The Small, Virtual, and Big
This lectureship considers ways archaeologists evaluate material remains and their geologic contexts, virtual three-dimensional modeling of Old and New World settlements and landscapes, and early social complexity in east Europe . We begin on February 1 with Paul Goldberg’s discussion of earth science and archaeology. Goldberg, a pioneer in the analysis of—well—dirt, brings to the forefront the sedimentation of caves and other landscapes used by ourselves and our ancestors, plus implications about the quality of archaeological evidence for human adaptation. In March, Jeffrey T. Clark and Donald H. Sanders address computerized models that simulate ancient landscapes and communities. This relatively new field of archaeological virtual reality clarifies land use and how single houses and towns once looked; Clark surveys American virtual realities, Sanders the Middle East . Adam T. Smith concludes this year’s talks in early April with his research of the Bronze Age in the Republic of Armenia.
February 1 , 2007
Paul Goldberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Boston University
Where Geology Meets Archaeology
Paul Goldberg’s career bridges between archaeology and geology. He is a celebrated geoarchaeologist, the co-editor of the international journal, Geoarchaeology, and one who specializes in stratigraphy, micromorphology, and site formation processes. These lines of inquiry show how the material remains of past society preserve and if their location is the original. Since receiving his doctorate in geology from University of Michigan in 1973, Paul Goldberg taught at Hebrew University , Jerusalem , the University of British Columbia , Harvard University , and the University of Texas at Austin . Since 1992, he has been on the faculty of Boston University . Over the past decade he has been responsible for analyses—among others-- of sediments from the Zhoukoudian Cave, China; Pech de l’Azé IV Cave, Dordogne, France; the Middle Stone Age Blombos Cave, South Africa; Palaeolithic sites in Republic of Georgia; Almonda Caves and Galeria Pesada, Portugal; coastal midden sites from St. Elejo Lagoon, California; and of pits and tree throws from sites at Augustine Creek and Puncheon Run, Delaware. These and other ground-breaking analyses led to the award, in 2004, of the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Award; University of Tübingen , Germany . He serves on the editorial boards of two French Archaeology journals, Palaeo and Paléorient; and the Editorial Board of Eurasian Prehistory, published by Jagellonian University and the American School of Prehistoric Research, Harvard University. Goldberg is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation, L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, and the National Geographic Society. He is the senior author of Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford , and published in 2006.
March 8, 2007
Jeffrey T. Clark, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology , North Dakota State University
Virtual Worlds: Visualizing the Past through Advanced Technology
Giffels Auditorium, Old Main
Jeffrey T. Clark received hisdoctorate in 1987 from University of Illinois . He has held a variety of faculty and administrative positions at North Dakota State University since 1983, and presently directs its archaeology materials and technologies laboratories. These are among the foremost archaeology research laboratories in North America and deal with public education and archaeological simulations or modeling. Clark ’s archaeological interests are varied, focus on Oceania and North America , and are innovative. He is among the leaders of computerized, virtual environments for education and research of three-dimensional modeling. Clark and his colleagues are recipients of major National Science Institution grants to support the teaching of science through virtual environments. Among the three-dimensional applications are a computer simulation of Neanderthal thumb and index finger dexterity published by Nature; modeling of pots published in Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods; and most recently and spectacularly, the On-A-Slant Village in the forthcoming Proceedings, Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Clark is the co-author of Electric Worlds in the Classroom: Teaching and Learning with Role-Based Computer Games, published by Teachers College Press.
March 29, 2007
Donald H. Sanders, Ph.D.
President, the Institute for the Visualization of History, Inc., Williamstown, Massachusetts
How Virtual Archaeology Envisions the Ancient Near East
Giffels Auditorium, Old Main
Donald H. Sanders is trained and educated as an architect, architectural historian, and archaeologist. He has nine years experience in information management and thesaurus construction and 15 years of archaeological fieldwork experience in Greece , Turkey , and Saudi Arabia . His doctorate is from Columbia University , where he was a Lecturer in architectural history and archaeology. He has taught also at New York University , and Wayne State University . He is the founder of the Institute for the Visualization of History and of LEARNING SITES, Inc., the pioneer and world leader in virtual heritage. His special interest is the application of nontraditional methods (including advanced computer graphics, virtual reality, and behavioral science techniques) to the study and presentation of architecture of the past, pushing the boundaries of conventional archaeological interpretation with the goal of understanding the behavior of ancient peoples. Professional publications and conference papers have covered such topics as the historiography of the study of architecture by historians and archaeologists; alternative approaches (including those from semiotics, environment-behavior studies, ethnoarchaeology, and human geography) to the study of architecture in archaeological contexts; and the use of 3D computer modeling techniques for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information about ancient architecture for interactive research and education. His companies have pioneered the use of virtual reality technologies for interactive research, display, teaching, and publication of information about the past. He is the co-author of Virtual Reality in Archaeology; his other publications address this subject further along with architecture as a forgotten artifact .
April 5, 2007
Adam T. Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
Prometheus Unbound, or How Archaeology in the South Caucasus is Challenging What We Thought We Knew About Early Complex Societies
Giffels Auditorium, Old Main
Adam T. Smith is an archaeologist specializing in the Bronze and Iron Ages of the South Caucasus , Southwest Asia and central Eurasia . His interests are in complex societies, state formation, and politics; archaeological theory; space and landscape; representation and aesthetics. Adam Smith graduated from the University of Arizona , where he received his doctorate in 1996. He is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow; and he has received grants from National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and Wenner-Gren Foundation to support research in Armenia . His multiyear fieldwork programs address ancient Transcaucasian societies through the excavation of Late Bronze Age fortresses and systematic archaeological survey in Armenia . Before joining the faculty of University of Chicago in 2000, he taught at University of Arizona and University of Michigan . Broadly speaking, his research of landscapes employs geographic information systems and he is developing non-destructive, integrated techniques to analyze artifacts. A prolific and well respected writer, among his recent publications are The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities , published by University of California Press, and two co-edited volumes, Archaeology in the Borderlands: Investigations in Caucasia and Beyond, published by The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA; and Beyond the Steppe and the Sown: Proceedings of the 2002 University of Chicago Conference on Eurasian Archaeology , published by Leiden: Brill, Colloquia Pontica Series.
In addition to the Robert L. Stigler, Jr. Trust, the Environmental Dynamics Ph.D. program, and the friends and family of the late Professor Allen P. McCartney have supported this year’s lectures.