Thursday, October 23, 6:00 pm
Douglas G. Lovell, Jr. "Reports from the Field"
The Kolb Society of Fellows focuses its research on ancient, pre-industrial cultures and modern, non-industrial peoples of the world, and supports students who are actively engaged with material culture and archaeological studies. In this program, the Junior Fellows of the Kolb Society at the Penn Museum present their current research. Free admission.
The Rowanduz Archaeological Program 2014 with Darren Ashby
This past summer, the Rowanduz Archaeological Program (RAP) returned to Iraqi Kurdistan for its second season. This year's survey and excavation have shed light on life in this region during the last eight millennia. Darren will discuss some of our most interesting discoveries as well as our plans for future work.
The Romans who saw the Caspian Sea: Developing a dissertation about South Caucasia in the Roman-Parthian period with Lara Fabian
Borderland studies are one of the most vibrant areas of modern archaeological research, looking at the dynamic process of negotiation between local residents, political elites, and imperial authorities. Among scholars of the Roman Empire, this is reflected in recent work in Britain, along the Danube, and in North Africa, which has brought much greater clarity to the strategies both of the Roman authorities and their neighbors. However, the story of Roman presence in the northern reaches of the South Caucasus—the modern nations of Azerbaijan and Georgia—is rarely integrated into these broader narratives about the Roman Empire. The region, however, was a vibrant zone, where local dynasts built bath complexes in a Roman style, and drank from cups imported from Parthia. They wrote inscriptions in Greek declaring their ties to Rome, but traded Parthian coinage. They freely acquired material culture and customs from areas that we consider 'East' and 'West,' while choosing to identify exclusively with neither.
This talk describes research carried out during the summer of 2014 in Azerbaijan and Georgia, aimed at developing my doctoral dissertation concerning these issues. The foundation of my dissertation is not new archaeological excavation, but rather the rich material excavated by Soviet and post-Soviet archaeologists in the region, which has sadly received little attention outside of the sphere of Russian-speaking scholars. Lara will be highlighting some of the most important sites from the region, and discussing strategies for contextualizing this material, as well as directions for future research.
Middle Stone Age surface archaeology in the Doring River Valley, Cederberg, South Africa with Sam C. Lin
The identification of the temporal and causal factors in the emergence of modern human behavior is a touchstone issue in paleoanthropology. Recently, attention has been placed on the Southern African Middle Stone Age (MSA; ~250-40k years ago). Sites of this period contain standardized stone implements as well as engraved ochre, engraved ostrich eggshell and shell beads; finds that indicate a level of early cultural complexity bearing markers of modern behavior – symbolic culture, art, and complex technologies. Current research into the MSA in South Africa has heavily centered on rockshelter sites. However, it has been suggested that MSA phases are represented in different geographic settings, with archaeological deposits from certain periods exist in abundance in surface and open air contexts. The Doring River Paleo Landscape Project was launched in the summer of 2014. The project aims to 1) identify and document MSA surface archaeology along the Doring River valley in the eastern Cederberg region of South Africa, and 2) correlate MSA surface archaeology with existing archaeological deposits from nearby rockshelter sites to enable a unified landscape-scale analysis of the MSA archaeology in the region. This presentation gives a preliminary report on the 2014 season.