Last fieldwork season at Azoria (Crete)

A Monumental Dig: The Azoria Project on Crete

A large-scale archaeological project on Crete has created an enduring collaboration, an experiential global learning opportunity for UNC students and a future heritage tourism site for the region.

Read more at: the Carolina Arts and Sciences Magazine

Trump administration plans to eliminate the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and NEA (National Endowment for the Arts)

Dear Members of the Archaeological Institute of America;

You may have heard that the Trump administration plans to eliminate the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) – federal agencies which provide critical support and funding of the arts and humanities, including archaeology. The research and field work of many of our members have benefited from funding from these agencies over the years. In fact, your President, Jodi Magness, currently has an NEH Public Scholars Grant. The result of the elimination of these agencies and the funding and support they provide could have a devastating impact on the arts and humanities.

I urge you to take immediate action by clicking on the National Humanities Alliance link below, and by contacting your representatives in Congress. And please spread this message to your family, friends, and colleagues.

Click here to take action.


Jodi Magness
President, Archaeological Institute of America

Documenting Herculaneum and Pompeii in the 18th and 19th centuries

A small exhibition featuring eighteenth-century prints and nineteenth-century photographs of monuments from Herculaneum and Pompeii is now on view at the Ackland Art Museum. Organized in conjunction with Prof. Hérica Valladares’ First Year Seminar at UNC Chapel Hill, “Life in Ancient Pompeii,” this exhibition invites viewers to explore the competing objectives and varying approaches toward the representation of ancient remains in the early days of classical archaeology.

Prof. Valladares’ First Year Seminar examines the history and archaeology of the ancient city of Pompeii. Using archaeological remains as their primary source material, students in this course investigate everyday life in the early Roman Empire. To deepen their research, Prof. Valladares’ students also study primary sources from the time of the city’s discovery. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prints, drawings, and photographs on view here provide important evidence to understand the ancient city along with the circumstances and repercussions of its excavation.

On display are views of Pompeii and Herculaneum and imagery from Roman wall paintings found at these sites.

This exhibition is on view in the second-floor Study Gallery of the Ackland Art Museum until December 18, 2017.

Archaeological Institute of America Triangle Society Conference

The Archaeological Institute of America Triangle Society presents
James Frakes
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Bridging distances: Highway monuments
in the Roman Provinces
Thursday, November 10, 2016 5 PM
Murphey 104 Reception to Follow

Click here for the flyer and here for directions

Conference: Colin Renfrew – The Sapient Paradox

The Humanities Futures initiative at the Franklin Humanities Institute
the Ancient Mind: Neuroarchaeology Working Group
Colin Renfrew
Disney Professor Emeritus of Archaeology and former Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge
Monday, November 14th, 5pm
Reception follows talk
“The Sapient Paradox: Social Interaction as a Foundation of Mind”
Intelligent purposive behaviour is a feature of many species. Yet systematic engagement with the material world takes on a new dimension with the systematic production of tools. Why it took so long for this to develop into more impressive aspects of behaviour seen with the first village communities constitutes the sapient paradox. It will be argued that within the new social relations that then developed lie the key foundations of mind.’
Tuesday, November 15th, 10am
“Measure as a Metric of Mind”
Mind is a difficult property to discern and to pin down in early prehistoric communities. Yet the practice of measure, sometimes involving the use of recognisable units, is a valuable indicator.
This event is generously cosponsored by the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; the Department of Classical Studies; and the Wired! Lab, all at Duke University.
Download a copy of the flyer here.
Free and open to the public. Please register here.
See some references here.

Duke’s new Master in Digital Art History / Computational Media

The Department of Art, Art History 86 Visual Studies offers a Master’s Degree in Digital Art History/ Computational Media. The program builds on courses and well—developed strengths at Duke University. The program requires 10 courses over three semesters in addition to summer research. Limited funding may become available in the form of grants and assistantships to students contingent upon positive progress in the program. See flyer for more information.

