News and Notes


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AIA TALKS: First Floridians 15 November 2012

Thursday, November 15
“The Invisible Sex: Some Thoughts on the Role of Women in Prehistory”
12:45 PM, Wilson Hall 168

Since the discoveries of stone artifacts associated with the remains of extinct fauna in mid 19th century France, a variety of often negative stereotypes have persisted about the roles of women in the past. A fundamental failure to recognize and evaluate evidence contradictory to these stereotypes in addition to the stressing of stone tools and the hunting of megafauna by mature males has created a faulty interpretation of life in this period. If mentioned at all, women as well as the old and the young of both sexes are characterized solely as minor players. Careful assessment of the available information from both the Old and the New World indicates that the andro-litho-centric view of the past with its “men in furs sticking sharp spears into large animals” image is fatally flawed. In this talk, evidence for a very different behavioral scenario is presented.

“The First Floridians: Early Humans on the Submerged Gulf Coast of Florida”
7:30 PM, Chan Auditorium

In his second talk Dr. Adovasio will discuss the geo-archaeological exploration of the inner-continental shelf in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico where a tremendous amount of side-scan sonar and sub bottom profile data, including nearly 2000 targets of interest, has been generated. Highlights of the 2008-2009 field seasons include the documentation of two lengthy paleo river systems. These sites are replete with Paleo-Indian sites and it is assumed that the paleo-channel is, likewise, flanked by early occupations. The results of this research will substantially enhance our understanding of the utilization of coastal environments in the late Pleistocene and, more broadly, the early colonization of the New World


AIA TALK: Gold & Gender in Herculaneum 5.November.2012

Courtney Ward who did her undergraduate work at Tulane and is now finishing her PhD at the University of Oxford in England is a rising star in the field of gender studies in archaeology.

In the medieval period, she notes that the gendered use of space can be seen, for example, in the diverse placement of areas, such as the sacristy, in convents and monasteries.  She will discuss how art and architecture reveal medieval masculinity in monastic settings in her afternoon talk.

In her evening talk she notes a tendency that still exists to view jewelry and personal adornment purely as the realm of wealthy women. In contrast, Ward will discuss 31 skeletons, and their varying social class, age, and marital status; she will explore how forms of jewelry also reveal gender identity in late first-century A.D. Herculaneum.

Monday, November 5
2:20 PM
“Making Angels out of Men: Gender Identity and Medieval Monasticism”
Wilson Hall 168

7:30 PM
"Worth their Weight in Gold: Gender Identity and Adornment in
Herculaneum, Italy"
Chan Auditorium


National Archaeology Day Events 20 October 2012

National Archaeology Day
Saturday, October 20
Artifact Identification and Amnesty Event: 1:00-5:00 PM
Wilson Hall Theatre Foyer
“Archaeology in Huntsville's Backyard: Prehistoric Cultures of the Middle Tennessee Valley” 7:00 PM
Ben Hoksbergen, Cultural Resource Manager/Installation Archaeologist, Redstone Arsenal
Wilson Hall Theatre

Have you found an object you think might be an artifact? Do you know you have an artifact but want to know more about it? Have you picked up artifacts on public land and want to ease your conscience? Professional archaeologists will be on hand at the National Archaeology Day event to identify artifacts you bring in and tell you more about them. They can also help you record archaeological sites you've found. Archaeologists from the Army and TVA will also be accepting artifacts from the public that were collected on federal land. It's illegal to collect artifacts on federal land or from federal waterways, but for this day only, anyone who turns in artifacts from federal land will be safe from prosecution and will be secure in knowing that the artifacts they collected will be available for professional study and public exhibit. Archaeologists from TVA will also be hosting children's activities, and there will be plenty of educational displays and literature to browse. Co-sponsored by the AIA, Redstone Arsenal, TVA, the Alabama National Guard, the Alabama Archaeological Society, and Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research.

For our evening talk, Ben Hoksbergen will discuss the Middle Tennessee River Valley of north Alabama, which has some of the richest archaeological resources in North America. Evidence of dense prehistoric occupation in the area goes back at least 13,300 years. Archaeologists have been systematically investigating sites in the valley over the last century and have uncovered a wealth of information about the people who populated the landscape before the arrival of Columbus. Hoksbergen will explore this rich cultural history, summarize what we've learned so far, and outline the mysteries that have yet to be solved.


AIA Talk: Digitizing the Roman Imperial Forum 24 September

Dr. James Packer Northwestern University    
Gilbert Gorksi University of Notre Dame         

7:30  p.m.  Monday
September 24, 2012   
Wilson Hall Theatre  


Benefit: Italian Wines and Roman Archaeology--22 September

“There with the wine before you,
you will tell of many things.”
— Ovid (43 BC-17 AD)

Maya Prince's Tomb Found With Rare Drinking Vessel

Maya Prince's Tomb Found With Rare Drinking Vessel

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