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Lecture Series Provided by the Local Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Arts & Entertainment

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is an international organization with more than 210,000 members and 100-plus local societies. The local chapter, representing Central Carolinas, is called Society 333. Though the name would appear to have some mysterious significance in the field of archaeology, it is simply the name assigned by the national office.

Society 333 most often meets in Davidson and hosts five-to-six lectures a year that are open to the public and free-of-charge.

Poster for a recent lecture in the series provided by Society 333

According to its mission statement, the AIA “promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity. The AIA supports archaeologists, their research and its dissemination, and the ethical practice of archaeology. The AIA educates people of all ages about the significance of archaeological discovery and advocates the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.”

The remaining lectures for this school year are as follows:

Tuesday, February 13, 7:30 p.m. – James P. Delgado, Director of the Maritime Heritage Program at the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will present “The Great Museum of the Sea.” The oceans, lakes and rivers of the world are the greatest museum of humanity’s interaction with the sea, as well as our global expansion and a record of our interactions with each other through immigration, exploration, commerce, and war.  In an engaging, detailed, and yet, quick tour, Dr. Delgado explores some of history’s most famous and significant shipwrecks from antiquity through the modern age, with an emphasis on wrecks in and around North America, such as the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, or the RMS Titanic.

Delgado has led or participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His undersea explorations include RMS Titanic, the discoveries of Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors, and the notorious “ghost ship” Mary Celeste, as well as surveys of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll, the polar exploration ship Maud, wrecked in the Arctic, the 1846 wreck of the United States naval brig Somers, whose tragic story inspired Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, and Sub Marine Explorer, a civil war-era find and the world’s oldest known deep-diving submarine. His archaeological work has also included the excavation of ships and collapsed buildings along the now-buried waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco. He is currently Director of Maritime Heritage, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the national Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a past President of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and is Adjunct Professor of Archaeology with Simon Fraser University. He was previously the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in British Columbia, and the head Maritime Historian of the U.S. National Park Service. Delgado has published over 32 books and was the host of the National Geographic TV series The Sea Hunters.

Location: Tyler-Tallman Recital Hall in the Sloan Music Center, Davidson College Campus, 323 Concord Road

Tuesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m. – Richard Talbert, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of History at UNC Chapel Hill, will present “Roman Portable Sundials: The Empire in Your Hand”

Location: 900 Room in the Alvarez College Union, Davidson College Campus, 207 Faculty Drive

Tuesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m. – Forum on “Looted Art, Archaeology and Restitution: The Napoleon & Al Mahdi Cases”

Location: Semans Auditorium (Room 117) in the Belk Visual Arts Center, Davidson College Campus, 315 N. Main Street

For more information about Society 333, contact Peter Krentz at [email protected]

Marguerite Williams

Marguerite (Margo) Williams is a novelist ("Madame President"), editor, and business owner of A Way With Words. She has lived in Davidson since 1977. Visit her at her website.

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