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10/23/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

AIA Lecture: Spying on Antiquity

Declassified US Intelligence Satellite Imagery and Near Eastern Archaeology

Jason Ur

In 1995, President Clinton declassified 800,000 photographs from CORONA, the United States' first spy satellite program, in order to make them available for environmental and historical research. Since then, imagery from the U2 aerial missions and from HEXAGON, the CORONA successor, have been declassified as well. Archaeologists working in the Near East have been quick to embrace these newly available resource, which capture images of sites and landscapes in the 1960's. Many of these landscapes have been damaged or destroyed in the intervening 40 years. This presentation will discuss how CORONA imagery has been used to study ancient landscapes in the Near East, with case studies from Bronze Age Syria, Iron Age northern Iraq, and late Antique northwestern Iran.
10/23/2017 10:30 AM ISAW - 15 East 84th Street

Prospective Student Open House

ISAW's open house for prospective doctoral students will include coffee with ISAW students, faculty, and scholars; an information session about our academic program; a tour of ISAW and the ISAW Library; a Q&A session with current students; and an opportunity to attend an ISAW graduate seminar.
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10/17/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Chinese Bronze Age Economics

A Multi-sited Approach to Shang Dynasty Bone Crafting

Roderick Campbell

10/12/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: Conserving Cairo 1882-2012

Nicholas Warner

This presentation offers a retrospective view of the history of architectural conservation in Cairo. Blessed, or perhaps cursed, with an astonishing number and variety of historic structures, Cairo has served as a physical laboratory for different conservation approaches from the time of the foundation of the "Committee for the Conservation of Monuments of Arab Art" in 1882 until the present. The lecture addresses many of these approaches ranging from "honest repair" to "Disney-esque" fabrication, and looks behind them to motivations that vary from the aesthetic to the commercial. Recent attempts to quantify Cairo’s architectural heritage, to devise strategies for its economically sustainable re-use, and to expand the scope of preservation efforts to include late-19th and early-20th century buildings will also be discussed in the context of recent civil conflict.
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10/10/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

There Goes the Neighborhood

Gentrification and Urban Redevelopment in Roman North Africa

J. Andrew Dufton

City life in North Africa during the Roman period is often portrayed as a monolithic image of gleaming marble temples and elites, of unrivalled urban wealth and unquestionable success. Yet amongst these developments the neighborhoods of North Africa also saw periods of disuse, small- and large-scale regeneration projects, and a broad shift from mixed-use to specialized districts. This talk examines these changes using the modern concept of gentrification. By tracing examples of the displacement of urban production and the consolidation of property into larger and more elite residences, we can better understand both the nature of Roman urban renewal and the impact of these changes on local populations.
10/05/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

HERE

Elizabeth Price

In the lecture HERE, Elizabeth Price will discuss a series of inter-related places and spaces that are pertinent to A RESTORATION, and her other, recent work in digital video. These include the location of the literal archive or collection, the space of the digital cache and the figurative locations established within the video’s own narrative, which include the institution of a museum and the historic site of Knossos. In addition, she will reflect upon the politics of restoration, expanding upon the proposition of the video itself, that the damaged or incomplete evidence of the past, offers an imaginative refuge: a place for radical invention.
09/29/2017 09:00 AM ISAW Lecture Hall

Eastern Iran and Western Central Asia during Late Antiquity (3rd-5th cent. CE): Numismatics, Archaeology, and Art History in Dialogue

ISAW-ÖAW Conference organized by Sören Stark (ISAW)

Late Antiquity in Western Central Asia and Eastern Iran—that is the centuries between the downfall of the Great Kushan dynasty and the beginning of Türk suzerainty—remains a particularly obscure period. Major questions concerning even basic political and cultural developments are still poorly understood. Yet, it is clear that this period was one of important and momentous political, social, demographic, and cultural change—such as the rise of Iran as a new hegemonic power in the wider region, the ascent of Sogdiana as one of the main cultural and economic power-houses of Eurasia, and the influx of new populations and elites, labeling themselves and/or labeled by others as “Huns.”
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09/26/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Water in Sumer

Stephanie Rost

Ancient water management, especially for irrigation purposes, has featured prominently in anthropological theories on the development of socio-political and economic complexity. Traditional approaches have assumed that centralized control was needed to meet the managerial requirements of water control on a large scale. However, recent ethnographic and archaeological studies have shown that centralized control is a choice rather than a necessity. To date, there has been no empirical study on the exact nature of state control (if any) in the organization of ancient water control and irrigation due to the lack of empirical data.
09/22/2017 09:30 AM ISAW Lecture Hall

DAY TWO: The Scribal Mind: Textual Criticism in Antiquity

Conference organized by Emily Cole (ISAW Visiting Assistant Professor)

The intellectual exercise of textual criticism is far from a modern invention. Without the regularity provided by printing, there were constantly different texts in circulation, and it was up to learned individuals to figure out how to make sense of them. While no manual on the assembly and editing of ancient manuscripts existed in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China, scribes diligently worked through copies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Sumerian Incantations, or Buddhist manuscripts, and noted variants as they went. It is the intention of this conference to draw out the details of how those scribes produced a text tradition, added commentary to new editions, or marginalia to old ones, and what these practices might say about the culture in which the scribes were working. Please note that separate registration is required for DAY ONE (9/21/17), KEYNOTE LECTURE (9/21/17), and DAY TWO (9/22/17).
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09/21/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

KEYNOTE LECTURE: The Art of Compilation

Karel van der Toorn

The intellectual exercise of textual criticism is far from a modern invention. Without the regularity provided by printing, there were constantly different texts in circulation, and it was up to learned individuals to figure out how to make sense of them. While no manual on the assembly and editing of ancient manuscripts existed in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China, scribes diligently worked through copies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Sumerian Incantations, or Buddhist manuscripts, and noted variants as they went along. It is the intention of this conference to draw out the details concerning how those scribes produced a text tradition, added commentary to new editions or marginalia to old ones, and what these practices might say about the culture in which the scribes were working. Please note that separate registration is required for DAY ONE (9/21/17), KEYNOTE LECTURE (9/21/17), and DAY TWO (9/22/17).
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09/21/2017 11:45 AM ISAW Lecture Hall

DAY ONE: The Scribal Mind: Textual Criticism in Antiquity

Conference organized by Emily Cole (ISAW Visiting Assistant Professor)

The intellectual exercise of textual criticism is far from a modern invention. Without the regularity provided by printing, there were constantly different texts in circulation, and it was up to learned individuals to figure out how to make sense of them. While no manual on the assembly and editing of ancient manuscripts existed in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China, scribes diligently worked through copies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Sumerian Incantations, or Buddhist manuscripts, and noted variants as they went along. It is the intention of this conference to draw out the details concerning how those scribes produced a text tradition, added commentary to new editions or marginalia to old ones, and what these practices might say about the culture in which the scribes were working. Please note that separate registration is required for DAY ONE (9/21/17), KEYNOTE LECTURE (9/21/17), and DAY TWO (9/22/17).
RSVP
09/18/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Architectural Conservation in Egypt’s Western Desert

The Amheida Project

Nicholas Warner

Architectural conservation and presentation work at the site of Amheida in the Dakhla Oasis, supported by ISAW, began in 2007 and has focused on mud-brick structures of the late-Roman period. The work has also included the creation of a full-scale replica of a house with outstanding painted decoration that belonged to a member of the town council named Serenos. This structure was designed to serve as the site’s visitor center, and its construction provided many insights into the processes required to fabricate such a building. The new House of Serenos was opened earlier this year. This lecture is the first occasion in America that the architectural conservation of Amheida has been described and placed in context.
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