Category Archives: NYSAA lectures

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

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.

NYSAA: John Henderson, “Hot air and politics: sweatbaths in ancient Mesoamerica”

John HendersonWednesday, February 12, 6:30 pm in room 208 of the Center for Natural Sciences at Ithaca College, John Henderson (Professor of Anthropology, Cornell) opens the New York State Archaeological Association’s lecture series with “Hot air and politics: sweatbaths in ancient Mesoamerica.”  Abstract: The constellation of associations revolving around Mesoamerican sweatbaths made them prominent in public, political life in ways that set them apart from Roman baths, Jewish mikvahs, Finnish saunas, Japanese sentös, and North American sweat lodges.  Continue reading

NYSAA: Brita Lorentzen, Dendro and radiocarbon at Al-Aqsa

NYSAA: Brita Lorentzen (Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory) presents “From the Forest to the Mosque: New Tree-Ring and 14C Evidence for Dating Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sourcing Its Timbers,”  6:30 pm Wed Oct. 2, 208 CNS Bldg, Ithaca College. Lorentzen uses dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) and modeling of sequences of 14C  dates (“wiggle-matching”) to obtain unprecedented dating precision for the al-Aqsa timbers and identify the forest area(s) from which these timbers were procured. Hosted by the New York State Archaeology Association (NYSAA, for more info, Brita kindly gave a Cornell version of the talk Tues Oct 8 at 12:30 in the Dendro Lab.