Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It’s Party Time

The CAS Annual Holiday Luncheon Features Gala Changes

C AS members can look forward to several pleasant changes and a few surprise when they gather at 2:00 pm for the Annual Holiday Luncheon, December 3rd, at the Evanston Public Library,1703 Orrington Av.

First and foremost the luncheon is free, a holiday gift from the CAS for paid members in good standing who reserve a chair at the groaning board!

(Elsewhere in the Codex is the requisite reservation form for the luncheon). Because the luncheon is free and because it will be catered, it is important to have a reservation count.

There will be a very special prize gift drawing of an eth-no/art treasure from the Doris Neilson legacy. Doris, a retired teacher and world traveler, created a small personal museum ln her Michigan home that was closed when she moved from Michigan to the east coast. Doris (made personal gifts of the museum contents to Michigan State University and to the Chicago Archaeological Society. Many of her Michigan State gifts are presently on display at Michigan State and a lucky December reveler will win an item from the legacy. A similar legacy was bequeathed by CAS President Frank Underbrink.

 Whether it’s the Maya of Central America or the Moche (or the Incas!) of Peru across the vast expanse of the New World the precious heritage of the past is threatened with damage and destruction.

Much of the threat has been threatened by the nature of time e.g. El Niño, but much of the destruction has transpired by the hand of humans.

Grim Rituals of the Moche

Recent excavations at the Peruvian Pyramid of the Moon and the urban area between the two platforms have exposed Moche specialists
with new information about ritual and everyday lives of the Moche.

Until now understanding was drawn from gruesome artwork, primarily depicted on ceramics. Vessels in the form of molded figures
and intricate fine-line painting show warrior-priests bedecked in imposing ornate garb orchestrating ritual warfare; slitting captives'
throats, drinking their blood.

In the absence of archaeological evidence, most scholars accepted many of the scenes found on late Moche ceramics too horrific to take literally, often suggesting they were simply artistic hyperbole, imagery the priestly class used to underscore its coercive power.

Now, however, ongoing archaeological exploration has revealed the truth that Moche art was representative of the ancient Moche life it so horribly displayed!

Please mark your calendar to save December 3rd to learn more about the Moche and remember your holiday luncheon admission and reservation is free but you are requested to return your reservation form.

Touring Athen’s Agora with Laura Gawlinski

Regular tourists in Athens, Greece, usually see the changing of the Guard, the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum. Perhaps they tour the National Museum and they may have taken a day trip to Delphi and a few may have made a quick trip through the Agora on a "free day."
The Stoa of Athen is one of thelargest roofed Greek buildingsof Greek antiquity.

After hearing our speaker bring life to the bustling ancient Agora, a visitor will want to return to visit the Stoa, the very complete Temple of Hephaestus and other evidences
of the busy activities that occurred

Pieces of shards were used to
vote to ostracize politicians
and other trouble makers. Voting
machines and ballot counters shown were amazingly clever instruments of a budding democracy. Learning about trials with thousands on a jury might make you contemplate such trials today.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Exploring the Athenian Agora

The Parthenon, rising above the Agora, is arguably the iconic signature of ancient Athens. Its magnetic power and prestige out-draws the Agora as a tourist attraction. Within the sacred precincts of the Acropolis is the heartbeat of rising democracy.

Although less visually eye-catching the Agora does feature the Temple of Hephaestus. The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece. It was dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts.

The CAS Speaker for October, Dr. Laura Gawlinski, Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Department Chair at Loyola University Chicago. Her research and teaching covers Greek religion and sacred space, classical archaeology, and Greek inscriptions.

Dr. Gawlinski’s long-time association with the excavations of the Athenian Agora, on-going are the basis of her presentation. She recalls that "At Randolph–Macon, I was given the opportunity to excavate in Athens at the Agora; I am continuing to work at the site and have recently published an updated guide to its museum.”

The Athenian Agora 

The evolution of the Athenian Ag-ora of Athens was a natural complement of the growth of the emerging Greek democracy.

Across the globe urban areas like the Zocalo of Mexico City are the civic centers—large open squares where citizens can assemble for a wide variety of purposes depending on group or individual needs.

