Lecture Program

Spring 2021 Milwaukee AIA Lectures

You may access the AIA lectures below by clicking on the highlighted link in the lecture title. You do NOT need to register to attend but for the best experience it is recommended that you download Microsoft Teams to your device rather than joining through your browser. The app is free. The event is scheduled to begin at 3:00pm but opens at 2:30. If you are experiencing difficulties joining us contact Emily Stanton at stanton9@uwm.edu.

Link to download Microsoft Teams App

Sunday, February 21st, 2021 — Virtual Lecture, 3:00 p.m.
“A Land Called Crete: From Harriet Boyd Hawes to the Cretan Collections Project”
Andrew J. Koh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Born in Boston on 1871, Harriet Boyd Hawes was introduced to the classical world by her brother and eventually earned a classics degree from Smith College. Spurred by her father’s death in 1896, Hawes made her way to Greece and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, where women were officially accepted if effectively marginalized. Despite ongoing hurdles, Hawes left Herakleion on April 1900 for East Crete and by the following year became the first woman to direct major excavations in the Aegean at Gournia.

Prior to Gournia, Hawes excavated a smattering of smaller Late Minoan III sites in East Crete. Mostly unpublished, they hold a major key to better understanding migrations and cultural interconnectivity during one of the best-documented and most disruptive cross-cultural mass events in ancient history – the Bronze Age Collapse. The Final Bronze Age in the Mediterranean was a particularly dynamic period characterized by displacement and turmoil as its mighty Bronze Age empires disintegrated. Thanks to the forgotten excavations of Hawes and her successors, the Cretan Collections Project through a blend of traditional and archaeometric analyses can now highlight the great potential these smaller LM III assemblages hold to unraveling the complex inter-regional connections that would help define a new world of emergent Iron Age cultural microclimates such as classical Greece.

Andrew J. Koh
Dr. Andrew Koh is a Senior Research Fellow with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Research Associate with the Harvard Semitic Museum; he was formerly Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies with the Department of Classical Studies at Brandeis University, as well as Affiliated Faculty with the Department of Anthropology and a Florence Levy Kay Fellow with the Department of Chemistry there. He holds his degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Koh’s publication projects include Luxury Trade and Social Complexity in the Ancient Mediterranean World (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press), and two volumes on the Cretan Collections in the Penn University Museum (Penn Museum Press, forthcoming).

For more about Andrew J. Koh: https://mit.academia.edu/AndrewKoh

Sunday, March 7th, 2021 — Virtual Lecture, 3:00 p.m.
“Alcohol and Power: Recontextualizing Drinking Practices in Iron Age Europe”
Joshua Driscoll, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

During the Early Iron Age (c. 800-400 BCE) in Europe, the power of elites was linked to their political manipulation of feasts at which alcohol was a key resource, whether in the form of local beer and mead or imported Mediterranean wine. This lecture will explore new research into the relative sociopolitical value and uses of these various types of alcohol. It will challenge the previous paradigm that contrasted an easily spoilable “barbarian” beer with the natural superiority of storable “civilized” wine. Driscoll will discuss an experimental archaeology program for which fifteen batches of prehistoric-style beer were brewed and then stored in various containers, including oak barrels and low-fired ceramics sealed with beeswax or pine pitch. The storability of these batches of prehistoric-style beer was tracked for a period of more than two years. The results of this experiment will be considered in light of new research on Iron Age wine and mead in order to better contextualize the accessibility and value of these products.

Joshua Driscoll
Joshua Driscoll is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received his MA from Wake Forest University and BA from the University of South Carolina. His research uses experimental archaeology and an interdisciplinary approach to study alcohol in the ancient world. His dissertation is titled “Strategic Drinking: The Archaeology of Alcohol in Early Iron Age West Central Europe”. He has taught courses at both the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University.

For more about Joshua Driscoll: https://uwm.academia.edu/JoshDriscoll

Sunday, April 11th, 2021 — Virtual Lecture, 3:00 p.m.
“The ancient economies of a small port on the Adriatic: the case of Salapia (Puglia, Italy) from the 1st-8th c. CE.”
Darian Marie Totten, McGill University

The town of Salapia, located along the Adriatic Coast of Apulia in south-eastern Italy, is recorded by the architectural historian Vitruvius as the re-founding of the Daunian town of Salapia Vetus sometime in the 1st c. BCE. The siting of this new settlement along a lagoon was fortuitous: protected by dunes from the battering Adriatic Sea, it was afforded a natural harbor that offered the inhabitants a link to wider Mediterranean networks. This lagoon, at present, is one of the top sea salt producers in the whole Mediterranean Basin, and its medieval and early modern history is marked by evidence of coordinated curation and extraction of this resource; sparser ancient evidence points perhaps to similar circumstances in the Roman and Late Antique periods.

A review of the imported ceramic wares -finewares and amphorae- over these centuries makes apparent not just into what networks Salapia was integrated but also the intensity of those connections. For instance, even as the Roman empire was largely defunct by the 7th c. CE, and the town plan had unraveled, African finewares -albeit in reduced numbers- still made it into the hands of the town’s inhabitants. A tannery, in operation from the 1st-4th c. CE, provides evidence of small-scale craft production in the fabric of the city. A taberna dated to the 4th-5th c. CE offers a picture of community connection around food and drink, while providing evidence of consumption of products both locally produced and from across the sea. Our analyses of Late Antique pottery have also made clear that the inhabitants of Salapia invested in a local production of painted table wares, illuminating telling patterns of production and consumption, starting in the 4th c. and continuing into the 7th c. CE.

