Fieldnotes: News Briefs

Brief news items on the AIA professional membership and newsworthy activities in the field, including links to recently published institutional press releases or articles in the media.
April 18, 2019
NEW YORK – March 14, 2019 – With new discoveries from the world of Roman chariot racing, ROME’S CHARIOT SUPERSTAR pieces together an epic view of the lost ancient sport – the most popular and longest-lived form of mass entertainment in the Roman world, yet also the most lethal. Smithsonian Channel’s new two-hour special offers a detailed account of the life of Flavius Scorpus, a real chariot star, and the racing contests he and other champions entered in the famed Circus Maximus arena. Drawing from expert knowledge, archeological evidence and written records, ROME’S CHARIOT SUPERSTAR rebuilds the world of chariot racing and its stars in graphic detail. The special premieres Sunday, April 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.    ROME’S CHARIOT SUPERSTAR focuses on the end of the first century AD, when the race-mad Roman emperor Domitian presided over one of the most popular and lucrative eras in sports history. Scorpus rose from a slave to become the charioteer all-star of his age, winning an astonishing 2,048 races and earning the modern equivalent of $15 billion in a decade. When he died, he was just 26 years old. Dramatic reconstruction brings to life the noise, the smell and the excitement of audiences turning up to see their favorite team – the gambling, the fanatical support and, above all, the adrenaline-fuelled nine minutes of each race from start to finish.   The first part, FROM SLAVE TO STAR, examines how Scorpus rose to become one of the greatest chariot racers of all time. He likely grew up on a stud farm or stables and chose in his mid-teens to try to make it as a charioteer – or die trying. Chariot racing at the time was dominated by four commercial “factions,” which like modern sports teams had scouts throughout the Empire looking for talent. By his late teens, Scorpus would have been testing his skills in the Roman equivalent of the minor leagues.  In the second hour, CIRCUS MAXIMUS, Scorpus takes his place on chariot racing’s greatest stage. The famed Roman arena held audiences topping 150,000 – more than three times the capacity of Yankee Stadium. As Sinclair Bell, AIA National Lecturer and Associate Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois University, puts it, “the circus games weren’t just athletic competitions, or political stagecraft or a religious ritual. They were all three wrapped into one spectacular package.” This half deconstructs not just how the races were won and lost, but how the spectacle was used by the unpopular Emperor to keep his subjects complacent. The two-part special uses rare evidence and experimental archaeology to reveal the world of chariot racing and bring the sport vividly back to life, traveling to the great sites of Carthage, Caesarea and all across the Roman Empire. Expert coachbuilder Robert Hurford uses a 2,000-year-old Roman bronze toy to build a replica chariot to be tested by race historian Mike Loades. Loades thunders around a circuit with four horses pulling a Roman chariot at maximum speed with ancient-style harnesses to rediscover the incredible skills required, the danger involved and the sheer spectacle created on the track.  ROME’S CHARIOT SUPERSTAR is produced by Lion Television Limited and Smithsonian Networks in association with ZDF, Arte and Channel 4. Executive producers for Lion Television are Bill Locke and Richard Bradley. Charles Poe and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, The Lost Tapes, Mighty Ships, Million Dollar American Princesses, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Coronation, The Mountain Lion and Me, Earth from Outer Space and Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus™, a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the Channel’s stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America and the UK. To learn more, go to, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 
Register of Professional Archaeologists
April 11, 2018
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 11, 2018                         Contact:  Caren Madsen                                                                                                 301-943-8240     Updated Code of Conduct Adopted by the Register of Professional Archaeologists New Code Takes Strong Stand Against Harassment in the Profession   WASHINGTON, DC – To respond to changing professional needs, a revised Code of Conduct released today by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) takes an explicit and direct position on the issue of workplace harassment.  The announcement was made at the meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, one of the Register’s sponsoring organizations. “ Harassment of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace, certainly not in our profession,” said Register President Christopher D. Dore, PhD.  “Although harassment has always been covered in our Code of Conduct, we believe the topic needs to be spelled out in clear terms.” The policy language was drafted by a task force set up by the Register in 2017 and took effect immediately when adopted by the Register’s Board of Directors on April 10, 2018.  