News and Notes


banner image: Moundville, Alabama


For upcoming events, see our new Facebook page for "Excavate AIA-North Alabama Society"

We will no longer be regularly updating this blog.  You can find information about our upcoming events and recent news in archaeology at our Facebook page:



Sadly, due to issues with air flights, Mr. Brownlee could not make it to Huntsville.  We will try to reschedule at a later date.

Kevin Brownlee, curator of Archaeology of the Manitoba Museum, focuses on the archaeology of Manitoba's boreal forest and the emerging field of indigenous archaeology.  Brownlee has spent his career working with Indigenous communities raising awareness of ancient heritage and archaeology.

"Experimental Archaeology:  How We Know What We Know," Tuesday, 1 March 12:45pm
Wilson Hall 168, UAH Campus.

"First Nations of Canada:  Archaeology & Repatriation of Ancestral Remains," Tuesday, 1 March, 7:30 pm, Chan Auditorium, Business Administration Building,

The events are free and open to the public.  Please come and bring a friend!


AIA TALK: When is a Statue Not a Statue? 17 February 2016

Carol C. Mattusch, Mathy Professor of Art History at George Mason University, teaches courses on Greek, Roman, and 18th-century art and archaeology. Her specialty is classical bronzes, in particular the connections among technology, artistic styles, and the market in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Mattusch is the principal author and editor of Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples (2008). Her other books include The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum: Life and Afterlife of a Sculpture Collection (2005); The Victorious Youth (1997); Classical Bronzes: The Art and Craft of Greek and Roman Statuary (1996); Greek Bronze Statuary: From the Beginnings through the Fifth Century B.C. (1988); and Bronzeworkers in the Athenian Agora (1982).

"An Introduction to Herculaneum:  The Villa dei Papiri"
2:20 PM 17 February 2016
Wilson Hall 168, UAH Campus

"When is a Statue Not a Statue?  The Case of Bronze Youths"
7:30 PM 17 Februrary 2016
Chan Auditorium, Business Administration Building, UAH Campus


AIA Talk: Reconstructing the Story of an Ancient Hindu Temple 25 January 7:30 pm

Dr. Cathleen Cummings, University of Alabama at Birmingham

11:10 AM, Wilson Hall 168 (Art History Lecture Hall)
"The Hindu Gods and Their Temples"

7:30 PM, Wilson Hall Theatre
"Monument as Text: Reconstructing the Story of an Ancient Hindu Temple"

Cathleen Cummings received her doctorate from The Ohio State University, specializing in the art of South Asia, with minors in Islamic and Himalayan Buddhist art. Her book, Decoding A Hindu Temple: Royalty and Religion in the Iconographic Program of the Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal, was published in 2014. She has also published on Buddhist paintings of Tibet and Nepal, early modern painting in India, and Hindu architecture associated with death and cremation.

In her day talk Dr. Cummings will address essential elements of Hinduism. “There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names.” What is Hinduism? Who are the primary deities of Hinduism? Where are they worshipped? How do devotees interact with the divine? Her discussion will introduce the most widely worshiped deities in the Hindu pantheon and explore the development of Hindu temples and the nature of worship.

For Dr. Cummings evening talk we will dig more deeply into a single case study. The temples of the Early Chalukya dynasty (ca. 544-757), whose domains extended through the modern Indian states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, represent the earliest and largest group of freestanding stone structures in South India. The largest and most important of their temples is the Virupaksha Temple, erected in approximately 733 at the dynasty’s royal consecration site. In this talk she will introduce the Virupaksha Temple, exploring the temple sculpture’s iconographic program as an expression of Hindu kingship. She will also consider the kinds of evidence archaeologists and art historians use to try to make sense of monuments such as this, given the dearth of textual evidence or histories.