Category Archives: lectures

CIAMS Seminar: Jennifer Birch, Precontact Iroquoia

j birch_2CIAMS Seminar: Jennifer Birch, University of Georgia, Settlement Aggregation and Community Transformation: Organizational Complexity in Precontact Iroquoia. Friday Sep 12 at place and time TBA.  Through a well-documented sequence from Northeastern North America Birch explores the lived experience of coalescence and how it related to changes in subsistence, warfare, the built environment, socio-political organization, and interregional interaction.

AIA Lecture: James Kus, ‘What’s New at Machu Picchu’

james_kus_4AIA Lecture: James Kus (Emeritus Professor, California State University), “What’s New at Machu Picchu,”  Wed Apr 30, 6 pm, G22 Goldwin Smith Hall.  Since its discovery a century ago Machu Picchu has become the premier tourist attraction in Peru.  It was recently ranked as one the “Seven Wonders of the World” and is listed as a UNESCO “World Heritage Site.” Prof. Kus discusses two unresolved issues: 1) the future status of artifacts removed from Peru by Explorer and Yale Professor Hiram Bingham and 2) how best to protect the site in the face of ever increasing tourist numbers and competing commercial interests. Read more at AIA website…

CIAMS Workshop: Adam Smith’s ‘Political Machine’ in Bronze Age Caucausus

vanBaburen Prometheus Vulcan SmithCornell Professor of Anthropology Adam Smith invites CIAMS faculty and members to critically discuss a chapter of his forthcoming book, The Political Machine: Assembling Sovereignty in the Bronze Age Caucasus (working title). A selected reading, “Chapter 1: On Assemblages and Machines,” will be distributed via email in August or September, 2014, and we will meet in the Landscapes and Objects Lab (LOL, 125 McGraw) to discuss it.

AIA Lecture: Glenn Schwartz, Era of the Living Dead: Memory, Sacrifice and the “Royal” Tombs at Umm el-Marra, Syria

Umm el Marra tombGlenn Schwartz, Johns Hopkins University, Era of the Living Dead: Memory, Sacrifice and the “Royal” Tombs at Umm el-Marra, Syria. 

Kershaw Lecture for the Finger Lakes Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 6:00pm. Location: G22, Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University. Prof. Schwartz was also our guest for a RadioCIAMS podcast on this subject.

Abstract: Excavations at Tell Umm el-Marra in western Syria have exposed a large funerary complex of rich tombs associated with local rulers in the Early Bronze Age period of Syria’s first urban civilization, ca. 2500-2100 BC.   The skeletons and artifacts found in the tombs allow us to reconstruct funerary practices and beliefs in unprecedented detail, while structures with equids and human infants provide unique evidence of sacrificial rituals that accompanied the burial of the illustrious dead.   In the Middle Bronze Age, ca. 1900-1600 BC, new ritual structures and sacrificial activities took place atop the old royal necropolis, raising issues of social memory,  the continuity of ritual, and the role of human sacrifice.  This talk will discuss this extraordinary sequence of ritual behaviors and explore how they shed light on political and religious changes in the history of Syria’s first urban civilization

NYSAA: Katie Kearns, Environmental change in Cyprus

KAMBE view

Katie Kearns (Ph.D. Classics student, Cornell U.) presents a lecture for the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) series:  ”Investigating environmental change in first-millennium BC Cyprus: an integrated approach.”

6:30 pm, Wed Mar 5, Ithaca College Natural Sciences Bldg, Room 208.

Neil Coffee: Tessarae Project Workshop

TesseraeThe Department of Classics presents… Neil Coffee, Associate Professor of Classics, University at Buffalo – State University of New York, Tesserae Project Workshop. Friday, March 7, 2014 1:30 – 3:00 PM 124 Goldwin Smith Hall. The Tesserae website ( offers a variety of ways to explore inheritance and influence in ancient Greek, Latin, and English literature at the level of individual lines of poetry and sentences. These include searches by shared words, shared dictionary headwords  (lemmata), and sound features. Continue reading