Past Events

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October 17, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

The Bubasteion and its New Kingdom Tombs at Saqqara. Results and Challenges.

Dr. Alain Zivie, Director, French Archaeological Mission of the Bubasteionat Saqqara 310-825-4169
October 12, 2018
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Dr. Austin Nevin
CNR Researcher, Politecnico Milano

Binding media, metals and pigments in works of art are material history - and are evidence of technology, artist practice, exchange and trade. Through the study and identification of materials, crucial data can be collected regarding physical and chemical stability thus informing conservation decisions. Three case studies of works of art and archaeological materials will draw on current research using portable instrumentation and cutting-edge analytical methods. Investigations on wall painting fragments from the ancient Canannite capital Tel Kabri allowed the identification of degraded binding media from the Aegean style wall paintings that date to the 18th C. B.C.E. The discovery of traces of organic media in the characteristic blue paint is significant for the conservation and treatment of the paintings, for understanding of the sophistication of painting practise and the use of egg-based binding media in the Eastern Mediterranean, and more broadly also questions the presence of domestic animals in the region. The second case study focuses on Tutenkhamun’s dagger that was analyzed using portable instrumentation at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. New data established conclusively that the well-conserved ornamental blade was fashioned from finely worked meteoritic iron. The identification was possible though the comparison of data acquired from the dagger with known meteor samples, and the calculation of ratios of Nickel and Cobalt. Organic red lake pigments are the focus of the third case study. Analysis demonstrates how deep crimson pigments from European insects were adopted by Leonardo in the Last Supper, and how, by contrast, Veronese adopted newly introduced Mexican pigments from cochineal insects. The molecular characterization of cross-sections demonstrate the use of similar kermes-based lakes in paintings by Leonardo and Masolino, and carmine-based reds in paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese, while also revealing soluble uncomplexed dyes in samples that has direct implications for conservation, cleaning and lighting. Research will ultimately demonstrate the benefits of synergistic collaborative studies across disciplines.

Dodd 275
Sumiji Takahashi 310-825-4169
October 11, 2018
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Since our humble beginnings, human’s have created and discarded unwanted objects: garbage is a human universal, and the archaeological record is brimming with it.  Indeed, the everyday human experience – the routine domestic tasks we perform, the foods we process and eat, the goods we consume – is arguably best documented with our discards.  Rarely glorified and difficult to romanticize, trash can challenge the dominant historical narrative, give voice to those without, and complicate our understandings of quotidian behavior.  But an archaeology of trash is also situated to foster unique and often impactful perspectives on the ways that consumption and discard practices – both normative and fringe – implicate a myriad of phenomena not always easily gleaned from curated possessions, including ideologies of dissent, socially performed identities, dispossession, and ecological toxicity.  Secretly aspiring to deepen your appreciation and awareness of garbage, this talk explores the curiously unpopular but promising fusion of archaeology and discard studies.

Harry and Yvonne Lenart Auditorium at the Fowler Museum, UCLA
6:00 pm, Thursday, October 11, 2018
With a reception in the Fowler Museum Courtyard to follow


RSVP by Friday, October 5, to Kelli O'Leary at

Anthony Graesch

Associate Professor of Anthropology 
Chair of the Anthropology Department
Connecticut College

This event is co-sponsored by:
Director Willeke Wendrich, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and The Institute for Field Research

Fowler A103B (Lenart Auditorium)
Tanja Hrast
October 10, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Dr. Henner von Hesberg, Visiting Scholar, Getty Villa

Fragments of the imitations of smaller buildings are known from different sites in archaic Selinunte: the agora, the sanctuary of Demeter and from the acropolis. They can be reconstructed in three different types, or as a sort of open or closed box, or as a small temple with columns. The dating is possible in one part from the context, f.i. in the agora, where there are mainly strata from the archaic period until the end of the 5th century (destruction by the Carthagians). The main problem is the function. There is no doubt they are votives, but what kind do we have to consider? Interesting in the configuration of the models is the use of elements of the Doric order to express a special sort of monumentality.

Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)
Sumiji Takahashi 310-825-4169
October 7, 2018
2:00pm to 4:00pm

The Annual AIA Los Angeles County Society Fall Garden Party will be in the amphiteater
at the Fowler Museum on the UCLA campus on Sunday, October 7th from 2-4pm. After
refreshments and conversation we will move into Fowler A222 to hear reports from our two 2018
Field School Scholarship awardees: Alexander Lin and Samantha Stott both of USC. Aaron Burke
and I will both present updates on our excavations as well. Please RSVP to Kristina Reed
( to reserve your place.

Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)
Kristina Reed
October 3, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Travis Stanton, Professor, Department of Anthropology, UC Riverside

Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)
Sumiji Takahashi 310-825-4169
June 6, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Brian Alofaituli, Visiting Scholar, Asian American Studies Department, UCLA

The syncretism of Sāmoa’s past and new religion blended different ideas that defined the way these Polynesians understood Christianity. The new belief system unsuccessfully suppressed the pre-Christian past of myths and legends, and faʻa-sāmoa (Sāmoan way of life and culture) navigated through the new terminologies and beliefs through Sāmoan practices. The matai (Sāmoan chief) played a significant role in the spread of Christianity. The hybrid of aspects of both the old tradition and the new lotu (church) impacted Sāmoa so immensely that within twenty years since the arrival of the Gospel there “were practically no self-confessed heathen left.” The following Sāmoan saying provides an apt description of the hybrid nature of the church and faʻa-sāmoa: ua vaʻavaʻalua le talalelei ma le aganuʻu (the Gospel and faʻa-sāmoa travel in the same canoe). Other relevant sayings inclued e puipui ele aganuʻu le talalelei (faʻa-sāmoa protects the Gospel), e mamalu le talalelei ona ole aganuʻu (the Gospel is prestigious and honored in Sāmoa because of faʻa-sāmoa). Both institutions were desirous of benefits, in need of support to achieve their goals, and more importantly they demanded as much control over the other as possible. This hybridity of culture and religion plays a significant role in Sāmoan communities in the diaspora today.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson 310-825-4169
June 4, 2018
5:00pm to 7:00pm

In conjunction with the opening of the Fowler Museum exhibit Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths, Dr. Scott MacEachern of Bowdoin College will present a lecture at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology on Monday, June 4.

Please RSVP here.

Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)
Matthew Swanson
June 1, 2018
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Dr. John Baines, University of Oxford

Studies of ancient Egyptian landscapes tend to focus on Upper Egypt, where the Nile valley is generally narrow and the low desert and the escarpment form a pervasive background. This focus is due in part to patterns of preservation of ancient sites, which disproportionately favor the Nile valley and desert regions. Yet from prehistoric times representations of landscapes that are integral to architectural forms and ritual settings show watery environments, which from the third millennium onward are often those of the delta. The delta landscape was much more enveloping for those who lived within it, while for travelers on land and particularly water its perspective lacked the relief and visibility of Upper Egypt. Its characteristics spoke even more strongly than those of the Nile valley to the importance of the river, to the liminality and impermanence that human society seeks to overcome, and to the perpetual renewal vouchsafed by abundant growth. The focus on such environments, which is ideologically crucial, is evident also in elite pastimes with their partly ritual associations.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson
May 30, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Jana Skrgulja, Visiting Scholar, UCLA

The aim of the lecture is twofold: on the one hand, to survey main archaeological sites in the area between the eastern Adriatic and the river Drava, where the remnants of the material culture ascribed to the Goths have come to light in the past hundred years or so, with particular emphasis on southern Pannonian region, as well as to present and analyze the types of artifacts found; on the other hand, to address the still ongoing debate about the relationship between material culture and ethnic identity based on the selected examples of artifacts attributed to the Goths (in opposition to the so-called ethnic ascription method). Building upon the post-processualist approach, lecture also intend to contextualize the material evidence in terms of possibilites offered by the artifacts to provide information about burial customs, social identity and gender status.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson 310-825-4169