Past Events

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May 16, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Chin-hsin Liu, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cal State University, Northridge

A specialized craft industry in prehistory is often studied from perspectives such as social organization, labor and product distribution, and exchange network. While these angles indeed provide significant insight to the past, the biological impact of craft production on community members is a critical component offering a nuanced view on people’s lifeways. Pre-industrial metalworking is a biologically and environmentally demanding process that frequently involved arduous labor, landscape alteration, and waste management. In this talk, I use a cluster of metalworking sites in prehistoric central Thailand to illustrate how each stage of the metallurgical process can manifest into skeletally detectable markers (morphological and chemical), and how these markers can lead us to understand people’s actions as they faced the consequences of a long and intensive metallurgical tradition.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu 310-825-4169
May 12, 2018
1:00pm to 4:00pm

The Annual Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Open House will take place on

May 12, 2018 from 12:00 to 4:00pm with the theme Celebrations.

Join us at 12:00 pm in the Fowler Museum for two gallery talks followed by a feasting forum in the Lenart Auditorium (A-Level) at 1:00 pm. 

Decoding textiles: the transmission of traditional knowledge with Dr. Sonali Gupta-agarwal

and

Archaeology and representation: empowering descendant communities through museum-based education with Dr. Stephen Acabado

Celebrations across the world and throughout time usually involve feasting: consuming elaborate and plentiful food (and drink) in the company of others. The important social, religious and political roles of feasting will be presented and discussed by three core members of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Drs. Elizabeth Carter, Alan Farahani, and Monica Smith. After their brief introductions the panel will discuss this subject with the audience, an exchange of thought moderated by Dr. Willeke Wendrich, Director of the Institute.

After the forum, come explore our labs and interact with archaeologists from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Labs and the Lenart Auditorium
Sonali Gupta-agarwal
May 11, 2018
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Mohamed Ali, American Sudanese Archaeological Research Center

The Meroitic kingdom is an ancient kingdom in Nubia, located and flourished at the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara, in Sudan. Researchers, with no convincing evidence, have argued that tribal movements within the Meroitic territory and the Axumite invasion from the east (Ethiopia) caused the collapse of the Meroitic state. Here I consider the nature of the political economy in order to provide a better understanding of the collapse and the regeneration of the Meroitic state. I employ theoretical frameworks to the collapse of the Meroitic state, c. 350 B.C.-A.D.350, and regeneration during the Post Meroitic period (4th century to 7th century AD). I investigate how the nature and the manifestation of Meroitic sociopolitical power changes during and after the collapse of the Meroitic state.

Mortuary practices and settlement patterns studies are used here to determine changes in local identity and social roles that reflect the integration and/or lack of integration of the hinterlands in the Meroitic and Post Meroitic sociopolitical systems. I demonstrate that local elites on the east bank and east hinterland re-established a polity based in the old Meroitic settlements and redeployed Meroitic symbols to legitimize and reinforce their authority and power.

The locals on the west bank were not well integrated into the Meroitic sociopolitical system. They eventually became a real threat that impacted the Meroitic central power together with the Axumite threat from the east and the economic recession in the Mediterranean market. Elites on the west bank would have taken advantage of the weakness of the Meroitic central power and manipulated trade networks and formed local alliances that led to political and economic independence.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 9, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. James Snead, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cal State University, Northridge

In 1913 Elizabeth Deuel, a student of archaeology and resident of Los Angeles, wrote a letter to a friend describing a situation that modern readers can only interpret as sexual harassment. Coded with the discretion of the age, her brief account nonetheless resonates to modern readers conscious of the complex history of this topic in the field of archaeology.

The Deuel letter is an example of scattered material in archaeological archives that documents power relationships within communities of interest in American archaeology at the turn of the last century. Her participation and subsequent activities also brought her into contact with several of the principal archaeological figures in the United States, providing considerable insight into the sexual politics of the era. This presentation examines the Deuel case, with reference to the "relevance" of the history of archaeology to issues of considerable relevance in archaeological practice.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu 310-825-4169
May 4, 2018
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Stratos Stylianidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Cultural heritage is our deep soul. It is the unique legacy for all societies worldwide, but at the same time our common responsibility. A value rewards humanity by providing the classical and universal principles. It provides the panhuman context of mutual understanding, respect, liberty and expression. The protection of cultural heritage is a matter for all and its recording and documentation a vital step towards preservation. The first part of this talk addresses the cultural heritage documentation context, the international framework on documentation by international charters and conventions, and the real needs that push organizations and people to operate in this process. Various sensors and platforms, both from image-based and range-based technology illuminate how scientific research and practice, transpose the real object to a 3D model. Commercial and open source tools for data processing, management and representation are presented likewise. The presentation of innovative mobile mapping systems enabling data capture and management for cultural heritage information of various scales, is closing this talk.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 2, 2018
5:00pm to 7:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, Fayoum Inspectorate

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 2, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speakers: Dr. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati & Dr. Giorgio Buccellati, UCLA

During the last seven years when war has raged in Syria, foreign archaeological projects have come to an almost total standstill. But then, the question arises: what were the presuppositions that, instead of allowing archaeology to disappear or, worse, to be kidnapped by a violent iconoclastic fundamentalism, could have given archaeology an impetus in fostering stronger group identity precisely at a moment of crisis? Our talk will answer this question with reference to the site of ancient Urkesh, where we have had been excavating since 1984. We talked about it already on other occasions, but innovative projects have been burgeoning at a steady rhythm around this site. We will talk about these various new activities, and draw some conclusions about the nature of community archaeology as we have experienced it in ways that were unimaginable only a few years back: it is truly community archaeology "from below," where the "below" includes all of us, the community of archaeologists alongside the many other communities that find themselves nurtured by the distant past embedded in their territory.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
April 27, 2018
3:00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Giorgio Buccellati, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA

The recent publication of a book on theory (same title as this talk, Cambridge 2017), has its roots in a long and intense confrontation with the experience of field work, which began for me in Iraq and Turkey in the '60s: it was a very practical experience which elicited, by contrast, a strong interest in theory. It was also the beginning of the digital era, which we marked with the introduction of a bulky pre-PC computer to Terqa in 1978, the first of its kind in Syro-Mesopotamia: such an early start, too, conditioned my subsequent work in this area, with an emphasis on modes of thinking beyond technology per se. Starting from these conditioning factors, I will outline the basic points of the book, as defined in the subtitle: structural, digital and philosophical aspects of the excavated record. I will then describe the structure and goals of the accompanying website, with an invitation to collaborate in its continued operation.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
April 22, 2018
2:00pm to 3:30pm

Speaker: Professor Duan Qingbo, Northwest University School of Cultural Heritage, Xi'an.

Followed by a concert of Chinese and Persian music by UCLA faculty, Li Qi and Amir Pourjavady.

Terra-cotta warriors, bronze chariots and horses are among the iconic artifacts associated with China's first imperial dynasty, the Qin (221-206 BCE). Chinese archaeologist Duan Qinbo shares new evidence that suggests the material culture and social governance of the Qin may not be solely indigenous Chinese, but may also have come to China along Central Asian trade routes. 

*Presented by the UCLA Fowler Museum, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Department of Ethnomusicology, Boethius Initiative, Center for Chinese Studies, Confucius Institute, and Pourdavoud Center for Study of the Iranian World.

UCLA Fowler Museum
April 19, 2018
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Peter Wells, Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu 310-825-4169