Abstract: Laurel Bestock (Brown) “A Line in the Sand: blurring boundaries at Uronarti, Sudan.”

Hi everyone,

Here is the abstract for our upcoming lecture that is co-sponsored with the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop. Because of this, we are not meeting on our usual Tuesday slot. We will instead be joining IAW on October 22nd (Thursday) at 4:00pm CT (note the earlier time).

The Zoom link will be sent out today and on Thursday morning to everyone in the mailing list. If you do not receive it or want to be included, feel free to reach out to me at egarciamolina@uchicago.edu.

Here is the abstract Dr. Bestock gave for her talk:

Taking the notion of a line as a motif, this talk will introduce recent excavation and survey at the Sudanese site of Uronarti as a means of looking at, and blurring, boundaries both past and present. Uronarti, a fortress at the southern frontier of Egypt in the early 2nd millennium BC, was the location of a stela in which the king Senwosret III claimed to have established his border against the craven and vile Nubians to his south. Yet not only do we know Nubians were encouraged to cross this boundary, we also find that behind the supposedly stark political divide the project of drawing a line between people of different ethnicities is an impossible task. Perhaps no clearer indication of this comes from lines of architecture: strictly planned rectilinear mudbrick construction is typically regarded as “Egyptian” and round dry stone construction as “Nubian”. Where do we draw the line at Uronarti when we find an extramural settlement with dry stone round huts and 100% “Egyptian” pottery? The question of lines and the limits of thinking them absolute is no less relevant in the modern era; while Uronarti lies in modern Sudan, well south of the current border, its regional landscape was effectively re-colonized by Egypt in the mid-20th century by the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the attendant displacement of local populations. Finally, this talk will ask how the lines of archaeologists – be they physical lines of a trench or transect, or notional disciplinary lines – impose rather than reflect order. The work of the Uronarti Regional Archaeological Project to develop a universal tablet based recording system has given us a chance to examine our own methodology and ask what archaeologists have in common and what not; to discover, often to our amusement, where our own lines lie.

Abstract: Matthew Sears (New Brunswick) “Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece”

Hello everyone,

Here is the abstract for our first workshop of the fall quarter!

Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece has provided no shortage of victory monuments, both material and literary. Less conspicuous are the ways the Greeks remembered military loss, defeat, and disaster. While the literary tradition, from Homer to Euripides, offers many meditations on the suffering of others in defeat, such as the Trojans and the Melians, the Greeks sometimes publicly reflected on and commemorated their own recent sufferings too. This presentation will consider some of the ways the Greeks marked military disasters, and the ways military disasters influenced Greek attitudes towards war.

Lecture Info:

Date: October 13
Time: 4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list)

If you missed the announcement on the listserv, please email me. I will be checking emails up until the meeting. You can also subscribe to the listserv by clicking the subscribe tab on the left.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at egarciamolina@uchicago.edu

Fall 2020 Schedule

Welcome back to a new academic year! I am your new student coordinator, Eduardo García-Molina, and it is my pleasure to present the current fall schedule for the Ancient Societies Workshop. Some important things to note given the current circumstances:

Ancient Societies will be completely online during fall for the safety of our participants.

Our current time-slot is 4:20pm CT. We will be sending an email with a poll to gauge if this is a workable time for our participants.

You can find more information about our theme for this year, “Disaster in the Ancient World,” by going to the “About” section.

Zoom information for each meeting will be sent out to the list-serve. It will also be posted on this site two hours in advance to avoid “Zoom-bombing.” If you want to be included in the list-serve, we have added a “subscribe” tab with a link that will take you directly to sign up.


Matthew Sears (New Brunswick) “Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece”
Date: October 13
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Laurel Bestock (Brown) “A Line in the Sand: blurring boundaries at Uronarti, Sudan” [Co-Sponsored with the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop]
Date: October 22
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Jordan Johansen (Chicago – PAMW) “’More Effective than a Million Soldiers:’ Gender and Warfare on the Ptolemaic Border”
Date: November 10
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Yanxiao He (Chicago – NELC) “Who Can Represent the Hellenistic Space? Representing the Unrepresentable in the 2nd Century BCE”
Date: November 20
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Lex Ladge (Chicago – Art History) “Benefactions in Times of War: Material Representations of Aid Under the Early Attalids”
Date: December 1
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

*Thanks to Lex Ladge for helping me format this poster!

