Monday, March 30, 2020

Spring lectures CANCELLED

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, our April lectures are cancelled and we hope to reschedule them next year. 


In the meantime, here are some options for getting your archaeology fix:
The national Archaeological Institute of America has some great resources, including Interactive Digs, the American Journal of Archaeology and Archaeology magazine. And the Minneapolis Institute of Art Vimeo site has a lot of videos, including most of our previous AIA lectures held at Mia.





Wednesday, January 29, 2020

John Hale: "From Mastodon Hunters to Moundbuilders: The Peopling of North America" and "Viking Longships: Wolves of the Sea"

The Great Serpent Mound, Ohio

Friday, February 28, 2020 at 6pm: “From Mastodon Hunters to Moundbuilders: The Peopling of North America,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall at Macalester College

Beginning with the pioneering excavation of a prehistoric mound by Thomas Jefferson, researchers have brought to light thousands of ancient sites and artifacts that shed light on the lives – and deaths – of the first Americans.  Nomadic hunting groups first reached North America during the Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago. They brought their dogs with them, and left behind the weapons they used to kill mastodons and other Pleistocene “megafauna”. In later millennia, these tribes began to exploit local flint deposits, explore caves and waterways, and establish settlements from the Arctic Circle all the way south to the mineral springs of Florida.  Once women had succeeded in domesticating corn, beans and squash, extensive villages were built to accommodate the booming populations. At sites like Serpent Mound in Ohio and Cahokia in Illinois, extraordinary effigy mounds and other earthworks bear witness to the beliefs and the artistic genius of these first Americans.

This event is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the Macalester Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America


Oseberg Ship



- Vikings talk is SOLD OUT: there will be first-come, first-served overflow seating in the Wells Fargo room at Mia

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11am: “Viking Longships: Wolves of the Sea,” in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Viking ships are among the most remarkable artifacts in the entire realm of archaeological discovery, dominating European history for the three centuries between 800 and 1100 AD.  As warships they terrorized coasts from Scotland to the Mediterranean; as trading craft they ventured down the rivers of Russia to Byzantium, and as vessels of exploration and colonization they crossed the open Atlantic to Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and ultimately America.  Yet all these amazing achievements were accomplished by open, undecked ships with a few oars and a single square sail.

The 19th century witnessed dramatic finds of royal Viking ships in Norwegian burial mounds along Oslo fjord.  More recently, underwater archaeologists have recovered virtually intact Viking ships from harbors in Denmark.  The most ambitious project in the field of experimental archaeology has involved the reconstruction and sea trials of many Viking ship types.  John Hale has traced the ancestry of Viking ships all the way back to sewn-plank canoes of the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and shows the links between these remarkable ships and the watercraft of the Pacific and central Africa.

This event is free but all Mia talks are now ticketed – available Jan. 29 -  - call 612-870-6323 or online; co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Dr. John R. Hale has more than 35 years of archaeological fieldwork experience and serves as Director of the Liberal Studies Program and the “Individualized Major” in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Johnathan Hardy on “Wēh-Ardašīr and the Ruins of Qasr bint al-Qadi: Christian Architectural Adaptation in the Sasanian Heartland,”



Saturday, November 23 at 11am in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College.

Using previously unpublished site plans and field notes from the 1929/1930 German Oriental Society excavations of the expansive Sasanian era urban complex of al-Madāʾin, this paper sheds new light on the little understood church at the so-called Qasr bint al-Qadi in Wēh-Ardašīr, Iraq. A close analysis of these documents allows for a reinterpretation of the chronological horizons of this church in the Sasanian capital and connects it to the wider iconographic and architectural exchange between Christians, Zoroastrians, and the Sasanian aristocracy in late antiquity. As one of the few churches in the Sasanian empire to be properly excavated, the knowledge derived from these source documents is critical to our understanding of the dynamics of religio-cultural exchange in the late antique world.

Johnathan Hardy is a doctoral student in the Department of Art History at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. His dissertation focuses on the dynamic discourses of power and prestige between Christians, Zoroastrians, and the Sasanian aristocracy in late antiquity.

