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. They also offer free food. 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.

We are making Brown Bag talks available in real time on the Web via Google+ Hangouts. For connection instructions, contact Veronica-Gaia Ikeshoji-Orlati no later that the Thursday before the talk you you'd like to see.

Want to volunteer a talk or discussion topic? Email Veronica-Gaia Ikeshoji-Orlati, or Katie Shakour.
Dame Barbara Cartland and Sir Mortimer Wheeler attending a Brown Bag. c. 1965.
Dame Barbara Cartland and Sir Mortimer Wheeler, attending a Brown Bag, circa 1965.
Spring 2014 Schedule
Feb. 21
Scales of production and exchange for Afro Caribbean wares from slave villages on Nevis and St Kitts. Fraser D. Neiman, Archaeology Department, Monticello and Departments of Anthropology and Architectural History, UVA. Originally scheduled for the Feb 14, but postponed because of snowmaggedon.

Abstract. My goal in this paper is to show how the statistical analysis of compositional data, derived from INAA, can advance our understanding of scales of production and exchange for Afro-Caribbean ceramics during the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries on Nevis and St Kitts. I use classical and newly developed multivariate methods to explore and evaluate the compositional distinctiveness of sherds recovered from recent STP surveys. Assemblages from two Nevis plantations are compositionally distinctive, a result compatible with low levels of specialization and limited movement of pots among villages within the island. Making further progress requires more and larger samples, data sharing, and serious engagement by historical archaeologists in quantitative data analysis.
Feb. 28
Mapping Homer's Catalogue of Ships using GIS. Jenny Clay, Courtney Evans, and Ben Jasnow, Department of Classics, UVA. This talk will be held in Fayerweather Hall, Room 215.

Abstract This paper proposes original theories on Homer's use of landscape and travel routes in the Catalogue of Ships, while offering viewers a chance to preview the digital gazetteer being produced in conjunction with our project. Our research team is composed of Jenny Strauss Clay, who created the project, Courtney Evans and Ben Jasnow of the Department of Classics at the University of Virginia, as well as a number of partners from the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia. (For a full list of collaborators, please visit and click on "Credits.")
April 11
The Early 16th-Century European Artifact Assemblage from the Glass Site (Georgia) & An Exploratory Comparative Analysis of Related Regional Collections. Dennis Blanton, Department of Anthropology, James Madison University.

Abstract. The Glass Site in south-central Georgia is a small, late prehistoric community that has yielded unusually robust evidence of Native-Spanish interaction during the first half of the sixteenth century. Results of investigations carried out since 2006 will be reviewed first, including the argument the Glass Site represents the location of a direct encounter between Native people and the entrada of Hernando de Soto. The balance of the presentation will summarize implications of an analysis of the site's European assemblage based on comparison with assemblages of similar age elsewhere in the Southeast, focusing on possible explanations of observed similarities and differences.
April 25
Recent work at Hacimusalar Hyk: Early Bronze Age Architecture and Society. Elizabeth Baughan, Department of Classical Studies, University of Richmond.

Abstract. Bilkent University's excavations at Hac?musalar Hyk in southwestern Turkey have uncovered thousands of years of occupation history, from the Early Bronze Age through the Late Byzantine era. This presentation will offer a survey of the most significant results of the last five seasons, with special focus on the Early Bronze Age, when two closely superimposed building levels were both destroyed (and thus preserved) by intense fire. Fallen wall chunks and in situ architectural features shed new light on construction methods and urban design (with evidence for terracing and continuity from one phase to the next), while finds recovered from the burnt floors can help us understand the cultural affinities and social lives of the inhabitants.
Watch the space for more exciting talks!

Workshop Schedule from Past Semesters
For topics and speakers from past semesters, click here.