Spring 2019 SCHEDULE

April 9: Paul Kosmin (Harvard)

The Making of the Southern Sea


April 23: Ami Huang (UChicago)

The Sheep, the Priestesses, and the Governor: A Case Study on Economic Outsourcing in Kassite Nippur


April 30: Karen Radner (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München)

The Deportation of the Israelites in the Context of the Resettlement Policy of the Assyrian Empire


*THURSDAY* May 2, Haskell 315: Günther Schörner (Vienna)

Looking for Non-Elite Identities: Recent Fieldwork in Northern Tuscany


May 21: Larry Carrillo (UChicago)

Winter 2019 Schedule

January 15: Katherine Blouin (Toronto)

From the Boukoloi to John Cassian and beyond: Shifting landscapes and (un)wavering Identities in the ancient northeastern Nile delta


January 29: Jared Kreiner (UChicago)

Count Me Out: Census Revolts in the Roman Empire


MONDAY, February 11, *4:30 in Swift 403* (co-sponsered with Early Christian Studies): Ary Bryen (Vanderbilt)

The Judgment of the Provinces: Law, Culture, and Empire in the Roman East


February 12: Manuel Fernandez-Gotz (Edinburgh)

Changing Identities in times of Crisis: Reassessing the Roman conquest of Gaul


February 26 *4:00 pm*: Robert Marineau (UChicago)

Making It Manly: Literary Shaping of an Old Hittite King’s Reputation


March 12: Jordan Johansen (UChicago)

Honorary Decrees of the Ptolemaic Nesiotic Koinon


Fall 2018 Schedule

Tuesday, Oct 9, 3:30 PM: Douglas Boin (St. Louis University): “Constantine’s Fountain: On the Intersection of Identity, Art, and Power,” Classics 21

Tuesday, Oct 23, 3:30 PM: Brendan Hainline (UChicago): “sšw jsw: ‘Ancient Writings’ and Authenticity in Egyptian Texts,” Classics 21.

THURSDAY, Nov 8, 3:30 PM: Jennifer Finn (Marquette University), “One House Left Standing: Negotiating Dynastic Identity in the Conquest of Empire,” Classics 21

Tuesday, Nov 20, 3:30 PM: Mills McArthur (UChicago), “ΕΚ ΤΩΝ ΕΡΓ ΕΠΙ ΣΟΥΝ ΟΙΚ: Workplace as Occupation Title,” Classics 21

For more information, please contact the workshop coordinator, Tim Clark, tfclark@uchicago.edu

Spring 2018 Schedule

Tuesday, April 10th, 3:30 PM, Chris Faraone (University of Chicago), The Transformation of Greek Amulets in Roman Imperial Times Book Seminar, Discussants: Josh Vera (History) and Kelly Holob and Bruce Lincoln (Divinity), Classics 21


Tuesday, April 24, 3:30 PM, Alain Bresson and Walter Shandruk (University of Chicago), “Hoards and Networks: Modeling Coinage Circulation in the Archaic and Classical World,” Classic s21


**Monday, April 30, 3:30 PM, Roberta Mazza (The University of Manchester) “Papyrology and Ethics: Towards a More Responsible Publication Model,” Classics 21


Tuesday, May 8, 3:30 PM, Paul Keen (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)


**Monday, May 14, 3:30 PM, Anna Darden (Ph.d. candidate, Classics), “The Painted Protagonist of Euripides’ Helen,” Cochrane-Woods Art Center Lecture Hall (5540 S. Greenwood Ave.)


Tuesday, May 15, 3:30 PM, Olivier Hekster (Radboud University, Nijmegen) “Ruling supreme? Presenting the Roman emperor as priest and lawgiver,” Classics 21


Tuesday, May 22, 3:30 PM, Giovanni Ruffini (Fairfield University) “Problems and Pitfalls in Network Analysis,” Classics 21


Monday, June 4th 4:30 PM, Jared Kreiner (University of Chicago), “Overburdened Gauls: the case of the Florus and Sacrovir Revolt,” Classics 21

Winter 2018 Schedule

Dear Ancient Societies Workshop,

I hope you have all had a great beginning of the quarter! I’m excited to announce our fantastic line-up of speakers for the Winter quarter. All talks will take place in Classics 21 with a reception to follow.