On any given day the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings necessary to run the Athenian government.
These buildings, along with monuments and small objects, illustrate the important role it played in all aspects of public life. The council chamber, magistrates’ offices, mint, and archives have all been uncovered, while the law courts are represented by the recovery of bronze ballots and a water-clock used to time speeches. The use of the area as a marketplace is indicated by the numerous shops where artisans sold their wares and philosophers traded and debated ideas.

Spaces space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the center of the city much the way heart of and the square was surrounded by the public buildings necessary to run the Athenian government. All of the above is famously documented in the Field Museum Aztec market diorama.
The field archaeology of Dr. Laura Gawlinski, and others is returning the Athenian Agora to our historical understanding.

Archaeology and history provide glimpses of our cultural past. Remember
that all meetings of the CAS are free and open to the public.

See you at 3:00 pm at the regular
meeting of the Chicago Archaeological
Society at the Evanston
Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue.

The palimpsest by Deb Stelton

Dues, Holidays & more 

It’s that time of the year—dues are due! It’s been years since our last increase, but there are ominous rumbling emanating from Washington that sound like a hefty postage increase. Upon opening a meeting PresidentRay Young regularly reminds us that dues are the lifeblood of our organization. So they are!

The CAS provides its members with memorable hours at bargain prices. Consider for a moment the fantastic journeys over time and space that CAS armchair travel has brought to you over the months and
years. For your convenience a re-enrollment/holiday reservation combo form is on this page.

Holiday Luncheon

You will notice that our holiday luncheon is free. Nonmembers
are urged to make a modest donation or to become a member. Holiday participants
must make reservations. Voluntary dessert contributions will be received.

There were a few croppers attendant to the September meeting. Apologies will be extended to our guest speaker. The change of the meeting date from the last Sunday of the month was, perhaps, a leading contributor or perhaps fate added a scripted Marx Brothers page!

Ancient Maritime Trade : East & Southeast Asia

The CAS September guest speaker, Dr. Lisa Miziolek, presented a rare insight into the collection of artifacts leading to a recreation of the human story.

A report on her work and presentation will be featured
in the December 2017 Codex.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

On Safari with the Chicago Archaeological Society

Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?

If there are fundamental reason for studying anthropology and cultivating a compelling interest in archaeology the above starting rhetorical questions may be a preliminary beginning.

During the passage of eight months of a CAS Program season CAS members span the globe, with the guidance of superb speakers searching for the truth of humankind.

During 2016-2017 we traveled to Armenia, visited an Egyptian gallery of ancestors, explored ancient structures of Gobekli Tepe (the world’s oldest temple) in Turkey, and marveled at the genius of Peruvian engineers who converted the challenging altiplano, often harsh and even cruel, of the Andes to a horn of plenty. These remark-able adventures come to us through the ceaseless efforts of Vice President Lucy Kennedy, thank you Lucy!

The season is climaxed in May but year after year illusive truth keeps her distance and like Oliver we want more, please! Odd-ly unable to find illusive truth during an eighth month lecture program officers plan a one day Summer Safari—a penultimate effort so-to-speak. Early in 2017 Mike Ruggeri and Ray Young proposed a visit to Beloit College and the Logan Museum. The Logan is no stranger to the CAS, but a warm invitation from Curator Dan Bartlett was a superb decision.

The Safari visit included a sur-vey of the surviving Indian Mounds. The Beloit College campus features 20 conical, lin-ear, and animal effigy mounds built between about AD 400 and 1200. One, in the form of a turtle, has inspired the symbol (and unofficial mascot) of the College. Sara Pfannkuche escorted the CAS group on a cam-pus tour of the mounds providing encyclopedic details of their history.

The Logan Museum houses approximately 15,000 ethnographic and over 200,000 archaeological objects from 129 countries and more than 600 cultural groups. Collections de-rive from research expeditions, field schools, gifts, exchanges, and purchases. The museum’s diversity and the fact that it is a teaching institution has attract-ed global attention e.g. a group of French archaeologists traveled to Beloit to study the Paleolithic collection.

Most importantly the museum is a teaching museum! Dan Bartlett prepared a special exhibition for CAS Traveling Explor-ers—WE SAW AND HANDLED IMPLEMENTS USED BY OUR PREDECESSORS FROM THE ACHEULEAN THROUGH THE MOUSTERIAN and TO THE AURIGNACION!

