The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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**Notice: regular AASV lectures will proceed online via Zoom for the time being while in-person lectures at the KSLCC are suspended. Register via Eventbrite for access**

AASV has been advised by the KSLCC in Carlton that new COVID restrictions mean that, while they can reopen their venues to the public at limit of 1 person/2m², this is only as long as they have a COVID Check-in Marshal. They can only appoint a COVID Check-in Marshal during Library business hours, so they are only reopening the spaces to bookings within opening times. The spaces will remain closed to all after-hours bookings, which unfortunately includes AASV.

Next Online Lecture: Thursday 15th of July, 2021, @ 6.30pm

Archaeological Sequences and Human Interactions at Caution Bay, Papua New Guinea, 1877-739 cal BP

Presented by Daniel Derouet
PhD Candidate, Monash Indigenous Studies Centre;
PhD Researcher, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH)

Archaeological excavations undertaken as part of the Caution Bay Archaeology Project, Papua New Guinea (2008-2010) revealed deep cultural horizons containing pottery attributed to Lapita arrivals, dating to 2900-2600 cal BP. Prior to the Caution Bay excavations, the oldest known ceramic sequences along the south coast of Papua New Guinea dated to c. 2000 BP. As such the Caution Bay excavations have led to the rethinking of the antiquity of pottery manufacture, and with this understandings of cultural sequences and social interaction along the south coast of Papua New Guinea. This study analyses the pottery, stone artefact, and shell assemblages from ten sites across Caution Bay dated to between 1877 and 739 cal BP, investigating cultural and technological changes, and how people engaged with their surroundings through time. The study also aims to examine how these archaeological sequences relate to preceding and proceeding cultural sequences at Caution Bay and the wider Port Moresby region, and more broadly along the south coast.

Daniel Derouet is an archaeologist and PhD candidate at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre. He completed his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Southern Queensland, and commenced his PhD research in 2018 at Monash University. His current research analyses archaeological assemblages (pottery, stone artefact, and shell assemblages) from Caution Bay, Papua New Guinea to investigate cultural and technological changes, and how people interacted with their surroundings. This research will examine how cultural sequences at Caution Bay, dating to 1877-739 cal BP archaeologically relate to preceding and proceeding periods at Caution Bay and the wider Port Moresby region, and more broadly along the south coast of Papua New Guinea.


Strontium analyses (87Sr/86Sr, [Sr]) reveal non-local origins of humans with intentionally modified skulls in Mtskheta, Georgia, in the 4th– 7th centuries AD

Presented by Natalie Langowski,
PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne

The town of Mtskheta (Republic of Georgia) sits at a geographic crossroads in the Caucasus region and hosted the capital of the Iberian Kingdom in the 1st-7th centuries AD. The extensive archaeological record at Samtavro cemetery in Mtskheta shows a suite of cultural changes after the 4th century, including the appearance of people with intentionally modified skulls and artefacts from Eurasian steppe cultures, as well as a shift in burial traditions at the cemetery. These changes occur against a backdrop of tumult in Eurasia, with the 4th century marking the collapse of the Roman Empire and the onset of the Migration Period (~375-568 AD), and increasing Sassanid power and influence.
Intentional modification of the skull is a cultural practice which gained popularity among ‘barbarian’ (or non-Roman) groups which were highly mobile within Eurasia during the Migration Period. Previous research in eastern Georgia found the modified skulls belonged almost exclusively to adult females, while no juveniles showed signs of the practice. This suggests the cultural changes and people with modified skulls appearing after the 4th century represent a novel and possibly foreign cultural influence, introduced to Mtskheta via an influx of migrants.  
This research uses strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) and concentrations [Sr] to investigate the mobility of people with modified and unmodified skulls buried in Mtskheta between the 1st and 7th centuries AD. The results of strontium analyses in human remains from Mtskheta confirm non-local people with modified skulls were present in Mtskheta in the 4th-7th centuries, though their geographic origins and influence on the culture of Caucasian Iberia, remains unclear.

Natalie is PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, and previously completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in archaeology and biological anthropology, specialising in anatomy and stable isotope analysis of human remains. She is a member of the AASV committee and works as a heritage advisor for the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.


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We advise all members that AASV now has two mailing addresses. Membership address: PO Box 200, Benalla VIC 3672.

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