Sponsored Events/Lectures

Schedule of Sponsored Lectures for 2019-20

For a complete list of Classics and Archaeology lectures
in the Five Colleges, click here. All lectures are free and open to the public.
CAMPUS MAPS for area institutions:  Amherst   Mt. Holyoke College    Smith College    University of Massachusetts Amherst

Flyers for Archaeology Events will be posted below:

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Lectures from Previous Years


Davis-Stocker Poster 4-18

March 25, 2017

27th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

Prof. John Clarke

University of Texas at Austin

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

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.

February 23, 2017

University of California at Berkeley

Ancient Bronzes as Art Objects: Roman Collectors and ‘Corinthian Bronzes’
Mt. Holyoke.

October 20, 2016

The George M.A. Hanfmann Lecture

Prof. Owen Doonan


April 11, 2016

The Ellen and Charles S. La Follette Lecture



March 22, 2016


February 23, 2016


October 6, 2015

26th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

Prof. Kara Cooney
University of California, Los Angeles

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

Graham Hall, Smith College 4:30PM

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society and Smith College

Kara Cooney Credit Mikel Healey

April 9, 2015

Prof. Malcolm Bell, III
University of Virginia

“Sicily in the Age of Archimedes”

Gamble Auditorium, Mt. Holyoke College 5:30PM

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

Lecture Abstract:

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.

25th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

November 13, 2014

Prof. Richard Neer
University of Chicago

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

Smith College, Graham Hall, 5:00 PM

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

For Poster: Click Here

October 18, 2014

International Archaeology Day at 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

Smith College Maggie Kurkoski, Brown Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Smith College Museum

Saturday, October 18, 2014. 10:30AM. Free and Open to the Public

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

For Poster: International Archaeology Day-1

October 10, 2014

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

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

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Herter Hall 231, 1:30-2:30 PM

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Classics, and History, the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

For Poster: Artzy poster

September 23, 2014

Prof. Steven J.R. 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”

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Herter Hall 227, 5:00 PM

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

For Poster: ELLIS_AIA

Lecture Abstract:

The 2nd half of the 1st century AD brought on sweeping changes to the shape of the Roman city.  The independent construction of houses and shops was giving way, more conspicuously than ever before, to large building complexes that combined multiple living and retail units in previously unimagined numbers.  A new-look city streetscape had emerged, recalibrating the Roman urbanite’s experience of the street, particularly its retailing component.  A study shop-fronts at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Rome, and several other well-represented sites across the Roman world reveals how their construction and organization, formerly configured to reflect city-wide patterns in ambulatory traffic and retail competition, was wholly abandoned for the emergence of a new social and civic order.  Shops were now entered almost exclusively on the right-hand side, causing the re-arrangement of their internal and external spatial dynamics and, importantly, demonstrating a new set of urban priorities.  This chapter offers an explanation for this cultural phenomenon, its origins and motivations, and outlines a range of consequences that these developments had on the changing shape and psyche of the Roman city: from the rise and diffusion of the Roman ‘cult of the right’, and the inherent anxieties in crossing doorways, to the homogeneity of a Roman retail culture, and to the tension that existed between the forces of economic rationality and robust Roman traditions.

24th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

April 17, 2014

Prof. Andrew Wilson
All Souls College, Oxford University

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

Smith College, Graham Hall, 5:00 PM

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society

For Poster, click here

10th Annual David F. Grose Memorial Lecture 

March 13, 2014

Dr. Alan Shapiro 
Vickers Professor of Archaeology Johns Hopkins University

“Orientalism and Greek Identity on a 
Masterpiece of Athenian Vase-Painting”

UMass Campus Center, 10th Floor, Amherst Room, 5:00 PM (poster)

Sponsored by Charles Grose and the Classics Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

November 7, 2013

Prof. Morag Kersel
DePaul University, Chicago

“The Politics of Public Display: 
Archaeology, Museums and Artifacts from the Holy Land”

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Herter Hall 301, 5:00 PM

Sponsored by the UMass Department of Classics

October 10, 2013

Prof. Theresa Huntsman
Washington University, Saint Louis

“Sometimes You Can Take it with You:
Etruscan Banquets and Burials at Chiusi”

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Herter Hall 301, 5:00 PM

Sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Center for Etruscan Studies

Sept. 19, 2013
Prof. John Younger
Department of Classics, University of Kansas

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

Mount Holyoke College, Gamble Auditorium, 5:00 PM (Abstract)

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