Still searching for answers to the headline questions I was momentarily transformed as I reached out, spanning a time gap of 500,000 years, give or take a millennium or so, and actually touched the past.

The 2017 Safari ended with a fun luncheon at the downtown Bushel and Peck’s Restaurant and the awarding of the CAS Certificate of Appreciation to Dan Bartlett.

The Palimpsest

Ancient remains found in Peru

In the hillsides of Lima's northern district of Los Olivos (Peru), a team of researchers, led by archaeologist Luis Angel Flores Blanco, uncovered skeletal remains bundled up in a funerary blanket, that date back more than 6,000 years.

The archaeologist explained that research began in April this year with the help of the city of Los Olivos, volunteers and archeology students. Ruth Shady, discoverer of Caral, the oldest civilization in America, inaugurated the project and presented the excavation plan at a public event.

So far, preliminary excavations have revealed the presence of two buildings (terraced pyramids) which would be the most important in the valley and would make the hill called Cerro Pacifico the epicenter of this ancient civilization.

> Deb Stelton

Exploring seas of the ancient world

How early were sea routes developed for immigration and trade?

How early were sea routes developed for immigration and trade? The question leads us to more questions, mysterious questions.
The earliest seaworthy boats may have been developed as ear-ly as 45,000 years ago according to one theory about the habita-tion of Australia. Some sources claim that it was only 30,000 years ago. Either way, the con-cept is mind-boggling. Could Neanderthals or Cro-Magnons have built rafts or canoes?

The 13,000 year old skeleton of a teen age girl was found in a Yucatecan cenote a few years ago. The human features were reconstructed. Amazingly, she did not resemble contemporary Maya or ancient Siberians, but instead is said to resemble Polynesians.

Copper hatchets from the Chincha Valley of Peru were trade items found in Ecuador. Similar hatchets have been found in northern Mexico, not far from the Arizona border. These could have traveled via land routes, but did they?

The word for sweet potato on Easter Island, kuma, is the same as the Inca word. How did the denizens of that island arrive in the middle of the ocean? The distance from Chile seems just too far.

On a trip to Indonesia, in Bali, you can join the local population to enjoy shadow puppet shows depicting scenes from the ancient Hindu story, the Ramayana. In an antique shop on nearby Lom-bok we saw objects that looked Greco-Roman and thought that they were fakes or just unusual.

In Cambodia we find statues of Buddha, who was born in the 5t'' century BC in Nepal. How and when did the Cambodians learn about Buddha?

Obviously ideas and stories have been exchanged over water, and in many instances, vast distances. Humans must have immigrated over water to places that they could not see on the horizon. Just how far did these journeys take them, and just how early? Perhaps more importantly, why?

Our September 17th speaker, Dr. Lisa Niziolek will unravel the stories, well calculated, promis-es an enthralling afternoon.

> Deb Stelton

Traveler to nowhere:
Birdman of Easter Island

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When warfare and climatic challenges threaten food security

an ancient people adapt to sustain life within a challenging high-altitude environment

What do we know about ancient farming on the Bolivian altiplano near Lake Titicaca? Probably, we know very little. We might be aware that the number one superfood is quinoa, and that it comes from somewhere near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

Perhaps your box of Ancient Grain will tell you that the grain is 3 or 4,000 years old. If you have climbed the steps to The Temple of the Moon on an island on Lake Titicaca, you know the effects on the human body at an altitude of over 13,000 ft. Or, if you have been on a tour to the ancient site of Tiahuanaco, you are convinced that organized communities did survive in that breath-stealing region.

Well, there is much more to know about the ancient farming people of Ayawiri living in the hinterlands of Lake Titicaca 3,000 years ago; Dr. BrieAnna Langlie has agreed to enlighten us.

Dr. Langlie received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Washing-ton University in St. Louis in 2016. Currently she is an in-structor at Loyola University. She specializes in paleoethno-botany and is interested in the development and long-term sustainability of agricultural systems.

The history of the crops of the Andes is rich territory for her interests. She has been studying how terraced fields, cropping schemes and food-ways were affected by war-fare and climate oscillations for Ayawiri between AD 1100 and 1450.

