SWTAS 2020-2021 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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
7:30 pm, Trinity University Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Dr. Carla Klehm of the University of Arkansas

African Impacts on World (Pre)History: 8,000 Years that Will Change the Way You Think about Africa

How two giraffes got to China from Africa nearly 80 years before Columbus first came to the Americas is just one of many delightful examples of Africa’s long-standing connections to the world: ones we don’t often hear about or learn about in world prehistory classes. With the longest record of human history on the globe, this lecture highlights stories of African cultures in contact long before the Europeans arrived: Human occupation in the middle of the Sahara Desert; 5,000 year-old megalithic monuments in East Africa built by the first pastoralists in the region; precolonial kingdoms and states in southern Africa that traded gold and ivory with the Middle East, India, and China (yes, Black Panther’s Wakanda is not that far off). In this talk, I hope to share stories of these discoveries and perhaps shift your view of the history of sub-Saharan Africa. Over the course of the lecture, I’ll also explain some of the science behind the scenes: from utilizing satellite imagery to “predict” where archaeological sites are located to chemically analyzing glass to source objects traded from around the world.



Lecture by Dr. Rebecca Flemming, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Cambridge

Ancient Medicine

The talk will either focus on the ancient Italian equivalents of Mexican milagros (“Anatomy as Religion: The Body in Ancient Italian Votive Practice”) or on “The Archaeology of Reproduction in Antiquity”. More on those choices closer to the date.



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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