• Upcoming Events

    SWTAS Calendar!

    August 30, 2016
    Thomas G. Palaima
    The Palace of Nestor as Cultural Statement

    October 18, 2016
    Simon James
    Blood in the Dust, Death in the Dark: combat and chemical warfare at Roman Dura-Europos, Syria

    November 7, 2016
    Nathan T. Elkins
    Emperors, Gods, and Gladiators: Emperor Worship in the Colosseum

    November 16-19, 2016
    American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting

    February 23, 2017
    Bettina Arnold
    TBA

    March 28, 2017
    Richard Buckley
    Richard III, The King Under the Car Park: the story of the search for the burial place of England’s last Plantagenet king

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Events

SWTAS 2016-2017 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.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:30 pm, Trinity Fiesta Room

Lecture by Professor Thomas G. Palaima
Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor, Department of Classics, UT Austin
Director, Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP)

The Palace of Nestor as Cultural Statement

In this talk we shall try to experience the Late Bronze Age Palace of Nestor as it would have been experienced by individuals of various status who lived out their lives in variously configured social groups in the 13th c. BCE. We shall try to figure out from archaeological, iconographical (wall and floor paintings), textual (Linear B tablets) and traditional (Homer and other later authors) evidence how the palace was conceived by those who built and resided in it, by those who worked in it and its environs, and by those who visited it on special occasions like palatially sponsored communal feasts and what we might term diplomatic visits. In so doing we shall also look at how the ‘palace’ has been viewed since its discovery in 1939 and following and how and why we view it as we do now.

Tom Palaima is Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin where he directs a research program in Aegean scripts and prehistory. He also is a serious student of the human experience of war and violence and the music of Bob Dylan and Dylan’s own heroes.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016
7:30 pm, Trinity Fiesta Room

Lecture by Professor Simon James
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester

Blood in the Dust, Death in the Dark: Combat and Chemical Warfare at Roman Dura-Europos, Syria

Alternatively titled ‘Cold-Case CSI: Roman Syria AD256’, this is a detective story, an exercise in uncovering forgotten secrets of a ferocious battle fought between the Romans and Sasanians. It is a tale told entirely through archaeology, for the siege in which perished the city of Dura-Europos, ‘Pompeii of the East’, is unknown to history. The Franco-American excavations of the 1920s-30s, and new work between 1986-2011, has revealed in graphic detail the course of the Sasanian attacks, and the determined efforts of the Roman defenders to thwart them; siege ramps and mines are still there to be seen, and excavation recovered copious weaponry and the bones of the slain, including dramatic traces of the defenders’ last stand. This, the most vivid archaeological testimony ever found for ancient warfare, is still revealing surprises. For careful reappraisal of evidence preserved in the old excavation archives suggests that an early form of chemical warfare was among the horrors unleashed at Dura, the earliest archaeological testimony for one of the grimmest of all facets of human conflict…

Simon James is Professor with the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, and holds his degrees from the University of London.  His areas of specialization include ancient identity, ethnicity and conflict, the archaeology of violence, and Roman, Iron Age European and Partho-Sassanian material culture.  He has excavated widely at Iron Age, Roman and medieval sites in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, and in particular at the Cowdery’s Down “Dark Age” settlement in England and at the Roman garrison base at Dura-Europos in Syria.  Professor James has recently been a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, is a past AIA Kress Lecturer, and is returning as an AIA Kress Alumni Lecturer for 2016/2017.

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Monday, November 7, 2016
7:30 pm, Trinity Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Professor Nathan T. Elkins
Department of Art, Baylor University

Emperors, Gods, and Gladiators: Emperor Worship in the Colosseum

The Colosseum is well understood as a dynastic monument that was key to the Flavian building program and to Flavian ideology. It was the fulfillment of Augustus’s ambition for a large-scale amphitheater; it served to diminish Nero’s memory as it was constructed on the atrium of his dismantled Golden House; and it was a victory monument built with the spoils of the Jewish War. And, of course, it was a magnificent venue for lavish spectacles and entertainments to highlight imperial beneficence. Nonetheless, one important political aspect of this dynastic monument has been largely overlooked: its connection with emperor worship.

Outside of Rome, it is well known that amphitheaters served as a venue for the procession and placement of cult images of gods and emperors; in Rome, the Circus Maximus and the theaters were venues for the display of imperial images and attributes brought in during their respective processions. Through the deployment of textual, topographical and visual evidence, I demonstrate that the Colosseum also had a pulvinar (a platform) that displayed images and attributes of the gods and deified emperors and empresses brought in during processions at the start of the games. The location of the pulvinar and the mechanisms by which it was serviced are explored, as are the ideological implications of cultic activity in the Colosseum.

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November 16-19, 2016
La Cantera Resort & Spa, San Antonio

American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting

The ASOR Annual Meeting brings together ASOR’s vibrant academic community from around the world to present their current findings and discuss their research. The conference attracts approximately 950 scholars and enthusiasts of archaeology and anthropology, linguistics, biblical studies, art history, cultural heritage, and other fields related to the study of the ancient Near East. More information about the 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting, including the schedule, can be found online here and on this flyer (including local discount rates).

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Thursday, February 23, 2017
7:30 pm, Trinity Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Professor Bettina Arnold
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
7:30 pm, Trinity Chapman Auditorium

Lecture by Professor Richard Buckley
University of Leicester

Richard III, The King under the Car Park: the story of the search for the burial place of England’s last Plantagenet king