75th Inaugural Lecture Series announced

18 November 2011

Institute of Archaeology 75th anniversary in 2012

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

Cyprian Broodbank

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

Elizabeth Pye

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

Stephen Quirke

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 north.

  • Monday 30 January 2012

The Social Impact of Climate Change: An Archaeologist's Perspective

Arlene Rosen

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

Andrew Reynolds

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 behaviour.

  • Tuesday 8 May 2012 

Landscapes with People: From Prehistoric Britain to Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Sue Hamilton

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.

Due 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.

View the UCL Flickr Gallery of images to commemorate the Institute's 75th anniversary»

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