Past Lectures and Trips

Past Lectures

Our past lectures reflect the rich quality and variety of our Lecture Series and indicate interesting lectures that can be expected in the future.


Secrets of the Silk Road: Discovery of the Lost City of Ilanbaliq in Kazakhstan

By Dr. Charles Stewart, Chair, Art History, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, Houston, at our Annual Dinner on Sunday, April 30, 2017, at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. Abstract: In 2014 a farmer found a boulder with an ancient inscription and cryptic symbol. This prompted a partnership of American, Russian and Kazakh archaeologists to investigate the site in the summer of 2016. They believe that their excavation revealed that the present village was built over the once thriving, but lost, medieval city of Ilanbaliq on The Silk Road.

In the Eye of the Storm: Archaeology in the Midst of War in Syria

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center with: Dr. Giorgio Buccellati, Director, Mesopotamian Lab, Cotsen Institute of Archeology, UCLA; Dr. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, Director, Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project; and Dr. Charles Stewart, Associate Professor, Art History, University of St. Thomas, Houston, on April 20, 2017, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Cosponsored by the Friends of Archaeology. Theme: While ISIS threatens the history and cultural identity of the populations under its control, people are fighting their influence in every way they can – for example, by defending their cultural heritage.

Etruscan Discoveries

By Italian Archaeologist Claudia Penati, April 4, 2017, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX.

Wealth & Weapons: Excavating the Tomb of a Bronze Age Warrior

By Jennifer Stevens and Arthur Stevens on March 26, 2017, University of St. Thomas, Houston. Jennifer and Arthur are the staff photographers for an archaeological project at the Palace of Nestor in southern Greece. They shared with us their experiences during the discovery and excavation of a Mycenaean grave and presented some of the archaeologists' preliminary findings. The tomb lay undisturbed in an olive grove for 3,500 years until it was found in 2015, and it contained an extraordinary number of bronze, silver, and gold items.

Buffalo Bayou History and Archaeology

by our friends Charles Aulbach and Linda Gorski from the Houston Archeological Society on February 8, 2017. They presented a brief preview of the historical sites of Houston as seen from the vantage point of a boat on Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas. Many archeological and historic structures lie along this most important waterway of Houston, and they show us what to look for and why. Louis and Linda have authored a book on the archaeology of Memorial Park, and they frequently conduct walking tours of the area.

Searching for the People of the Palms: Prehistoric Archaeology in the Ecuadorian Rainforest

by Scotty Moore, PhD, RPA, Anthropology Program. Coordinator, Residential Faculty, Houston Community College, on January 22, 2017, at the University of St. Thomas, Houston.

High-Kingship of Tara: Making Irish Kings Christian

by Professor Charles Doherty, Retired, School of History and Archives, University College, Dublin, Ireland, October 6, 2016, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. Professor Doherty discussed the history and archaeology of Tara, the symbolic capital of Ireland and renowned as the palace of the ancient high-kings of Ireland going back to the Neolithic Period. His talk focused on how Christian clergy skillfully invented ways to convert this pagan kingship into a Christian institution.

Ancient Rope Making

by Friend Chris Kilgore, independent scholar and graduate student, on September 25, 2016, University of St. Thomas, Houston. Chris demonstrated a method of rope making used by ancient cultures and still in very limited use today. This rope, made with pieces of horsehair, is waterproof, lightweight and very durable.

The Apology of Citizen Socrates (Greece 399 BC)

by Dr. Louis Markos, Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, and holder of the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities, on April 16, 2016 at The University of St. Thomas, Houston. In 399 B.C. the citizens of Athens voted to have the great philosopher and teacher, Socrates, put to death, an act that marked the final end of the Golden Age of Greece. However, out of that dark moment in the history of Western Culture, there arose a document that encapsulated for all time the very ideals that the trial served to destroy. Dr. Markos closely analyzed the many facets of the Socrates' Apology.

Serdica: A Northern Roman Frontier City in Bulgaria.

by Dr. Charles Anthony Stewart, Chair, Art History, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, Houston, on February 21, 2016 at University of St. Thomas. Abstract: The Roman Empire heavily invested in Serdica, a formerly Thracian village, during the 3rd Century and it would become one of the largest cities in the region. It signifies how the Romans needed stability and acculturation in Eastern Europe. The city would look completely different than Rome, indicating a new artistic style was emerging at a time when Christianity, though illegal, was sweeping over the world. Over the past twenty years, archaeologists have been uncovering ancient Serdica, which lies underneath the modern city of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Their work sheds light on a significant chapter of civilization and how the classical city was transformed in what we now call "Late Antiquity". This presentation focused on the crypt under the Church of St. Sophia, where archaeologists discovered mosaics and fresco paintings testifying to sudden cultural change.

