Lecture Program

Fall 2018 Lecture Series

All lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Sabin Hall Room G90 on the UWM Campus (3413 North Downer, corner of Newport and Downer Avenues). On Sundays, parking is available in the Klotsche Center surface lot directly north of Sabin or on nearby streets.

All lectures are free and open to the public and followed by refreshments. They are co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages and Literature-Classics, and Art History at UW-Milwaukee.

Fall, 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 3:00pm
Ernie Boszhardt, Independent Scholar
Title: The Middle Mississippian Colony at Trempealeau

Saturday, October 20, 2018, 1:00-4:00pm
International Archaeology Day
Title: War, Peace, and the Feast: Conflict and Resolution in the Past
Location: Sabin Hall, 3413 N. Downer Ave., UWM Campus

Sunday, November 4, 2018, 3:00pm
Norton Lecture
Eric H. Cline, Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and History, George Washington University
Title: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:00pm
Alan Kolata, Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago
Title: Kingship and Compassion: The Paradox of Jayavarman VII, Emperor of Angkor

 

Lecture Descriptions – Fall 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 3:00pm
Ernie Boszhardt, Independent Scholar
Title: The Middle Mississippian Colony at Trempealeau

Abstract:
Coinciding with the dawn of the Middle Mississippian Culture at the ancient city of Cahokia nearly 1,000 years ago, a group canoed over 500 miles up the Mississippi River to establish a settlement at Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Antiquarian records alluded to distinct platform mounds and exotic ceramics, but only recently has the age, extent, and purpose of Trempealeau’s very early Mississippian expression been thoroughly explored. Ongoing excavations since 2010 have revealed that the Cahokians carried ceramic vessels and a variety of flint stones from their homeland along with their architecture and religion to this far-flung yet short-lived outpost; and why they came to Trempealeau.

Ernie Boszhardt Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt is a Wisconsin archaeologist with over 40 years of experience. His research has focused on the unglaciated Driftless Area of western Wisconsin where he has studied and written extensively about nearly all aspects of that region’s archaeological heritage, including Paleoindian, Hopewell, Effigy Mounds, Oneota, rock art, and most recently Middle Mississippian. He currently is co-owner of Driftless Pathways LLC. with his wife Danielle Benden who together direct the Trempealeau Archaeology Project.

Boszhardt-authored books on the Trempealeau research and regional rock art will be available for purchase and signing at the talk.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018, 3:00pm
Norton Lecture
Eric H. Cline, Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and History, George Washington University
Title: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Abstract:
For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms, that had taken centuries to evolve, collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages.

It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Blame for the end of the Late Bronze Age is usually laid squarely at the feet of the so-called Sea Peoples, known to us from the records of the Egyptian pharaohs Merneptah and Ramses III. However, as was the case with the fall of the Roman Empire, the end of the Bronze Age empires in this region was probably not the result of a single invasion, but rather of multiple causes. The Sea Peoples may well have been responsible for some of the destruction that occurred at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but it is much more likely that a concatenation of events, both human and natural — including earthquake storms, droughts, rebellions, and systems collapse — coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end.

In this illustrated lecture, based on his book of the same title 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed; Princeton University Press (2014), that was considered for a 2015 Pulitzer Prize, awarded the American School of Oriental Research’s 2014 prize for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology,” and is being translated into fourteen foreign languages.

Eric H. Cline is a classical and biblical archaeologist and ancient historian whose primary fields of study are biblical archaeology, the military history of the Mediterranean world from antiquity to present, the Bronze Age Aegean, and the international connections between Greece, Egypt, and the Near East during the Late Bronze Age (1700-1100 BCE). He is director of the Tel Kabri Expedition and co-editor of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

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Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:00pm
Alan Kolata, Anthropology, University of Chicago
Title: KIngship and Compassion: The Paradox of Jayavarman VII, Emperor of Angkor

Abstract:
After destroying multiple political rivals from neighboring kingdoms in Thailand and Vietnam, the Southeast Asian monarch known as Jayavarman VII (c.1125 to 1218 CE) reigned over the largest geographical expanse ever attained by the Angkorean Empire. Jayavarman VII’s instruments of rule simultaneously deployed extreme violence and profound compassion, brutal warfare and vigorous economic development. This talk will explore the contradictions and paradoxes of Jayavarman VII’s religious “infrastructure of compassion” that, for a time, held the empire of Angkor together, but ultimately fell into desuetude under the burden of its own ideology and the extreme “piety” of its patron. The life history of Jayavarman VII offers insight into the nature of rule and the role of religion in the construction and eventual disintegration of empire.

Alan Kolata Alan L. Kolata, the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, holds his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University. He specializes in organizing interdisciplinary research projects studying agroecology and the long-term interactions of humans with their physical environment, including the effects of climate change on human communities. He has conducted archaeological research in complex urban societies of the Andes including Tiwanaku in Bolivia and Moche and Chimú in Perú and recently wrote a synthetic book on the Inca. He has also conducted research in Thailand and, over the past 15 years, in Cambodia where he and his collaborators currently focus on the physical, biological, and social impacts of large-scale hydroelectric development of the Mekong River Basin.

For an update on the research in Cambodia see a shot article on their project Human Response to Environmental Change in the Lower Mekong River Basin.

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