AIA Tucson Outreach - The Greek Kiln
AIA Tucson Outreach - The Greek Kiln
The Roman Spectacle
The Roman Spectacle
2013 National Archaeology Day at the Arizona State Museum

Lecture Program

During the academic year, our society offers and co-sponsors a rich program of archaeological lectures. All lectures are free and open to the public. Below you can see the upcoming lectures for this semester. Please visit our Lecture Archive (under Lectures) for past lectures.

CANCELLED... Our Presidents’ Gifts: The Role of Greek Antiquities in Greek-U.S. Political Relationships after WWII

February 2, 2015 - 3:00pm
Haury, rm. 215
Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou
CANCELLED
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Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean (Cancelled)

February 3, 2015 - 5:30pm
Haury, rm. 216
Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou, University of Texas at Austin
CANCELLED... The visual apparatus of orientalizing cauldrons introduced radically new technologies of visual engagement in the preclassical Mediterranean of the seventh century BCE. Hitherto the orientalizing innovation has been understood in terms of the wholesale importation or adaptation of objects, techniques, iconographies from the Near East. My study proposes instead that change was ushered in by a radical shift in ways of seeing and interacting with what today we call “art.”  The new technologies of visual engagement (new ways of seeing and being seen) I explore in this study reshaped the cognitive and aesthetic apparatus of viewing subjects.  I argue that the griffin cauldrons were devised to establish an aesthetic of rare and extraordinary experiences within the experiential realm of early Greek sanctuaries or in sympotic events of princely elites of orientalizing Italy. This aesthetic was premised on active visual engagement as performance motivated and sustained by the materiality of these objects.
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Landscape Dynamics at Acconia: Placing the Work of the Survey in Time

February 17, 2015 - 5:30pm
Haury, rm. 129
Dr. Albert Ammerman, Classics Department, Colgate University
By doing a longitudinal study of land use over a span of 27 years (based on field-by-field mapping every 9 years:  1980, 1989, 1998 and 2007), we are now able to show that the landscape at Acconia is actively changing during the lifetime/career of the survey archaeologists.  In short, at Acconia, our survey is situated in time -- not independent of it.  In turn, this has wide implications for how we think about method and theory in survey archaeology.  The plan is to continue the longitudinal study in 2016.
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The Celestial Place of the Gods: Orvieto, Campo della Fiera

February 18, 2015 - 4:00pm
Haury, rm. 129
Dr. Alba Frascarelli, Program Coordinator, University of Arizona Program at Orvieto
Since the year 2000, the Campo della Fiera archaeological project, located at the base of the cliff of Orvieto, and directed by Prof.ssa Simonetta Stopponi with the Universities of Macerata and Perugia, has been uncovering an extensive site, with structures and artifacts that date uninterruptedly from the VI century BC. to the Black Death of 1348 AD.  Three Etruscan temples, two paved roads, Etruscan inscriptions, a Roman thesaurus (votive coin deposit) and a perfectly preserved marble bust, along with votive and architectural terracottas, seem to provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that this was the site of  the legendary "Fanum Voltumnae", the federal Sanctuary of the Etruscan confederation.
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Roman Watchtowers, Surveillance Systems, and Espionage!

March 4, 2015 - 5:30pm
Haury, rm. 216
Dr. Joey Williams
Among the far-flung provinces of the Roman Empire, surveillance and espionage played a role in maintaining control over its territory, borders, and citizens. This talk examines the evidence for ancient surveillance systems, particularly the archaeological remains of watchtowers along roads and borders, the enslaved laborers who lived under constant supervision, and the scouts, spies, and secret agents in the employ of Rome. Taken together, this evidence depicts a society where government surveillance was the norm and many lived under the empire’s panopticon.
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The Diplomat, the Dealer and the Digger: Writing the History of the Antiquities Trade in 19th century Greece.

April 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Haury, rm. 216
Dr . Yannis Galanakis
Thousands of Mediterranean antiquities are today on display all over the world. Although a lot has been written about the grand tourists and collectors and the formation and development of the big western museums, we still know relatively little about the ways in which the antiquities trade was organized in 19th-century Europe.   The richness of the available – and largely understudied – archival material and of the documentation that still exists on the subject is impressive. The period in discussion is also fascinating, politically and archaeologically – not just for Greece, which emerged as a modern state in 1830, but for the continent and the world. It is during this period that several new states were founded, nationalism and colonialism strengthened, and while some Empires disintegrated, others managed to maintain or even increase their power. At the same time, archaeology was transformed into a structured discipline and grand-scale excavation projects commenced across the Mediterranean. The trafficking of smaller, portable antiquities increased dramatically alongside the professionalization of the art market and the popularization of the past through museum displays. The formation of National and Imperial Museums and of numerous private collections led to a surge in the trafficking of antiquities, especially from the Mediterranean to the northern European and American markets. All the above, along with the advent of systematic tourism, resulted in the drafting, across Europe, of laws and governmental acts dealing specifically with the excavation, stewardship, and exportation of antiquities.   In my research, I am particularly interested in the local providers of antiquities – the diplomats stationed in Athens, the local art dealers and the tomb robbers/ private diggers, who constitute a direct, and hitherto little explored, source of information for this early era of archaeological investigation. Intrigued by the ‘dialectic of law and infringement’, I became interested in identifying the lives and actions of these people in an attempt to reconstruct their methods of operation in Greece in the framework of the country’s first antiquities law (1834-1899).   It is the stories of the people behind the antiquities trade that help us write an important chapter in the social, economic, and cultural history of Europe and of Mediterranean archaeology as a whole. In this lecture we explore how the commodification of the past became inextricably interwoven with power politics, gave rise to different collecting attitudes and to debates on cultural property, ownership and the value of things in our modern world. 
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News & Events

There are not any events currently scheduled, please check back soon!

The AIA Tucson Society has regurarly organized award-winning outreach projects. Starting in 2004, the Society won the first AIA Local  Society Incentive Grant to build a replica of a Greek kiln. In recent years, the Tucson Society won AIA outreach grants for the Roman Spectacle and the Roman Snacktackle! Please stay tuned for future outreach projects and feel free to join us!

Roman Spectacle

Since 2011, in a grassy arena on the University of Arizona campus, the Tucson Society of the AIA—a good organization whose members love the people—presented our first ever Roman gladiatorial spectacle of magnificent proportions! Following a cross-campus pompa (procession) of participants led by our beloved emperor (Caesar Whatshisfaceus), some solemn ceremonial and imperial largesse for the hoi polloi, the games began! Featured were ferocious beasts! barbarian warriors! heartless criminals! and as culmination, the combat of four pairs of matched gladiators! Truly did all in attendance enjoy the spectacle of Roman power and justice. Praise the emperor!

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Greek Kiln Project

The AIA Tucson Local Society was the first recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America's Local Society Incentive Grant. The Society is housed in the Department of History at the University of Arizona, with many of its members and officers working or studying on campus.

Funds were put towards the construction of a Greek kiln to educate and involve AIA members, local schools, and local artists in the techniques, making, and firing of Greek style pottery. Funding also supported a first firing. Studio and vocational artists were encouraged to participate and to share their expertise. The kiln has since been used as a fundraiser for subsequent firings. K-12 schools have the facility made available to them so that students can see and learn firsthand about this aspect of ancient cultures.

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Roman Snacktacle

Ever noticed that sometimes the delectables laid out for consumption at AIA Tucson lectures and events are fancier than the average cookie or cracker? Well, they often are (even if you haven't noticed). Want proof? Have a look at the following pieces of tasty evidence, prepared by Rosalva Parada, a UA graduate in Honors History and Classics.

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