Past Events

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February 10, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speakers: Rosa Tamborrino and Paolo Piumatti, Politecnico di Torino

Our visiting scholars from the Politecnico di Torino, will outline the first steps in a new UCLA-Polito collaboration.

The first International large scale UNESCO campaign for preserving world cultural heritage was provoked by a looming catastrophe: the loss of the Nubian Temples under the Nile flood due to the High Aswan Dam. Although the monuments were rescued, the context of the cultural heritage was lost. Nubian temples were moved to higher grounds, other regions and abroad, meanwhile the Nile landscape was changing forever.

This lecture will introduce the ongoing joint research project developed by POLITO and UCLA with the aim to recreate the historical landscape before the change in the Sixties through the research of sources and the use of digital tools and digital humanities methods. The focus of the visualization project is the change to the landscape and the temples, by highlighting the transfer and the relocation, the dismantling and the re-assembly, and finally the new context of these monuments.

The speakers will introduce research themes and purposes, and will show some outcomes of a class on this subject taught to POLITO master students in the past semester.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 8, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Anneke Janzen, Postdoctoral Scholar, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

Specialized pastoralism emerged in Kenya around 3000 years ago and has adapted with changes in the social and ecological landscape to this day. My dissertation work used stable isotope analysis to explore the mobility and herd management strategies of early pastoralists in south-central Kenya 3000 to 1200 years ago, before the appearance of agriculture in the region.

Another facet of my work on early herding involves examining the anthropogenic effects on wildlife populations. The emergence and spread of pastoralism in East Africa undoubtedly impacted indigenous species, particularly wildebeest, which are found in archaeological sites far outside their current range today. Pastoral extirpation of wildebeest populations from prime grazing areas is one likely cause of their shifting biogeography over time. Through stable isotope analysis of wildebeest teeth from archaeological sites, a history of their annual migration cycle are elucidated, illuminating patterns of local extinction in the context of pastoral expansion in Kenya.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 1, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Alan Farahani, Postdoctoral Scholar, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

This talk is a summary of the research conducted by Postdoctoral Scholar Alan Farahani at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology over the past two years. His research has been focused on the long-term social and environmental consequences of agricultural production throughout the world using the method of paleoethnobotany, which is the study of archaeological plant remains to understand past human cultures. The talk highlights recent fieldwork and preliminary results from Dhiban, Jordan, from Ifugao, the Philippines, and Iraqi Kurdistan, the combination of all of these projects investigating the effects of empire, colonialism, and urbanization on agriculture spanning over six millennia of agricultural practice.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 1, 2017
10:30am to 12:00pm

Photogrammetry, or Structure-from-Motion, is a technique for constructing three dimensional models from a series of photographs. This technique can be utilized by archaeologists to record objects, features, and sites both quickly and relatively inexpensively. In this workshop, you'll learn how to systematically photograph objects and the steps to processing these photographs into a 3D model with Agisoft's PhotoScan.

The workshop will be led by Anthony Caldwell, the Scholarly Innovation Lab Manager. Anthony has collaborated with Cotsen faculty on projects digitally reconstructing architectural features and their built environments including a pair of Yoruba house posts and the historic theatres in Downtown Los Angeles.

This workshop is open to Cotsen affiliates and their colleagues.

Digital Archaeology Lab A163
Deidre Whitmore dal@ioa.ucla.edu
January 27, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Geoffrey Summers, Research Associate, University of Chicago Oriental Institute

Mauritius, a small island nation in the Western Indian Ocean, was uninhabited until the arrival of the Dutch in the 16th century. After the Dutch left it was ruled first by the French and then by the British until independence in 1968. The ethnically and culturally diverse population is descended from slaves, indentured labourers, traders and colonial planters. Archaeology and anthropology are relatively new disciplines. This talk presents an overview of potentials, prospects, and new results of archaeological research in the Key and the Star of the Indian Ocean. 

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
January 25, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: David Scott, Professor, UCLA Department of Art History and UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

The San Diego Museum of Man has a collection of Saite and Ptolemaic coffins and mummies which were the subject of a technical study from 2007-2009.  Pigments, binding media, grounds, wood and degradation products were characterized by x-ray diffraction analyses, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, polarized light microscopy, wood anatomy, gas chromatography mass spectrome try and Elisa, a synopsis of the results of the study will be presented with examples of specific coffins illustrated.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
January 20, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Agnete Lassen, Associate Curator, Yale University Babylonian Collection

Focusing primarily on seals, this talk will investigate the formations and transformations of social identity in cultural encounters, using the Assyrian merchant colonies in Anatolia as a case. Almost seventy seasons of archaeological excavations at the site of Kültepe in Central Anatolia have revealed the remarkable remains of a thriving city consisting of an acropolis with temples and palatial structures, as well as a surrounding lower town with compact industrial and residential quarters with narrow winding streets, small squares and more than a hundred multi-storied houses; perhaps as many as 25,000 people lived in this multi-cultural metropolis. Life in Kültepe is colorfully evidenced by more than 20,000 cuneiform documents preserved in separate archives found in houses in the city’s lower town. They show that Assyrians, from far-away Assur in present day Northern Iraq, established themselves in merchant colonies to do business with the local elites. Some of these foreigners brought their families or married into the local population, and some even took up local crafts and agriculture. Central to the commercial practices of the time was the use of personal seals to verify economic and legal documents. This talk will focus on seals that were carved in Assur and in Anatolia at the time of the merchant colonies, and investigate how these seal styles interacted with each other, and with the Assyrians and Anatolians who used these seals.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
January 19, 2017
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Willeke Wendrich

UCLA’s Shire Archaeological Project works in the north of Ethiopia, in an area where perhaps Ethiopia’s most ancient town once stood. The site is badly destroyed because of modern gold diggers who pan the soil for tiny flecks of gold. In November and December 2016 our archaeological research went hand-in-hand with community outreach to explain why the ancient remains are important, which resulted in many new friends and a new catchy chant.

California Nanosystems Institute
Sonali Gupta-Agarwal sonaliga@ioa.ucla.edu
January 18, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Deidre Whitmore, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

The Digital Archaeology Lab (DAL) aims to support the technological needs of the Cotsen faculty, students and staff by providing facilities, advice, and training. This talk will provide an overview of the facilities including the equipment that is available and how to access it (both in-person and remotely), and the consulting services offered by the lab manager. The topics and dates for the first workshops and training sessions will be announced and the audience will have a chance to request additional topics. For more information about the DAL visit www.ioa.ucla.edu/labs/dal.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
January 12, 2017
4:00pm to 5:30pm

Recent archaeological discoveries have begun to challenge the prevailing view of the Early Iron Age (ca. 1200-900 BCE) as an era of cultural devolution and ethnic strife, or a ‘Dark Age’, in the eastern Mediterranean, as depicted in the Homeric epics and the Hebrew Bible. This illustrated talk will highlight the exciting discoveries of the University of Toronto’s ongoing excavations at ancient Tayinat.

TIMOTHY HARRISON
(University of Toronto)

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

Please send RSVPs to cjsrsvp@humnet.ucla.edu.

UCLA Faculty Center
cjsrsvp@humnet.ucla.edu (310) 267-5327