2017-2018 Public Lecture Program

for the


the local chapter of the


  All lectures are illustrated, non-technical, free and open to the public.

All lectures are co-sponsored by the TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART as part of the “It’s Friday” series

[last updated 16 January 2018]


Unless otherwise indicated, lectures will be given in the Little Theater at the Toledo Museum of Art [2445 Monroe St. in Toledo] . Directions: from I-75, take exit 202B at Collingwood Blvd (if southbound) or exit 203A at Bancroft St (if northbound). Follow the signs to Monroe St. and the Toledo Museum of Art. Park behind the Museum in the Visitors' Lot. Parking is free to museum members but costs $7 for everyone else.   


1.     7:00 pm, September 8 (Friday), 2017

Speaker: Alan Shapiro, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Classics at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)


     * * * National AIA Lecturer * * *


Lecture: The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century BC


Synopsis: An anonymous Athenian vase-painter, now known as the ‘Berlin Painter’, was active in the first quarter of the fifth century B.C. His surviving works number over three hundred complete and fragmentary vases in public and private collections around the world. The Berlin Painter specialized in decorating vessels other than cups, such as amphoras, kraters, hydrias, stamnoi, and lekythoi. He painted a full range of subjects, sacred and profane, with a particular devotion to the gods and goddesses of Olympus. The speaker discusses and beautifully illustrates the works of the Berlin Painter, many examples of which are on display in the TMA’s Canaday Gallery until October 1, 2017.



2.    7:00 pm, October 12 (Thursday), 2017

Speaker: Christine Kondoleon, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA)


    * * * 21st Annual Kurt T. Luckner Memorial Lecture * * *


Lecture: Rare Survivors of Roman Mosaic Art: Portable Panels


Synopsis: This lecture will introduce the audience to the very fine art of micro mosaic as practiced in the Roman period. We will consider the loans of two panels from the Detroit Institute of Arts and from a private New York collection, as well as the acquisition of such a mosaic by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as our entry point into this subject. These were made by the ancient Romans as portable panels and differ greatly from the technique and uses of the more pervasive floor mosaics. Because micro mosaic panels rarely survive, their uses and themes are far less studied and understood.



3.     7:00 pm, November 10 (Friday), 2017

Speaker: Alexis Castor, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics at Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA)


    * * * National AIA Lecturer * * *


Lecture: More than Glitter: Jewelry in Ancient Greece and Etruria


Synopsis: Gold necklaces, earrings and other jewelry made by ancient goldsmiths still attract attention today. Their expert manufacture, intricate detail, and lavish use of precious metal evoke images of glittering women and men, enriching our understanding of Greek and Etruscan costume. But what do we know about how and when men, women, and even children, used jewelry? I will discuss how people of all ages wore personal ornaments as protective amulets against harm, to show badges of office, to enchant, and to display wealth. Jewelry also served as wearable wealth that could be melted down in times of crisis. We explore ways that jewelry functioned as bridal gifts, heirlooms, and even played a role in espionage. Beyond the shimmer of metal, we will see that these ornaments served as a beautiful, practical form of personal wealth.


4.     7:00 pm, December 8 (Friday), 2017

Speaker: Kenton Williams, Ph.D. candidate and Affiliated Researcher in Biblical Archaeology at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL)

Lecture: A City and a Mother in Israel (2 Sam. 20:19): Excavations at Ancient Tel Abel Beth Maacah

SynopsisTel Abel Beth Maacah is a prominent site which was located strategically in the far north of Israel, at important crossroads leading north to the Lebanese Beqʿa, Syria and Mesopotamia, west to the Phoenician coast, and east to Damascus.  In addition to being mentioned in Bronze Age extrabiblical texts such as the Execration Texts and Amarna letters, the city shows up prominently in the biblical narrative surrounding the revolt of Sheba ben Bichri against David in 2 Sam 20:14-22.  It is within this context that the Abel Beth Maacah is described as “a city and a mother in Israel.”  Excavations have been conducted at Tel Abel Beth Maacah under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Azusa Pacific University each year since the 2012 survey season.  This lecture summarizes the major discoveries of the 2013-2017 excavation seasons, as well as explores the nature of the Iron Age cultic activity present at the site.

5.     7:00 pm, January 26 (Friday), 2018

Speaker: Maggie Popkin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

          * * * 5th Annual Dorothy M. Price Memorial Lecture * * *

Lecture: Spectacular Souvenirs: Sports Memorabilia in the Roman Empire


Synopsis: When we think of the Roman Empire, gladiators and charioteers come immediately to mind. This talk examines a fascinating but often overlooked category of objects related to these quintessential Roman spectacles: namely, sports memorabilia, including drinking vessels, lamps, and figurines. At a time when literacy was limited and visual communication was essential, these objects generated knowledge of chariot racing and gladiatorial combat across many Roman provinces, constructed the celebrity of individual charioteers and gladiators, fueled enthusiasm about these sports, and served as complex agents of Roman culture in provinces with diverse populations.

