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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Waste, Salvage, and the Contradictory Logics of Agro-biodiversity Preservation
Monday, 10 December 2018
3:30 PM
Courtney Fullilove, Wesleyan University
Cohen Hall 337, University of Pennsylvania
This talk explores scenes from international agro-biodiversity preservation expeditions in the former USSR and the Middle East. Collectors target locally adapted varieties of cultivated seeds and crop wild relatives for ex-situ preservation and research into climate-hardy crops. These expeditions are aspects of fraught attempts to plan for a variety of political and environmental disasters through the construction and administration of a network of internationally managed gene banks. This research is drawn from a project exploring the politics of biodiversity, including the ways theories of plant origin support varied projects of collection, preservation, and research and development. I analyze the multiple and at times contradictory logics motivating preservation initiatives, which are byproducts of Cold War projects to increase food security and of environmental movements to protect diversity imperiled by those same projects.
Sponsored by: History and Sociology of Science, Penn


Hidden in Plain Sight: Christian Readers of Rabbinic Literature in the Colonial Americas
Monday, 10 December 2018
5:15 PM
Arthur Kiron, University of Pennsylvania
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania
The presence of Latin and Greek texts as well as Hebrew Bibles in colonial American libraries is well documented. What lacks systematic documentation are other kinds of Oriental, Hebraic and rabbinic texts that shared the shelves with them. This project aims to explore volumes of such texts that crossed the Atlantic during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and were available as reading materials in institutional and private libraries. Though hidden in plain sight, recognition of these libraries of “Christian rabbinism” - that is, Christian interest in post-Biblical Jewish history and in comparative Semitic scholarship, and its arrival in the Western Hemisphere - requires a shift of attention that now has become possible thanks to a new generation of research on the subject. Christian learning about Judaism as a chapter in the early modern history of scholarship, however, has mainly focused on the European context. How and when this prodigious output, this first wave of scholarly migration, crossed the Atlantic and took root in the colonial Americas still remains to be framed. Dr. Arthur Kiron is the Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Penn. He oversees multiple national and international partnerships to provide integrated on-line access to significant collections of Judaica and develops a variety of public programs of education and outreach, such as exhibitions, publications, lectures, concerts, and workshops. Kiron is the Director of the Jesselson-Kaplan American Genizah Project <http://leeser.library.upenn.edu/agproject.php> and co-director of the Scribes of the Cairo Genizah Project <https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/judaicadh/scribes-of-the-cairo-geniza>. His academic scholarship mainly focuses on Atlantic Jewish history and the history of the Jewish book. He is the editor of *Constellations of Atlantic Jewish History: The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica* (2014), which received the Arline Custer Memorial Award.
Sponsored by: Department of English, Penn


Material Properties and Contexts of Early Greek Inscribed Objects
Thursday, 13 December 2018
5:00 PM
Antonis Kotsonas, ISAW
Silver Center 503, New York University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics, NYU


Ancient Silversmithing and Modern Practice
Thursday, 13 December 2018
6:00 PM
Wendy Yothers, Fashion Institute of Technology
ISAW Galleries, NYU
The Berthouville Treasure showcases the sophisticated silversmithing technologies employed by ancient artisans to create sumptuous silver sculpture and vessels. Found by chance in the 19th century, this collection has recently undergone extensive conservation and study using modern imaging technologies that revealed new information about the practice of individual artists and that of workshops in Gaul and Rome. Although silversmithing has evolved from how it was practiced in antiquity, much remains startlingly the same. Please join silversmith Wendy Yothers for a gallery conversation about the materials and processes used in ancient silversmithing and how Roman techniques compare with present-day metalworking practices. Wendy Yothers is an artist and a silversmith by trade. After receiving a BFA at the University of Michigan, she spent 6 years studying silversmithing in the guild schools of Finland and Denmark. For the next 20 years she worked as a silversmith and process methods engineer for Kirk-Steiff (America's oldest silversmithing company) in Baltimore, and as a silversmith and restoration specialist for Tiffany & Co. Her artwork resides in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Corning Museum of Glass, the Newark Museum, the Museum at Fort Bragg, as well as in many private collections. State gifts designed and made by Wendy have been presented to Mikhail Gorbachov and Pope Benedict. Her current passion centers around combining engraved glass and silver in objects for the dining table, and in the education of future designer/craftsmen at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU


