AIA SAIG 2nd Annual Dissertation lecture Thursday, May 12, at 6 pm

Though we had to postpone the lecture we had scheduled for this Thursday at 6 pm, you can still catch an archaeology lecture at that time! The AIA Student Affairs Interest Group will host its second annual dissertation lecture on Zoom: Amanda Gaggioli, doctoral candidate at Stanford University, will present “Earthquakes and the Structuring of Greco-Roman Society: the longue durée of human-geological environment relationships in Helike, Greece.” Click here to register!

Spring member event postponed

The lecture by Jack Gary (Colonial Williamsburg) scheduled for May 12 has been postponed to October 13, when we will celebrate International Archaeology Day and Virginia Archaeology Month with our first in-person lecture in more than two years! For our spring gathering, we are planning a social event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts later this spring/summer – check back here for more information, or click on the ‘Contact’ tab and enter your information to join our email list.

Lecture on April 14: “Coastal Heritage and Climate Change”

Join us on Thursday, April 14 at 6:00 pm for a Zoom lecture by Dr. Leslie Reeder-Myers (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Temple University), “Coastal Heritage and Climate Change—A Monumental Challenge to Preserve the Past in the 21st Century.”

Click here to register!

Lecture abstract:

Twenty-first century climate change threatens all kinds of cultural heritage—archaeological sites, historic monuments and buildings, traditional subsistence or cultural practices, among many others. This is especially urgent in coastal areas where the triple threat of rising sea level, more powerful coastal storms, and growing coastal populations create a monumental challenge. At the same time, though, people are placing a greater value on cultural heritage and gaining a better understanding of how precarious these resources are. In this talk, I will discuss global efforts to, first, understand the scale of the problem and, second, decide how to address it. Archaeologists cannot overcome this challenge alone, nor is it possible to save everything. We must develop strong community partnerships and think creatively about what is truly valuable in cultural heritage. I will specifically discuss my research in coastal California and the importance of partnering with indigenous communities to decide what matters most in cultural heritage.

“Religious Ritual On Board the Greco-Roman Ship”



On Thursday, November 11 at 6 pm, Dr. Carrie Atkins (University of Toronto, Mississauga) will present a webinar lecture entitled “Religious Ritual On Board the Greco-Roman Ship.” Please join us!

Click here to register for the Zoom webinar

Abstract: For Greco-Roman sailors or passengers aboard a ship, aspects of daily life occurred within a ship’s physical boundaries while at sea. These activities were related not only to sailing and trading, but also to eating, sleeping, and performing rituals. The material remnants of these ritual activities have been little studied, yet represent key evidence in understanding the impact of mobility on ritual practices aboard the Greco-Roman ship. In this lecture, I discuss archaeological evidence for potential ritual objects from shipwrecks in the Mediterranean alongside textual and iconographic depictions of these rituals. Not all ritual objects found in shipwrecks provide evidence for shipboard ritual but instead were likely transported as cargo. For some multifunctional objects that had a potential use both in religious ritual or for general activities, I suggest these objects could construct temporary sacred spaces aboard the ship when employed at poignant times in the voyage. These rituals, however, were not prescriptive nor ubiquitous but instead were chosen by individuals, shaped by cross-cultural connectivity and mobility.

Save the dates for remaining 2021-2022 lectures

All will be held on Thursdays at 6pm. The two lectures in the national AIA lecture program (Nov. and April) will be Zoom webinars. We will decide about the format of the others in the spring.

November 11 – Carrie Atkins (University of Toronto), “Religious Ritual on board the Greco-Roman Ship”

February 10 – Melinda Yang (University of Richmond), “Using ancient DNA to study human history – perspectives on East Asia”

March 3 – Vassiliki Panoussi (William & Mary), “The Image of Africa in Early Modern Vergil Commentaries”

April 14 Leslie Reeder-Myers (Temple University), “Coastal Heritage and Climate Change—A Monumental Challenge to   Preserve the Past in the 21st Century”

May 12 – Spring Member Event with Jack Gary, Director of Archaeology, Colonial Williamsburg