Research Seminars in Classical Archaeology

The Department of Archaeology seminars in Classical Archaeology are held on Tuesdays, 3.00-4.30, in the Boardroom of the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia located on level four of the Madsen Building (on Eastern Avenue opposite the Carslaw Building). CCANESA is at the top of the stairs located directly in front of you when you enter the Madsen Building (i.e. one floor above the level of the main entrance to the building).

Tuesday 15 August - Special event: AAIA 2017 Visiting Professor
Jim Wright (American School of Classical Studies, Athens),: A Villager’s Tale: life in a village under the shadow of Mycenae during the Late Bronze Age

This seminar presents the results of an excavation of a small settlement in the Nemea Valley and its changing relationship to the nearby capital of Mycenae during the Late Bronze Age in Greece, roughly from 1700-1200 BCE. The systematic excavations revealed a continuous occupation with significant evidence of the agrarian basis of the community and its eventual incorporation into the territory of Mycenae. Evidence of these developments are examined through discussion of the discoveries from cemeteries, households, plant cultivation, animal husbandry, tool use, and ceramic consumption. Illustrated is both how settlements in territories existed in their landscapes and how the palaces annexed their landscapes to create an administered territory.

Tuesday 22 August - Special event: extended research seminar (2 hrs with required reading)
Jim Wright (ASCS, Athens): Climate Change and Human Occupation in Greece: hypotheses, evidence, and implications

There is increasing evidence of climate variability in the Old World. This 2+ hour long advanced seminar examines how this evidence affects our interpretation of the rise and fall of societies within the Aegean world from the 3rd millennium through the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern Period. Specific programs of climate study in the Peloponnesos are relevant.

Background reading: Weiberg, E., I. Unkel, K. Kouli, K. Holmgren, P. Avramidis, A. Bonnier, F. Dibble, M. Finné, A. Izdebski, C. Katrantsiotis, S. R. Stocker , M. Andwinge, K. Baika, M. Boyd, and C. Heymann, 2016. "The socio-environmental history of the Peloponnese during the Holocene: Towards an integrated understanding of the past." Quaternary Science Reviews 136: 40-65.

If you wish to attend this seminar, please register with

Tuesday 29 August - Honours students
Max Campbell: The archaeology of long-term food storage in the Aegean household of the later Iron Age
Sam Sammut: The use of Stable Isotope Analysis in studies of Roman diet and migration

Tuesday 5 September - Honours students
Nestor Nicola: ATHENIANS. A people’s cultural response to invasion and destruction, plague, and the threat of becoming ἄπολις, stateless
Beatrice Marks: Pompeian households: implications of cosmetics

Tuesday 12 September
Francesca Oliveri (Soprin-tendenza del Mare, Palermo): Havens of the Phoenician - Punic period in Western Sicily

25-29 September - Semester break - no seminars

Tuesday 17 October
Hugh Thomas: The Zagora Infrared Photogrammetry Project: UAV thermal imagery of archaeological sites

Tuesday 24 October
Amy Smith (University of Reading): The stranger: sacrifice, ostracism, & racial stereotypes in the oeuvre of the Pan Painter

Tuesday 31 October
Kate McAllan: Diacritical Stinking: a Study of Perfume Vessels in Greece, ca 1200–700 BC

The current schedule can be downloaded here

Enquiries: Ted Robinson

Research Seminars in Classics and Ancient History

Classics and Ancient History departmental seminars are held in the Boardroom of the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (Room 480, Level 4), Madsen Building, entry off Eastern Avenue (at the City Road end), in the University’s Camperdown Campus. Please note the date and day of the week for seminars and other events as they are often held on different days throughout the semester. Regular weekly seminars held on Thursdays at 4.15pm are followed by light refreshments, and all are welcome to attend.

Thursday 10th Aug. 6.30-8.30pm - Special Event: Book Launch
Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies (AWAWS), the Ancient Cultures Research Centre (Macquarie University) and the Department of Classics & Ancient History (Sydney) invite you to attend a book launch at CCANESA in celebration of new publications by Julia Kindt, Kit Morell, Frances Muecke, Elodie Paillard, Louise Pryke, and Anne Rogerson.