She is also involved in ongoing and collaborative research on agricultural terraces, and the domestication of quinoa, potatoes, and other Andean crops. How did the people manage to farm, raise or herd cattle in this challenging environment and fight the Incas who were savage warriors?
Please remember that admission to this and to all CAS meetings is free and open to the public.

the palimpsest

I am up to page 97 of In the Footsteps of Eve: The Mystery of Human Origins by Lee R. Berger, paleoanthropologist, when I stop to open my mail to find articles that you, our readers, have sent me. One is “In Smashed Bones of a Mastodon, a dispute over Early Humans” . Is everyone is looking for human origins?
Dr. Berger is searching in South Africa and Dr. Demere
is looking in California.

Dr. Berger discovered an 117,000 year old fossil footprint of a five foot woman on a southern African beach that he calls Eve and he explains what she was thinking about and how he knows all about her. His idea is that South Africa is the landscape of our “most immediate ancestors during the past 200,000 years,” and
not the area of Ethiopia, where Lucy was discovered. He allows that new discoveries could change everything.

In 1992 smashed mastodon bones, bone fragments, 5 rounded rocks and objects resembling hammers were found in San Diego County. Dr. Thomas A. Demere, a paleontologist, and some colleagues say that this is evidence that prehistoric humans – “or another lost species” occupied what is now California 130,000 years ago. The crossing of the Bering Straits has been thought to be much later, making this interpretation of the bones very controversial. NYT 4/27/2017.

The second article in my mailbox is, Scientists Recover Ancient Human DNA from Cave Dirt: Genetic Material without the Bones by Gina Kolata. German scientists have developed methods of finding DNA “even where it seemed impossibly scarce and degraded.” It is very complicated.
Finding DNA in dirt is more difficult than getting it out of bone, but Dr. Hendrik Poinar and his students are using tablespoons on their dig in Colorado. The possibilities of what this technique might allow us to know is amazing— if it works! NYT International 4/28/2017.

New discoveries and new methods appear almost daily in the search for human origins. For more information google the headlines and open the New York Times articles.

Deb Stelton

Gobekli Tepe

A new view of the past

The April 2017 presentation by guest speaker Ms.Margery al-Chalabi was a compelling tour de force
of Middle Eastern culture and history from prehistory to the current death and destruction of ISIS in Iraq.

Noteworthy was her plea for greater attention to protection of the archaeological past. Certainly
attention to Middle Eastern vandalism by Isis has been matter of concern, but it isn’t clear that the plague of vandalism and robbery of museums has been adequately reported.

Predating Stonehenge by 6,000years arguably Göbekli Tepe is the most important archaeological
site in the world.” It shows that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of huntergatherers and not only of sedentary farming societies. As excavator Klaus Schmidt once put it,
“First came the temple, then the city.”

But recovering Gobekli Tepe didn’t come easy.

Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.The place is called Gobekli
Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, was convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple.

Our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Margery al-Chalabi for an afternoon, filled with her photos and personal accounts that were as exciting as they were informative.

Show and Tell - The Moche

Ray Young Speak Out

CAS President Ray Young, our Peruvian scholar and world traveler has prepared a special
Moche brief program for the May CAS meeting. Ray’s presentation will precede the CAS guest Speaker.

In 1987 a dangerous drama was unfolding in Peru where armed huacaros, grave robbers, were
plundering a royal tomb.

Upon learning of the depredation local constabulary literally dragged Walter Alva from a sickbed
to confront the outlaws!

Alva arrived at the crime climbed the Huaca tomb pleaded with the
armed huacaros reminding them that this was their patrimony and
offered to hire them to excavate the site. In that moment Dr. Walter
Alva became a national and international hero.

The site, Sipan, was the richest tomb or discovery ever made in
the New World. The Lords, and people, of Sipan were the Moche.
The discovery of the Sipan tomb was a story that captured the imagination of MexiMayan Travel. A subsequent voyage that included CAS members was arranged. The group investigated the site and was granted a memorable one-hour meeting with Dr. Walter

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What’s Happening

The Oriental Institute, Breasted Hall, 1155 E. 58th St, Chicago IL 60637 . Wed, Jun 7, 7–9pm, Andrew George, professor of Babylonian, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies: The Epigraphic Survey at 93: Changing the Face of Archaeology with New Digital Technologies at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt.

