Events and Calendars

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

September 20, 2012

7:30 P.M.
The Kelp Highway Hypothesis: Maritime Adaptations, Coastal Migrations, and the Peopling of the Americas, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
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Dr. Jon Erlandson
University of Oregon
Director, Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Anthropology Department

In this illustrated lecture, UO Professor Jon Erlandson will explore the role of maritime adaptations and coastal migrations in human evolution and the spread of anatomically modern humans around the world. He will discuss the Kelp Highway Hypothesis, which proposes that North Pacific kelp forests facilitated a coastal migration of Upper Paleolithic peoples from Northeast Asia to the Americas roughly 15,000 years ago. Included in his presentation will be the latest findings from his research on California's Channel Islands.

Jon M. Erlandson is an archaeologist, professor of anthropology, Knight Professor of Arts and Sciences, and executive director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. With over 30 years of experience working along the Pacific Coast of North America, Erlandson has written or edited 17 books and published over 200 articles in scientific journals. His research interests revolve around the deep history of maritime peoples and technologies, human evolution, the peopling of the Americas, and human impacts on ancient fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Sponsored by Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).

Kelp Forest

South Pacific Kelp Forest

September 26, 2012

7:30 P.M.
The Armenians of Istanbul: Church, Society, and Culture, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)



Dr. Ron T. Marchese
University of Minnesota - Duluth
Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology

Dr. Ronald T. Marchese has conducted archaeological, historical, and ethnographic investigations in a number of locations in Greece and the Middle East over the past thirty years. He has received over seventy-five national and university grants, including two Fulbright-Hays Senior Research awards, in order to conduct research in the eastern Mediterranean. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles in various disciplines. Over the course of the past twelve years, Marchese has been involved in the study of Armenian material culture, especially Armenian religious material culture at the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul and All Turkey.

In this lecture, Marchese will consider how the history of a people can be documented by the physical objects they produce and use in daily life and ritual. Things are important, if not essential, items of human material culture. As such, they embody social values, define moral and ethical principles as well as illustrate artistic achievement. An examination of the artisanship employed in the manufacture of things is also important in understanding the material culture of a people. The collection of objects in the Armenian Orthodox churches of Istanbul supports both views - the interconnection between material culture and artisanship on the one hand, and communal belief on the other. Featuring high levels of artistic and technical sophistication, objects of faith were commissioned by church members as personal and communal expressions glorifying God.

The objects studied by Marchese - those that make up a corpus of perviously unstudied and unknown artifacts - are a physical reminder and tribute to a people who tenaciously maintained a national identity through the objects they produced, donated, and used in the celebration of their faith. They defined a unique style of religious art, the "Constantinople Style", that reflected the opulence and grandeur of a city many Armenians came to love as their own. Through their labor, the city and the Church prospered and, in time, the community became one of the most important ethnic groups in Istanbul.

Co-sponsored by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Hogue-Sponenburgh Lecture Fund of the Department of Art History, the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology at Willamette University and the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.


Around 304 CE, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity.

As a result, Armenian Orthodox religious art goes back to late-antique models.

October 4, 2012

7:30 P.M.
The Deep Prehistory of Indian Gaming: The Perspective from Mesoamerica, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
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Dr. Barbara Voorhies
Research Professor and Professor Emerita
University of California at Santa Barbara

Although it was not until the early 1980s that high stakes Indian Gaming was permitted in the United States, at the time of the arrival of Europeans in North America high stakes gambling was widespread among indigenous peoples. This is particularly well documented in Mesoamerica where 16th century historians describe a variety of games of chance (e.g., dice games) and games of skill (e.g., rubber ball game, bowling, checkers). At least some of these games involved heavy gambling on the part of both players and onlookers. Archaeologists have been able to trace the origins of some of these games back into deep prehistory. In this presentation Dr. Voorhies will present an overview of Mesoamerican games and her recent discovery of a probable scoreboard for a dice game dating back to approximately 2400 B.C.

Doris Z. Stone New World Archaeology Lecture: Co-Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), and Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).


