Our first lecture of the academic year will be presented by Dr. Ömür Harmanşah, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Yalburt Yaylası Archaeological Landscape Research Project.

What does it mean to practice archaeology in the new age of the Anthropocene? In “Ruined Gardens of Babylon: Dark Ecology and Heritage Politics in the Middle East,” Dr. Harmanşah will discuss his current research on the politics, ethics, and methodologies of doing archaeological fieldwork in the Middle East today, at the very critical moment of global ecological crisis, climate change, military conflict, mass immigration, and heritage violence. Recent military violence in the Middle East has led to unprecedented destruction of cultural heritage along with local settlements and habitats, and the displacement of their communities. The ecological-military crisis has a direct impact on how archaeology is practiced as a field science. The destruction of heritage sites, landscapes, and institutions demands archaeologists either work remotely or perform salvage work, as opposed to more conventional methods of working with scientific research questions.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, October 3 at 6 pm in Jepson Hall, room 103, at the University of Richmond (please note the change from our usual room). The building is #221 on and campus map; for GPS directions, use the following address: 221 Richmond Way, Richmond, VA, 23173. The lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Richmond Department of Classical Studies and will be free and open to the public.