Friday, April 14, 2017

Joanne Pillsbury on "Palace into Temple: Architecture at Chan Chan, Peru"

Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:00pm - 8:30pm, O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas
Adobe wall, Chan Chan, Peru, Photograph by Charles Lummis (1893), 
Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles (P.31810)
The city of Chan Chan, located on Peru’s north coast, was one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities in the New World. Capital of the empire of Chimor, it was the seat of one of the largest and most complex states of the Andean region prior to the rise of the Inca in the fifteenth century. At the core of the city are ten monumental structures richly ornamented with adobe reliefs. The study of these compounds presents us with distinct challenges, but also great opportunities for examining how some of the most spectacular buildings of the ancient Americas were conceived of and used over time.

Joanne Pillsbury is the Pearson Curator of Ancient American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Previously associate director of the Getty Research Institute, and prior to that, director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, she has also taught at the University of Maryland and the University of East Anglia.  She has been the editor, co-editor, or author of numerous books and articles on ancient American art and architecture, and the history of archaeology and collecting. 

Please note that there will NOT be an AIA member dinner with the speaker, but there will be a small reception after the talk.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lothar von Falkenhausen on "Trying to Do the Right Thing to Protect the World’s Cultural Heritage: One Committee Member’s Tale”

Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 11am, Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

++ All AIA-MN events at Mia remain free but require advance tickets++
call 612-870-6323 or reserve online 

Von Falkenhausen recording traditional salt production
techniques at Chongtancun, Sichuan (March, 1999).
This is a personal account of the author's service as a member of President Obama's Cultural Property Advisory Committee. It reflects upon the purpose of the committee, its composition and the nature of its work, as well as the wider impact of the United States government's efforts to contribute to cultural-heritage preservation worldwide.

See more on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee at:

Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History with the Department of Art History at UCLA, and is also Associate Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. His specialty is Chinese archaeology and since 1999, he has served as the American co-Principal Investigator of the ongoing UCLA-Peking University Joint Project on Landscape Archaeology and Ancient Salt Production in the Sichuan Region. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sudharshan Seneviratne on "Sustainable Museums: Heritage Preservation in Sri Lanka”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 3:30-5:00pm, In Murray-Herrick Building, room 204, University of St. Thomas
++ Please note this talk takes place at University of St. Thomas ++ 

Faced with a twin crisis —a thirty-year old civil war and a destructive tsunami—archaeologists and heritage managers in Sri Lanka sought alternative strategies to holistically tackle the resurrection of battered heritage sites and the broken psyches of their resident communities.  They had to deal with an area with rich pre-Colonial, Colonial and post-Colonial histories while recognizing the reality of its cultural diversity. Their response was to incorporate the nucleus of the museum site, the extended World Heritage site in which it was located and its buffer zone as an organically interlinked platform for the establishment of the Total Museum. 

This talk describes the saga of the UNESCO Declared World Heritage site of the 16th Century Dutch Fort in Galle, Sri Lanka. The Fort offered a unique opportunity to revive its living heritage and its resident community along with sustainable economic and tourism ventures as a highly commended project for best practice in Heritage Management in South Asia. 

About the speaker:

The Murray-Herrick Campus Center can be found on the University of St. Thomas map here

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Deanna O'Donnell on "What is Glass Bead Disease?: A study of the Fort Union Trade Bead Collection"

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6pm, John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, Macalester College

Glass Bead Disease is an irreversible, degradation process that leaves the surface of the glass with microfractures, pitting, and a white ‘crust’. The number of studies that have explored the cause of glass disease in beads over the past five decades is small.  Conservators have observed acceleration in the degradation for beads attached to corrosive natural materials. Blue beads are especially susceptible, suggesting the colorant plays a role in the process.  Fort Union Trading Post has a unique collection of Native American glass trade beads, both in its size and history.  The beads have not been used, so their condition can be attributed to natural weathering.  In July 2015, 81 beads from the Fort Union collection were analyzed by optical microscopy and portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy.  The majority of the beads were blue hollow cane beads that varied in condition.  This pilot study aimed to identify chemical trends within the glass composition that were correlated to condition to potentially identify a chemical fingerprint conservators and curators could use to predict vulnerable glass artifacts. In this talk, Dr. O’Donnell will present their preliminary findings.