16th Century Mesoamerican Dice Game

October 16, 2012

7:30 P.M.
The 11th Century Decline of the Byzantine Empire Seen Through Contemporary Eyes, Willamette University, Hatfield Library, Hatfield Room

Onassis Scholar

Dr. Dimitris Tsougarakis
Ionian University - Greece
Professor of Byzantine History
Department of History

A number of modern scholars maintain that the decline of the 11th century was not brought about by practices adopted by emperors who came to the throne after the death of Basil II, but was the result of a process that had started much earlier, and at any rate it was something that Byzantium could not avoid. In this lecture Dr. Tsougarakis will examine the testimony of almost all of the contemporary historians who narrate the historical events frequently as eyewitnesses; he will consider the validity of their testimony and take a critical view of their opinions; and he will come to the conclusion that the older view, the one which considered that the 11th century decline was caused by the neglect and hostile attitude towards the army by the central government in Constantinople, is the most convincing as the main - but not the sole - cause. Some comparisons with modern situations will not be avoided.

Sponsored by the Onassis Foundation, co-sponsored by Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology.



October 20, 2012

10:30 a.m.
National Archaeology Day Celebration, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)

National Archaeology Day logo

National Archaeology Day is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the Archaeological Institute of America and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on National Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones.

Come help us celebrate National Archaeology Day! This will be a day of fun and education for all!

This event is FREE and open to the public!

10:30 a.m. Screening of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

*Raffle to take place after movie.

1:00 p.m. Skype conversation with French archaeologist Dr. Jean-Olivier Gransard-Desmond (President of the archaeological outreach organization, ArkéoTopia) about archaeology in daily life in France and the United States.


2:00 p.m. More informal discussion on a variety of topics regarding archaeology; dispelling myths, laws in the United States, educational and public involvement opportunities, etc.

3:00 p.m. Raffle and continuation of informal discussion.

Free snacks and beverages! Children's activities!

Co-sponsored by the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology.

October 25, 2012

7:30 P.M.
The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Greek and Roman Artworks Travel to Oregon!, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)

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Dr. Ann M. Nicgorski
Willamette University
Chair & Professor of Art History and Archaeology
Faculty Curator, Hallie Ford Museum of Art

This fall, the Portland Art Museum is hosting a blockbuster exhibition of Greek and Roman art entitled The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece (October 6, 2012 to January 6, 2013). There are over 100 exquisite objects in this exhibit, which are all on loan from the renowned British Museum in London. This lecture provides an overview of the exhibition with a focus on its key themes and selected, noteworthy objects, such as the iconic Discobolus, or discus-thrower, from the 5th century BCE, which will be making its first trip to the United States. In addition to several other large-scale works of stone sculpture, the exhibit also features smaller figurines in a variety of media, as well as numerous vases with figural decoration. Key themes include the human body and face; character, portrait and realism; gods and goddesses in human form; athletes and Herakles-superman; birth, marriage, sex, and death; and composite human-animal creatures of mythological legend, such as the famous Theban sphinx.

Sponsored by Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).

Roman Discus Thrower
Marble Statue of a Discus Thrower (diskobolos)
Roman period, 2nd century AD after a lost Greek original of about 450–440 BC, from the villa of the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy
London, British Museum GR 1805,0703.43 (Sculpture 250)

November 8, 2012

7:30 P.M.
Archaeology and the Death and Burial of Jesus, Willamette University, Rogers Music Center, Hudson Concert Hall (RMC 145)

CASA icon
Dr. Jodi Magness
Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In this slide-illustrated lecture, we survey Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, and consider the archaeological and literary evidence for the burials of Jesus and his brother James. The lecture includes a discussion of the claims surrounding the so-called "James ossuary" and the "Talpiyot tomb" (recently said to be the tomb of Jesus and his family).

The Lane C. McGaughy Lecture in Ancient Studies
Sponsored by Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).

