Poster for Archaeological Institute of America lecture titled Greek Triremes and the Origins of Democracy

Archaeological Institute of America lecture at Dickinson College

Archaeological Institute of America

Dickinson College is home to the South Pennsylvania Society chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and with the support of the AIA, will host lectures during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters.

The lectures will begin at 6:30pm, and will be held in Denny Hall, room #317.
The lectures are free and open to the public.

2017-18 Lecture Schedule:


Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Ceremonial Stone Landscapes of Northeastern North America"
Lecturer:  Dr. Laurie Rush, Cultural Resources Manager and Army Archaeologist

Over the past 350 years, Europeans have systematically separated Native Americans of northeastern North America from their places of religious significance and ceremony.  Disenfranchisement has taken the form of characterizing sacred places as locations of devil worship; attribution of aboriginal stone architecture to ancient European visitors; failure to appreciate Native American understanding of celestial events, and archaeological identification of aboriginal stone features as farmers’ piles and root cellars.  This lecture explores the historic dynamics that have prevented serious identification and study of the ceremonial stone landscapes and features of the northeast and discusses the critical importance of using existing data sets to initiate regionally focused research on these sites.

Dr. Laurie Rush
Cultural Resources Manager and Army Archaeologist
Fort Drum, New York
 


Thursday, February 8, 2018

"Greek Triremes & the Orgins of Democracy"
Lecturer:  Dr. John R. Hale
Director of Liberal Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Louisville

The ancient Greek trireme ranks with the Iberian caravel, the Viking longship, and the Polynesian outrigger canoe as a type of watercraft that has altered the course of human history.  Of the trireme, only bronze rams and stone slipways remain as evidence for this ancient oared galley, powered by a crew of 170 who rowed in three superimposed tiers.  In the historic naval battle of Salamis in 480 BC, three hundred triremes from Greek city-states – mainly Athenian – defeated an armada of a thousand triremes in the service of King Xerxes of Persia.  The Greek victory decisively halted the expansion of the Persian Empire, and became the subject of Aeschylus’ tragedy The Persians, which is the world’s oldest surviving play, and was written by an Athenian who fought in the battle.  Athens subsequently used its trireme fleet to lead a maritime league of Greek city-states that helped launch the Golden Age of Greece.  Since rowers in ancient navies were considered to be combatants, the laboring-class citizens who pulled the oars ultimately won full civic rights.  These newly empowered citizens soon transformed Athens into the world’s first radical democracy.   This illustrated lecture is presented by Dr. John R. Hale, author of Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy.  Dr. Hale will also report on the “Persian Wars Shipwreck Survey” in the Aegean Sea, a deep submergence exploration of sites identified by the historian Herodotus as places where triremes were sunk in storms or sea-battles.

The ancient Greek trireme ranks with the Iberian caravel, the Viking longship, and the Polynesian outrigger canoe as a type of watercraft that has altered the course of human history.  Of the trireme, only bronze rams and stone slipways remain as evidence for this ancient oared galley, powered by a crew of 170 who rowed in three superimposed tiers.  In the historic naval battle of Salamis in 480 BC, three hundred triremes from Greek city-states – mainly Athenian – defeated an armada of a thousand triremes in the service of King Xerxes of Persia.  The Greek victory decisively halted the expansion of the Persian Empire, and became the subject of Aeschylus’ tragedy The Persians, which is the world’s oldest surviving play, and was written by an Athenian who fought in the battle.  Athens subsequently used its trireme fleet to lead a maritime league of Greek city-states that helped launch the Golden Age of Greece.  Since rowers in ancient navies were considered to be combatants, the laboring-class citizens who pulled the oars ultimately won full civic rights.  These newly empowered citizens soon transformed Athens into the world’s first radical democracy.   This illustrated lecture is presented by Dr. John R. Hale, author of Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy.  Dr. Hale will also report on the “Persian Wars Shipwreck Survey” in the Aegean Sea, a deep submergence exploration of sites identified by the historian Herodotus as places where triremes were sunk in storms or sea-battles.