New evidence from our geological and archaeobotanical collaborations gives a sense too of the relationship to the lagoon, how the coastline changed over nearly 1000 years from the Roman to the Medieval period, and the kinds of landscapes that surrounded the town of Salapia. From this data, we can not only reconstruct important aspects of daily life at Salapia, but also how a small port on the Adriatic was part of a larger network of connection.

Darian Marie Totten
Darian Marie Totten is Assistant Professor of History and Classical Studies with McGill University, and holds her degrees from Stanford University (PhD) and the University of Chicago. Her areas of specialization are the economy and society of the Roman Mediterranean, late antiquity and the transition to the early Middle Ages in Italy, ceramic studies, and landscape studies. She is currently a Co-Director of the Salapia Exploration Project, a comprehensive survey and excavation project designed to investigate both the human built landscapes and long-term environmental change of the Salpi Lagoon, along the Adriatic coast of Puglia, Italy.

For more about Darian Marie Totten: https://mcgill.academia.edu/DarianTotten


Past Events

Living on the Edge: The Roman Frontier in Britain and the Site of Vindolanda
Elizabeth M. Greene, Canada Research Chair in Roman Archaeology, Associate Professor,University of Western Ontario
Thursday, January 28, 2021, 1:00pm ET
On Zoom (Register Now)

The Roman frontier in Britain is one of the most explored, excavated, and well-trod historic landscapes anywhere in the world and Dr. Elizabeth Greene has been part of this exploration for almost twenty years. This talk will first introduce you to the spectacular landscape of the Hadrian’s Wall corridor and then zoom in on the extraordinary site of Vindolanda in the central sector of this region. From its unparalleled architectural remains of the Roman fort and settlement to the amazing archaeological finds unearthed below, the site of Vindolanda displays vividly the lives of ordinary people living on the edge of the Roman empire nearly two thousand years ago.

In the Footsteps of Roman Soldiers: The Extraordinary Archaeological Finds from Roman Vindolanda
Elizabeth M. Greene, Canada Research Chair in Roman Archaeology, Associate Professor,University of Western Ontario
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 1:00pm ET
On Zoom (Register Now)

Since modern excavations began in the 1960s, the site of Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall has revealed some of the most extraordinary and often unique archaeological finds from any Roman site. Dr. Elizabeth Greene has been a part of the team organized by the Vindolanda Trust researching the site for almost twenty years and will share some of the highlights of that research in this talk. Following on the first talk in this series on the site of Vindolanda and its frontier landscape within the region of Hadrian’s Wall, this talk will focus on Dr. Greene’s research on the objects and implements of daily life that help us understand the people who populated this site nearly two-thousand years ago. The presentation focuses on Dr. Greene’s work on the collection of thousands of archaeological shoes and leather objects from the site and contextualizes this material within the context of social change on a dynamic Roman frontier.

Beth Greene Dr. Elizabeth M. Greene earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Department of Classics and has taught in the Classics Department at Western for 10 years. Her excavation and research specialize in the Roman provinces and frontiers, with particular focus on Roman Britain and the dynamic military communities that inhabited the frontiers of the northwest provinces. Dr. Greene has been part of the archaeological team at Vindolanda since 2002 and led the excavations in the North Field area of the site for a decade. She is currently the principal investigator of the Vindolanda Archaeological Leather Project and co-director of the Vindolanda Field School. Her research has been funded extensively by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Her archaeological research has been published in international venues since 2012, much of which focuses on the social role of women, children and families in Roman military communities.

For more information see Dr. Greene’s faculty web site.

Fall 2020 Event

November 15, 2020 at 3:00pm

The flyer on local archaeology that was distributed to members in early August will be the focus of an online conversation with several experts who will be available to answer your questions on November 15, 2020 at 3:00pm. Those of you who took advantage of the great weather to visit Aztalan, the various mound sites, shipwrecks and historical locations this summer and fall will be able to ask an archaeologist with expertise in one or more of these places any questions you might have about the sites and what we know about them. Our distinguished experts will include Dave Overstreet and Alice Kehoe, prehistory archaeologists; Kevin Cullen, an underwater archaeologist; Amy Rosebrough, an Effigy Mound expert; and Jocelyn Boor, an expert on local historic archaeology including Trimborn Farm. A link to the event will be sent to all members.

Local Archaeology Flyer
Free, Safe Visits to Milwaukee Area Archaeological Sites (PDF 1.7mb)

Sneak Preview of Spring Programs

We have an outstanding set of national and local lecturers lined up for the Spring program.

First up, on February 21, 2021, is Dr. Andrew J. Koh from MIT will be giving the Matson Lecture and will discuss the extraordinary career of Harriet Boyd Hawes, her excavations in Crete, and how research collections continue to shed light on trade and social complexity in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Our March 7, 2021 lecture will feature UWM’s own Joshua Driscoll who will present the results of his experimental archaeological research in which he examines the role that fermented beverages (beer, mead, and wine) played in feasts and rituals in Iron Age Europe.

The third lecture, the Russell Lecture, will be presented on April 11, 2021 by Dr. Darian Marie Totten from McGill University. Dr. Totten will demonstrate how multiple data sets from the Salapia Exploration Project combine to illuminate daily life in an Adriatic port city during the Roman and Late Antique periods. We also plan to hold another virtual Archaeologist Talk-Back panel on experimental archaeology about which more details will be forthcoming.

In the event that live lectures are not possible in the Spring, please know we are working with the AIA national office to secure an on-line platform that will accommodate our needs.