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

If you wish to subscribe to this list please follow the instructions in our Contact page.
This Isn’t History: This is Politics - Exploring the Consequences of Heritage Protection in Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
12:00 PM
Kasey Diserens Morgan, University of Pennsylvania
McNeil Building 473, University of Pennsylvania
Lunch will be served. Please RSVP here: https://upenn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9LcOySC0x2Jme6p


Classics Department Colloquium
Thursday, 23 January 2020
4:30 PM
Mary Bachvnova, Williamette
Cohen Hall 402, University of Pennsylvania
Please refer to the UPenn Classics website at:https://www.classics.upenn.edu/events/nostos-inaugural-undergraduate-homecoming-penn-classical-studies-hosted-department-classical for updated title information


Brick by Brick: Technical Considerations on Building the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way
Thursday, 23 January 2020
6:00 PM
Sarah Graff & Jean-Francois de Laperouse, ISAW
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, New York University
This lecture takes the form of a conversation between a conservator and curator on the technical aspects of making bricks in the form of animals for the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way. We will reconstruct the process of how the bricks were made and assembled. Close observation of the composition of the animals reveals that the craftspeople made deliberate choices about how to lay out these images across a grid of bricks. These choices were not based in a desire to streamline the working process or economize on labor and materials, but rather were motivated by a preference for symmetry and for minimizing the visual interference of the brick grid on the pictorial elements of the composition. We will end with a look at the monumental task of reconstructing the panels after the fragments arrived in Berlin.


bout the nuraghe: ancient colonialism and rural exploitation at S'Urachi, Sardinia
Friday, 24 January 2020
12:00 PM
Peter Van Dommelen, Brown University
Penn Museum Classroom M2, University of Pennsylvania


New Themes in Ancient History: Scholarship and Pedagogy
Saturday, 25 January 2020
10:00 AM
Silver Center for Arts and Science Jurow Hall, New York University
Please register for this event on our website at the following link: https://www.thenewyorkclassicalclub.org/events. Our conference will provide lunch and a coffee break. The speakers for the day will include: Joel Allen (Queens College) Sulochana Asirvatham (Montclair State University) Antonis Kotsonas (ISAW) Matthew Perry (John Jay College of Criminal Justice) Jennifer Roberts (City College) Liv Yarrow (Brooklyn College)


The Culinary and Industrial History of Sturgeon in the Delaware Valley
Monday, 27 January 2020
12:00 PM
Teagan Schweitzer, AECOM
Penn Museum 345, University of Pennsylvania


The Death of the Individual: Wholeness and Fragmentation in Ancient Greek Burials
Tuesday, 28 January 2020
6:00 PM
Cicek Tascioglu Beeby, ISAW
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, New York University
Ancient Greek beliefs about death and afterlife held firm on the notion that the deceased must receive burial in order to be accepted into the underworld. The manner of burial or the type of grave that received the deceased, however, appear to have been immaterial with regards to religious belief. Greek burial customs showed great variation regionally, temporally, or sometimes even within a single cemetery at any given time. Was the preservation of the mortal remains of the dead completely inconsequential in Greek religion? What level of care was shown to retain a degree of the bodily cohesion, individuality, and personhood of the deceased? This paper uses two case studies—the commingled inhumations in the crowded graves of Argos and the carefully sealed monolithic sarcophagi of Corinth—to explore the attitudes towards the human body after death in Greek thought and mortuary behavior.


Overturning of Space and Time: The End of the Inca Empire
Wednesday, 5 February 2020
6:00 PM
Clark Erickson, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum Harrison Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania
Admission: $10 per lecture; Members, $7. Space is limited; advance online reservations strongly suggested


The Material Culture of Personal Adornment in Ancient China
Friday, 7 February 2020
4:30 PM
Sheri Lullo, Union College
Faculty House , Columbia University
This presentation considers the increasingly wide range of toiletries, objects of adornment and personal items found in cosmetic boxes that were buried with middle and upper-ranking members of Warring States and Han society. Recent findings from Han princely tombs will be discussed along with more well-known finds. The talk centers on the forms, variety and functions of lacquered cosmetic boxes and their contents, with consideration of the potential for these boxes to collect, contain, compartmentalize, conceal and protect a selection of objects intimate to individualized bodies. Discussion shifts from the practical uses of toiletries to consideration of the versatility of material culture with regard to meaning and purpose, and finally, the symbolic function of these assemblages within the context of death and burial.


The Pasts of Marini’s Futures
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
6:00 PM
Clemente Marconi and Ann Kuttner, New York University and University of Pennsylvania
421 Broome St., NY 4th Floor, Center for Italian Modern Art
Clemente Marconi and Ann Kuttner work on the art of Mediterranean antiquity, and its own issues of reception and retrospection. For this CIMA program, they conduct a dialogue about how Marini positioned his statuary practice in relation to what he would have known as very old – including Greek, Roman and Etruscan remains – in ways that were complementary to how he positioned that work relative to his contemporaries’ production. Such rapprochement with antiquity was claimed often by Marini, who even called himself ‘an Etruscan.’ They will weigh those claims against telling divergence from the classical record, on the one hand, and on the other explore resonances Marini never voiced explicitly but which the works themselves suggest. In keeping with CIMA exhibition, one topic will be Marini’s female nudes, from miniature to monumental, from swollen lumpy torsos as of women aged by childbearing to exaggeratedly taut bodies, from mannered primitivism to the Neoclassical. (And do they echo the sacrality of so many ancient prototypes?) How these multiples of what Marini named the nymph ‘Pomona’ lived in the studio and in his own mind as seriated things, as here at CIMA, suggests the great galleries of Roman replica statuary Marini must have known. His cropping of limbs and head expresses that cult of the fragment that is so much a part of the appeal of archaeological traces to modernist sensibilities. Such aspects inform how Marini’s images both praised and caged the feminine. Just like their ancient prototypes, these statues often represented the increase of the earth, and pitted artifice against nature; that can’t help but have had political resonance. Marini explicitly attributed political messages to his seriated horsemen, as protests against modern threats of technologically enabled mass violence. For the female nudes, too, and their promise of auspicious fertility, which Marini spoke of, politics are in question. We ourselves, at a time of what many think a human undoing of Nature, might meditate what Marini’s engagement with Ovid’s fruit-bringing nymph could speak to in our age. And for all Marini’s retrospectives, the attempted Fascist appropriation of Etrusco-Roman antiquity, to adorn revived Italian greatness, has to have inflected Marini’s understanding of what it meant for him to stubbornly claim, reclaim, or turn his back on Italian classicisms of many kinds.


Beyond Cereals: exploring agricultural and food nuance in the Indus Civilisation
Monday, 17 February 2020
12:00 PM
Jennifer Bates, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum 345, University of Pennsylvania