6.     7:00 pm, February 9 (Friday), 2018 

Speaker: Sayed Amjad Hussain, M.D., Professor Emeritus in the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences and Toledo Blade op-ed columnist (Toledo, OH)

Lecture: Peshawar Circa 1st Century CE: an Ancient Pipla Tree, Sacred Relics of Gautama Budda and a Magnificent Stupa
Peshawar is the oldest living city in Asia. Its roots reach back in time to many centuries Before the Common Era (BCE). As such it received and nurtured diverse cultures and religions. It was an important city on the caravan routs that ran east-west between Indian plains and Central Asia. It was also connected through a southern extension to the main Silk Road that connected China with Europe. The city played an important role in nurturing and refining the statuary art that melded the art of India with that of the west. Many exquisite examples of the Gandahara fusion art are exibited in Peshawar Museum. Chinese pilgrims who came to Peshawar between the 4th and the 7th centuries CE left detailed accounts of the city and its environs. From that misty and obscure and otherwise opaque past, we can, through those writings, visualize and recreate a city that was vibrant, progressive and known through out India and China as the most important center of Buddhist learning. King Kanishka build a magnificent Buddhist stupa just outside the present day Gunj Gate of Peshawar City. Its reported height was between 400 and 500 feet and within the Stupa, according to the Chinese accounts, were buried the remains of Gautama Buddha. This lecture attempts to reconstruct the image of Peshawar, as it existed during Kanishka’s realm in the 1st century CE.

7.     7:00 pm, March 9, 2018

Speaker: Gregory Marouard, Ph.D., Research Associate in Egyptian Archaeology at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Lecture: The Ancient Egyptian Harbor at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea and its Link to the Khufu Pyramid at Giza

Synopsis: Since 2011, a joint team of the Paris-Sorbonne University and the French Institute in Cairo (IFAO), supported by the CNRS and the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has been excavating an exceptional harbor complex from the early Old Kingdom at Wadi al-Jarf along the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. Considered now as the oldest harbor in the world, it was used for a short time as a departure point to the Sinai Peninsula for Royal expeditions on the way to the regions of Serabit al-Khadim and Wadi Maghara, the principal mining areas for copper and turquoise during the Pharaonic times. According to the pottery and epigraphy, this massive installation dates back to the very beginning of the Fourth Dynasty. In 2013 the site has received a special reputation after the discovery of several hundreds of fragments of narrative and administrative papyri, the oldest inscribed papyri ever discovered in Egypt so far. Some clearly name King Khufu and give important details and describe activities in close relation to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. This lecture will first focus on the latest archaeological discoveries at the Wadi al-Jarf and then provide a new overview on some of the papyri, which underline a complex organization and well-structured logistics for the royal projects and expeditions 4600 years ago.

8.     7:00 pm, April 19, 2018

Speaker: Salima Ikram, Ph.D., Professor of Egyptology at the American University (Cairo, Egypt)


          * * * a lecture in the Toledo Museum of Art's Masters Series * * *


Lecture: May They Live Forever: Ancient Egyptian Mummies [the lecture will be given in the TMA's Peristyle Theater]


Synopsis: Ancient Egyptian mummies have gripped the popular imagination from early times. Mummies have been regarded as immortals, a source of medicine, terrifying monsters, and objects of curiosity. Now they are regarded as an invaluable source of information of funerary beliefs, technology, ancient diet, and the health of the ancient Egyptians. This lecture explores the history of mummies from their inception, into their most recent incarnations in Egypt.  The evolving details of mummification over time will be explained, with attention paid to methods of wrapping and the jewellery and amulets included within the wrappings. The talk will also summarize the ways in which scholars now use their analysis of mummies in order to elucidate the history, economy, culture, and religion of ancient Egypt.  



9.     7:00 pm, May 11, 2018

Speaker: Jennie Ebeling, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Evansville (Evansville, IN)


Lecture: “Excavating an Ancient Winery at Jezreel in Israel”


Synopsis: Strategically located in the fertile Jezreel Valley in Israel's Galilee, the site of Jezreel has been occupied almost continuously from the late Neolithic period (ca. 6000 BCE) to the present. Recent surveys and excavations at the site sponsored by the University of Evansville, IN, and the University of Haifa, Israel, have revealed numerous agricultural installations cut into the limestone bedrock in the vicinity of Jezreel, including a large, well-preserved winery complex in use from the Iron Age to the early Roman period (ca. 9th century BCE-1st century CE). This presentation will describe ancient wine-making technology and wine's economic and cultural significance in the region and consider the possibility that the Jezreel winery inspired the story of Naboth's vineyard in 1 Kings 21.




 For more information on the Toledo Society's lecture program contact:

James A. Harrell, Lecture Program Coordinator for the AIA-Toledo Society 
(phone: 419-530-2193; e-mail: james.harrell@utoledo.edu)