About the speaker: 
Deanna O’Donnell is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hamline, where she teaches Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Methods.  She began her scientific career at McMaster University in Canada receiving her BS degree in Chemistry. She earned her PhD from the University of Notre Dame in Physical Chemistry where she studied aqueous radicals using Time-Resolved Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. Dr. O’Donnell continued her training in a joint postdoctoral appointment at City College of New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her post-doctoral work focused on developing Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy as a nondestructive method to analyze molecular dyes found in cultural heritage objects and controlled substances in forensic evidence. During her post-doc, she was also an adjunct instructor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice teaching General Chemistry. At Hamline, Dr. O’Donnell has continued to develop analytical methods for the analysis of small molecules relevant to the fields of forensic sciences and cultural heritage.

*Location and parking information can be found here (#29 on the printable map at the bottom of the link)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Katherine Erdman on "Enticing the Gods of Ancient Gaul: Iron Age and Gallo-Roman Ritual Offerings Deposited in Springs "

Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 6pm, John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, Macalester College

Chatillon-sur-Seine - Source de la Douix
Tossing a coin into a fountain for luck is a tradition with roots in the ancient world. Throughout European prehistory, people visited different types of watery places, such as bogs, rivers, and springs, to deposit a variety of objects, not just coins, as offerings to their gods. Focusing on a series of springs in the Burgundy region of modern day France, we will explore the offerings deposited there by Iron Age and Gallo-Roman Period inhabitants and the impact the Roman conquest had on indigenous ritual practices in ancient Gaul.

GR.2.003 999.7.1
About the speaker:

*Location and parking information can be found here (#29 on the printable map at the bottom of the link)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pearce Paul Creasman on "Maritime History & Archaeology of Ancient Egypt"

Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11am, Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

++ All AIA-MN events at Mia remain free but require advance tickets++
call 612-870-6323 or reserve online 

Temple of Philae
Most often associated with desert sands and pyramids, ancient Egyptian culture arose from the Nile and depended upon the river and neighboring seas. The enormous wealth and power of the pharaohs was made possible only by the “superhighway” of the Nile. The stones that built the royal monuments, the Nubian gold that flowed into the treasury, and the armies that expelled foreign rulers all traveled by boat. As Egyptian concerns did not end with the Nile, neither did its naval reach. Egyptian fleets sailed the Red Sea and the Mediterranean in search of exotic cargos, and foreign ships moored at Egyptian harbors, creating an international tapestry of Bronze Age and Iron Age trade.

Pearce Paul Creasman
With their longstanding and necessary reliance on the Nile, oases, and seas, it should come as no surprise that the ancient inhabitants of Egypt regularly incorporated the life-sustaining waters in their material and spiritual worlds. Indeed, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman ingenuity often circumvented natural geological barriers, resulting in the redirection of these bodies of water, if only partial or temporary (e.g., for irrigation, military transport). Diverse archaeological and historical investigations of maritime interaction during Egypt’s ancient periods abound and this presentation provides a brief history and review of the field of study (discussing topics as diverse as early dynastic [ca. 3000 BCE] boat burials found on land at Abydos, Ramesside [ca. 1200 BCE] tax levies on imported ship cargoes, and underwater excavations of the Ptolemaic [ca. 300 BC] harbor at Alexandria) and identifies possible avenues for future work.

About the speaker: Dr. Pearce Paul Creasman is associate professor of Egyptology & dendrochronology, curator of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. He is also director of the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition. His research interests include the study human and environment interactions, maritime archaeology, dendroarchaeology, and Egyptian archaeology. He is the author of numerous journal publications and edited volumes, including Ancient Mediterranean Interconnections: Papers in Honor of Nanno Marinatos, co-edited with R.H. Wilkinson. More information is on his website:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Look at Cultural Heritage Preservation in Honor of International Archaeology Day

Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 11am, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Commons, Macalester College

11am lecture:
Sudharshan Seneviratne on 
"Cultural Heritage Preservation in Sri Lanka"

12-2pm: Student Poster reception (with refreshments!)

Sudharshan Seneviratne, recipient of the 2013 AIA Award for Best Practice in Conservation and Heritage Management, will speak about “Cultural Heritage Preservation in Sri Lanka” at 11am. Professor Seneviratne’s talk will be followed from 12-2pm by a reception and presentation of Student Posters related to archaeology and preservation.

++ please note that this event is in the the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center and Parking is available in any of the Macalester lots.

About the speaker: