International Archaeology Day 2018

Please join us for our annual celebration of International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 20 from 11am – 3pm to learn about artifacts, archaeological techniques, and lots of fun!



AIA Fall Lecture October 3, 2018: Dr. Kathryn Sampeck

Please join us for our fall lecture by Dr. Kathryn Sampeck from Illinois State University. The lecture, “A Day in the Life of a Sixteenth-Century Ani-Yunwiya (Cherokee) Village”, will take place at 6:30 on Wednesday, October 3rd in Rhode Island Hall 108, Brown University.  This lecture is part of AIA’s Nadzia Borowski Lecture series. We hope to see you there!


What was daily life like for Cherokees just at the moment when groups of people from across the Atlantic—Spaniards and Africans—started to become part of their world? A tour of one settlement, Cowee, lets audience members understand what Cherokee  homes, communities, and networks of communities were like and the kinds of activities  that were important to peoples’ lives. Each example is based on archaeologically-recovered information as well as community history and knowledge. This visit shows what an important historical moment this time was for Cherokees and colonists alike, why these settlements are places of enduring importance, and how Cherokee peoples were crucial in early colonial encounters and subsequent political and economic developments.

Fall 2018 AIA lecture


Photograph by Michael Oppenheim

AIA Spring Lecture March 15, 2018: Kieran O’Conor

Please join us for our spring lecture by Dr. Kieran O’Conor from the National University of Ireland Galway. The lecture, “The Deserted Anglo-Norman Town and Castle of Rindoon, Co. Roscommon, Ireland”, will take place at 6:30 on Thursday, March 15th in Rhode Island Hall 108, Brown University. We hope to see you there!


The deserted Anglo-Norman royal town and castle of Rindoon lies on a peninsula jutting out into Lough Ree – one of the great lakes of the Shannon River system that runs through central Ireland. It is regarded as one of the best examples of a deserted medieval town in the British Isles, as it only existed for just over a hundred years before its mainly English inhabitants deserted it in the early 14th century. This lecture, drawing on a recent multi-disciplinary study that included field survey, geophysics and an analysis of the surviving historical sources, will discuss each of the various elements that made up the town, particularly its multi-phase castle, and will argue that elements of what certain British archaeologists have called ‘an elite landscape’ occur at Rindoon. Furthermore, it is clear that this Anglo-Norman frontier fortress and town, trading with but also under military pressure from local Irish (Gaelic Irish) lords, was not founded on a green-field site in the early 13th century. Evidence from field survey, stray finds, geophysics, the available historical sources and aerial photography all suggest that there was an important pre-Norman settlement here. This is a fascinating complex that is now part of the rural tourism product offered by Roscommon County Council and attract more than 9,000 visitors a year. The lecture also offers insights into the relationship between the Anglo-Normans / English and the local Gaelic Irish during the 13th and early 14th centuries. Lastly, the talk will indicate how in times of recession, a relatively small research budget can achieve measurable academic results than can also be used by the local community for cultural tourism purposes.


Narragansett - 3-15-18 - Rindoon LOW RES LETTER

AIA Lecture October 26th – Scott MacEachern

Please join us for our fall lecture by Dr. Scott MacEachern (Bowdoin College), titled “African crossroads: the rise of states around Lake Chad”. See the end of this post for the lecture abstract. The lecture will take place on October 26th at 6:30 pm in room 108 in Rhode Island Hall on Brown University campus. We hope to see you there!


AIA fall 2017 poster image


Lake Chad sits at a crossroads in Africa, where trans-Saharan trade routes open up to the savannas and forests south of the desert, and astride the immense grasslands that extend west-to- east from the Atlantic to the Nile. It is no surprise that this region has been a zone of encounter between very different groups of people throughout prehistory, and that its political history is enomously complex. Archaeological research in the region through the last 50 years has provided a great deal of evidence for that complexity: large defended communities contemporary with Iron Age oppida in Europe; the early introduction of horses, used in warfare and predatory slave-raiding; and the development of defended mountain zones that are enormously complicated culturally and linguistically. Today, the lands around Lake Chad are best known in the West for the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist organization. In this lecture, I will try to provide an alternative view of an endlessly complex and fascinating part of the world.

International Archaeology Day 2017

International Archaeology Day
Saturday, October 14th, 2017, 11:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come visit the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World in Rhode Island Hall. Faculty and students will be on hand to tour you through the building, as well as to show you artifacts and images, both from some of our current fieldwork (in the Caribbean, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Turkey, and Rhode Island) and from the Institute’s collections. Located at Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, Rhode Island Hall, 60 George Street.

Watch Brown undergraduates digging (yes, really digging!). This year, as part of ongoing work on Brown’s campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods of College Hill, students will be excavating at the nearby Moses Brown school. Stop by (with your family or on your own) any time between 11 am and 2 pm to see what we’re up to or try your hand at digging. All are welcome!
Moses Brown School, 250 Lloyd Avenue (Excavation at the corner of Hope Street and Lloyd Avenue)

Community Archaeology Day 2016

It is once again time for our local chapter’s annual celebration of Community Archaeology Day.
We will be celebrating this Saturday, October 22 from 11 am to 3 pm. Please join us in Rhode Island Hall, Brown University, to experience hands-on exhibits with human and animal bones, learn about Egyptian artifacts and underwater archaeology, and discover the fascinating history behind Rhode Island Hall.

You can also take part in a local excavation on Moses Brown campus on the corner of Hope St. and Lloyd Ave. as part of the Joukowsky Institute’s “The Archaeology of College Hill.”

See our Facebook event for more information. We hope to see you Saturday!

AIA Lecture October 13

Please join us for a lecture by Dr. Lilia Campana (Texas A&M University) on Thursday, October 13 at 6:30, when we will hear her talk titled “Megalomania at Sea: The Recovery of Hellenistic Naval Architecture during the Renaissance” (see below for a lecture description).

The lecture will take place in Room 108, Rhode Island Hall, Brown University campus with a small reception to follow. We hope to see you there!


Lecture DescriptionDuring the Renaissance, Italian humanists attempted to recover the maritime golden age of ancient Greece and Rome. In resurrecting ancient warships, humanists looked at the most magnificent period in maritime history, the Hellenistic Age (323-31 B.C.), which produced a burst of unprecedented proportions resulting in warships of increasingly large size that eventually came to replace the trireme. Since no archaeological remains of ancient warships were available and have yet to be found, the study of ancient texts was crucial to the recovery of ancient naval architecture. Based on the study of several Renaissance naval treatises and unpublished archival sources, two shipbuilding projects are known: the quinqueremis built in 1529 by the Venetian humanist Vettor Fausto (1490-1546), and the grandiose and yet completely unknown attempt in 1570 by the erudite Filippo Pigafetta (1533-1604) to recover the design of the tessarakonteres of Ptolemy IV Philopator (r. 221-204 B.C.), the biggest ship ever built in the ancient Mediterranean. Both Fausto and Pigafetta believed that the knowledge of ancient texts was centrally relevant to the design of their ships and to the solution of practical problems of naval architecture in the material world.