Sponsored Events and Lectures

For a complete list of Classics and Archaeology lectures in the Five Colleges, see the Amherst College Classics Lecture Schedule. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Campus maps: Amherst CollegeMt. Holyoke CollegeSmith CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst

Upcoming Events and Lectures in 2022-2023

Past Events and Lectures

C. Brian Rose, University of Pennsylvania

30th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Archaeology, Museums, and War” 

Saturday, April 1, 2023
11:00 am, with lunch to follow for WMSAIA members
Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center
22 Elm St., Northampton
Smith College

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria during the last two decades have profoundly influenced scholars and how they deal with the art and material culture of antiquity. In this lecture, archaeologist C. Brian Rose draws on his own experiences with museums, foreign wars, and archaeology to discuss the ways in which the past now dominates the present. He gives an overview of cultural heritage destruction and preservation programs in conflict zones and considers the subject of museums and repatriation requests in an age of increasing nationalism.

Dr. Catherine Baker, Mount Holyoke College

Ellen and Charles S. La Follette Lecture

“Artifacts and Archaeological Processes: The Lives and Afterlives of Objects at Pompeii”

Monday, February 13, 2023
5:00 pm
Herter Hall 601 and Zoom
UMass Amherst

Flyer for Baker lecture

From the chipped corners of an ancient die to the mortar on a reused inscription, artifacts tell stories. Archaeologists reconstruct these object biographies, tracing the lives of ancient artifacts from their creation to their final deposition. In this talk, I explore the stories of some of the artifacts excavated by the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (University of Cincinnati), including dice and gaming pieces, statuettes, tools of potters, and even nails. These object biographies shed light not only on the way people first used these objects, but on their afterlives – the ways in which objects were discarded, recycled, and reused. These lives and afterlives of objects, in turn, shape the archaeology of a site, allowing us to trace the complex patterns of use, reuse, and discard which characterized the history of one neighborhood in the Roman city of Pompeii.

International Archaeology Day 2022

Archaeology Fair at UMass Amherst

Saturday, October 15, 2022
12:00pm to 3:00pm
Bromery Arts Plaza
UMass Amherst

  • Learn about archaeological projects run by Western MA archaeologists
  • Take a Minecraft tour of the site of Malthi, Greece
  • Hands-on crafts and activities for kids (write your name in Egyptian hieroglyphs, cuneiform, and Linear B, make your own Roman mosaic, and more!)
  • See what portions of the Quabbin look like through LiDAR
  • See replica Greek coins and vases up close, and learn what they can tell us about the past

This event is sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Flyer advertising International Archaeology Day

Dr. Fiona Greenland, University of Virginia

“Operation Demeter: What Italy’s Largest Antiquities Bust Reveals About Archaeological Looting Today”

September 27, 2022
5:30 pm
Herter Hall 601 and Zoom
UMass Amherst

In 2018, the Italian Art Squad announced the conclusion of a four-year investigation into a vast looting network that traversed five European countries. “Operation Demeter” was the largest investigation in the unit’s history. It recovered 20,000 artifacts valued at some 40 million Euros and resulted in the arrest of 23 people. What did Operation Demeter teach us about the looting and selling of archaeological materials? Today, nearly five years onward, what has changed – if anything – in the looting landscape?

Dr. Fiona Rose Greenland is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and founder and director of the CURIA Lab (Cultural Resilience Informatics and Analysis). She received a DPhil in Classical Archaeology from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan. She works at the intersection of cultural sociology, comparative and historical sociology, and archaeology to investigate how archaeological materials feature in modern social life. She has conducted fieldwork in archaeological sites, museums, and antiquities shops in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures at the University of Virginia. Her book, Ruling Culture: Art Police, Tomb Robbers, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy (Chicago 2021), received the 2022 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in Culture from the American Sociological Association.

This lecture is sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and hosted by the UMass Amherst Department of Classics.

