SWTAS 2019-2020 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! [keep the link] page for location maps. Lectures last approximately one hour, followed by a modest reception. The lecture series is made possible by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Southwest Texas Archaeological Society, and the Department of Classical Studies at Trinity University. AIA members in good standing are invited to join the lecturer at a no host dinner prior to the evening’s events; please contact for further information.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
7:30 pm, Trinity University Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Dr. Olga Koloski-Ostrow, The Kevy and Hortense Kaiserman Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Professor of Classical Studies, Brandeis University

The Sensorium of the Roman Urban Landscape: Sights, Sounds, Smells, Tastes, and Touch

This talk explores the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of ancient Roman cities (focus on Pompeii and Herculaneum, but reference to Ostia and Rome as well) using textual and archaeological evidence, in order to discover how we can identify the sensorium of the Roman city and how it can sharpen our understanding of life on Roman streets, in public spaces, and in private dwellings. We review the chief institutions and structures of the city to find the evidence: in the streets (dung, vomit, pee, shit, detritus, garbage, filthy water, fresh produce and baked goods); from inside tenement buildings (mould, damp basements, fires, charcoal, stagnant well water, overflowing cesspits); from shops (burning ovens, smoke, meat and vegetables); from live animals; from crowded public venues (including games in the amphitheaters, theaters, fora, and markets); from urban disasters (fires and floods); from inside public baths and toilets; from religious worship in and outside temples; and from the rituals associated with death and burial. Such an investigation into the sources and dissemination of the ancient sensorium revivifies the complexity of the ancient city and even contributes to a better understanding of urban zoning.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020 7:30pm 
7:30 pm, Trinity University Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Dr. Bernadette Cap, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at San Antonio

Ancient Maya Marketplaces: Hubs of Interaction and Integration

The identification of marketplaces among the Classic Maya has come late for several reasons, one of which is that they were most often open-air events in which perishable, temporary stalls were created and thus challenging to find archaeologically. Their discovery however, has caused major changes to our understandings of the complex ways in the Maya interacted and were integrated. This lecture explores the ways in which Classic Maya marketplaces (AD 500-900) served to provide staple goods for households and could be influential in the political strategies of Maya rulers. Marketplaces at the sites of Buenavista del Cayo and Xunantunich located 5 km from each other in the Mopan River valley of Belize are discussed in detail. The extensive research strategy applied at these sites has contributed to settling the debate as to the existence of Classic Maya marketplaces and addresses questions about their diversity.

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