University of Virginia: Archaeology Brown-Bag Workshop

Archaeology Brown-Bag Workshops provide an informal, interdisciplinary venue for presentations of work in progress by students, faculty, and visiting scholars, and for discussion of developments in the recent archaeological literature. Plus there is free food and drink. Workshops convene more-or-less tri-weekly on Fridays at 4:00-5:30 in the conference room on the second floor of Brooks Hall, unless otherwise noted below.

Want to volunteer a talk or discussion topic? Email Adria LaViolette, or Fraser Neiman.
Spring 2019
March 22
“ A Network Science Approach to the Study of Greek Pottery”. Ethan Gruber, Director of Data Science, American Numismatic Society; Renee Gondek, Instructor, University of Mary Washington; Tyler Jo Smith (in absentia), Associate Professor, University of Virginia.

Abstract. Our presentation will outline the NEH-funded project “” is an international effort to define the intellectual concepts of Archaic and Classical Greek pottery following the methodologies of Linked Open Data (LOD). These concepts include categories such as shapes, artists, styles, and production places. When linked externally to other LOD thesauri, such as the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, allows for the normalization and aggregation of disparate museum and archaeological datasets into an information system that facilitates broader public access (e.g., Pelagios Commons). Beyond the definition of pottery concepts, following open web standards, will standardize and document an ontology and model for exchanging pottery data, provide easy-to-use interfaces to visualize geographic and quantitative distributions of Greek pottery, and publish a series of data manipulation web services enabling archaeologists and museum professionals to contribute data to this ecosystem.
April 5
An Anthropologist among the Archaeologists: My 45 Years with Archaeology Towards an Historical Understanding of the Kula Ring. Fred Damon, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia.
April 19
Land, Labor and Economic Power in Post-emancipation Dominica. Khadene Harris, Postdoctoral Fellow, DAACS, Monticello.

Abstract. In this talk, I examine the social and economic life of the formerly enslaved in colonial Dominica. A watershed moment in Caribbean history, Emancipation ushered in a critical period of social and economic change that brought with it new and challenging opportunities for newly free laborers to redefine their relationship with the land and with each other. Still, despite the promise of freedom, the years after slavery did not result in immediate equality nor did it suddenly transform social and power relations. My work is an examination of the strategies employed by the newly free to (re)create and maintain socio-economic relationships despite coercive and exclusionary practices by colonial officials. To do this work, I combine archival documents, oral histories, and archaeological data to understand how Afro-descended laborers reorganized daily life as they moved between restrictive colonial practices and local realities. By exploring how free Dominicans laboring on the Bois Cotelette Estate utilized space and material objects in their everyday life, I demonstrate the contentious nature of postemancipation community building, and its uneasy trajectory.
Past Semesters
For topics and speakers from past semesters, click here.