Speaker Highlights
January 4, 2013

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Premiering at the 2013 Annual Meeting is Mozart's Idomeneo as produced by the Opera San Jose and the Packard Humanities Institute. This beautifully staged production includes sets inspired by Minoan archaeological sites on Crete as the perfect complement to Mozart's timeless music. We know how busy you are at the conference, so daily multiple showings at the AMC theater located just half a block from the Convention Center (at 600 Pine Street #1400) are the perfect way to see all three acts: see Act I on Friday evening and come back for the remainder of the show on Saturday or Sunday. This event is free to all attendees and art enthusiasts.

We thank David Packard, winner of the 2013 AIA Outstanding Public Service Award, for offering this event. The AIA Awards Ceremony recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to archaeology and to the Institute through their books, their teaching, their discoveries, and their ideas.

The 2013 Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception will be held tonight at 6:00 pm in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom A (2nd Floor). Come celebrate the achievements of some of the most distinguished and accomplished archaeologists in the field.

In addition, when you join us for hors d’oeuvres and libations during the reception, award winners Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Elise Friedland, and Kathleen Lynch will be on-site offering book signings of their latest publications.


December 20, 2012

Join us at the Annual Meeting!

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The 2013 Annual Meeting is just two shorts weeks away! The discounted group rate at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel has already sold out. However, we are thrilled to announce that our other Official AM hotel, the Grand Hyatt, has extended the booking window to December 24 to allow attendees the opportunity to stay at one of the conference hotels at the discounted group rate of $139/night. Please note there are only a few hundred rooms left at this rate; we advise booking as soon as possible.

Just looking at the 2013 Annual Meeting schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed; with more than 300 events and 70 sessions fit into the three days, the Program can be hard to navigate. To help, the AIA online scheduling tool will be available this Saturday on the Annual Meeting website so you can see all of the events offered in one location and create a custom schedule to print or save for use on your iPhone or tablet.  In the meantime, here are some recommendations of events that just shouldn’t be missed:

Start with the AIA Public Lecture by Dr. Jodi Magness and the AIA and APA Joint Opening Night Reception on Thursday evening for a chance to meet up with old friends and network with more than 800 attendees. Be sure to take a jaunt around the conference hotel and convention center while you’re there to familiarize yourself with the space before the start of morning sessions.

Committee and Interest Group Meetings are something that you always see on the schedule—maybe this is the year to contact one of our chairs and join in the discussions. For those of you publishing your research and findings or including your photography or sketches in presentations and publications, join us for the AIA “Over Lunch” Discussion series to take advantage of some pro-bono advice from New York intellectual property attorney and professor Paul Connuck on “Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rights: An Archaeologist's Primer;” lunch will be provided and seating is limited to the first 120 participants. Specific questions for Mr. Connuck can be emailed ahead of time (acauldwell@aia.bu.edu) and will be answered as time permits. For our Student Members, be sure to attend the dedicated Undergraduate Paper Session  and the Job Search Workshop. Are you thinking about or already partaking in life post-graduation? Come network with your peers at the AIA’s inaugural  Beginning Career Professionals Cocktail Networking Hour, immediately following the Opening Night Reception in the Onyx Suite at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. This event is open to graduate, doctorate, and post-doctorate students.

Want an opportunity to get out of the Convention Center while still enjoying conference events? Head over to the Seattle Art Museum for Session 3G: "Porous Borders": Presenting Ancient Art in the Encyclopedic Museum” for a hands-on workshop Friday afternoon. Transportation to and from the museum will be provided. The 13th Annual Archaeology Fair will be held off-site Saturday at the Burke Museum. This family-friendly event welcomes presenters from museums, national parks and reenactment groups, and offers the chance to see the AIA Outreach and Education department in action.

Here are a few things for everyone: The AIA Presidential Plenary Session by Dr. Elizabeth Bartman entitled “The Ancient City” is the second in a series of presidential plenaries that in successive years will investigate major archaeological themes and brings together scholars whose research spans the globe.  The AIA Evening Lightning Session is the first of its kind and encourages audience participation: a fast-paced, informal session of five-minute presentations about current research, case studies, and methodological problems. Delicious hors d’oeuvres and cash bar are included at the event. At “Integrating Conservation and Archaeology: Exploration of Best Practices Workshop” by the AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee, a panel of seven esteemed archaeologists and conservators will discuss how conservation measures can be effectively integrated with archaeological research at both terrestrial and maritime sites.  

Jeremy B. Rutter, winner of the 2013 Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, will attend a symposium held in his honor. The colloquium “Minding the Gap: A Problem in Eastern Mediterranean Chronology, Then and Now” will address Rutter’s own establishing works and more recent applications and interpretations. Another award winner will be honored with a colloquium highlighting the major archaeological projects supported by the Packard Humanities Institute, a Tribute to David W. Packard Jr., winner of the Outstanding Public Service Award.  Last, but certainly not least, join us as the AIA leadership pays tribute to those individuals who have made significant contributions to archaeology and to the Institute at the AIA Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception. 

Follow the Archaeological Institute of America on Facebook for the latest on presentations and special events. Join the conversation on Twitter @archaeology_aia and tell us what events caught your eye, if you are presenting highlight your session, or tell people why your talk should not be missed! This year’s official Annual Meeting hashtag is #AIA2013.

