Category Archives: lectures

Susan Allen, Classical Spies: American Archaeologists in WWII Greece

Susan AllenBrown University Visiting Scholar Susan H. Allen discusses her recent book, Classical Spies, Thurs Nov 13, 4:30 in Goldwin Smith 122.
Allen’s book is the first insiders’ account of the operations of the American intelligence service in World War II Greece. Initiated by archaeologists in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, the network drew on scholars’ personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain. While modern readers might think Indiana Jones is just a fantasy character, Classical Spies discloses events where even Indy would feel at home: burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to establish spies code-named Vulture and Chickadee, and organizing parachute drops. 
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Cornell Institute for European Studies (CIES), the Classics Department, Near Eastern Studies, and Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS).


CIAMS Workshop: Ben Anderson (Art History), ”’An alternative discourse’: local interpreters of antiquities in the Ottoman Empire”

Ortakoy EskishehirCornell Art History Assistant Professor Ben Anderson discusses his work in progress, “‘An alternative discourse’: local interpreters of antiquities in the Ottoman Empire,” in open forum/workshop. Bringing own lunch encouraged. Fri Nov 14 , 2014 at 12:00,  Landscapes and Objects Lab (LOL, 125 McGraw). Reading distributed to CIAMS members via email; send request to Part of the CIAMS Workshop series.

A. Cohen Suarez, “Beyond the Frame: Murals of the Colonial Andes in Context.”

Dear Members and Friends of the Finger Lakes NYSAA Chapter,

 Our next NYSAA meeting and lecture will be Thursday, November 6, at 6:30 pm in Room 208 of Ithaca College’s Center for Natural Sciences.  Our speaker will be Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art, Cornell), who will present “Beyond the Frame: Murals of the Colonial Andes in Context.”


Mural painting served as one of the earliest forms of religious artistic expression during the period of Spanish colonial rule (1532-1824). Religious murals served as important tools in the evangelization of non-literate Andean peoples; didactic depictions of key doctrinal images facilitated the transmission of Christianity without recourse to the written word. This presentation draws on seven years of field and archival research and will focus on a series of case studies of 17th and 18th-century murals located in rural parish churches in the Cuzco region of Peru. In much of the current scholarly literature on painting in colonial Peru, murals are often treated as synonymous with paintings on canvas. Print publications further exploit this artificial conflation through the strategic cropping of photographs of murals within their respective spatial environments into neat squares and rectangles that assign them artificial borders and frames. This presentation re-situates colonial murals within their respective geographic, historical, and cultural contexts to understand their role as both persuasive expressions of the Catholic faith and as visual archives poised to communicate local beliefs and concepts.


Upcoming NYSAA talks:

December 4, 2014: Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, Cornell): Protochemistries are a bridge

February 5, 2015: Jennifer Muller (Dept. Anthropology, Ithaca College): title TBA (Bioarchaeology of the poor and disenfranchised)

Other local talks of archaeological interest can be found on the CIAMS website:

A always, please let me know if you no longer wish to receive notices from the FLC NYSAA, or if you need a ride to next Thursday’s talk.


Laura W. Johnson-Kelly
President, Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY State Archaeological Association
Collection Manager and Head Conservator/Photographer
The Jonathan and Jeannette Rosen
Cuneiform Tablet Conservation Laboratory
Cornell University
726 University Avenue, Rm 103
Ithaca, NY 14850-3995

Nathan Pilkington, Reinterpreting Phoenician tophets and child sacrifice

Pilkington tophetClassics Post-doctoral fellow Nathan Pilkington , “The Tophet: Myth, History and Demographic Reality,” at a Classics colloquium Tues Oct. 21 at 4:30 in GS 122.  Pilkington takes a post-colonial view of the historiography surrounding Phoenician-Carthaginian infant sacrifice, together with recent osteoarchaeological evidence and demographic modeling, to argue against the notion of ritualized child sacrifice presented in Classical sources.

CIAMS Lecture: Peter van Dommelen on the Iron Age West Mediterranean

PeterVanDomellen-650x487CIAMS Lecture: Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology Peter van Dommelen (Brown University) presents “Connected Communities: Undocumented Migration and Material Practices in the West Mediterranean,” Wed. Nov. 5 5:30 pm, G22 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Dr. van Dommelen carries out fieldwork on Sardinia, concentrating on landscapes, colonialism and connectivity in the 1st millennium BCE.