The Archaeology of Neighborhood Life: Concepts, Communities, and Change
Friday, 14 December 2018
9:00 AM
Wendy Yothers, Fashion Institute of Technology
ISAW Galleries, NYU
*Conference organized by J. Andrew Dufton (ISAW) and Katherine Harrington (Florida State University) **Registration is required at isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp The neighborhood offers rich ground to explore the social life of the ancient city—an intermediate unit of study, smaller than issues of top-down urban planning or state action but larger than the intimate details of the household. Yet despite this potential, the archaeology and history of neighborhoods remains underappreciated. This conference takes full advantage of a growing number of scholars interested in the communal and cultural aspects of city districts. Thematic topics include the conceptual and methodological implications of the neighborhood, its role in community formation, and its relevance in understanding long-term urban developments. Conference speakers, drawn from diverse departments with research in disparate regions and periods, all share a commitment to understanding and comparing neighborhoods. Their work relies not solely on quantification but on social foundations, not only on big data but also on close, comprehensive readings of the dynamic sphere of daily interaction among city residents. The interdisciplinary exchange and dialogue created by this event will set an exciting new research agenda for future studies on the archaeology of neighborhood life. =PROGRAM= [Session 1 — Concepts] 9:00am – Welcome 9:15am – “Between Rich and Poor in the Roman City: Delineating the Socio-economic Texture of a Pompeian Sub-elite Neighbourhood” Steven Ellis, University of Cincinnati 9:45am – “Ancient Neighbors: Reconstructing Social Relationships in Pre-Columbian Residential Communities” David Pacifico, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee 10:15am – Coffee Break 10:45am – “Engaging the State, Past and Present: A Neighborhood Perspective from Copán, Honduras” Kristin Landau, Alma College 11:15am – “Imagining the Black Neighborhood: Race, Materiality, and 20th-Century African-American Space” Paul R. Mullins, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis 11:45am – Discussion 12:15pm – Lunch Break Session 2 – Communities 1:15pm – “Craft, Community, and Ritual Practice in Classical Greek Industrial Neighborhoods” Katherine Harrington, Florida State University 1:45pm – “Bioarchaeological Contributions to the Study of Community at the Late Shang Site of Yinxu” Daniela Wolin, ISAW 2:15pm – “Communities and Neighborhoods at Harappa and in the Indus Valley” Mary A. Davis, University of Wisconsin–Madison 2:45pm – Discussion 3:15pm – Coffee Break Session 3 – Change 3:45pm – “Neighborhood (Re)Formation in Early Medieval Rome” Margaret M. Andrews, University of Chicago 4:15pm – “Modelling Processes of Neighborhood Change in Urban Babylonia” Heather D. Baker, University of Toronto 4:45pm – “Processing Processes: A Longue Durée Look at the Neighborhoods of Ancient North Africa” J. Andrew Dufton, ISAW 5:15pm – Discussion
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU


Jewish History in Europe: Main Themes, Problems, and Questions
Friday, 14 December 2018
9:00 AM
Nancy Sinkoff, Rutgers University
TBA, Rutgers University
*Rutgers Institute for High School Teachers This workshop will examine the long history of the Jews in Europe by focusing on the ways in which this distinct national-ethnic-religious-linguistic people has interacted with its host societies, both Christian and Moslem, for over two millennia. We will begin by examining the major themes of Jewish religious self-definition (Covenant, Exile, Redemption, Peoplehood) while tracing the lived history of the Jews from the Second Temple Period (6th century BCE-1st century CE) up until the Christianization of the Roman Empire (4th century CE), which set in motion the great contest between the "Old" and "New" Israel. We will then explore the long Jewish Middle Ages, which "ended" in the 18th century. Turning for most of the seminar to the modern period (from the Partitions of Poland and the French Revolution until the present) in Western Europe (with a nod to the New World), we will explore the interactions between the European State and the Jews, the rise of nationalism, religious denominationalism, and modern forms of Judeo-phobia. The workshop will examine the changes in Jewish life engendered by modernity and explore the Jews'--and their host societies'--responses to its challenges. Attention will be paid to the regional diversity of Jewish modernity and to the ways in which women's and gender history have challenged older narratives of the Jewish past.
Sponsored by: Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis


Coffee with a Keeper: Dwaune Latimer
Friday, 14 December 2018
9:30 AM
Dwaune Latimer, Penn Museum
Penn Museum Museum Café (enter at the Group Entrance) p, University of Pennsylvania
New! Enjoy your morning coffee in the company of a Penn Museum expert. Second Fridays every month, come join a collections keeper, conservator, educator, exhibition designer, or other Museum staff member to discuss their work. Learn about the Museum from those who know it best! Coffee will be available for purchase. Bring your own mug and coffee is only $1. *Admission: $5; free for members
Sponsored by: Penn Museum


Fabulous Style: Learning to Write Fables in the Progymnasmata
Friday, 14 December 2018
4:30 PM
Jeremy Lefkowitz, Swarthmore College
Rhys Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College
*Tea at 4 p.m., Quita Woodward Room, Old Library
Sponsored by: Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


Ancient Silversmithing and Modern Practice
Saturday, 15 December 2018
4:00 PM
Wendy Yothers, Fashion Institute of Technology
ISAW Galleries, NYU
The Berthouville Treasure showcases the sophisticated silversmithing technologies employed by ancient artisans to create sumptuous silver sculpture and vessels. Found by chance in the 19th century, this collection has recently undergone extensive conservation and study using modern imaging technologies that revealed new information about the practice of individual artists and that of workshops in Gaul and Rome. Although silversmithing has evolved from how it was practiced in antiquity, much remains startlingly the same. Please join silversmith Wendy Yothers for a gallery conversation about the materials and processes used in ancient silversmithing and how Roman techniques compare with present-day metalworking practices. Wendy Yothers is an artist and a silversmith by trade. After receiving a BFA at the University of Michigan, she spent 6 years studying silversmithing in the guild schools of Finland and Denmark. For the next 20 years she worked as a silversmith and process methods engineer for Kirk-Steiff (America's oldest silversmithing company) in Baltimore, and as a silversmith and restoration specialist for Tiffany & Co. Her artwork resides in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Corning Museum of Glass, the Newark Museum, the Museum at Fort Bragg, as well as in many private collections. State gifts designed and made by Wendy have been presented to Mikhail Gorbachov and Pope Benedict. Her current passion centers around combining engraved glass and silver in objects for the dining table, and in the education of future designer/craftsmen at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU


Routes of Communication between Erlitou Culture and the Southern Region in Bronze Age China
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
10:00 AM
Pang Xiaoxia, Institute of Archaeology, CASS
Kent Hall 403, Columbia University
*Please RSVP by December 14, 2018. PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHED POSTER for its abstract
Sponsored by: Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Columbia, The Tang Center for Early China, Columibia , The Columbia University Seminars