Previous SCA Events

Urbanization and Conquest in Macedonia: The First Two Years of the Ancient Methone Archaeological Project
Sarah Morris (UCLA) - February 11, 2016
Ancient Methone is a city situated on the mouth of the Thermaic Gulf in Pieria, northern Greece, with a settlement record stretching from the Final Neolithic period, ca. 4000 BCE, to 354 BCE when it was conquered and destroyed by Philip II. The city served as a pivotal junction between the rich metal and timber resources of southern Europe and the Macedonian interior on the one hand, and the Aegean maritime sphere on the other. The harbor of Methone was a key trading hub in the prehistoric and historic eras and among the most important ports of the north Aegean. Evidence for the prominence of Methone is provided in part by the ample array of workshops and production tools excavated thus far at the site, and also by some of the earliest evidence of the Greek alphabet anywhere in the Mediterranean, inscribed on pottery dating to the late 8th and early 7th centuries BCE. Merchants and settlers from throughout the Mediterranean are represented in the material culture of the city, indicating links with Mycenaean, Phoenician, Euboean, Athenian, and Macedonian societies. The 2014–2016 Methone Archaeological Project (a collaboration of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the 27th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities) aims to enrich the understanding of these connections in northern Greece, a relatively understudied area in Aegean studies, as well as situate the ancient city within the wider Mediterranean world. 
Breaking Iconoclasm: Destroying and Rebuilding Past and Present Heritage
SCA Special Roundtable - December 2, 2015
A roundtable discussion exploring interdisciplinary approaches to iconoclasm. Taking the recent events in Syria and Iraq as a starting point, a roundtable of specialists from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds (including archaeology, museum studies, digital humanities, history, and journalism) discussed the various origins and expressions of iconoclasm from multiple perspectives and within varying historical contexts. Videos of the entire event can now be found here.
Peasants, Ports and Power: rethinking narratives on the rise of medieval western Europe, ca. AD 600-1200
Christopher Loveluck - November 16, 2015

This talk focussed on exploring the dynamics of the social and economic development of the societies of northwest Europe from archaeological and inter-disciplinary perspectives during the medieval period, c. AD 600 – 1200. New research is focussing on coastal and maritime-oriented societies of the North-Sea, western Baltic, Channel and, increasingly, the Atlantic coasts northwest Europe. This work has drawn together historical and archaeological data to draw new conclusions as to their nature, networks and roles as catalysts of change.

More than a Meal: Seeking Civilization in Chicken Bones
Andrew Lawler - 29 April, 2015
Chicken is humanity’s single greatest source of protein, the world’s most common bird, and the most numerous of all domesticated animals. Aristotle pioneered embryology using chicken eggs, Darwin depended heavily on studies of the bird to develop his theory of evolution, and Pasteur used it to create the first true vaccines. Yet until recently, most anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists ignored the role of the common fowl in human society.
During the past decade, however, the chicken has emerged as an important marker in the rise of long-distance trade in the ancient world, the settlement of the Pacific islands, and the spread of farming culture around the world. New methods for collecting and analyzing bird bones provide a wealth of data previously not available to archaeologists. Meanwhile, advances in genetics offer intriguing clues to the place and reason for the animal’s domestication. Although the chicken’s origin remains a hotly disputed topic, as it was in Darwin’s day, there are signs of an emerging scholarly consensus.
Drawing from research for his recent book titled: Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization, our speaker explores recent chicken-related discoveries in several disciplines on several continents and their implications for understanding the spread of complex urban societies during the past four millennia. He also considers the remarkable versatility of the chicken in religious ritual, entertainment, and medical practice from ancient times until the present day. As a long-time science writer, he provides an excellent example of the important role that scientifically informed journalism can play in illuminating research topics in a manner that makes them compelling and intelligible to a wider public.