Tuesday, January 16, 3:30 PM: Nick Venable (University of Chicago), “Failing Bodies and Monastic Endowments: Social Control in Coptic Wills and Donation Papyri.” Co-sponsored by the Early Christianity Workshop

Tuesday, January 30, 3:30 PM: Rhyne King (University of Chicago), “Land, Labor, and Violence in the Persian Empire

Tuesday, February 27, 3:30 PM: Kate Kreindler (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “Consumption and Connectivity in pre-Roman Italy”

Tuesday, March 6, 6 PM: Jana Mynářová (Charles University, Prague), “Eloquent Words for the Pharao. Perspectives on the Amarna Letters”

I look forward to seeing you all soon and continuing our conversations from last quarter!

All best,

Jordan Johansen

Ph.D. Student, The University of Chicago

Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Department of Classics


For any questions or comments, you can contact me at jjohansen AT uchicago.edu.

Autumn 2017 Schedule

Dear Ancient Societies Workshop participants,

Welcome back to a new academic year and to the autumn quarter of the Ancient Societies Workshop. I (Jordan Johansen) am the student coordinator for this year’s workshop, and Katie Kearns and Susanne Paulus are the faculty sponsors. We have an exciting group of talks lined up for this Autumn quarter with the theme “Social Networks.”  All talks will be held at 3:30 PM in Classics 21 with a reception following. All talks are on Tuesday, unless otherwise noted.

Sept. 26 – Thalia Lysen (University of Chicago), “Staging Kingship: A Case Study of Royal Ideology and Power in Hittite Anatolia”

Oct. 10 –  Eduardo Escobar (University of Chicago), “Networking Plants in Cuneiform Cultures: Empiricism and Scribal Hermeneutics”

Oct. 24 – Paul Vadan (University of Chicago), “Precedent, Collective Memory, and Risk in the Hellenistic Age”

Nov. 6 (Monday) – Ignazio Tantillo (Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale), “The Tetrarchs and the Treasures of the Temples” ***Location will be in Classics 110***

Nov. 21 – Joshua R. Vera (University of Chicago), “Sharing is Caring: The Association and Assimilation of Cults in Roman Athens”

I hope to see you all there!


Jordan Johansen

Ph.D. Student, The University of Chicago

Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Department of Classics


For any questions or comments, you can contact me at jjohansen AT uchicago.edu.

Spring 2017 Schedule

Dear Ancient Societies Workshop Participants,

We have an exciting schedule of speakers this spring continuing our theme of “Political Economies.”  All talks will be held at 3:30 pm in Classics 21.  All talks this quarter are on a Tuesday.

April 4 – Julie Hanlon (PhD Student, UChicago Anthropology and South Asian Languages and Civilizations) – “Jain Monks and Merchants in the Political Economy of Early Historic Tamil Nadu”

April 11 – Jordan Johansen (PhD Student, UChicago Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World) – “The Medinet Madi Paradox: The δεκάτη in the Hymns of Isidorus.”

April 25 – Prof. John Weisweiler (Assistant Professor, History, University of Maryland) – “Élite Formation, Roman Style: Violence, Predation and the Making of the Early Imperial Senate (c. 14-235 CE)”

May 2 – Prof. Muriel Debié (CNRS: Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes) –  “Jerusalem in the 7th c. : A Case of Divided Memories.”

May 9 –  Prof. Susanne Paulus (Assistant Professor of Assyriology, UChicago) –  “No Coins, No Silver but Gold (?) – How to Pay in Babylonia in 1200 BC.”

May 23 – Tim Clark (PhD Student, UChicago Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World) – “The Forum Augustum: Movement, Social Space, and A New Vision for Roman Foreign Policy”

May 30 – Thalia Lysen (PhD Student, UChicago Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) – “Staging Kingship: A Case Study of Kings, Power and Ideology in Hittite Anatolia”

I hope to see you all there!

If you have any questions, please contact me at rhyne AT uchicago.edu.


Rhyne King

PhD Student, The University of Chicago

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Ancient Near Eastern History