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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 Next Lecture – Thursday 20th of September, 2018

The Bab adh-Dhra’ proposal: Using objects to engage students with the ancient world

Presented by Gemma Lee
Ph.D. Student, University of Melbourne

Active, student-centred teaching and learning approaches, such as object-based learning (OBL), are gaining attention as an alternative form of pedagogy in tertiary education. OBL is a teaching practice proven to give rise to deeper engagement by providing multi-sensory learning experiences. For university students, OBL has the potential to provide highly immersive opportunities; however, the use and selection of the types of objects involved in curricula of Near Eastern studies has largely gone unscrutinised.

This paper will discuss doctoral research conducted to examine and evaluate OBL experiences of students studying Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Melbourne. The objects selected for this initiative focus on the Early Bronze Age pottery from the Jordanian site of Bab adh-Dhra’. The Bab adh-Dhra’ objects offer multiple levels for interpretation and consideration: ranging from issues covering the archaeology of death and mortuary practices to the looting and subsequent excavation and post-excavation management of the site’s artefact assemblage. In this presentation, preliminary findings from the study are analysed which indicate favourable student responses verifying the efficacy of OBL in teaching and learning outcomes and engaging students in Near Eastern archaeology.

Gemma is currently undertaking her PhD dissertation at the University of Melbourne, studying the use of Jordanian ceramic artefacts from Bab adh-Dhra’ in education and display. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne, completing a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Ancient World Studies and Anthropology. Gemma’s archaeological fieldwork experience includes excavating in Israel at Tell es-Safi/Gath, and at numerous historical sites across Victoria, Australia.

Counter-efforts to heritage-based violence: What have we learned from Iraq and Syria?

Presented by Sophie Russell
Ph.D. Student, University of Melbourne

This talk will explore the ways in which the global community has responded to the destruction of archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria since the emergence of Islamic State in 2014. In the wake of cultural genocide, programs to protect the archaeology of Syria and Iraq during armed conflict have been found wanting. This talk highlights the significance of recognising archaeological sites as non-neutral spaces that hold a multitude of meanings to a variety of stakeholders in formulating effective responses to heritage-based violence. It will also address the opportunities and limitations of emerging heritage digitization trends in the field of conflict archaeology.

Sophie Russell is a first year PhD student at the University of Melbourne in the department of Classics and Archaeology. Sophie is interested in the management of cultural heritage in post-disaster contexts, and her doctoral research builds on her 2017 Honours thesis entitled ‘Global Responses to Islamic State Cultural Heritage Destruction: Are They Succeeding’? She has recently worked in the Philippines on heritage conservation following extensive typhoon damage, and has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Peru, Greece and Australia. Sophie is also currently involved in the SHIRīN initiative for the protection of archaeological sites in Syria.

Upcoming Lecture – Thursday 18th October, 2018

A brief history of archaeology in Victoria

Presented by Gary Presland

Although it was not until 1972 that archaeological fieldwork was officially sanctioned in Victoria, much work—generally of a sporadic and localised nature—had taken place prior to that. In this lecture, Dr Gary Presland will provide a brief overview of the circumstances and purposes of these early endeavours. He will look also at a number of significant moments in the history of archaeology in Victoria.

Gary Presland’s first involvement with Aboriginal archaeology was with members of the Archaeological Society of Victoria, at the Dry Creek site in 1972. He subsequently gained an MA at the Institute of Archaeology in London.  He was a part-time Tutor in the Prehistory Division at La Trobe University, before joining the Victoria Archaeological Survey in October 1980. He is the author of five books and numerous articles, and is a regular speaker, on Aboriginal studies in Victoria.


Post Office Boxes

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

General Correspondence and Artefact subscription enquiries: PO Box 203, Carlton VIC 3053.