Every week the Center for Ancient Studies sends a list of events related to the ancient world in the Philadelphia area to interested members.

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Ethnic and Hybrid Vegetables: Reading Greek and Roman Botanical Texts with a Historian’s Eye
Monday, 21 April 2014
4:30 PM
Laurence Totelin, Cardiff University
East Pyne 010, Princeton University
Reception to Follow
Sponsored by: Program in the Ancient World, Princeton, Program in History of Science, Princeton, Department of Classics at Princeton University


Mining and Archaeology: Afghanistan's Past, Present and Future
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
4:00 PM
Penn Museum , University of Pennsylvania

Philippe Marquise, Director, Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA)

Mes Aynak, the world's second largest copper mine and one of the most splendid Buddhist site ever discovered, came to the world's attention several years ago when plans for large scale mining began to be implemented. Philippe Marquise, director DAFA coordinator of the international archaeological team at the site, will report on the latest findings, the role of the National Museum of Afghanistan, and future plans (research and exhibition) for the preservation of the materials from the site. The talk will also touch upon larger questions of the future of archaeology in Afghanistan.

"Mining and Archaeology: the World Bank's Approach to Mes Aynak and other Mining sites in Afghanistan"- Noora Arfaa, Operations Analyst, Sustainable Energy - Oil, Gas, Mining (SEGOM), the World Bank The discussion focuses on the role of the World Bank in cultural preservation, and the perceived tension between the safeguarding of cultural heritage resources and economic growth and development. The presentation uses Mes Aynak as a case study on the challenges and opportunities offered through partnerships to preserve Afghanistan's cultural heritage while at the same time move forward with mining activities in an environment where there enormous development needs.

"Afghanistan, an interface between India and Central Asia" - Xinru Liu, Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey Since the third millennium BCE, the region we now call Afghanistan has been the interface between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Political forces arose from the steppe and oases in Central Asia re-structured and refined their communities in terms of languages, attires, and etiquette etc. before crossing the Hindu Kush Mountains. Work at archaeological sites such as Mes Aynak in Afghanistan provides precious records of the transitions of the numerous groups of people who brought new cultural elements to South Asia. Symposium sponsored by the Department of the History of Art and Penn Cultural Heritage Center. Free admission

Sponsored by: Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Penn Cultural Heritage Center


Beyond 'Identity': Roman Imaginings of Greece
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
5:00 PM
Joy Connolly, New York University
Ruth Adams 003, Rutgers
Sponsored by: Department of Classics, Rutgers University


Julia Felix and Her Praedia in Pompeii
Friday, 25 April 2014
4:30 PM
Christopher Parslow, Wesleyan University
Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


It's Not All About Sex, or Is It?: The Place and Role of Mothers in Private Tomb Decoration
Saturday, 26 April 2014
Violaine Chauvet, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology (SACE), Liverpool University
Penn Museum , University of Pennsylvania

This talk will present some preliminary results of research meant to bring together a broad range of evidence, both iconographic and textual, about the place and role of mothers in private tombs from the Old to the New Kingdom. The initial stage of the project is to re-assess the presence of the mother-figure in the decorative program of private tombs. Were mothers, as it has been argued, filling the role of the spouse when no such figure existed? If so, was the iconography / text adapted in presenting the female partner as ‘gestational carrier’, rather than sexual partner, both being equally the source of life. Following this is a discussion of matrilineal filiations which becomes a conspicuous textual feature in Middle Kingdom stelae. Is this (re-)definition of the family nucleus in funerary context, which is also reflected in stelae iconography, reflective of social changes in the re-emergence of the Middle Kingdom, or is it more specifically to do with the shaping of a new elite identity centered on matrilineal kinship? This latter aspect will then lead us to consider some case-studies from the New Kingdom where the presence of mothers depicted in the tombs of their sons, either with their spouse or on their own can be seen as a testimony to the influence of the mother-lineage on the acquisition of administrative functions. The project obviously builds upon an extensive body of scholarship about the role of women in the funerary context, and aims at refining or developing a discussion on sexuality and eroticism in the analysis of the mother-motif deriving from the symbolism associated with Hathor as “mother-goddess.”