We look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Image: The photo used througout the Annual Meeting site is by Jens Haas. It pictures the Classical Studies Graduate Program at Columbia University's APAHA excavation at Stabiae, Italy.


November 9, 2012

The history of Egypt extends far beyond the ancient Pharaohs and their pyramids and tombs: cities like Alexandria and Luxor have seen the rise and fall of many empires. New cultures, languages, and religions arrive, thrive, and then disappear. In a place that has endured such change, it is difficult to imagine that anything can remain constant. But as new evidence may prove, the ancient world is not as far in the past as you might think.

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Archaeologists Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis, Mohamed Kenawi, and their colleagues on the Upper Egypt Mosque Project examined several major temples where churches and mosques were built around and sometimes inside their enclosures. One of the most interesting examples is at the Mosque of Abu al-Hajjaj in modern-day Luxor, which was built over the remains of a Coptic church. Excavations in the early 19th century revealed that underneath these foundations stood the Temple of Luxor, once a pre-eminent temple of Ancient Egypt. The site has been the home of a religious building continuously since Pharaonic times, and observations of modern Islamic traditions in the area suggest that more than just architecture was transmitted through the centuries. In Pharaonic Egypt, figures of the gods were carried in barques between the temples at Luxor and Karnak during the yearly Opet festival. Boats are still carried through the streets today, during the mulid celebration in honor of Abu al-Hajjaj.

Fun fact: In ancient Egypt, barques (a type of boat with three masts, commonly featured in Egyptian artwork) were important religious artifacts, the chosen vehicle of the gods. It’s not surprising that they featured so prominently in Egyptian culture, since the Nile was the center and source of all life.

 Session 2G: Recent Work in Egypt, will deliver the preliminary results of this project, which suggest a complex pattern of reusing sacred spaces and repurposing religious rituals and practices. The Panel will be held on Friday, January 4, 12:30-2:30 p.m. To hear more about Professor Macaulay-Lewis’s work, listen to her recent podcasts, where she speaks more about Two Royal Figures in the Saljuk Period and Ilkhanid Mihrab. Dr. Kenawi is the co-director of the Kom al-Ahmer/Kom Wasit Archaeological Project. To learn more about this archaeological excavation in Egypt, visit the excavation's website

November 9, 2012

This year’s Presidential Plenary Session will feature a panel of archaeologists tackling the complex issues in defining, understanding, and interpreting evidence while studying ancient urban centers. The talk will draw on research that spans across the globe, from Southeast Asia to North America, and will explore a multitude of cultural, economic, and social aspects of urban development.

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AIA President Elizabeth Bartman gives us an exclusive preview of the upcoming Presidential Plenary Session at this year’s Annual Meeting.

               “I am very excited to preside over this panel on the ancient city.

This is the second of the three presidential panels that I will be organizing during my 3-year term, all devoted to major themes of archaeological research.  What's especially provocative is that the panel will feature a mix of Old and New World archaeologists, including several who work in Southeast Asia and North America, areas rarely covered in our Annual Meeting.  Miriam Stark of the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa leads off the session by posing fundamental questions about how we define cities and the nature of the evidence we use to understand them--early cities in Cambodia serve as the laboratory for her investigations.  Nicola Terrenato  of Michigan seeks to explain the rise of Rome by discerning patterns in the social, economic, and architectural activity in central Latium over centuries.  James Kus of Fresno looks at the relationship between city and hinterland in pre-Inca Peru.  Timothy Pauketat of Illinois links Cahokia's development to religious change; religion and ceremony also motivate urban development in Minoan Crete, the subject of Jan Driessen of Louvain's paper.

Touching upon architecture; communication and transport networks; the relationship between city and hinterland; the role of aristocratic elite and other social groups; ritual and ceremony, these papers cover a range of complex issues that lie at the core of our concepts of urbanism.”

Session 6B, entitled AIA President Elizabeth Bartman’s Plenary Session: The Ancient City, will be held on Saturday, January 5th, at 2:45 pm.

Join President Elizabeth Bartman and culinary expert Maureen Fant on the upcoming AIA Tour, "Taste of Ancient Rome". This custom-designed tour will explore the fabulous sites and flavors of Rome in style. 

November 2, 2012

Archaeologist William A. Parkinson to present new finds from extensive ritual site in Southern Greece at the upcoming Annual Meeting.

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Ongoing excavations at Alepotrypa Cave by William A. Parkinson and Michael L. Galaty, co-directors of the Diros Project, alongside their Greek colleauges, have revealed an extensive Neolithic ritual site and surrounding settlement. Over 160 burials have been uncovered inside the cave, surrounded by remnants of painted funeral vases and covered in thick layers of ash, the result of blazing fires lit within the cave’s massive chamber. The cave’s entrance collapsed nearly 5,000 years ago, effectively sealing the burials – and the cave’s living occupants – inside. Dr. Parkinson and his colleagues will be presenting their most current research from the Diros Project at the AIA’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 5th, in section 6D, Mani: The Diros Project and Alepotrypa Cave.

To read more on Alepotrypa Cave, check out WBEZ’s article here.

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