Category Archives: AIA lectures

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…

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