The Future of the Past: Archaeology today
October 23 – November 28, 2014

When it comes to archaeology, everything old is new again. Today’s archaeologists are unearthing fresh insights about our distant and more recent past.

They’re collaborating with anthropologists and scientists, and applying precision tools like lasers and drones  to challenge theories about how societies functioned and evolved. From re-examining ancient fire and food practices to considering how contemporary politics influenced discoveries – and even excavating Nazi labour camps – they’re deepening our understanding of humanity. 

Six evening lectures and morning seminars will focus on a fascinating aspect – and a real-life story – of today’s archaeologists at work.  That’s not all!  Join us for a Roman Convivium at the Carlyle Inn and Bistro on Sunday, November 16 and find out the true meaning of “when in Rome”!  

All evening and morning events include a presentation by the speaker, refreshments, and an opportunity to ask questions.

Columbus Community Centre, 232 Spencer St. East, Cobourg

7:30 pm to approximately 9:30 pm

October 23
The Future of the Past: Archaeology today
Michael Chazan, Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

Archaeology is a dynamic field of research with interdisciplinary teams using new methods to understand complex archaeological sites. Archaeological research is also situated in the contemporary world context, where discoveries about our human past often connect to powerful and essential issues of identity and politics. Using examples from research on human origins in South Africa and other projects, this talk will demonstrate the process of archaeological discovery.    

October 30
The Bronze Age: Novelty and innovation in art and technology 
Carl Knappett, Walter Graham/Homer Thompson Chair in Aegean Prehistory, University of Toronto

The Bronze Age of Greece saw a remarkable flowering of artistic novelty and technological innovation, making this a rich theatre for investigating the dynamics of change. With the particular advantages brought by an archaeological outlook – both very long term and closely focused on materiality – this lecture will examine some of today’s concerns surrounding innovation and resilience through this Bronze Age lens.

November 6
Excavating modernity: An introduction to the archaeology of the contemporary past 
Maria Theresia Starzmann, Assistant professor Archaeology, McGill University

The study of the “contemporary past” focuses its inquiry on the super-modern world, which is marked by an acceleration of innovations in the realms of communication, travel and economy. This presentation will provide an overview of several cases studies, including first results from excavations conducted at a former Nazi forced labor camp at Tempelhof airfield in Berlin, Germany.

November 13
15,000 Years of Success in Japan: What can the Jomon period teach us?
Gary Crawford, Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

The Jomon period existed for a staggering 15,000 years in Japan, ending only 1300-1400 years ago.  Neither hunter-gatherers nor farmers – and barely evolving – the Jomon cultures differed markedly from those of China, Near East, Mesoamerica, South America and others, which transformed from hunter-gatherers to farmers to centralized states. This lecture will offer perspectives from four decades of research on Jomon peoples’ interaction with plants and the broader ecology of northeastern Japan.

November 20
From field to feast: Food in the Roman world 
Jane Francis, Associate Professor, Classics, Modern Language and Linguistics, Concordia University

The Roman diet is well known through ancient literary, but archaeological data can shed even greater light on dietary preferences that may change over time or reflect regional trends. This lecture reconstructs food in the Roman world through archaeobotanical research and the physical remains of tools and containers, and uses economic studies to demonstrate how foodstuffs moved around the Roman world.

November 27
The politics of archaeology 
Tristan Carter, Associate Professor Anthropology, McMaster University

Politics and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology have been inextricably linked over the past 150 years in the Aegean, Anatolia, Levant and Mesopotamia. This lecture discusses foreign scholarly engagement in the region during the Ottoman Empire, and considers the intersection of national, local and global interest groups at the famed Anatolian Neolithic sites of Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe. It will also touch on more recent times, examining the nature and significance of looting in times of conflict.

Port Hope Library, 31 Queen Street
9:00 am to 11:00 am

October 24
Tracking the earliest use of fire
Michael Chazan, Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

October 31
Exploring innovation through archaeology
Carl Knappett, Walter Graham/Homer Thompson Chair in Aegean Prehistory, University of Toronto

November 7
The Archaeology of Community: Understanding social life in the Neolithic
Maria Theresia Starzmann, Assistant professor Archaeology, McGill University

November 14
Taming the wild peach and wild rice in China: The first biotechnology experts
Gary Crawford, Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

November 21
Understanding ancient pottery: A hands-on examination
Jane Francis, Associate Professor, Classics, Modern Language and Linguistics, Concordia University

November 28
From dumb brute to kissing cousins: Rewriting Neanderthal prehistory
Tristan Carter, Associate Professor Anthropology, McMaster University 

All evening events and morning seminars include a presentation by the speaker, refreshments, and an opportunity to ask questions.

Sunday afternoon, November 16, 2014

Carlyle Inn and Bistro
86 John Street
Port Hope

12:30 - 3 PM 

Pat Bryan, Master of Ceremonies

Music by Fred Cory and Carol Hasek

Ever wondered what’s really behind the expression “When in Rome”? Join us at a Roman feast for the senses, with food, music, readings, debate, surprises and fun. Enjoy an authentic meal based on recipes of the ancient Romans and table talk, Roman style.

No need for a toga – modern day dress is fine.

Tickets are $45 per person.

Attendance is limited to 50 people, so order your tickets today from our Tickets Page.

For more information, call Joanne Bonebakker at 905.349.3402.

PAT BRYAN, Magister Bibendi 

Pat Bryan was born in England and educated at Bromley Grammar School and Cambridge. After service in the Royal Air Force he married, and subsequently emigrated to Canada in 1956. Over the next 40 years he worked in advertising for a large and diverse group of clients in various firms and sometimes as free-lance.

In 2001, he self-published his first book, What Else You Got ?, an anecdotal memoir; seven more books followed.

His most successful fiction venture was a short story, after Dylan Thomas, entitled A Child’s Christmas in Port Hope , of which he has given readings on several occasions. He has also broadcast on Northumberland 89.7 FM, the local public radio station. 

FRED COREY, recorder 
Fred Cory has studied both jazz and classical music, earning a performance degree on flute from the University of Victoria and a diploma in jazz studies on saxophone at Vancouver Community College. In recent years, Fred has become interested in early music and taken up the recorder to play pre-classical music more authentically. Fred is also a registered massage therapist and a nutritional counsellor with a passion for challenging conventional wisdom on diet and health. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if he loves music more than butter.

CAROL HASEK, keyboard 

Carol Hasek is new to Northumberland County, having moved here from
Toronto in 2012. She has enjoyed a varied career in music, starting out in classical music (U of T), taking a detour into popular music (working as a singer-songwriter, studio singer, backup musician), then back to classical music (10 years as a member of Tafelmusik). She plays piano, harpsichord, and flute. Carol is a vocal coach for Toronto’s famous performing arts high school, Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, and has a thriving voice studio in Toronto, preparing young classical singers for university studies, and coaching music theatre professionals performing all over Canada and the US (Shaw, Stratford, National Arts Centre, Royal MTC, COC, on and off-Broadway). In Cobourg, Carol plays piano as part of a new classical trio with Fred Cory and Deborah Henderson. 

Elizabeth Ivory