2016-2017 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 6 November 2016]


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 $5 for everyone else.   


1.     7:00 pm, October 7 (Friday), 2016

Speaker: Christine Hastorf, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

          * * * National AIA Lecturer * * *

Lecture: The Archaeology of Beer

Synopsis: Beer brewing and drinking are old traditions. Some archaeologists think that Near Eastern cereals were domesticated because of the desire to have the extra grain for beer, rather than the traditional idea of bread.  Even if this is not strictly true, we do have growing evidence of early beer brewing in the archaeological record from around the world. Some of these examples, from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Peru, will be presented to illustrate how ubiquitous such a tradition was.


2.     7:00 pm, November 4 (Friday), 2016

Speaker: Mark Kenoyer, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (Madison, WI)

Lecture: Carnelian Bead Production and Trade in the Indus Civilization and Adjacent Regions

This presentation will look at the development of early stone bead technology in South and West Asia, circa 7000-2000 BC. The main focus will be on the exploitation and trade of carnelian, a form of iron-rich chalcedony that was used for making beads, pendants and inlay. Bead production technology will be compared between the Indus Valley and adjacent regions such as Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt. While some beads were made using the same technology in all regions, others were produced with distinctive technologies and also using special types of local carnelian. Trade networks can be reconstructed by studying the movement of finished beads made with distinctive technologies and in diagnostic shapes. In addition carnelian can be sourced using various scientific techniques and it is possible to trace the movement of carnelian beads and raw materials from one region to another. This new research provides early evidence for long-distance exchange in technological knowledge and raw materials. 


3.     7:00 pm, December 9 (Friday), 2016

Speaker: Sean Leatherbury, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History at Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH)


            * * * 4th Annual Dorothy M. Price Lecture * * *


Lecture: A New Look at Late Roman Gold-Glass


SynopsisRoman gold-glasses--shallow vessels decorated with gold foil and used in burial rites in the catacombs of Rome--act as windows into the fascinating process of glass manufacture and use in the ancient world. This lecture takes a new look at a unique collection of gold-glasses held in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Related to several glasses in the Toledo Museum of Art's collection, the glasses of the Wilshere Collection provide us with a new understanding of how Roman glass production and artistic tastes changed with the advent of Christianity.


4.     7:00 pm, January 20 (Friday), 2017

Speaker: William Parkinson, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Eurasian Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Lecture: From Village to City: the Evolution of Agricultural Villages in Prehistoric Europe


Synopsis: This lecture explores how early farming villages evolved into cities. Currently, more than half of the world’s 6 billion people live in urban environments, but our understanding of how cities emerged remains unclear. Drawing from his archaeological research at prehistoric sites in Hungary and Greece, the speaker discusses how Neolithic (10,000-3,000 BC) farming villages evolved into proto-urban centers during the Bronze Age (beginning about 3,000 BC).



5.    7:00 pm, February 17 (Friday), 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 Lecture * * *

Lecture: Rare Survivors of Roman Mosaic Art: Portable Panels

: 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. 


6.     7:00 pm, March 17 (Friday), 2017 

Speaker: Lothar von Falkenhausen, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at the University of California at Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

          * * * National AIA Lecturer * * *

Lecture: The First Emperor’s Terracotta Army
When the First Emperor of China unified large parts of continental East Asia for the first time under a centralized bureaucratic régime in 210 BC, he imposed a unified script, currency, weights-and-measurements system, and legal code.  Thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, we have come to realize that these imperial innovations were the outcome of a centuries-long process of development within the Qin kingdom that was ruled over by the First Emperor’s ancestors.  It is also becoming increasingly obvious that the institutions of unified Qin were no more than a variation of those of its neighboring states, and that their common source is the Western Zhou kingdom, which had unified large parts of northern China between the mid-eleventh and the early eighth centuries BC.  Far from being oriented only to the future, the Qin unification thus contained an important ingredient of conservatism.  In this connection, the First Emperor’s mausoleum with its famous terra-cotta figures, though unprecedented in its size, was likewise a gigantically magnified manifestation of a tomb type that had been evolving since at least the middle of the first millennium BC.  In addition to revealing the deep local roots of the unification of China, recent archaeological finds also highlight the importance of Qin’s contacts to Inner Asia and beyond, and they have raised anew the question of the how important influences from outside the Chinese culture sphere were in giving shape to what we now regard as the distinctive civilization of Imperial China.  This lecture will not merely present some as-yet little-known recent finds, but it aims to show how archaeology can be instrumental in creating a new and more accurate interpretation of a key event in world history.


7.     7:00 pm, April 21, 2017

Speaker: Guido Pezzarossi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)

Lecture: Uneven Collapse and Incomplete Colonialism: the Archaeology of Maya Persistence in Highland Guatemala


Synopsis: The history of the Maya is popularly characterized by the magnificence of the Classic Period (250-900 CE) in the Petén rainforest and the civilization’s subsequent “mysterious” collapse. This collapse was underscored by the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, wherein colonization served to further distance modern Maya populations from their glorious past. The collapse, however, was not complete. In this lecture the speaker describes archaeological remains in the highlands of Guatemala that illuminate the tenacious persistence of ancient Maya communities, traditions and cultural practices through the colonial period and up until the present day.



8.     7:00 pm, May 19, 2017

Speaker: Maria Nilsson, Ph.D., Marie Curie Fellow at Lund University in Sweden and Visiting Researcher at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)


Lecture: Archaeological Discoveries at Gebel el-Silsila in Upper Egypt


Synopsis: Though long admired for its Pharaonic stelae, shrines, and rock-cut temple, the ancient site of Gebel el-Silsila remains fairly unknown within mainstream archaeology. It was previously thought that the site operated merely as a sandstone quarry, but few are aware of its rich archaeology, which incorporates evidence of millennia of human activity and cultural features that meet seven of UNESCO’s ten outstanding values. Since 2012 the Swedish-run archaeological project works towards changing previous misconceptions and, in conducting a comprehensive archaeological study, aims to increase the general awareness of the site’s importance and unique legacy. This presentation presents an introduction to the project, its new approaches, discoveries and results achieved so far. The main emphasis will be on four remarkable discoveries made during the 2015-2016 field seasons, including the perplexing (superimposed) boat scene in the Speos; the re-discovered Temple of Kheny with its exceptional Thutmosid limestone fragments; two newly excavated shrines with six life-sized statues (cenotaphs that previously were thought to have been completely destroyed); and the most recent discovery of the New Kingdom Necropolis. However, there will be enough time to also introduce Silsila’s exceptional prehistoric rock art, and for those interested in Roman material, we will look into an administrative building known to the team as Tiberius’ Stables, with examples of gaming and some fine dining. Finally, there will also be given a quick summary of a complex and unique non-textual marking system with 5000 documented ‘sacred symbols’.




 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)