliford has researched Native American sacred objects and sacred places throughout the West, Alaska, and Hawai’i. A graduate of Colorado College (B.A., M.A.T.) and Bowling Green State University in Ohio (Ph.D.), he is a professor of Southwest Studies and History and Director of the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Previously he directed the Public History and Historic Preservation Program at Middle Tennessee State University near Nashville. His photographs of American Indian sacred sites have been published in Norenewable Resources (1994), The Secretary of the Interior’s Report to Congress: Federal Archaeological Programs and Activities, 1993 (1993), and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Report to Congress and the President, 1993 (1993). His previous books include Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, 1885-1985 (1989) and America’s County Schools (1984, 1996), both published by the University Press of Colorado.
Formerly the director of the Western New Mexico University Museum in Silver City, New Mexico, Gulliford curated one of the largest prehistoric Mimbres pottery collections. He has worked with the Ute to document, preserve, and protect the Ute Trail on Colorado’s Western Slope, and he now works with the Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming on museum and preservation planning. For the American Association of Museums he reviews tribal museums and historic sites with Indian collections, and for the Smithsonian Associates program, he has led tours on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon and on the Lewis and Clark Trail by canoe and horseback in Montana and Idaho.
He has received a Take Pride in American National Award from the secretary of agriculture for “outstanding contributions to America’s natural and cultural resources”; the National Volunteer Award from the chief of the United States Forest Service; the Second Annual James Marston Fitch Mid-Career Award for Historic Preservation; and the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
In summers, he backpacks, hikes, and canoes the West with his wife and two sons.

Monday March 3, 2003
C. Brian Rose
Recent Greek and Roman Excavations at Troy, Turkey


In 1988 archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Tubingen, Germany, began new excavations at Troy with the intent of examining all phases of habitation – from the Bronze Age through the Byzantine period. This lecture presents the results of the most recent Bronze Age, Greek, and Roman excavations at the site. Work has concentrated primarily on the theater, temple of Athena, the Bouleuterion or Council House, and the Sactuary of the Samothracian Gods. The Bronze Age fortifications and Roman houses in the Lower City have also been extensively investigated. Excavation thus far has clarified the rise in the city’s fortunes after Alexander the Great, its reconstruction by Augustus and his Julio-Claudian successors, and the manipulation of its legendary heritage. Also included in the lecture is a discussion of several new monumental tombs recently discovered near Troy, which contain gold jewelry, musical instruments, and painted marble sarcophagi.

Monday, March 8, 2003
JOINT LECTURE WITH CAS (Colorado Archaeological Society)
Steve Lekson: New Thoughts on the Ancient Southwest


Southwestern archaeology is often presented as a statistical correlation of ancient peoples and past climates: sprinkle enough rain on the right soil, and up pop Pueblos. While most of the Southwest is, in fact, a desert, and climatic reconstructions are critical to understanding the past, ancient societies overcame environmental limitations to develop polities and civilizations. It is possible to write an archaeological “history of the ancient Southwest” which goes beyond climate and crops to explore events, catastrophes, rises and falls, war and peace, heroes and villains. This presentation illustrates some of the dramatic incidents in Southwestern prehistory, and links them in a historical narrative.

Monday, April 21, 2003
Larry Conyers
Ground-penetrating Radar for Archaeological Exploration

Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Jo Anne Van Tilburg
Among Stone Giants: The Life of Katherine Routledge and Her Remarkable Expedition to Easter Island


The world’s leading authority on the stone statues of Easter Island, Jo Anne Van Tilburg delivers a thrilling true-life tale of breathtaking adventure and legendary exploration.
Van Tilburg, a distinguished archaeologist in her own right, draws on nearly two decades of experience in the South Pacific, historical archives, and Katherine Routledge’s own previously untapped journals and field notes to give us a fascinating biography of the first female archaeologist to excavated these world-famous monoliths. Written with the full cooperation of the Royal Geographical Society and the British Museum, this fascinating book transports readers to the South Pacific island of Rapa Nui (meaning “land’s end”). There Routledge and her husband, co-leaders of the Mana Expedition of 1913, encountered a population recovering from near-extinction. “Mana” is the Polynesian name for “spiritual power,” and Routledge, a Quaker overcome by the mysticism of the island and later diagnosed with schizophrenia, was deeply drawn to the customs and beliefs of these remarkable people. Routledge’s pioneering work preserved the faith and traditions of this prehistoric isle and laid the groundwork for modern archaeology. “Among Stone Giants” is an awe-inspiring testament to human courage, spirit, and achievement.


Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg is currently a research associate of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, director of UCLA’s Rock Art Archive, director of the Easter Island Statue Project, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is also a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America and the British Museum. The author of three previous books, she lives in Malibu.


Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Steve Cassells
Hunting the High Country: Prehistoric Game Driving in the Colorado Front Range

Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Michael Vickers
Stones in Venice: recycled marble from Constantinople and Athens


Venice was built on a mud flat in the Lagoon: all the building materials-timber, bricks, stone and marble had to be imported from elsewhere. It is usually impossible to say precisely where the marble comes from beyond identifying the original quarries. Exotic marbles in Venice were rarely newly quarried, however, but were recycled from earlier buildings whose ruins were to be found in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean that the Venetians controlled. Fragments of Proconnesian marble in a and around the basilica of San Marco (notably the lily capitals on the façade, and the so-called Pilastri Acritani) come from the Constantinopolitan church of St Polyeuktos, excavated in the 1960s under the auspices of Dumbarton Oaks. A monument at the Arsenal for Francesco Morosini, under whose command a “chance shot” hit the Parthenon with unfortunate results, probably incorporates reworked fragments of that building. The imagery of the Morosini monument is comparable with that of the Parthenon’s west pediment.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

J. Binder, “The West Pediment of the Parthenon: Poseidon,” Studies Presented to Sterling Dow on his Eightieth Birthday (Durham, NC, 1984) 15-22.

R.M. Harrison, A Temple for Byzantium: the discovery and excavation of Anicia Juliana’s palace-church in Istanbul (Austin, Texas 1989).

C. Renfrew and J. Springer Peacy, “Aegean marble: a petrological study”, Annual of the British School at Athens 63 (1968) 45-66.

M. Vickers, “Wandering stones: Venice, Constantinople and Athens”, in K.-L. Selig and E. Sears (eds.), The Verbal and the Visual: Essays in Honor of William S. Heckscher (New York, Italica Press, 1990), 225-242.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Christopher Beekman
From core-periphery networks to local agents-Scales of analysis in West Mexican archaeology

Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Martin C J Miller
The Pagan Origins of Christian Iconography

Monday, January 14, 2002
Astrid Olgivie
Sagas, Sea Ice and Sediments: Climatic Clues from the Viking Age

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
J. McKim Malville: Megaliths, Neolithic Astronomy and Emerging Cultural Complexity in Southern Egypt

Monday March 11, 2002
Doug Bamforth: The Allen site and changing views of Paleoindians on the Plains

Monday March 25, 2002
Prof. João Zilhão (University of Lisbon)
The Early Upper Paleolithic Burial of the Lagar Velho Child and Implications for Admixture Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

Monday, May 13, 2002
J. Hoffecker
The Ecology of the Neanderthals and the Transition to Modern Humans: An East European Perspective


Monday, January 8, 2001
Dr. Carol Patterson (MSCD)
On the trail of the Spider Woman

Tuesday, February, 20, 2001
Dr. Paolo Visona (Mamertion Foundation)
The 1998 – 2000 Field Seasons at Contrada Mella

Monday, March 12, 2001
Mark Mitchell (US Forest Service)
Sopris phase Ceramics of southeast Colorado

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
Dr. David Anthony (Hartwick College)
Prehistoric Origins of Indo European Languages

Monday, May 21, 2001
Dr. Jonathan Kent
Herders, Traders and Petroglyphs in the Northern Peruvian Andes

Monday, September 10, 2001
Payson Sheets
Following the Footsteps of the Ancients; Remote Sensing in Costa Rica

Monday, October 15, 2001

E. Hector Williams
Goddesses, Whores, Vampires, and Gladiators: Excavating Ancient Mytilene (Lesbos)

Monday, November 19, 2001
James Dixon: Archaeological Evidence for the 1st Human Colonization of North America

Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Richard Marlar: Cannibalism in the Four-Corners Region

Question of Cannibalism of the Anasazi

Evidence from the Cowboy Wash Site (5MT10010)


The existence of cannibalism is one of the most controversial issues in the archaeology of the American Southwest. Disarticulated, cut-marked, and heat-altered human remains from non-burial contexts at Anasazi archaeological sites in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest have been interpreted by some scholars as evidence of cannibalism. Osteological studies indicate that many of the disarticulated bodies found at these sites were processed in a manner consistent with food preparation. Opponents of this interpretation point out that non-cannibalistic practices such as secondary interment, corpse mutilation, and ritualized witch executions might account for the assemblages. The archaeological and osteological evidence alone do not document the actual ingestion of human flesh. In this talk I will present evidence that consumption of human flesh did occur as demonstrated in preserved human fecal material containing identifiable human tissue remains from a site with archaeological and osteological evidence of cannibalism. Other sites with similar archaeological and osteological characteristics have human tissue on in situ artifacts. Possible explanations of the cause of these incidences of cannibalism will be addressed.


Richard Marlar is currently a Professor of Pathology, and Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Currently his biomedical research work deals with the genetics of blood coagulation and evolution of the blood coagulation system. Richard has been conducting biological and biomedical research for over 30 years. He has over 110 published papers and book chapters and presented both nationally and internationally over 100 lectures in the fields of biochemistry, genetics and clinical blood coagulation.
He is also director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Research Laboratory. This laboratory focuses on the development of new molecular methods to address archaeological questions such as utilization of tools and food sources using both protein residue analysis and molecular biology and DNA methods. He has been conducting biomolecular archaeology research for the last 9 years. He has published a number of papers and project reports in this field. Richard has been involved with the Colorado Archaeological Society for the last 12 years. He was president of the Denver Chapter of CAS for almost two years and president of state CAS in 1998. He is on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Historical Society.


Monday, November 13, 2000
Dr. Monica Visona
Archaeology along the Niger River

Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Dr. Dean Saitta
Archaeology of the Colorado Coalfield War

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