Please RSVP by August 3 if you wish to attend:

Thursday 17th Aug. 4.15pm
Reuben Ramsay (University of Newcastle): Aeschylus as Oral Performance: Analysis by Tone Group of the Persians

Thursday 24th Aug. 6.00pm - Special Event: 22nd Todd Memorial lecture
Professor Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies, University of London): How Cosmopolitan was Imperial Rome?

Abstract: Rome, vast, swollen with immigrants from all the hinterlands of the inland sea, has often seemed the paradeigmatic cosmopolis, a world in a city, a city that encompassed the world. Modern historians of ancient Rome have often reached for parallels with London, Paris, New York or Mumbai in trying to understand the social texture of Europe’s first World City. But what if ancient cosmopoleis were not like modern ones? What if the different processes through which they were formed and repeatedly refilled were not the same as those that built and build the megacities of modernity. I shall be drawing on migration studies and new work on ancient connectivity to argue for the difference of ancient Rome, trying to sketch the outlines of an Alien Cosmopolis, that to our eyes seems strangely homogenous compared to the great cities of the twenty first century.

Venue: General Lecture Theatre, Quadrangle A14.

Monday 28th Aug. 12.15pm
James Kierstead (Victoria University of Wellington): 'Protagoras' Theory of Democracy’

Thursday 31st Aug. 4.15pm
Thomas Biggs (CCANESA Apollo Fellow, University of Georgia): War and the Mediation of Memory at the Beginnings of Latin Literature

Thursday 7th Sept. 3.30-5.30pm
Tea for Teachers

Monday 11th Sept. 12.15pm
Edith Foster (University of Queensland): Military Defeat in Fifth Century Athens: Thucydides and his Audience

Thursday 14th September 4.15pm - Additional seminar added
Professor Tim Whitmarsh (Cambridge University): How to write anti-Roman history

Friday 15th Sept. 6.00pm - Special Event: 5th William Ritchie Memorial Lecture
Professor Tim Whitmarsh (Cambridge University): Walking with Socrates: An Exploration of Greek Philosophy.
Abstract: We tend to think of philosophy in the abstract: we think of universal ideas and arguments floating free over time and space. In Athens, however, the incubator of much philosophical thought, debates took place in real environments, spaces within the city that had their own distinctive textures and resonances. In this paper I consider how the topography of Athens may have shaped the reception of Greek philosophies, and may even have influenced the ideas within the schools themselves.

Venue: CHANGE OF VENUE - Lecture also in CCANESA
Please RSVP to

Thursday 12th Oct. 4.15pm
Laura Ginters (Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Sydney): TBC

Monday 16th Oct. 12.15pm
Jayne Knight (University of Tasmania): TBC

The current schedule can be downloaded here. Full titles will be added soon.

Research Seminars in Near Eastern Archaeology

The Department of Archaeology Near Eastern seminars are held on Mondays from 4.00-5.00, in the Boardroom of the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia located on level four of the Madsen Building (on Eastern Avenue opposite the Carslaw Building). CCANESA is at the top of the stairs located directly in front of you when you enter the Madsen Building (i.e. one floor above the level of the main entrance to the building).

Monday 21 August – Amanda Gaston & Miranda Evans – University of Sydney Honours Student showcase

Wednesday 30 August – Fanny Bocquentin (CNRS) – “The Neolithic cult of ancestors : what’s up?”

Monday 4 September – Amanda Dusting (University of Sydney) – “British Museum fieldwork in Iraqi Kurdistan”

Monday 11 September – Holly Winter (University of Sydney) - "Palaces of the Dead: A New Perspective on Middle Bronze Age Palaces in the Southern Levant"

Monday 18 September – Craig Barker (University of Sydney) - TBA
Monday 25 September & 2 October – Semester break & Labour Day
Monday 9 October – Jamie Fraser (Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney) - TBA
Monday 16 October – Hui Shen (Chinese Academy of Science) - TBA
Monday 23 October - TBA
Monday 30 October – Anna Silkatcheva (AAIA, University of Sydney) - TBA

Download the current seminar schedule here. Check back for updated titles throughout the semester.

For further details contact , NESS co-ordinator 2017