Dore emphasized that the Register Code and Standards for Research Performance undergo frequent review and are updated periodically to reflect the changing needs of the discipline and professional practice of archaeology. Led by the Register’s Grievance Coordinator, the task force examined the organization’s former sexual harassment statement and conducted research on statements and policies of more than 60 regional, national, and international organizations. The task force was made up of members of the Register’s Standards Board and submitted their report to the Register’s Board of Directors at their January 2018 meeting.  “As a profession with a variety of audiences including archaeologists, students and consumers of our services, we have a responsibility to our colleagues, employees and students,” said Dore. “A discipline such as archaeology requires professional responsibility and competence and offering a safe work place on the part of each practitioner.”  The new Code of Conduct covers a variety of topics such as sexual harassment, professional ethics and responsibilities, plagiarism and protection of research and intellectual property.  The document is posted online at Established in 1998, the Register of Professional Archaeologists is a non-profit professional organization that serves as the international standards and credentialing body for archaeologists.  The Register provides a means of easy identification of Registered Professional Archaeologists.  At the end of 2017, there were 3,200 Registrants.  ###
US Congressional Record 115th Congress, 1st Session Issue: Vol. 163, No. 19
November 28, 2017
HONORING THE DISCOVERY OF HERNANDO DE SOTO'S 1539 ENCAMPMENT AND THE LOST NATIVE AMERICAN TOWN OF POTANO US Congressional Record honors the discovery of Hernando de Soto's 1539 Encampment and the lost Native American town of Potano, by the University of Florida professors, Dr. Fred A. White and Dr. Michele C. White, and University of Florida Anderson Scholar Ethan A. White. This newly discovered archaeological site is the oldest confirmed New World contact site in the United States.    In one of the most important events in U.S. history, de Soto was the first European to discover the Mississippi River and explore an area that today would hold 10 States. Until this incredible archaeological discovery, there was no physical evidence of de Soto's 4,000-mile journey. The collection of artifacts recovered near Orange Lake, Florida, includes very rare King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella coins, and a King Enrique IV of Castile coin that is the oldest dated European artifact ever unearthed in the United States.    Other rare items include Murano glass beads and Spanish weapons and armor dated from the early 1500s. The artifacts were excavated in the lost ancient Native American town of Potano. Also discovered in the town of Potano were the remains of the first location of the San Buenaventura Franciscan mission built there in the 1580s. Within the floors of the 16th century mission, the team discovered the largest cache of medieval coins found in the American mainland so far.    Acknowledgment for confirmation and identification of the artifacts goes to a large and diverse group of scholars throughout the country, Dr. Alan M. Stahl, Curator of Numismatics, Princeton University, Dr. Jerald T. Milanich, Curator Emeritus in Archaeology of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. Gifford Waters, Historical Archaeology Collections Manager of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. Kathleen Deagan, Distinguished Research Curator of Archaeology for the University of Florida, Dr. Michael Gannon, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History, University of Florida and Dr. Charles M. Hudson, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and History, University of Georgia.    The recent scientific findings were published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Archaeology and with the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee, Florida. The collection of artifacts is at the Florida Museum of Natural History.  
March 3, 2017
Duke University, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies - MA in Digital Art History
John Cabot University
December 1, 2016
John Cabot University is pleased to announce the inauguration of its new Master of Arts in Art History in Fall semester 2017. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the degree is the first US-accredited MA in the history of art based entirely in Rome. The program can be completed in approximately fifteen months of full-time study.  Designed to immerse students in the wealth of art, architecture, and art-historical documentation available in Rome and in Italy, the curriculum has a dual emphasis: the visual cultures of Rome and the Mediterranean across time; and the acquisition of technical skills for conducting art-historical research directly from the primary record. For further information about the faculty, curriculum, and application requirements, please see this page. The MA is now accepting applications for Fall semester 2017. Tuition fellowships, teaching assistantships, and other forms of financial assistance are available on a competitive basis to outstanding applicants who submit complete applications by March 1, 2017. John Cabot University also participates in the Title IV Federal Direct Loan Programs for US citizens and permanent residents.