Thursday, April 29, 2021

Frances Gallart Marqués on "Terracotta Figurines from the Field to the Museum"


Rescheduled for Monday, May 3 at 6pm - please register via the St. Thomas Dept of Art History homepage

 (Links to an external site.)

SPEAKER: Frances Gallart Marqués, PhD, Archaeological Exploration of Sardis and Harvard Art Museums

DESCRIPTION: In the 1870s, thousands of ancient terracotta figurines were discovered in cemeteries surrounding the small city of Tanagra in Greece. The brightly colored figures, many of which depicted young women, became a sensation with Victorian audiences and inspired new works by painters, musicians, and writers. In this talk, Frances Gallart Marqués will discuss the ramifications of the figurines’ discovery and the ways in which archaeologists and museums deal with their legacy today.

This talk is co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas Department of Art History

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Michelle Damian on "Archaeology through Art: Early Modern Japanese Ship Construction."

Zoom Webinar is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas Department of Art History (scroll down to “Events” to register)

please register via the St. Thomas Dept of Art History homepage

Lecture summary:

Maritime trade and transport flourished during Japan’s early modern (Edo, 1603 – 1868) period, connecting the urban centers of Osaka and Edo with the farthest reaches of Hokkaido and Kyushu. The omnipresent nature and variety of styles of boats, from local ferries, to fishing vessels, to large trade ships are recorded diligently in hundreds of woodblock prints by numerous different artists. Careful analysis of the construction styles and contexts of these vessels in the prints, in conjunction with contemporary ships’ treatises, extant artifacts in museum collections, and ethnographic research suggests that shipwrights strove to create visually striking watercraft that were adapted to the waters they plied. This lecture will highlight some of the distinctive features of Japanese ship construction and explore the role that different vessels play in the early modern maritime cultural landscape. 


 Michelle Damian has been teaching at Monmouth College (IL) since 2016, where she teaches classes on Japanese and Chinese history, public history, and maritime archaeology. She received her PhD from the University of Southern California, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University and has worked and studied in Japan for over nine years.


Dr. Damian specializes in Japanese maritime history and archaeology, most recently focusing on 14th– to 16th– century Japanese maritime-based trade networks, tracing the movements of both people and commodities in the Seto Inland Sea region. She has published widely on this topic, and has received numerous honors and awards (++ add Forsyth lectureship info) . She is also involved in museum work, volunteering with the local Warren County History Museum and the online Museum of Underwater Archaeology


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):


Damian, Michelle. “Japanese Wooden Boats in Woodblock Prints: A Research Project Journal,” The Museum of Underwater Archaeology.


DiPaolo Loren, Diana, and Uzi Baram

2007    Between Art and Artifact: Approaches to Visual Representations in Historical Archaeology. Historical Archaeology 41(1):1 – 5.


Kalland, Arne. 

1995    Fishing Villages in Tokugawa Japan. University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, HI.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Spring 2021 events

We will have 2 "official" AIA webinar talks this spring (below), but may add some more casual student presentations as well, so stay tuned to updates here and on our Facebook page

Monday, April 12, 2021, 6pm CT
Frances Gallart Marqués, “Terracotta Figurines from the Field to the Museum.” 
Webinar is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America and the University of St. Thomas Department of Art History (scroll down to “Events” to register)    

Monday, April 26, 2021 at 6pm CT:
Michelle Damian, "Archaeology through Art: Early Modern Japanese Ship Construction." 
Webinar is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America and the University of St. Thomas Department of Art History (scroll down to “Events” to register)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Virtual event January 3, 2021!

On January 3rd, the Archaeological Institute of America will kick off its 122nd Annual Meeting with Society Sunday.  Society Sunday is a special first-of-its-kind that brings together AIA members and the general public for a day of archaeological programming which includes two fantastic public events: an opening lecture and Q&A session with renowned Egyptologist Salima Ikram (1pm CST) and a panel discussion perfect for getting into archaeology while you are staying at home: Digital Archaeology for a Virtual World (4pm CST). Click here for additional information and registration links.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dr. Hilary Becker: "Shopping for Artists' Materials in Ancient Rome: Pigment Shops, Pigments, and Product Choice"

Friday October 9th at 6pm: "Shopping for Artists' Materials in Ancient Rome: Pigment Shops, Pigments, and Product Choice." via Zoom Webinar.

The talk is free and open to the public but You must register by Noon on Thursday October 8th. Use the following link to register for the talk and we look forward to seeing you there.

The discovery of the only known pigment shop in ancient Rome revealed an array of colors in their raw, mineral form waiting to be sold to wall painters. Ancient pigments provide a surprising opportunity to understand how science can be used in archaeology, revealing what pigments were present in the shop and, potentially, the source from which they originated, as well as exploring the supply-side economy of Roman painting and the steps by which these pigments went from the mine, to a shop, to the walls of a Roman house. This lecture also explores the economy of the Roman pigment trade, looking at the prices of pigments as well as the potential for their adulteration.

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.