SWTAS 2017-2018 Lecture Series! All lectures are free and open to the general public. Most lectures are hosted by Trinity University, but occasionally we meet at other venues, as listed in the program notes below. Refer to the Find Us! page for locations maps. All lectures last approximately one hour, with a reception afterwards. A pre-lecture dinner is available with the speaker at 5:45pm. The lecture series is made possible by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Southwest Texas Archaeological Society, and the Department of Classical Studies, Trinity University, and sometimes UTSA and San Antonio College.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

7:30 pm, Trinity University

Lecture by Dr. Kieron O’Conor (Kress Lecture)
National University of Ireland, Galway

Elite Settlement in Gaelic Ireland, 1169-1350AD

“What do we mean by Garlic Ireland in the period from the arrival of the Normans in 1169 to the middle of the 14th century?” In this respect, it must be remembered that large parts of Ireland (particularly its western and northern parts) during this period remained in some way under the control of native Irish (i.e. Gaelic Irish) princes and lords. The Norman conquest of Ireland in the years after 1169 was only partial, unlike England in 1066 which saw the complete takeover of that country by William the Conqueror. The situation in Ireland bears similarities to Wales which also saw the survival of native Welsh princes alongside Norman barons. This lecture will examine (using excavated and fieldwork evidence) the nature of native Irish elite settlements in the period under review and will argue that while there was a change, continuity from the pre-Norman early medieval period was seen too. This lecture will discuss such things as the lack of identifiable timber and masonry castles in Gaelic Ireland during these years, the late use of crannogs and ringforts, the Irish adoption of some moated sites as princely residences, native agriculture and military practices and the deliberate use of the past by members of the indigenous elite for contemporary political purposes. Comparisons with Anglo-Norman Ireland will be made in the lecture and the historiography of the study of the archaeology of medieval Gaelic Ireland will also be alluded in the talk.

This lecture should be of interest to Irish-Americans as it is clear that so many of their ancestors arriving in America during the 19th century (and later) were Irish-speaking and, so, descended from the indigenous inhabitants of medieval Ireland. This talk would be a way for them to connect with the lives of their ancestors. There are also similarities between Gaelic Ireland and the Highlands during the medieval period and so this lecture may also be of interest to people of Scots descent.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018
7:30 pm, Trinity University

Lecture by Dr. Jean MacIntosh Turfa (Hanfmann Lecture)
University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Secret Lives of Etruscan Wives

Etruscan women…”are big drinkers and especially good looking…” said the Greek author Theopomus … Etruscan literature is lost, and the Greeks and Romans, their rivals, have left us a wildly biased perspective on Etruscan culture. What is the truth about these women, who, while their Greek and Roman sisters had to keep out of sight doing housework, owned land and ran factories, even bought and sold slaves (and sometimes married them)? Thanks to archaeology and their inscription,  we know the stories of some Etruscan women, like Kanuta the slave girl who gained her freedom, married into the ruling family of Volsinii (Orvieto) and patronized the great sanctuary, the Fanum Voltimnae, many Etruscan women were highly literate, and left thousands of votive body parts at healing shrines. They wove plaid clothing, used state of the art cosmetics and medical remedies, drove their own chariots, and were the only ancient people to use false teeth. In Orvieto in 263 BCE, desperate Etruscan housewives triggered a counter-revolt that toppled their oppressors – and delivered the impregnable city into Rome’s clutches. Etruscan’s personal experiences lie at the root of today’s rock-star Grillz, the gauge of European railways, and perhaps even our modern attitudes toward women and literacy, travel, and citizenship. A look at Etruria’s powerful females shows there really is no secret about it – they were modern women in the Old World.


Of interest to our members, the following SAMA event:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
6:30 pm, San Antonio Museum of Art

Dr. Salima Ikram will lecture on animal mummies as part of the Museum’s exhibit of animal mummies which begins March 23, 2018. Tuesday evenings HEB provides free admission, so you can enjoy the Museum, see the mummies and listen to Dr. Ikram’s lecture. The Santikos Auditorium seats 200 and is theater style seating, so plan on arriving early for a seat.