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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The 2022 lecture series will be presented in-person at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, and online via Zoom. Please note those attending in person will require vaccination certificates to enter the facility.
If attending via Zoom, please register via Eventbrite.

Next Presentations: Thursday 18th of August, 2022, @ 6.30pm

Vertebral osteophytosis at the neolithic site of Ban Non Wat in Thailand

Presented by Afua Adjei
Postgraduate Student at La Trobe University, Department of Archaeology and History.

My research focuses on two pathologies: Vertebral osteophytosis and vertebral osteoarthritis. I am exploring these pathologies in relation to sex, age, time period and vertebral region at the prehistoric Thai site of Ban Non Wat, in northeast Thailand. I am focusing on whether the rates of the pathologies correlate with changes in wider society, such as agricultural intensification. My research also incorporates the nearby site of Non Ban Jak, where vertebral osteoarthritis is also present and is compared against rates of vertebral osteoarthritis at Ban Non Wat to explore any similarities or differences in pathology between the two sites. My research also incorporates osteobiographies which are used to create life histories of individuals. By taking all the available archaeological and biological information available of an individual (such as stature, dental disease, trauma, etc.), osteobiographies aim to synthesize that information into a life history of that individual to fully contextualise them. My hope for this research is to obtain further information on the rates of the pathologies on the individuals at Ban Non Wat and their relationship to wider societal changes. The osteobiographies will work to pull together not just the two pathologies in question, but other aspects of bioarchaeological and palaeopathological research to fully contextualise an archaeological individual within their community. 

I am a current Masters by Research student studying at La Trobe University in conjunction with James Cook University. I completed my Bachelor of Archaeology in 2020, followed by an honours year in 2021. I am deeply interested in bioarchaeological research, in particular palaeopathological research, and how diseases change over time. I am interested in how external variables such as agricultural changes can alter the rates of pathologies and how these pathologies affected people’s day to day lives. As I am still an Early Career Researcher, I am yet to solidify my area of expertise, however I am excited to explore, research and discover! 

 ESR dating of hominid teeth from several South African Pliocene to early Pleistocene fossil sites: Where do we come from and When? The mystery behind the oldest child and the big cat

Presented by Wenjing Yu
PhD Candidate at La Trobe University, Department of Archaeology and History.

Since the discovery of the Taung Child Australopithecus africanus fossil in 1924, South Africa has been of great interest for researchers studying human origins. This led to the establishment of the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind (CoH) World Heritage site centred around the classic hominin bearing and fossil bearing sites in South Africa. This lecture will talk about the findings and on-going research of two archaeological sites, Taung Child and Bolt’s Farm. Specifically, it will address how ESR dating can help solve the question: where do we come from and when.

Wenjing is a Ph.D. student of archaeology at La Trobe University. She received her BsC at China University of Geosciences (China), joint MA degree at Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CNRS (France) and Université Rovira i Virgili (Spain). She is currently working on US-ESR dating of tooth enamel from the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, South Africa.

Upcoming Presentations: Thursday 15th of September, 2022, @ 6.30pm

The expedition of Hamilcar Barca and the Carthaginian hegemony in the Iberian peninsula, 237-218 BC

Presented by David Feeney
PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

Weakened by the First Punic War (264-241 BC) and the Mercenary War (240-237 BC), the republic of Carthage dispatched a military expedition to Hispania to undertake a war of conquest. This Carthaginian imperialist project was commanded by Hamilcar Barca until his death in 229, at which point command fell to his son-in-law Hasdrubal (229-221) and then later his eldest son Hannibal Barca (221-218?). In this brief period the Carthaginian state established an imperial territory in Hispania, and rebuilt its position as a first-rate Mediterranean power. Roman anxiety concerning Carthaginian success in Hispania would ultimately trigger the Second Punic War in 218 BC.
A reassessment of the literary sources together with analysis of the relevant archaeological and numismatic evidence is used to build an integrated, diachronic narrative of the Carthaginian conquests in Hispania. This study examines the Phoenician/Punic presence in Hispania prior to 237, the polities and societies encountered by Hamilcar Barca and his successors, the conquest and (re)organisation of the subject territories, and related issues around urbanisation, settlement, immigration, Hellenization and ‘Punicisation’. The work considers longstanding controversies such as the location of the first Barcid foundation Akra Leuke, the ideology and iconography of Carthaginian coins minted in Hispania, and ancient geographical confusions (i.e., Livy versus Strabo concerning the location of the pre-Roman Turdetani).
The Carthaginian project in Hispania was influenced, even modelled, on the Hellenistic monarchies of the period. However, Carthaginian expansion in Hispania was an undertaking of the state. The family of Hamilcar Barca certainly aimed to accumulate the prestige, power and wealth with which to dominate the factional politics of the Carthaginian republic, but this should not be understood to mean that the Barcids established themselves as pseudo-monarchs in a province that was autonomous from their home government.

David has previously studied at both the University of Melbourne and Monash completing a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy and Management. He spent many years working for the Labour Party and the TWU before becoming a Federal Senator and later a member of the House of Representatives. In 2018 he resigned from the House of Representatives and in October 2021 became a Senior Fellow of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and has been appointed to the Victorian Defence Council and the advisory board of NIOA. David is now studying for a PhD in ancient history and archaeology at the University of Melbourne.


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