This week the Archaeological Research Facility at the University of California, Berkeley will present two talks on archaeological topics, one on Wednesday, February 9 and one on Thursday, February 10. Both events will take place on the UCB campus.
Talk #1: “Searching for the Meaning of Place within prehistoric settlements of the American Southeast”
The first event is a brownbag presented by Nenad Lipovac, who is a member of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Dr. Lipovac’s lecture will discuss the construction of early American prehistoric settlements in the Southeast with an eye towards understanding the sites from the point of view of the people who planned them. By examining a number of known and excavated archaeological sites and comparing their layout with new settlements discovered during the course of his research, Dr. Lipovac came to the conclusion that most of the settlements were highly planned. Despite the fact that the cultures that constructed the sites did not have a writing system or written mathematical techniques, they were able to design settlements and structures to conform to observations of astronomical phenomena with startling precision.
The brownbag will be presented from 12-1 pm on Wednesday, February 9 in the Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave., room 101. The talk is free and open to the public.
Talk #2: “Literacy and Literacies in Early Ancient Mesopotamia”
The second event is a lecture presented by Professor Piotr Michalowski of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and sponsored by the Near Eastern Studies department. Dr. Michalowski’s lecture will examine archaeological and textual evidence to suggest ways of looking at the “consequences of literacy” in early ancient Mesopotamia. While we know that writing was invented in Mesopotamia around 3200 BCE (before the common era), most work on the hundreds of thousands of preserved writings, mostly on clay tablets, has focused on understanding the political and economic history, literature, religion, and scientific achievements of the area. Recent research has begun to focus on schooling in ancient Mesopotamia. Dr. Michalowski’s work builds on this research by looking into the social aspects of reading and writing in the ancient world.
The lecture will be presented from 4:30-6 pm on Thursday, February 10 in Barrows Hall 254 on the UC-Berkeley Campus. The talk is free and open to the public.