Oriental Institute, La Salle Banks Room, Wed. May 31, 12:00–1:00 PM: Lecture by
Emanuel Pfoh, Aspects of the Political Anthropology of the Southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age. CONICET / National University of La Plata, Argentina. Fulbright Visiting Research Fellow, the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Friday, April 14, 2017

April Meeting at Ceviche Restaurant, 2554 W Diversey.

Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017.
Place: Please Note Meeting change: The Ceviche Restaurant, 2554 W Diversey.
Time: 3:00 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship .
Program: 3:30 p.m.

Presentation by our guest speaker: Ms. Margery al Chalabi, Comparing Gobekli Tepe with The Cliff Dwellers.

Gobekli-Tepe Exposed

...An architect’s Exploration of the archaeological site described by National Geographic as the “World’s First Temple”

Göbekli Tepe, near Sanliurfa, in South-central Turkey, is a 12,000 year old monument, which has changed the way historians, archaeologists and architects – have viewed the transformation to civilization from hunter/gatherer. The premise was, “we used to think it was agriculture which gave rise to cities and, later, to writing, art and religion. Now, Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldest temple** (at 12,000 years) suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization—that, to an urban plan-ner, made the archaeology of Göbekli Tepe an irresistible study.

Margery al-Chalabi is an architect, urban planner/regional economist. After graduating from Carnegie Institute of Technology (Now Carnegie Mellon University), with a B. Arch, she traveled to Athens, Greece, on a Ford Foundation grant, and received an MSc in regional planning/economics from Athens Technological Institute. She has been involved in urban development projects, both public and private, for over fifty years.

After graduation the al-Chalabis came to Chicago, where Ms. Chalabi settled into Real Estate Research Corporation and there directed projects on neighborhood preservation for HUD, adaptive reuse projects for DOD and Interior, and downtown development studies/forecasts for the International Down-town Executives Association (IDEA) and the Cities of Cincinnati, Charlotte and South Haven. The al-Chalabi’s were both were invited to join the Mayor’s Office under Mayor Jane M. Byrne.

With Mayor Byrne’s loss, in 1983, they started the al Chalabi Group, Ltd.
(ACG). Their blend of public and pri-vate experience made for a practice together that endured for 32 years. Their most important projects includ-ed: saving and renovating the Chicago Theater; planning for the Third Chica-go Airport; providing forecasts and impacts for major transportation pro-jects; and developing landmark models and methodologies.

As a member of a large Iraqi family, and an officer and past President, of the international society, the World Society for Ekistics* (WSE,), Ms. Al Chalabi has returned to Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey on many occasions. Since 2011, when she first learned of Göbekli Tepe from archaeo-logical magazines, Ms. al Chalabi has studied this site from afar and up close.

In April, 2016, she made a presen-tation of her 2013 exploration of the site to The Cliff Dwellers Club in Chi-cago. That presentation – with some updates – is the subject of the presenta-tion to the Chicago Archaeological Society on April 30, this year.

*The science of human settlement.

** “The World’s First Temple”, National Geographic, June 2011.

3,000-year-old city wrecked by ISIS is left for looters

The militants’ fanaticism devastated one of the most important archaeological sites in the Middle East. But more than a month after the militants were driven out, Nimrud is still being ravaged, its treasures disappearing, piece by piece, imperiling any chance of eventually rebuilding it, an Associated Press team found after multiple visits last month.

Bison and the Oneota II

The CAS and Codex are indebted to Dr. Robert Sasso its March Guest speaker and his topic, The Importance of the Bison in the Late Prehistoric Oneota Culture in the Upper Midwest. Our general knowledge of the Oneota is sketchy and deeper understanding of Oneonta life is wanting. An after-noon with Bob Sasso was an excellent way of filling-in some of the blanks.

We understand that whereas bison were a significant menu item for many settle-ments significant bison evidence is pri-marily found in at La Crosse, as well as in Lake Winnebago-Middle Fox and Lake Koshkonong Areas. At one time or another the vast bison range extended south from NW Canada beyond the Rio Grande and eastward across the Great Plains to Appalachia.
Bison Scapula Hoe

How have archaeologists determined bison consumption? A careful tabulation of bison bones and others can provide a workable ratio that offers insight but one that is general. Summer hunting safaris provided the hunters with surplus meat that was dried and collected as jerky, lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. Jerky served to balance the diet and could have been trade item.

