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Upcoming Archaeology Events at UC Berkeley

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Upcoming Events
Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Protecting the Dead: the LBA site of Aidonia, Greece, and the TAPHOS project, Sep 19

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 16:03
I present the preliminary results of the Nemea Center's collaborative project with the Greek Archaeological Service (TAPHOS) at the LBA site of Aidonia in the Korinthia region of Greece. This project was launched to explore the socio-cultural practices and political affiliation of the people interred in the Late Bronze Age (LBA) cemetery at Aidonia while at the same time preserving an endangered archaeological site through systematic excavation, publication of legacy material, and public education.

The tombs at Aidonia date from the early 15th to the late 13th c. BCE, roughly contemporary with the Shaft Graves from Mycenae excavated by Heinrich Schliemann and the influential palatial period that followed. The Mycenaean cemetery of Aidonia challenges current narratives regarding state development in LBA Greece because the tombs there echo the burials of palatial elites, but mortuary practices indicate that they thrived independent of the palatial societies characteristic of the nearby Argolid region.

Four years of excavation following a pilot survey season have revealed a complex mortuary tradition that includes significant variation in the treatment of primary and secondary burials indicating how the population engaged with and created memories of their past through the use and reuse of chamber tombs. Our current work has also revealed that extensive looting continues on the site and has already destroyed much of the site's narrative, but not entirely as several undisturbed tombs have now been completely and systematically recovered by our project.

After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed 1400 – 1900 CE, Sep 26

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 16:03
The dynamic population history of the Cahokia archaeological complex has received significant academic attention for decades, but the subsequent repopulation of the region by indigenous groups is poorly understood. This study presents demographic trends from a fecal stanol population reconstruction of Horseshoe Lake, Illinois along with information from archaeological, historical, and environmental sources to provide an interpretation of post-Cahokia (> 1400 CE) population change. Fecal stanol data suggest regional population rebounded by 1500 CE, a post-Cahokia population maximum was reached by 1640 CE, and population was in decline by 1750 CE. The indigenous repopulation of the area coincides with environmental changes conducive to subsistence practices of the Illinois. Regional depopulation corresponds to a complicated period of warfare, epidemics, environmental change, and movement in the 18th century. The recognition of a post-Cahokia indigenous population helps form a narrative of Native American persistence over Native American disappearance.

Catching up with the (Upper) Paleolithic: “Art”, Memory, and Social Lives, Sep 12

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:41
In this informal talk, I will report on some recent trends and research in the study of the Upper Paleolithic, drawing, in part, from two summer conferences and our on-going research in the foothills of the French Pyrénées, at the site of Peyre Blanque. Both conferences addressed the current state of study of Paleolithic “art” that increasingly takes into consideration a wider and social context for its production and on-going-ness over many millenia, as well as its diversity. In one, we considered “what can we learn from Paleolithic art?” and in the other we explored how the study of Paleolithic art is much more than a study of an “art”….From Peyre Blanque, among other things, we are finding that pigments/coloring materials and minerals were much more abundant and used in many different ways, without having, on hand, anything much we could call “art”. Even when pigments are applied to walls of objects in the Upper Paleolithic—practices that are called “art”—they are not limited to that usage, but an integral part of everyday, perhaps notably so at sites (like Peyre Blanque) where an “investment” in place is manifest.

ARF Coordination Meeting, Aug 29

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:38
The initial Wednesday meeting of the semester is a coordination meeting for ARF Faculty, Grad Students and Staff. We will also have an overview of offerings from the D-Lab here on campus provided by their representatives. There is no public lecture. The first lecture occurs on the next Wednesday (Sept 5).