Calendar of Events
Western Illinois Society
Archaeological Institute of America

September 9, 2002

“Middle Mississippian Art in Illinois”

Lawrence Conrad, Archaeological Research Laboratory, Western Illinois University
7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center, Monmouth College

The Middle Mississippian cultures were a series of highly stratified theocratic societies extending throughout much of the southeastern and lower midwestern U.S. The requirements of the religion and of the aristocracy created demand for artistic endeavors from landscape architecture to weaving. No doubt the performing arts were also highly developed but are, for the most part lost to us. Numerous examples of various art forms in ceramics, bone, shell, copper and various types of stone as well as painting and weaving from Illinois and nearby states will be illustrated and placed into cultural, geographic and stylistic context.

October 2, 2002

“The Archaeology of Indus Arts and Technology”

Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin
12:00 Noon in the Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center, Monmouth College
About the Lecturer / Additional Readings ? Program Flyer

Optional Middle Eastern Style Buffet Lunch Cost: $6.00

Menu: Salatit Khodar Meshakel (mixed fresh vegetable salad); Tabbouleh; Hummus with Pita Bread; Qady Qooda (meatballs in batter); Filfil Rumi Mahshi (stuffed green peppers) and Baklava (dessert)

This lecture will focus on the recent discoveries regarding the origins of writing in the Indus Valley and its emergence as a formal script. Although the Indus script is still undeciphered it is possible to understand the context and general use of this unique writing system. An overview of the different types of writing and related objects will be presented along with a discussion of the disappearance of this script.

“Recent Archaeological Work on the Indus Valley Civilization”

Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin
7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center, Monmouth College (note change in location)
About the Lecturer / Additional Readings / Program Flyer

This illustrated lecture will present the most recent discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan and western India. A special focus will be on the recent discoveries at the site of Harappa, Pakistan which have provided new evidence on the origins of writing and urbanism in the Indus Valley. Important topics will include the origins of agriculture and animal husbandry (7000 - 5000 BC), the emergence of village cultures and eventually towns (3300-2600 BC), and the urban expansion of the Indus or Harappan Period (2600-1900 BC). New discoveries on the development of writing, seals, and the use of standardized stone weights will be presented along with a discussion on Indus art, symbol and technology as well as the enigmatic undeciphered Indus script. The decline and reorganization of the Indus cities (1900-1300 BC) will also be discussed along with the gradual emergence of Indo-Aryan cultures in the northern subcontinent. Throughout the presentation the important contributions of the Indus culture to later civilizations in South Asia and other world regions will be highlighted.

Friday, October 18, 2002

“Terracotta Tiles from the Palatine East, Rome: A Revival Style and its Political Ideology”

Víctor M. Martínez, University of Illinois
7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois
Program Flyer

Although Augustus is said to have found Rome a city of bricks and made it a city of marble, terracotta sculpture enjoyed a revival under his reign. Low relief architectural tiles commonly known as Campana plaques were used to decorate and protect the upper architectural members of sacred and profane buildings. However, certain themes and images were employed by Augustus on these tiles to project his imperial policies. Moreover, by using terracotta tiles, which by then was an anachronism, Augustus lent weight and authority to his architectural projects on the Palatine Hill. This paper first presents an overview of the iconography of the Campana tiles and their function as well as presents several examples from the Palatine East Excavations, some of which remain unpublished. Then, I will offer a possible scenario for the original disposition of some of the Palatine East tiles.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

       The Archaeology of Southern Russia

William L. Urban, Morgan Professor of History and International Studies, Monmouth College

Prof Urban visited the Kuban region last summer on a Global Partners program. He visited prehistoric, Greek, Roman and medieval sites.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

“The Stone, the Altar, and the Threshold: Between Life and Afterlife in Etruria”

Francesco Roncalli, Professor of Etruscology and Italic Antiquities, University of Naples "Federico II"
:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room

The author's recent research has proved the complexity of Etruscan views concerning After-life and Underworld. The opinion, current among scholars until a few years ago, that in the archaic period the Etruscans were firm in the belief in a direct and joyful prosecution of earthly life, while only later they became acquainted with the Greek idea of a specific world and place for the dead ("Hades"), has proved to be much too simplified. Etruscan tombs and funeral monuments revisited show the local early development of the ideas of a journey, a dangerous passage, a fatal threshold for all humans, a happy destination for the elected.

Thursday, March 6, 2003

“What is Under the Abbey? Preliminary and On-Going Investigations at the Abbey of Gangivecchio, Sicily” Flyer

Glenn R. Storey, Associate Professor of Classics and Anthropology, University of Iowa
7:30 P.M., Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

The Gangivecchio Archeological Project (GAP) began in 2000 and is continuing. Gangivecchio is a site in east central Sicily, not far from Enna. It is a 14th century Benedictine Abbey with four major natural springs sitting on a Roman site. Preliminary investigations confirmed that the Roman site dated from the high empire, 1st to 5th centuries A.D., but also suggested that the site had an 8th to 7th century B.C. Greek colonial component and local tradition also holds to a 1200 B.C. colonization from Mycenaean Crete. Gangivecchio could be the fabled city of Engion, mentioned by Diodorus Siculus. More likely, it was a cult center, with a bustling economy tied into the Roman world-system. All these fascinating trends will be explored in this program.

 Wednesday, April 2, 2003

"Etruscan Forgeries"

Dr. Richard De Puma of University of Iowa, the Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship.
7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room, Stockdale Center,  Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

Forgeries of Etruscan art have been made from at least as early as the 15th century. The period between about 1850 and 1950 saw a remarkable number of Etruscan forgeries being produced…and accepted as authentic. This lecture explores the possible reasons why forgers have been especially attracted to Etruscan art by examining a few of the best known examples. The main focus of the lecture, however, is on a pair of unpublished terracottas collected by a major American museum in 1912 and long believed to be Etruscan works from the Hellenistic period. The audience is introduced to these sculptures in a completely objective manner that places them in the broader context of Etruscan funerary sculpture. This portion of the talk illustrates well the methods by which archaeologists and art historians approach works deprived of their archaeological context. Later, after examining a series of closely related sculptures in several European museums, the audience is asked to “vote” informally on whether one, both, or neither of the sculptures-and, by implication, those in Europe too-is/are authentic. Finally, the results of recent thermoluminescence tests provide the answer.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

"Angkor Wat: Past, Present and Future"

Roger Osburn, MC’82, Independent Scholar, Ventura, California
7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

An overview of the history and culture of the ancient Khmer is accompanied by an examination of the layout and architecture of the temples themselves, with maps and diagrams showing where the temple-cities were in relation to each other and during what historical epochs. The different artistic styles (Bayon, Angkor, Banteay Srei) will be distinguished and ways to recognize them in architecture and sculpture will be explained. The lecture will include a brief discussion of the occupation of the temples by the Khymer Rouge, and their subsequent rehabilitation under various archaeological concerns. Some reference will also be made to features of daily life at Angkor during the approximately 500 years it held political sway over most of soustheast Asia.

This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at