Dr. Heather Lee McCarthy, New York University Expedition to the Ramesses II Temple at Abydos

“Ramesside Royal Women’s Tombs, The Book Of The Dead, And The Deir El-Medina Iconographic Tradition,”

March 3, 2022
5:30 pm

Dr. Leticia Rodriguez, Florida State University

“Matrices of the Mother Goddess: Some Reconsiderations of Kybele in Western Anatolia”

September 30, 2021
5:30 pm

Flyer advertising the lecture by Dr. Leticia R. Rodriguez

Prof. Patty Gerstenblit, DePaul University

“Preserving The Past: Archaeological Heritage, The Art Market And Conflict In The Middle East”

April 7, 2021
5:00 pm

Flyer advertising the lecture by Prof. Patty Gerstenblith

Prof. Bridget Sandhoff, University of Nebraska

“Girls Will Be Boys? Investigating Images Of Athletic Women In Ancient Etruscan Art”

February 25, 2021
5:00 pm

Flyer advertising the lecture by Dr. Bridget Sandhoff

International Archaeology Day 2020

“A Digital Sampler of Local Archaeology and Local Archaeologists”

October 17, 2020
4:00 pm

Flyer advertising details for the celebration of International Archaeology Day 2020 by the Western Mass Society of the AIA

Featuring short talks by local archaeologists on their work here and abroad, focusing especially on digital applications in archaeology:

  • Shannon Hogue, UMass Amherst: “Palace Intrigue: Virtual Reality and the Palace of Nestor”
  • Eric Poehler, UMass Amherst: “The Pompeii Artistic Landscape: Drilling Down the Map”
  • David Leslie, AHS Cultural Resource Management: “Public Archaeology in Southern New England”
  • Elizabeth Klarich, Smith College: “The Potters of Pukara”
  • Anthony Tuck, UMass Amherst: “Memories in Music: The Hidden Patterns of Homer”

Film Screening: “The Destruction of Memory” by Tim Slade (2016)

March 9, 2020
7:00 pm
Amherst Cinema

Including a post-screening discussion with Prof. Laetitia La Follette (UMass Amherst and AIA) and Dr. Phoebe Segal (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Prof. Steven Tuck, Miami University

“Where Did the Pompeians Go? Searching for Refugees from the Eruption of Vesuvius, AD 79”

March 5, 2020
5:00 pm
Beneski Building Room 107
Amherst College

Dr. Gil Renberg, University of Michigan

“Dreams in Greek and Roman Religion: The Evidence of Inscriptions”

November 7, 2019
5:00 pm
Herter Hall 301
UMass Amherst

Kenneth Lapatin, J. Paul Getty Museum

29th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Rediscovering the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum”

April 6, 2019
11:00 am
Stoddard Hall
Smith College

Bronze sculpture of the Drunken Satyr from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Dr. Jack Davis and Dr. Sharon Stocker, University of Cincinnati

28th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Excavation of the Griffin Warrior’s Grave at Pylos”

April 7, 2018
10:30 am
Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center
Smith College

Dr. Scott Branting, University of Central Florida

Kershaw Lectures in Near East Archaeology

“Spies, Satellites and Archaeology: Monitoring Cultural Heritage”

November 9, 2017
5:00 pm
Herter Hall 601
UMass Amherst

Prof. John Clarke, University of Texas at Austin

27th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: New Research Strategies and Recent Discoveries at Oplontis”

March 25, 2017
Smith College, in conjunction with the Smith College Art Museum Exhibit

In this lecture John R. Clarke, Regents Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, presents results of the work of the Oplontis Project, with emphasis on the exhibition, Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii. Beginning in 2006, his research team has had the charge from the Italian Ministry of Culture to study, excavate, and publish the Roman villas first uncovered in 1964 at Torre Annunziata, Italy. Villa A, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an enormous luxury villa with beautiful frescoes and sculptures; Oplontis B is a commercial wine-bottling center where excavators found the remains of 54 individuals—many carrying jewelry and coins—who sought refuge there. Geo-archaeological investigation, including deep coring, revealed that Villa A commanded a magnificent view of the Bay of Naples from a 45 foot cliff, while conventional trenches identified the phases of both complexes (now dated between 120 BCE and 79 CE). To record the actual and reconstructed states of the Villas, a team of architects and modelers created an accurate, navigable 3D model, and to facilitate research this model is linked to the Project database. The definitive publication consists of an open-access e-book published by the American Council of Learned Societies. Forty-six scholars from every branch of the sciences and humanities have contributed to this publication. Clarke will highlight the most innovative techniques employed in the Project’s investigations and will present the discovery, in 2014-2016, of the long-lost sea façade of Villa A.