The Azoria Project seeks volunteers for final excavation season (2017)

The Azoria Project ( is conducting its final full-scale excavation season in May-July 2017, and seeks student volunteers to participate as trench assistants. The program trains students in problems, methods, and research practices in Mediterranean and Aegean archaeology by providing them with a fieldwork-and laboratory-based program in Greece. This summer of 2017 will be the 10th excavation season and the 16th year of the Project. Since 2002, the Azoria Project has trained over 35 graduate students in classics, archaeology, and anthropology (trench supervisors and area specialists); and more than 200 undergraduate and graduate student trench assistants. At least 20 of our undergraduate staff members have continued into graduate work (including two NSF fellows) in classics, classical archaeology, anthropology, and archaeology. Student participants have come from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Barbados.

The Azoria Project is the excavation of the Early Iron Age-Archaic site of Azoria (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. The focus is the Archaic-period city (ca. 700-480 B.C.) and the investigation of local dynamics of urbanization and sociopolitical changes in the 8th and 7th c. B.C. Current fieldwork (2013-2017) is exploring the topography of the archaic civic center archaic-period residential complexes (6th and early 5th c. B.C.), and conducting a number of stratigraphic soundings in the area of the civic buildings in order to refine our understanding of the chronology and early history of the site.

For more information on how to participate in the 2017 season of excavations at Azoria, please follow the links at the Project website (, or contact the Project Director, Donald Haggis, at

Prof. Alicia Jiménez wins Loeb Classical Library Foundation award to excavate Roman camps near Numantia, Spain

Prof. A. Jiménez of Duke’s Department of Classical Studies has recently set up an excavation project in Renieblas (Soria, Spain), where at least five Roman camps roughly dated to the 2nd-1st centuries BCE were found in the early 20th century. The camps were involved in the Roman conquest of the province of Hispania and the siege of the native settlement at Numantia, which resulted in Rome’s annexation of much of the Iberian Peninsula in 133 BCE. Many basic and important questions about Renieblas, including the chronology of each of the camps, remain unanswered despite the spectacular results of the excavations at the site in the early 20th century by Adolf Schulten (1914-1931). These new investigations, generously supported by the Loeb Foundation and the Trent Foundation, will contribute to properly contextualize the discoveries from the early 20th century and to uncover new information about the earliest phases of the Roman conquest, the life of the soldiers in the camps, and the creation of an imperial network to supply armies campaigning in new, and some times distant, provincial territories.

Samson in Stone: New Discoveries in the Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee

Lecture by

at The Getty Villa
Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee have brought to light the remains of a monumental 5th-century Roman synagogue paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including depictions of the biblical hero Samson. In this illustrated presentation, excavation director Jodi Magness describes these exciting finds, including new discoveries made last summer.

This lecture complements the exhibition Roman Mosaics across the Empire, on view March 30 through September 12, 2016.

Read more here.

A Dialogue Between Cognitive Neuroscience and the Humanities is Possible: An Experimental Aesthetics Manifesto

Date: March 8, 2016
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Location: A266 Collision Space, Bay 10, Smith Warehouse

Part of the Neuroarchaeology Series presented by the Humanities Futures Ancient Mind: Mind, Brain & Society Working Group.

This discussion features renowned neuroscientist and philosopher of mind Vittorio Gallese, with responses by Duke faculty and Working Group conveners Maurizio Forte (Classical Studies), Deborah Jenson (Romance Studies and Global Health / Franklin Humanities Institute), and Elizabeth Johnson (Neurobiology / Duke Institute for Brain Sciences).

By exploiting the neurocognitive approach, viewed as a sort of ‘cognitive archeology’, in this discussion Prof. Gallese will empirically investigate the neurophysiological brain mechanisms that make human interactions with the world possible, detect possible functional antecedents of our cognitive skills, and measure the socio-cultural influence exerted by human cultural evolution onto the very same cognitive skills. In so doing we can deconstruct some of the concepts we normally use when referring to intersubjectivity or to aesthetics and art, as well as when referring to the experience we make of them.

Read more here.