This event is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the Macalester Anthropology
Department and the Archaeological Institute of America.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Pamela Gaber on “Limestone Sculpture of Cyprus: Portraits of a Culture”



Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 11am in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Free but tickets are required. Register online or call 612.870.6323

The island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean has yielded hundreds of votive sculptures from the first millennium BCE. A study of these sculptures reveals information about religious worship in the Ancient Near East. Also, a detailed examination of these collections can tell us about trade relations and travel, not only between sites on Cyprus, but between Cyprus and the Levant. Such an examination reveals chronological sequences and even hints about the nature of worship in ancient Near East, including Israel. Subsequent studies have even aided scholars to discern the hands of individual sculptors.
Dr. Pamela Gaber, Professor of Archaeology and Religion at Lycoming College, is a world-renowned expert in sculpture typology and pottery chronology (the tracking of the development of pottery types) and director of archaeological field school in Cyprus. Gaber is the author of Idalion III: Excavations on the Terrace of the East Acropolis and a children’s book, Daily Life in Bible Times: What Archaeology Tells Us.

Co-presented by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Archaeological Institute of America members may join the speaker after the talk for a no-host lunch at Christo's Greek Restaurant

Monday, June 17, 2019

2019-2020 Lecture Schedule

AIA-MN 2019-20 lectures 

- all events are free and open to the public -

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 11amPamela Gaber, “Limestone Sculpture of Cyprus: Portraits of a Culture,” in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
This event is co-sponsored by Mia and the Archaeological Institute of America ---- This talk is free but all Mia talks are now ticketed - call 612-870-6323 or check online after October 1st 


Saturday, November 23 at 11am: Johnathan Hardy, “Wēh-Ardašīr and the Ruins of Qasr bint al-Qadi: Christian Architectural Adaptation in the Sasanian Heartland,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College (also #29 on this map).
This event is co-sponsored by the Macalester College Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America, aiamn.blogspot.com

Friday, February 28, 2020 at 6pmJohn Hale, “From Mastodon Hunters to Moundbuilders: The Peopling of North America,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College (also #29 on this map).
This event is co-sponsored by the Macalester College Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America, aiamn.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11amJohn Hale, “Viking Longships: Wolves of the Sea,” in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
This event is co-sponsored by Mia and the Archaeological Institute of America ---- This talk is free but all Mia talks are now ticketed - call 612-870-6323 or check online 

Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11am: Valerie Woelfel, “Archaeological Mapping,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College (also #29 on this map).
This event is co-sponsored by the Macalester College Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America, aiamn.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 11am: Lena Norrman, “Viking Women: The Narrative Voice in Woven Tapestries,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College (also #29 on this map).
This event is co-sponsored by the Macalester College Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America, aiamn.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Team Elgin or Team Parthenon? Forum on the Parthenon Marbles Repatriation Debate (new date)

Wednesday, May 8 at 6pm 

In the Iverson Hearth Room, 3rd floor, Anderson Student Center, University of St. Thomas (#27 on this map

an event flyer for printing is here


This event  will be led by St. Thomas Art History graduate students in Dr. Vanessa Rousseau's  Greek and Roman Art in Constructions of Identity in partnership with the Archaeological institute of America, are taking sides on May 8th. Join us for an evening of debate and light refreshments and help us answer the question: To whom do the Parthenon Marbles rightly belong? 


You might be wondering, “What are the Parthenon Marbles?”
The Parthenon Marbles are a group of sculpture from the Parthenon starting in 1803 by Thomas Bruce, aka Lord Elgin. Greece was under Ottoman Turkish control at the time, and Lord Elgin was allegedly permitted to take the marbles under a vaguely worded firman, or writ of permission, issued by Sultan Selim III. In 1816, the British Museum purchased the sculptures, naming them the "Elgin Marbles".
Greece gained independence in 1832, and really began the call for repatriation of the marbles in 1981. The Greeks claim the marbles as a part of their cultural identity and question the ethics of Lord Elgin’s actions, as neither the Ottomans nor Elgin asked for Greek consent. In 2009, a modern museum opened on the Athenian Acropolis to house the marbles and other treasures. Thus far, the British Museum has refused to relinquish the marbles.
Want to know more? Check out these links from National Geographic and PBS!


This event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas Art History department and the Archaeological Institute of America.


Tonight's Parthenon event CANCELLED!!

All events at the University of St Thomas have been cancelled, including this one. We hope to reschedule it in early May, so please check back!