Spring 2008 Lecture Series

Never heard the words “juan” and “pian” in relationship to early Chinese texts?  Captivated by the fascinating finds still being discovered beneath the surface of the Mediterranean?  Wondering what palynology is and what it can tell you about ancient religion?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should enjoy this Spring’s lecture line-up!  In Spring 2008, San Diego AIA presents another wide-ranging series, ranging from Chinese text production, to underwater archaeology, to Greco-Roman cult sites analyzed through pollen samples.

Guolong Lai (Univ. of Florida) will present “What Can Excavated Texts Tell Us about Text-Production in Early China” on Friday, February 1, 2008.  Prof. Lai will draw on methods from “sociology of texts” and biblical studies to analyze bamboo and silk manuscripts recently excavated from early Chinese tombs.  Lai will investigate the material form of early Chinese manuscripts and its impact on their circulation, reading habits, and the relationship between literary and non-literary texts.

John Hale (University of Louisville), the AIA’s 2007-08 national McCann/Taggart lecturer, will share “In Poseidon’s Realm: Underwater Archaeology in the Mediterranean,” on Friday, March 7, 2008.  Prof. Hale’s lecture will offer an overview of Greco-Roman nautical archaeology and will illustrate many of the important art works and other finds such as the news-making first-century BCE astronomical computer and the famous bronze god from Artemision that have been recovered by underwater archaeology.  Prof. Hale will also discuss current technology employed in nautical excavations, such at the Persian Wars Shipwreck Survey, in which Hale has participated.

Patrick Scott-Geyer (USD) will talk to us about “Patterns of Worship at the Temple to Hecate” on Friday, April 18, 2008.  Prof. Scott-Geyer will discuss his palynological analysis of pollen samples taken from the sanctuary of Hecate at Lagina (near Turgut, in modern southwest Turkey).  Scott-Geyer will discuss the process of studying pollen samples and what these samples can reveal about the “eco-factual” ritual offerings and temple culture at this Hecate site in the Roman Empire of the first century BCE.

All Spring 2008 lectures will be held from 7:15- 9:00 PM in G101 Mesa College.  Parking is available in the lot adjacent to G101.  If you have any questions about the series, please contact President Beth Pollard (epollard@mail.sdsu.edu) or VP/Program co-ordinator Brad Kirkegaard (bkirkega@mail.sdsu.edu).

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