National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Stephen D. Batiuk

Affiliation: University of Toronto

Dr. Stephen Batiuk is Senior Research Associate and Lecturer with the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, as well as Director of Excavations for the Tayinat Archaeological Project (Turkey) and the Project Manager for the Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE) Project.  He holds his degrees from the University of Toronto (Ph.D.) and the University of Ottawa, and his areas of specialization include Near Eastern archaeology (particularly the Bronze and Irons Ages of Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus), and the origins of viticulture and viniculture.


Wine is one of the most commonly enjoyed and alcoholic beverages in the modern world. But what is the antiquity and history of this otherworldly drink? When and how was it first developed? How did it spread from its point of origin? Dr. Stephen Batiuk will show how new archaeological field work and bio-molecular chemistry and genetics are helping unlock this story, pushing its origins back to the Neolithic period and to the region of Caucasia, modern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and how one of our earliest and best documented examples of an ancient migration probably led to the spread of wine and wine culture across the Ancient Near East, and then eventually across the rest of the Mediterranean World.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

McGovern, P.E., 2003. Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viticulture. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Batiuk, S.  2013 . The Fruits of Migration: Understanding the ‘Long Dureé’ and the socio-economic relations of the Early Transcaucasian Culture. in Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32 (2013) 449–477

McGovern et al. 2017. Early Neolithic Wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus. In PNAS 114/47

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