Where bison remains occur often found are modified scapula hoes—the scapula (shoulder blade) after some finessing and hafting served admirably as a hoe. The extensive span within which scapular hoes have been found attest to their popularity and utility.

CAS/Bison Ties: The Anker Site

Picture below are two bison, the one on the left is the CAS logo. The one on the right is taken from the Chicago area Archaeology Bulletin No. 3. the Bulletin cover was designed by Ms. Nancy Engle .

The Chicago Area Archaeology Bulletin No. 3 was published by the Illinois Archaeology Survey and edited by Elaine Bluhm whose contribution papers were The Anker Site co-authored by Allen Liss and The Oak Forest Site co-authored by Gloria J. Fenner.

Excavated in 1957 The salvage dig brought to view information of an unu-sual nature of individual wealth, organi-zation and evidence of considerable trade by its occupants over a probable period 1400—1500.

Among its finds was a stone pipes deco-rated with graven bison as illustrated below.

The Palimpsest Deb Stelton

We hear from you.

Our U.S. mail that we pick up from our mailbox on the road gets heavier and heavier.
Half of it, mostly catalogs, gets dumped into the recycle bin near the kitchen door. But some of it is from you. You send us folded up coffee-stained articles: "Newgrange, a Neolithic tomb site, older than Stonehenge" or "Statue Unearthed in Cairo May Be Ramses Likeness".

Some of the articles may contain general-ly known archaeologically known facts or theories. But an accompanying photo or some detail might be enlightening. The photo of the high long wall at the bottom of the hill at Newgrange with a fringe of ant-like waiting tourists is awesome and brings to mind the significance it once held for the locals.
Children playing around a piece of a stone head that might be Ramses II and crowds of Cairo citizens watching seg-ments being machine lifted from a hole in the ground, makes you wonder. Will the pieces be put together and will it help bring the tourists back to Egypt?

"Parched and Sinking Mexico City in Crisis" reveals parenthetically that the conquistadors "replaced the dikes and canals with streets and squares. They drained the lakes and cleared forests..." Today in Certain areas, women stand in line to purchase water.

"We couldn't Believe Our Eyes': Explor-ers find a Long Lost World of Ship-wrecks". The Black Sea turns out to be the best environment for preserving wooden vessels from medieval times and even earlier. One explorer, Robert D. Ballard found a "2,400 year old wreck laden with clay storage jars.... One held remnants of a large fish that had been dried and cut into steaks, a popular food in ancient Greece."

Did the Greek philosophers follow the _Mediterranean diet?

Articles came from Gloria Williams and Phyllis Adams

Monday, January 23, 2017

January Meeting Location Change

Date: Sunday, January 29, 2017 Members’ Night.
Place: Ceviche Peruvian Seafood & Steakhouse
2554 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Time: 3:00 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship .
3:15 p.m. Members Presentations and Election of Board and Officers.
Program: 3:30 Dr. Tasha K. Vorderstrasse, University of Chicago: Excavations at Abroyi, Armenia.

Exploring Armenia’s Hidden Past

Armenia is a small and mountainous country of peaks and high plateaus cut by river valleys. It was the first to embrace Christianity as a state religion.

Powerful old stone churches are silhouetted on the hilltops and tucked into the valleys at-testing to Armenian fortitude. Tragedy and triumph have become dual themes that are indelibly woven into the fabric of its history.
In 2013 and 2014, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago conducted excavations at the medieval village of Ambroyi in the Republic of Armenia. This excavation represent-ed an innovation in the study of medieval archaeology of Ar-menia, which had primarily focused on large urban centers.

The excavations revealed that village life continued in Armenia despite the Mongol conquest of the region in the 13th century and provides valuable information about vil-lage life that can be compared to villages that have been excavated in the wider region. This talk will discuss the vil-lage of Ambroyi and its significance to our understanding of Armenian archaeology of the medieval period.

Dr. Tasha K. Vorderstrasse received her PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Chicago 2004. Her work concentrates on the material culture of the Near East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia and the interactions between these regions and China.

