Archaeological Institute of America

Dickinson College is home to the South Pennsylvania Society chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and each year sponsors two lectures, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. 

Lectures begin at 6:30pm, and are held in Denny Hall, room #317.

These lectures are free and open to the public.

2015-16 Lecture Schedule:


November 5, 2015

"Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean: The Case of the Orientalizing Cauldrons"

Lecturer:  Nassos Papalexandrou, Ph.D.

The visual apparatus of orientalizing cauldrons introduced radically new technologies of visual engagement in the preclassical Mediterranean of the seventh century BCE.  Hitherto, the orientalizing innovation has been understood in terms of the wholesale importation or adaptation of objects, techniques, iconographies from the near east.  The study proposes instead that change was ushered in by a radical shift in ways of seeing and interacting with what today we call 'art.'  The new technologies of visual engagement (new ways of seeing and being seen) the study explores reshaped and cognitive and aesthetic apparatus of viewing subjects. Dr. Papalexandrou argues that the griffin cauldrons were devised to establish an aesthetic of rare and extraordinary experiences within the experiential realm of early Greek sanctuaries or in sympotic events of princely elites of orientalizing Italy.  This aesthetic was premised on active visual engagement as performance motivated and sustained by the materiality of these objects.

Nassos Papalexandrou
University of Texas at Austin
Department of Art and Art History

April 14, 2016

"Kayaks and Chaloupes: The Maritime Landscapes of Inter-Cultural Contact in Labrador, Canada"

Lecturer:  Amanda Crompton, Ph.D.

By the sixteenth century, the coast of southern Labrador, Canada, was a crossroads for many people, drawn particularly by the region's rich marine resources.  Groups of Inuit had moved down the coast from the north, while ships from the east brought transient French fishermen and Basque whalers from Europe.  Collectively, these groups were drawn into annual encounters, in which Inuit exchanged marine products like baleen, furs, and sea mammal oil for iron tools and manufactured goods.  More than anything, Inuit desired the French fishing boats, called chaloupes, which they used alongside their own traditional kayaks.  The French were less likely to trade their chaloupes willingly, and the struggle over maritime vehicles would lead to conflict over maritime landscapes.  These cyclical, yearly enounters affected the daily lives of all involved: both Inuit and Europeans anticipated these yearly enounters, and planned their strategies accordingly.  This lecture will detail the history of Inuit and European settlement in Labrador from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and discuss the ways in which these interactions affected the lives of both European fishermen and Inuit traders.

Amanda Crompton
Memorial University
Department of Archaeology