Fragments of a large stone depicting males and females and one male in an open, box-like grave.

Stela representing funeral procession, 500–100 BCE, stone, Kamenica, Kosovo

How to be a Big Person in the Balkans: Past and Present, in Life and Death

Exhibition Lecture

Michael Galaty

University of Michigan

This lecture will take place online; a Zoom link will be provided via email to registered participants.

Registration is required at THIS LINK.

In Ritual and Memory: The Ancient Balkans and Beyond, we are confronted with past practices and beliefs that might seem foreign to our modern eyes. But collective memory runs deep in the Balkans, and rituals observed in the archaeological record - like the funeral scene on the Dardania stela - can still be found today, in places like highland northern Albania. In this presentation, Professor Michael Galaty will demonstrate that avenues to political power in the ancient Balkans were not so different from today, revolving around land, marriage, religion, and, sometimes, violence.

Michel L. Galaty is an anthropological archaeologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, director of the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, and curator of European Archaeology. He also holds an appointment as professor of classical studies in the Department of Classical Studies. His field research takes place in Albania, Greece and Kosovo, where he studies the origins of social inequality, the rise of the state and political-economic change. Galaty’s interests also extend to archaeometry, including Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Portable-X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (P-XRF), and ceramic petrography. 

Ritual and Memory: The Ancient Balkans and Beyond is organized in partnership with the Field Museum's First Kings of Europe project and has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

This exhibition at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is made possible by generous support from Nellie and Robert Gipson and the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Foundation and James H. Ottaway Jr.

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 Image: Stela representing funeral procession, 500–100 BCE, stone, Kamenica, Kosovo, H. 93 cm, L. 125 cm, D. 22 cm, National Museum of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo: KA/2010. Photo © Field Museum, photographer Ádám Vágó