Most Americans have check-ered understanding of Armenia or Armenians. The history, at best is inscrutable. Ef-forts to grasp historical meaning of the Transcaucasus al-low for few exceptions. Transcaucasia roughly corresponds to modern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Ar-menians living in the Ottoman Empire. Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armeni-ans in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre.

By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, some 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. To-day, most historians call this event a genocide–a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people.

However, the Turkish government does not acknowledge the enormity or scope of these events. Despite pressure from Armenians and social justice advocates throughout the world, it is still illegal in Turkey to talk about what happened to Armenians during this era.

Members’ Night

The regular January meeting of the CAS traditionally has been designated as Members’ Night. Originally members had an opportunity to share their archaeological/travel experiences with the membership at large. Members’ Night targeted active participation along with the annual election of officers and election of 1/3 of the board of directors.

Gradually, over past years, presentations by members of personal experiences declined in favor of presentations by guest speakers, like Dr. Tasha K. Vorderstrasse, the January 2017 speaker.

Annual Election

Many sister chapters, especially in rural areas, where members have direct contact with local ongoing digs, reflect membership roles that include active lay archaeologists. By contrast CAS mem-bers regard Field and/or Oriental Institute as their closest contact with professional archaeologists. These differences help to explain and to define the cosmopolitan context of the CAS calendar.

The Board of Directors unanimously nominated current officers and board members for reelection at the October Meeting. The 2017 ballot is printed on page 3. However members are reminded and urged to nominate candidates from the floor.

The Palimpsest

Winter Woes
To our chagrin, disappointment and embarrassment December’s severe weather necessitated a sud-den cancellation of the December Holiday Luncheon and regular meeting. An effort was made to contact members, guests, and our speaker and was largely success-ful. A substitute date will be de-termined at our February Board Meeting. Unofficially the inten-tion of the board is to plan a new date. Deposits received will be applied to to the rescheduled event. However requests for re-funds will be honored.

An Archaeological Paradox
The paradoxical aspect of archaeology continue to confound my consciousness. Avid attention to archaeological journals and the internet are constant reminders of how current discoveries cast light upon a past previously unknown.

A business man, Heinrich Schliemann, acquired a fortune to in-dulge a romantic fantasy, to dis-cover Homer’s Troy. Schliemann’s experience was unique but not singular.
Much of our understanding of the ancient world remains hidden or lost.

To what extent is Western De-mocracy indebted to the Minoans or the Mycenaeans? Archaeolo-gists Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker excavating a site near the ancient Palace of Nestor, on a hilltop near Pylos on the south-west coast of Greece.

The very first organized Greek society belonged to the Mycenae-ans whose kingdoms exploded out of nowhere on the Greek mainland around 1600 B.C.E.

The Bronze Age palace, built by the Mycenaeans, had been previ-ously excavated, and hopes for additional understanding were low. But the Davis and Stocker dig discovered a rich warrior grave now dubbed The Grave of the Golden Warrior which would alter understanding of the Myce-naean role in the evolution Greek democracy.

A detailed account of the discov-ery, The Golden Warrior, A 3,500 Year-Old Tomb Exposes the Roots of Western Civilization, was pub-lished in Smithsonian, January-February, 2017.

The discovery has raised a few question. At the time of the inter-ment the tholos-tomb was the pre-ferred burial of the upper class.

And the Future

Search Engines can locate ongo-ing archaeological activity for the archaeological-bit-trekker. Try this link: http://www.livescience.com/57375-archaeology-stories-to-watch-in-2017.html . The link will lead you to a 5 point list of discoveries for 2017.

The list of 5 is somewhat disap-pointing insofar as it includes no surprises.

1. Is predicated on cessation of hostilities in Iraq and anticipation of returning the depredations of ISIS to order. 2. Suggestions that there is a Great Pyramid hidden chamber. 3. Anticipates addition-al Dead Sea Scroll discoveries. 4. Suggests that ongoing exploration of the necropolis of Abydos, Egypt will expand its importance. 5. The opening of the Bible Mu-seum may be worth watching. When this museum, with its vast collection, is open to the public in 2017, much will be revealed. Al-so, as scholars analyze the collection, many new discoveries will be made and some of the artifacts will turn out to be modern-day forgeries.