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 Based on the study of several Renaissance naval treatises and unpublished archival sources, two shipbuilding projects are known: the quinqueremis built in 1529 by the Venetian humanist Vettor Fausto (1490-1546), and the grandiose and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.

AIA Kress Lecture April 21

On April 21st at 6:30 pm, we will hear from Dr. Lorenzo Nigro (Sapienza University of Rome) in a talk titled The Phoenicians at the World’s Ends: The Formation of Mediterranean Civilization as seen from the Island of Motya in Sicily. As usual, the lecture will take place in Room 108 Rhode Island Hall, Brown University, with a Q&A and reception to follow. See the abstract below for more information on Dr. Nigro’s talk. We hope to see you for what will be a very interesting lecture!


“Fourteen seasons of excavations at Motya (2002-2015) revealed traces of the earliest Levantine and Phoenician habitation of the central Mediterranean, bringing to light the formative phase of Phoenician expansion to the West. The discovery of Building C8 and  a series of wells in the earliest settlement, matched with other recent finds in the Iberian Peninsula (Cadiz), North Africa (Utica, Carthage) and Sardinia (Sulky) have significantly transformed the history of the 2nd and1st millennium BC Mediterranean.

Examining the sea routes across the Mediterranean may help disentangle the intricate roots of our civilization—or suggest that a multicultural/ethnical approach is better for studying the historical scenario of the earliest centuries of the 1st millennium BC, when this enclosed sea became a melting pot for peoples and cultures.”

AIA Lecture October 29 – Filomena Limão

Please join us for a talk titled, Tróia (Grândola, Portugal) or the “Portuguese Troy” – A Mystery in the Edge of the Roman World: Space, Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Mosaics by Filomena Limão of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and in 108 Rhode Island Hall,Brown University campus, on this Thursday, October 29, at 6:30 pm. See below for a description of Dr. Limão’s talk:

The aim of the lecture is to introduce the historical and artistic heritage of the Roman archaeological site of Tróia (in English “Troy”) located in the Southwestern Atlantic coast of Portugal. Tróia is the name of a peninsula on the left bank of the river Sado and despite having been subject of great interest and considerable studies since the sixteenth century CE, much remains to uncover about this place. Surrounded by an attractive natural environment, Tróia, conceivably an island in Antiquity, became an important Roman industrial complex in the first century BCE. Tróia displays noteworthy fish-salting workshops, diversified examples of architecture such as balnea (with remains of mosaics), insulae, diverse funerary monuments and an Early Christian Basilica with beautiful wall paintings. Although not numerous, the sculpture of Tróia (statuary, architectural sculpture and reliefs) is varied showing the relevance of this peripheral place in the intersection of religious (i.e. the Mithras cult and Christianity) and artistic movements of the Roman world. Tróia slowly declined through Late Antiquity (late fifth to early sixth century CE) but its historical and artistic legacy remains as one of the most eye-catching issues for the understanding of Antiquity in Portugal.

We hope to see you in 108 Rhode Island Hall Thursday Oct. 29 at 6:30 pm! As always, we will be live-tweeting this lecture so you can get the highlights from the talk even if you are unable to make it.

AIA Lecture April 8 – Dr. Kevin Glowacki

Please join us Wednesday April 8 to hear from Dr. Kevin Glowacki, Texas A&M University, in a lecture titled “Pelargikon and Peripatos: The Archaeology of Cult on the Slopes of the Athenian Acropolis.”

This lecture will begin at 6 pm with a reception to follow after, and will be held in 105 Ruane Center, Providence College (please note that this is not the usual location!). See the map below for more information on the location of the lecture on Providence College campus.

If you’re not able to join us, don’t forget to follow us on twitter and like our facebook page for updates during the lecture.

Spring Lecture Line-Up

Happy 2015 to all of our members! With the new year comes a new group of talks. We currently have two great lectures lined-up that we are very excited about:

February 26: “Women, Children and Families in the Military Communities of the Western Roman Empire” given by Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontario. 6:30 pm in Room 108, Rhode Island Hall, Brown University.

April 8: “Pelargikon and Peripatos:  The Archaeology of Cult on the Slopes of the Athenian Acropolis” given by Kevin Glowacki, Texas A&M University.  6 pm in 105 Ruane Center, Providence College campus **This lecture will be held at Providence College.

Please check here for more updates, including talk abstracts, and our facebook page, which has all of our events activities (and is updated very frequently).

AIA Lecture November 13 – Dr. Jean Turfa

Join us on Thursday November 13 at 6:30 PM for a talk by Etruscan archaeologist Dr. Jean Turfa titled “Top śar (10) Recent Breakthroughs in Etruscan Archaeology.” See Dr. Turfa’s abstract below for more information. Q&A and reception will follow.

Also, remember to follow AIA Narragansett Society on twitter and facebook for live updates on lectures and events! We hope to see you next week!




You may not yet know it, but real Etruscans wore plaid, had to accommodate women drivers, built high-speed sailing ships, and availed themselves of quite sophisticated plumbing. You may not know it, but you just might be Etruscan – or be unwittingly using inventions the Etruscans (via Roman culture) gave us, such as the “Latin” alphabet, “Roman” numerals, and gabled wooden houses. Ten recent discoveries show how much our own culture relies on the breakthroughs of Etruscan innovators of the first millennium BC, and just how avant-garde this culture really was.

Archaeology Day 2014

Location of AIA Archaeology Day activities on Brown University campus

It’s that time of the year again! As part of our local celebration of Archaeology Day, the AIA Narragansett and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World will be hosting a wide array of events and activities this Saturday, October 25 in Rhode Island Hall, Brown University from 10 am to 2 pm.

Come learn about stratigraphy, Sardinian ceramics, Hellenistic coins, and Egyptian scarabs. You can even help out in the Joukowsky Institute College Hill excavations on the Quiet Green! All ages are welcome, so come by and join us in celebrating Archaeology Day. We hope to see you there!