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Research Focus Group Talk: The Dirt on Rubbish: What Discard Tells us about Home Life in Roman Egypt

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

This paper explores activities of cleaning and disposing because they represent key principles of social organization. Close attention to discard behavior helps us to understand how people related to the material goods and places that once made up their object worlds – their material habitus (c.f. Meskell, 2005: 3). Human relationships to defilement, in particular, must be seen in in the context of how human identity as a rational being is established and maintained (Kristeva, ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Mediterranean Pathways: GIS, Network Analysis, and the Ancient World

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

We live in a world of maps and networks. GPS enabled phones allow us to instantly locate ourselves on the earth’s surface, guide us to stores or restaurants, or announce to the world our location through social media. Likewise, programs like Google Earth and desktop Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have revolutionized our engagement with maps, map-making, and have challenged traditional notions of space and place. The proliferation of GIS technologies and the “spatial turn” in ...

Research Focus Group Symposium: Ancient Archives and Public History: Dispatches from the Papyrological Lost and Found

Old Mission Santa Barbara 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Book of the Dead of the Priest of Horus, Imhotep (Imuthes), ca. 332-200 B.C. From the poetry of Sappho to the New Testament, texts written on papyrus have been preserved for millennia by arid conditions in Egypt, excavated, and collected in archives. This timely colloquium examines the legal and ethical problems surrounding these papyrological archives. Roberta Mazza will tell the story of how ancient papyri of unknown provenance were acquired by the Museum of the ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Voices of Ancient Palmyra: Reflections

6056 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

“Voices of Ancient Palmyra” began as an online public humanities project that explored how different publics engaged with ancient history and the destruction of ancient objects. The original goal was to encourage people of all ages and education levels to artistically rewrite words from ancient Palmyrene inscriptions, while learning about the history of the site. Artistic recreations were then uploaded to the website and social media. The project became a museum exhibition at the Fullerton ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Dismembering Classicism: Contesting Colonial and Classical Legacies in the Southwest


REGISTER NOW Classicization in U.S. heritage narratives often involves the imposition of classical elements, derived from Greek and Roman civilization, onto narratives of colonial conquest in Southwestern borderlands and frontier spaces. Ongoing controversies surrounding statues of the conquistador, Juan de Oñate, reflect the ways in which the classical legacy remains prominent in public spheres of historical narrative. In providing a visual narrative of conquest linked to classical imagery, the Spanish history of the settling of ...

Research Focus Group Workshop: Shifting Economic Power in Autun: The Donation of Constantine


Autun’s textual and material record illustrates how and why ancient patterns of life in northeast Gaul began to give way during Late Antiquity. Adopting a methodology developed in feminist historiography, this paper explores the effect on Autun’s political economy of resources funneled to Autun’s bishop by the emperor Constantine in the early 4th century. Because Constantine did not restrict his patronage just to Autun, the city serves as a case study demonstrating how the introduction ...

Research Focus Group Discussion: “Backwater Puritans”? Racism, Egyptological Stereotypes, and the Intersection of Local and International at Kushite Tombos

6056 HSSB and Zoom

Egyptological and more popular perceptions of Nubia and the Kushite Dynasty (c. 747-654 BCE) have framed Kush as a periphery to civilized Egypt, unsophisticated interlopers in Egypt and the broader Mediterranean world during the first millennium. But to what extent was Nubia a “backwater” to “effete and sophisticated” Egypt, as John Wilson once asserted? It is clear from recent archaeological work at Tombos and elsewhere that Nubia was not an unsophisticated backwater. Objects with Egyptianizing ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Roman-Persian Relations: The Emperor Jovian and the Syriac “Julian Romance”

6056 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

The Roman emperor Jovian (363-364) only ruled for eight months and has not received much attention in scholarship. However, he is more than a footnote in history. After the reign of Julian, he returned to the policies of Constantius II and Constantine the Great. His peace agreement with the Sassanid king Shapur II also had great impact for Roman-Persian relations. The first part of this presentation evaluates the peace agreement, the responses to it, and ...