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History Presents

2018 Lauritsen Lecture: Professor Felipe Rojas, Brown University

4/5/18, 4:00 PM

About this event

"The Past in Things: Archaeophilia in Roman Anatolia"

Felipe Rojas is  an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and the Department of Egyptology and Assyriology at Brown University. He specializes in the archaeology of Anatolia and has conducted fieldwork at the sites of Sardis, Labraunda, and Aphrodisias, in Western Turkey. Rojas’s research focuses on past uses of the past, more specifically on how people in the classical Mediterranean and Near East took note of, interpreted, and manipulated the material remains of former times. 

Professor Felipe Rojas challenges the notion that there was widespread antipathy towards the pre-classical remains of the region, and show instead that pre-historic earthen mounds, Bronze and Iron Age reliefs, fortresses, statues, and inscriptions not only incited the interest of ancient interpreters, but were an important tool in local history-making. He calls attention to the fact that all those discrete traces were conceptualized as part of complex material and mental assemblages that validated specific historical narratives. Key nodes in those assemblages (including, for example, flora and climatological phenomena) do not correspond to what modern archaeologists usually consider “archaeological” evidence. And yet the peculiar connections that tied such “living traces” to their ancient interpreters made them authoritative indices of how the past had been. Professor Rojas concludes by bringing the Anatolian material into dialogue with analogous traditions elsewhere in the world and discuss possible steps forward in attempts to engage in inclusive and expansive archaeological and historical practices.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and the Department of Anthropology

This event is free and open to the public.

Event Location
  • 1210 Heller Hall
  • 271 - 19th Avenue South
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA - United States