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

Founded in 1976, for almost four decades the Tucson Society of the Archaeological Institute of America has promoted the study of the ancient world with an active program of lectures and outreach. Every year, we provide thousands of southern Arizonans with access to cutting-edge research on the peoples and places of antiquity and host community events which draw hundreds of attendees and garner local and national media coverage. For some of our projects—such as the Greek kiln and the Roman Snacktacle—we have received grants from the AIA, while others have been the result of a lot of hard work by the students and faculty who make up our governing board. We welcome interest from all members of the southern Arizona community, so become a member of the AIA today and join us for our next event!

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.

February 17, 2016 - 5:30pm
Haury, rm. 216
Dr. Eric Force
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April 5, 2016 - 5:30pm
Haury 216
Dr. Katherine Schwab, Fairfield University
If today's fashion runways reveal the latest trends including hairstyles, was hair always so central to identity? Over the last several years, braiding, especially fishtail braids, have become internationally popular, but this trend is a surprising resurgence of an ancient practice. Less well known is the appearance of the fishtail braid adorning statues of maidens, called Caryatids, on the Athenian Acropolis over 2400 years ago. Using the skill of modern hairdressers and her own archaeological training, Dr. Katherine Schwab resurrects ancient hairstyles to discover their technique as well as their meaning in Classical societies. Dr. Katherine Schwab, Professor of Art History at Fairfield University, is an authority on the metopes in the Parthenon sculptural program. Her study of the marble metopes has led to a new understanding of the original appearance of these badly damaged compositions in which she developed a new technique in drawing the surface. Scans of her drawings are part of the permanent installation in the Acropolis Museum. Additionally, Dr. Schwab made a film on the hairstyles worn by the renowned Caryatids in 2009 and in the fall of 2015 she co-curated an exhibition, “Hair in the Classical World,” at the Bellarmine Museum of Art, Fairfield University.
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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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