Dr. Magness

Dr. Magness at a 2011 dig in Galilee

February 7, 2013

7:30 P.M.
Living Low on the High Seas of the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
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Dr. Nicolle Elise Hirschfeld
Associate Professor
Department of Classical Studies
Trinity University

In the summer of 2010, fifty years after the excavation that pioneered underwater archaeology as a scientific discipline, the lecturer co-directed, with George Bass and a Turkish colleague, Harun Özdaş, a return to Gelidonya. The starting point for this lecture is a report on that season and what more we have learned about the shipwreck since the publication of the original excavation. The ship that sank at Gelidonya belonged to a tinker plying his trade, probably on a local circuit. Less than a day’s sail north, another shipwreck illustrates the opposite end of the spectrum of Bronze Age overseas ventures. The ship that sank at Uluburun, a century before Gelidonya and in the heyday of the Late Bronze Age, carried treasures and wealth also documented in the archives of the kings of Ugarit and of the pharaoh Akhenaton at Amarna. The second part of this lecture, however, focuses on one of the humbler cargoes laden on board, the mass-produced Cypriot ceramic vessels.

Kershaw Lecture in Near East Archaeology: Co-Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), and Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).


March 7, 2013

7:30 P.M.
Human Paleoecology and a Late Bronze Age Workshop of Aromata, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
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Dr. Andrew J. Koh
Assistant Professor
Department of Classical Studies
Brandeis University
CMRAE Faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research over the past ten years has brought to the light what is arguably the most definitive evidence for a “perfumed oil workshop” in the Aegean Bronze Age. Through the seamless process of incorporating a comprehensive program for organic residue analysis with more traditional methods of archaeological research, the ARCHEM project has identified key ingredients used to manufacture aromata during the Late Minoan I period at a harbor town in East Crete. Among these ingredients is evidence for linden flowers. As a temperate tree, linden holds the key to understanding how at least one workshop exploited its rural landscape to supply itself with raw materials. Though one must go to central Greece to find linden in its natural environment today, pollen cores in Crete testify to the tree’s existence on the island as late as LM I, at which point evidence for linden gradually disappears suggesting an increasingly drier climate. Even in wetter periods, linden would have needed a particularly inviting ecosystem to thrive in the East Cretan landscape. Near the workshop, only one small area fits this description – well-watered Mouliana. Having pinpointed the likely source and final destination of a Minoan commodity, we now have a unique window through which to reconstruct the interactions between a Minoan town and its ecological landscape.

Frederick R. and Margaret B. Matson Lecture in Near Eastern Archaeology and World Archaeological Technology: Co-Sponsored by the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).


Professor Koh with a Bronze Age vessel at Mochlos, Crete

April 4, 2013

7:30 P.M.
The Rebuilt Citadel of Midas at Gordion, Willamette University, College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
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Dr. Brendan Burke
University of Victoria
Associate Professor
Department of Greek and Roman Studies

The Phrygian capital of Gordion in central Turkey and the quasi-historical ruler of the Phrygians, King Midas, have fascinated people since the time of Herodotus. People are often surprised to learn that there was a true historical ruler named Midas, whose reign dates to around 700 BC. Midas was preserved and transformed in later legend, primarily through Greek sources - and figured prominently in literature and art. Although the Kingdom of Midas was on the periphery of the Greek world, Midas became a stand-in for something classical Greeks seem to have both feared and been fascinated by: the wealthy eastern king, and so they created famous legends about King Midas. Archaeology helps to separate the myth of Midas from the history. In this talk fieldwork on the citadel from 2000 to 2006 is presented, which helps clarify our understanding of Midas' great capital.

Sponsored by the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).

April 20, 2013

8th Annual Oregon Undergraduate Conference in Classics, Willamette University, Ford Hall

The Classical Studies Program at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, is hosting a one-day undergraduate conference. We envision this conference as an opportunity for talented undergraduates to present their work, for example a BA thesis or outstanding seminar paper, in a 20-minute talk to an audience of undergraduates and their faculty mentors. Papers are welcome in any area of classical studies, including language and literature, history, philosophy, and material culture.

A catered buffet breakfast and lunch will be provided to all participants, and audio-visual facilities will be available.

Interested students should submit an abstract electronically to by March 21, 2013, that provides the following information: name, email address, name and email of the supporting faculty member, any audio-visual needs (PowerPoint, video, slide projector), title of the talk, and 300-word description of the talk.

Further information will be posted on the website of the Willamette University Classical Studies Program (, or you may contact the conference organizer, Prof. Mary R. Bachvarova (