Dr. Violaine Chauvet graduated with her PhD in Egyptian Art and Archaeology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2004. She has taught at The Johns Hopkins University, Framingham State University (2005-2007) and since 2007 has been an Assistant Professor (UK Lecturer) at the University of Liverpool’s School of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology (SACE). Her research focuses largely on tomb inscriptions as a source of historical information. Biographies and commemorative inscriptions form the core data-set underpinning Violaine’s research on the socio-economic landscape of private tombs construction (Who did What for Whom). Dr. Chauvet has lectured throughout the UK and US, has published several articles on various aspects of Old Kingdom tomb construction and decoration, and is currently finishing her book entitled The Funerary Landscape of the Old Kingdom: Social and Economic Study of Tomb Construction.

Sponsored by: American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter


Essence and Modality in Aristotle
Monday, 28 April 2014
1:00 PM
Marko Malink, University of Chicago
5 Washington Place 202, New York University
For more information, call 212-998-8320.
Sponsored by: Department of Philosophy, New York University


Images and Argumentation in Ancient Rhetoric
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
4:30 PM
Ruth Webb, Université Lille 3
McCormick 106, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics at Princeton University


Lunch Talk - It's Hard Out Here for an Ancient Historian: Teaching in the Real World
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
12:00 PM
Andrew Riggsby, University of Texas, Princeton University
Scheide Caldwell House 209, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Program in the Ancient World, Princeton University, Department of Classics at Princeton University


The Sargonic and Ur III Empires: Continuities, Differences, Innovations
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
5:00 PM
Piotr Steinkeller, Harvard University
ISAW ISAW Seminar Room, New York University

This is a two-hour seminar. Seating is very limited, please email isaw@nyu.edu to request participation. Before coming to teach at Harvard (in 1981), Professor Steinkeller pursued research at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. His scholarly work deals broadly with the history, culture, and languages of early Mesopotamia (3000-1500 BCE), its particular focus being the socioeconomic history of Babylonia during the 3rd mil. BCE and, most recently, the early history of Sumero-Akkadian religion. He is also interested in Mesopotamian archaeology, as evidenced in his present involvement in an archaeological project at the site of Tell Arbid in north-west Syria. Among his ongoing projects is a study of the population density and settlement patterns in Babylonia at ca. 2900 BCE, which utilizes both textual and archaeological data, and an investigation of the economic organization of the Ur III state (2900-2000 BCE). He has written or co-authored three books and over eighty articles and book reviews. He teaches a wide range of courses and seminars on the Sumerian and Akkadian languages, Mesopotamian religion, and history of ancient Mesopotamia.

This lecture is sponsored by The Achelis Foundation.

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World


Ninth Annual Kolb Junior Fellows Spring Colloquium
Thursday, 1 May 2014
2:00 PM
Penn Museum Widener Lecture Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. C. Brian Rose, Kolb Society of Fellows Faculty Coordinator - Welcome and Introduction

Sam C. Lin (Department of Anthropology) - Distinct Tool Types or Sharp Rocks of Various Shapes? A New Look at Middle Paleolithic Assemblage Variability and Neanderthal Behavioral Pattern

Steve Renette (Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate Group) - Along the Mountain Passes: the Kani Shaie Archaeological Project

Amanda Reiterman (Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate Group) - Antique, Heirloom, Curiosity, or Amulet?: Identifying and Assessing “Curated” Objects in the Ancient Mediterranean

Margaret Andrews (Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate Group) - The Decoration of Domitian’s Forum in Rome: A Reconsideration of the Attic Storey and a New Proposal for the Setting of the Cancelleria Reliefs

Sponsored by: Kolb Society


Trojan War: Memory, Past and Cretan Perspective in Odysseus' Biographies
Friday, 2 May 2014
4:30 PM
Graciela C. Zecchin, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College