Medieval archaeology conference at SUNY Cortland

From our close northeastern neighbors and Scott Stull comes this announcement:




Conference on Medieval Archaeology
October 18, 2014
2125 Moffett Center, SUNY Cortland, Cortland NY 

9:00-9:10         Welcome: Scott Stull
Session 1a: Overview
9:10-9:30         Fazioli, K. Patrick        Medieval Archaeology in North America: A Fragmented Field            
Session 1b: Britain and Ireland
9:30-9:50         Whitlock, Allison         The Archaeology of a Medieval Village: Willingham, Cambridgeshire                        
9:50-10:10       O’Carroll, Finola and Scott, Rachel                 Archaeological Excavations at the Black Friary, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland
10:10-10:30     Discussion
10:30-10:40     Break
Session 2: Fauna, Food, and Feasting 
10:40-11:00     Crabtree, Pam              Animal Bone Remains from Medieval Antwerp: A First Look                        
11:00-11:20     Lachman, Chelsea       Potluck and Potlatch: Gifting of Food in Medieval Society
11:20-11:40     McDonald, Erin, Kathryn Whalen, and Jennifer Shaffer Foster           Cooking by the Books: How historical texts and the archaeological record diverge on subsistence patterns                         
11:40-12:00     Discussion      

12:00-1:20       Lunch

                        Session 3: Vikings and Anglo-Saxons
1:20-1:40         Blowney, Steven          Viking Swords
1:40-2:00         Delvaux, Matthew       Skuldelev 2: Biography of a Viking-Age Longship
2:00-2:20         Welton, Andrew          ‘Its edge is hardened by blood:’ Spears, smiths, and iron in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ England           
2:20-2:40         Discussion
2:40-3:00          Break

                        Session 4: Byzantium and the east
3:00-3:20         Cassis, Marica, &Steadman, Sharon,   Defensive Positions: Reconsidering Byzantine Fortifications in Anatolia
3:20-3:40         Bucklaew, Toni                       Wealth in Byzantine Anatolia
3:40-4:00         Schryver, James                       A Legate, A Pope, and an Issue of Identity in Thirteenth-Century Crusader Coinage        
4:00-4:20         Discussion
4:20-4:30         Concluding remarks: Scott Stull         
4:30–6:00        Reception: Brooks Museum

Scott D. Stull, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Sociology-Anthropology
Moffett Center 2108, SUNY Cortland
PO Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045

CIAMS Workshop, L. Khatchadourian, ‘the Satrapal Condition’

satrapCornell Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies Lori Khatchadourian discusses a chapter from her book in progress,  The Satrapal Condition: Archaeology and the Matter of Empire, in open forum CIAMS workshop. Bringing own lunch is encouraged. Oct. 16, 2014 at noon,  Landscapes and Objects Lab (LOL, 125 McGraw). Chapter to discuss will be distributed about a week before. Those wishing to attend may request a copy by emailing

NYSAA: Lina Ababneh, Palynology and archaeology in Jordan

palynologyfrom Laura Johnson-Kelly:] Dear Members and Friends of the Finger Lakes NYSAA Chapter,

 Our first talk of the Fall 2014 NYSAA archaeological lecture series will begin TOMORROW–Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm, in the Center for Natural Sciences room 208 at Ithaca College.  Our speaker is Linah Ababneh, Ph.D. (Department of Classics and the Dendrochronology Laboratory, Cornell University), who will speak on “Palynology and archaeology: a case study from the Azraq Basin, Jordan.”  Please spread the word to anyone you feel may be interested!  All are welcome to attend.

Summary: Archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary; it contributed to other studies such as botany (archaeobotany) and benefited from others e.g. geosciences (geoarchaeology). One case study from the Azraq basin in Jordan is presented. In the middle of the arid desert, this oasis served as a refuge for humans and animals for at least 100,000 years. We (as in the authors) used palynology to understand vegetation change in this oasis from the middle Holocene period until the current time. However, and based on the interpretations of pollen diagram, 14C dates, and aerial imagery we propose the possibility of a Nabataean wall that might have served as a local dam. The dam effect on the pollen record is presented by a silty layer that lacks any pollen assemblages. This is a phenomenon that is often associated with the establishment of water bodies’—regardless artificial or human made, or the lack of pollen preservation. Since pollen is well preserved through the sampled section, we suggest that a landscape management technique is likely the cause for the recorded lack of pollen at that particular layer. Further investigations are being carried in this particular site and other proximal ones on the effect of archaeological practices on pollen assemblages and ultimately changes in vegetation and landscape.

Upcoming NYSAA talks: 

November 6: Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art, Cornell): Colonial church murals near Cuzco, Peru

December 4: Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, Cornell): Protochemistries are a bridge 

Other local talks of archaeological interest can be found on the CIAMS website:

As always, please let me know if you no longer wish to receive notices from the FLC NYSAA, or if you need a ride to Thursday’s talk.

Laura W. Johnson-Kelly
President, Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY State Archaeological Association

CIAMS Lecture: Nadine Moeller on Second Intermediate Period Egypt

Moeller EdfuCIAMS Lecture: Nadine Moeller (Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) presents The context of the Khayan sealings from Tell Edfu: Chronological and historical implications for the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt.” Dr. Moeller has been directing the Tell Edfu Project since 2001, and has excavated in Egypt at Abu Raswash, Memphis, Zawiet Sultan (Zawiet el-Meitin), Theban West Bank, Valley of the Kings, Dendera and Elephantine. Monday Oct 6, 4:30 G22 Goldwin Smith Hall.