75th Inaugural Lecture Series announced
18 November 2011
Details of the series of 75th Anniversary Inaugural Lectures by recently-appointed Professors at the Institute are now available and registration is open for these events.
The Inaugural Lecture series, marking the Institute's 75th anniversary, will focus on a series of themes that have been central to the development of the Institute of Archaeology or in which the Institute has taken a world-leading role.
Each lecture, introduced by Stephen Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences, will commence at 6.15pm in the Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6 (unless otherwise indicated) followed by a drinks reception in the A.G. Leventis Gallery.
- Monday 9 January 2012
The Making of the Middle Sea: How the Mediterranean came into being
The Mediterranean comprises the world’s largest inland sea, the greatest extent of a rare, challenging environment on the planet, and its societies and culture have had an impact on global history immensely greater than the basin’s size would predict. Their characteristics have been well explored by Classical, Roman and later historians. But almost all the fundamental elements (e.g. seafaring, trade networks, cultivation and consumption practices, ideologies and urbanism), in fact emerged and coalesced far earlier, during the region’s long, exceptionally vibrant ‘prehistory’. This invites large-scale archaeological investigation across a broad canvas, from the end of the Ice to the start of the Iron Age, by which time the making of this middle sea was complete.
- Monday 16 January 2012
Objects as Narrative
These objects tell fascinating stories through the evidence of their
manufacture, and their experience of people and events. During their
lives they shift in perceived value, and in the stories they can tell.
Do the wear and tear of use and age diminish, enhance or conceal their
narrative impact? How do we perceive objects that have been modified,
even manipulated, through conservation and restoration? How can these
stories be elicited and made accessible to others?
- Monday 23 January 2012
Object of Egypt: Outside the Time Frame
Over formative centuries of modernity, certain Things were renamed
antiquities, and became dominant Object of a new collecting
institution, the Museum, in emerging nation-states. By delivering acts
of discovery, a young discipline called archaeology, inside the
post-Humboldt university, achieved its mission - to create a new Time.
Yet these institutions remained as unstable as their nationstates, and
Museum inmates subversively resist their labels. The January 25th 2011
revolution in Egypt may radically transform Archive and Object. Outside
a self-appointed metropolis such as London, other histories may take
hold both within Egypt, urban and rural, and across Europe, south and
- Monday 30 January 2012
The Social Impact of Climate Change: An Archaeologist's Perspective
Debates about the impact of recent climate change on human societies
have ranged between attitudes of disbelief to environmental
catastrophism. A more measured approach considers the long-term record
of how societies cycled through phases of greater or lesser
vulnerability to abrupt climate change. Arlene Rosen considers key
points in the human career such as the impact of climate on
agricultural origins, and the disputes about social collapse in the
ancient Near East, demonstrating the capacity for resilience and
sustainability that characterized many of these past societies, with
possible lessons about adapting to global warming in our modern age.
- Monday 6 February 2012
'Nasty, Brutish and Short'? Re-making the Early Middle Ages
This presentation examines conceptions of England and Europe in the
period following the end of the Roman Empire in the west. This era is
often viewed as a slow recovery of civil society, even though it laid
the foundations for modern Europe. The research presented covers topics
long considered beyond the reach of archaeological enquiry, but which
are central to understanding the institutions and social complexity of
medieval and ultimately modern society. Original perspectives are
offered on the archaeology and history of the judicial process,
governance, and travel and communication, which together reveal a
powerful case study with a wider relevance to understanding human
- Tuesday 8 May 2012
Landscapes with People: From Prehistoric Britain to Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Landscape Archaeology concerns the relationship between human beings and geographical space. Landscape Archaeology as a term emerged in the 1970s. Since then the discipline has diversified from a focus on economic and environmental issues to the interpretation of landscapes as particular places that are socially used, understood and experienced by their inhabitants. Sue Hamilton will discuss the methodological and interpretative approaches that relate to a people-centred landscape perspective, drawing on her work in Europe and the Pacific. She will make a case for the central role of the fieldworker in understanding peopled landscapes of the past.
to Sue's fieldwork on Rapa Nui in Spring 2012, her Inaugural Lecture
will take place on Tuesday 8 May 2012 in the Gustave Tuck Lecture
Theatre, Wilkins Building, UCL commencing at 6.30pm.