2022-2023 Program

Come learn about new discoveries, new treasures, and new ideas! All lectures are free and open to the public, so why not join us for an afternoon?

Upcoming Lectures

We are very excited to announce our 2022-2023 program! CLICK HERE for the poster. A list of the lectures going forward are found below.

Title: Environmental Histories of the Ancient Mediterranean in Ten Objects – IN PERSON ONLY

Speaker: Catherine Kearns (University of Chicago)

Date: 5 February 2023

Time: 14h00 (2:00pm)

Location: Carleton University

Room: 303 Paterson

Abstract: The last decade has seen a flourishing of collaborative research on ancient environments, combining natural archives, scientific analyses, archaeological evidence, as well as texts and documents to reconstruct the interactions between humans, environments, and climates, and to understand their histories. In this talk, we will look at ten objects recovered from societies of the ancient Mediterranean that reveal and illustrate some of these discoveries. From sediment cores, to wood charcoal, to cisterns and storage jars, these ten things highlight the ways that physical materials shape human engagements with and perceptions of shifting and changing climates and ecologies. The selections introduce the social and political dimensions of these relationships, from the tools and spaces of working farmers to the worldviews and institutional control of elite statesmen, as well as the techniques scientists and archaeologists use to discern environmental change at multiple scales. These examples raise important questions on new research methods, concepts of heritage and conservation, as well as how archaeologists can contribute to broader discussions on the present and futures of human-environment relationships.


Title: Pandemics, Plagues, and Pestilence in early Byzantine Thebes

Speaker: Maria Liston (University of Waterloo)

Date: 12 March 2023

Time: 14h00 (2:00pm)

Location: Carleton University

Room: TBD

Abstract: Excavations in the Sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo in Thebes also revealed a later cemetery of Early and Middle Byzantine burials, which are apparently associated with an early Christian hospice or hospital.  The skeletons showed that a remarkably high percentage of individuals suffered from significant pathologies with high rates of infectious diseases.  Two mass graves are probably associated with the early spread of the Plague of Justinian or a smallpox epidemic. Another epidemic, leprosy, affected nearly everyone in the cemetery, including those who suffered comorbidities such as cancer, brucellosis, and severe trauma. Hospitals serving the whole community were an early innovation of the Byzantine church in Greece, and this project provides a vivid glimpse of the patients whose lives ended there. Thebes also may have been a site of pilgrimage in the early church, drawn by the tomb of St. Luke the Evangelist, located near this cemetery.