Dr. Chris Hallett, University of California at Berkeley

“Ancient Bronzes as Art Objects: Roman Collectors and Corinthian Bronzes”

February 23, 2017
5:30 pm
Dwight Hall 101
Mount Holyoke College

Prof. Owen Doonan, California State University, Northridge

George M.A. Hanfmann Lecture

“Archaeological Expedition to Sinop, Turkey: Exploring the Origins of Trade at the Nexus of Civilizations”

October 20, 2016
5:00 pm
Integrated Learning Center, S240
UMass Amherst

Patricia Mangan, Mount Holyoke College

“What Was Left Behind: An Archaeological Investigation of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary”

October 5, 2016
7:00 pm
Dwight Hall 101
Mount Holyoke College

Kathleen Lynch, University of Cincinnati

Ellen and Charles S. La Follette Lecture

“Evidence of Semi-Public Dining from the Athenian Agora”

April 11, 2016
5:00 pm
Fayerweather Room 115
Pruyne Lecture Hall
Amherst College

Prof. Elizabeth Greene, Brock University

“Law, Ethics, and Underwater Archaeology: The Wreck of Cesnola’s Napried”

March 22, 2016
5:00 pm
Integrated Learning Center 211
UMass Amherst

Prof. Nicholas D. Cahill, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“New Discoveries at Sardis in Anatolia”

February 23, 2016
5:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College

Prof. Kara Cooney, University of California, Los Angeles

26th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Hatshepsut: How a Woman Ascended the Throne of Ancient Egypt”

October 6, 2015
4:30 pm
Graham Hall
Smith College

Prof. Malcolm Bell III, University of Virginia

“Sicily in the Age of Archimedes”

April 9, 2015
5:30 pm
Gamble Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College

The Sicily of Archimedes consisted of the Hellenistic kingdom of Syracuse in the eastern third of the island. Before falling to Rome in 212 BCE the Syracusan kingdom had enjoyed a productive half century of peace. This was a period of innovation and invention in many areas. The royal administration of King Hieron II created rational new political relationships with the cities of the kingdom, based on fairness, and contemporary material culture, as seen in architecture, sculpture, and mosaics, is characterized by striking innovation. The intellectual character of the age was influenced by the thought and discoveries of the great scientist and mathematician, who was killed in the siege of Syracuse. The lecture is illustrated by works of art and architecture from Syracuse and the outlying cities, including Morgantina.

Prof. Richard Neer, University of Chicago

25th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“The Invisible Acropolis: Democracy and the Senses in Classical Athens”

November 13, 2014
5:00 pm
Graham Hall
Smith College

International Archaeology Day 2014

October 18, 2014
10:30 am
Smith College Museum of Art

A one-hour guided tour of the new Ancient Art Gallery, with commentary by field archaeologists:

  • Anthony Tuck, Associate Professor of Classics, UMass Amherst
  • Ceceilia Feldman, Visiting Assistant Professor, UMass Amherst
  • Scott Bradbury, Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures
  • Maggie Kurkoski, Brown Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Smith College Museum

Co-sponsored by the Smith College Museum of Art and the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

Prof. Michal Artzy, University of Haifa and the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies

“Four Millennia in the Bay of Akko: Ecological and Geopolitical effects on the Positions of the Harbors”

October 10, 2014
1:30 pm
Herter Hall 231
UMass Amherst

Prof. Steven Ellis, University of Cincinnati

“The Roman Cult of the Right: Superstition in the (Re-)Shaping of Shop-fronts and Street Activity in the Roman World”

September 23, 2014
5:00 pm
Herter Hall 227
UMass Amherst

Prof. Andrew Wilson, All Souls College, Oxford University

24th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

“Water, Nymphs and a Palm Grove: The So-Called ‘South Agora’ at Aphrodisias”

September 23, 2014
5:00 pm
Graham Hall
Smith College

Prof. John Younger, University of Kansas

“The Temple of Zeus at Olympia: an Archaeological Biography”

September 19, 2013
5:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College

AIA Lecture Hosted by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Art and Art History