It’s the Pits! The Search for Lewis & Clark’s Lost Fort

by Scotty Moore, Ph.D., an American archaeologist based in Houston, Texas, on January 10, 2016, University of St. Thomas, Houston. Scotty earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington and has been studying the history and culture of societies throughout the world over the last 16 years. He has participated and supervised anthropological projects on five continents and throughout the United States and in locales as diverse as the Egyptian Desert and the jungles of Belize. In 2007, he was chosen to host one of the Discovery Channel’s first high definition television programs called “Bone Detectives”; over the course of 23 episodes and 12 countries, Scotty took viewers on a CSI-like exploration of ancient societies, murder victims, and unexplained deaths. Since that time, Scotty has continued to travel, learn about cultures, and explore the world. He has taught at Arizona State University, the University of Washington, and is currently the Program Coordinator for Anthropology at Houston Community College in Texas. In this lecture, Scotty presented the “detective work” that archaeologists used to find Lewis and Clark’s lost fort on the coast of Oregon.

Adventures in Museum Collecting: The Reality of Finding and Gathering Artworks

by Chelsea Dacus, Assistant Curator of the Glassell Collections, African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and Antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 18, 2015. Assistant Curator Dacus revealed what really goes on behind the scenes in a museum and showed photographs of some of the many fine exhibits at the MFA. A reception with refreshments and a free drawing for an art book followed the lecture.

My Search For My Species In Dirt

by Merrilee Cunningham Ph.D., Professor, University of Houston Downtown, College of arts and humanities, September 27, 2015. Prof. Cunningham covered her colorful career that stretches from her work with the Peace Corp in Columbia, Serbia and Crete, to her service as cultural envoy in Macedonia with the State Department. She also discussed the exciting, just discovered, skeletal remains found in South Africa.

The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World

by Adrienne Mayor, Author, Classics Scholar, Stanford University, June 2015. Friends of Archaeology as partners with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

by Luis Markos, Ph.D., Houston Baptist University, April 2015.

Curse Tablets: How to Bind Enemies and Influence People and Events

by Edmund P. Cuerva, Ph.D., Professor, University of Houston Downtown, October 2014.

The Colossus of Barletta and the Concept of Kosmocracy

by Charles Stewart, Ph.D., Professor of Classics and Humanities, University of St. Thomas, Houston, September 2014.

Interpreting the Earliest Art and Archaeology of the Near East

by Sarah Costello, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, University of Houston Clear Lake, February 2013.

The Archaeology of the Ancient Swahili: Trade, Islam, and the Indian Ocean World

by Jeffrey Fleisher, Ph.D., Rice University, Houston.

The Maya Research Program, Belize

by Thomas Guderjan, Ph.D., University of Texas at Tyler.

The Maya Perception and Use of Time

by Dirk Van Tuerenhout, Ph.D., Curator of Anthropology, Houston Museum of Natural Science.

PreClovis and the Peopling of the Americas

by Clark Wernecke, Ph.D., Executive Director, Gault School of Archaeological Research, Florence, Texas.

The Gorab Ship Cart Model

by Shelley Wachsmann, Ph.D., Texas A&M University.

Balzaora and the Last Palace of the Macedonian Kings

by William Neidinger, Ph.D.

Water Systems of Ancient Turkey

by Dennis E. Murphy, Friends Member, Avocational Archaeologist.

History and Archaeology of Buffalo Bayou

by Louis A. Aulback, Historian, Author.

Appraising Art and Archaeological Materials – Public and Private

by John Buxton, Antiques Roadshow, International Society of Appraisers.

The Gothic Ghost Town of Famagusta

by Charles Stewart, Ph.D.

Rise and Fall of Periclean Athens

by Louis Markos, Ph.D.

Urban Spaces in the 15th and 16th Century Swahili Villages of Songo Mnara, Tanzania

by Jeffery Fleisher Ph. D.

Grand Castles of the Medieval Orient

by Charles Stewart, Ph.D.

Viking Age History of the Northmen – Discoveries on the Island of Gotland, Sweden

by Frederic Pearl, Ph.D.

Worldwide Expeditions

Travel to exciting archaeological sites and museums around the world is one of our objectives.

Here are some of our past adventures:

Summer Expeditions:

Greece-Turkey
Spain
Egypt-Jordan-Israel
North/Central Greece
Italy-Malta-Austria
France
Ireland
Tunisia
Britain
Croatia, Montenegro
Eastern Turkey
Sicily
Central/Eastern Europe


Winter Expeditions:

Belize-Guatemala
Oaxaca
Mexico-West Texas-New Mexico
El Salvador-Honduras
Yucatan
Mexico, Central Valley
American Southeast
Guatemala, Peten
Honduras-Guatemala
Mexico, Southern Yucatan
Peru
Belize
Southeastern Mexico
Egypt


Fall Expeditions:

American Southwest, New Mexico
American Southwest, Arizona



Day Trips and Mini Excursions

Day Trips

Schulenberg, Texas, March 18, 2017. Visit to the painted churches.

Houston, Texas, February 16, 2017. Tour of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Underground Cistern.

Wharton, Texas, October 27, 2016. Historical/Technology Museums and 1886 County Courthouse.

Port Arthur, Texas, September 15, 2016. Museum of the Gulf Coast and the Pompeiian Villa.

Galveston, Texas, March 16, 2016. Grand 1894 Opera House and the Bryan Museum.

Houston, Texas, October 7, 2015. Ship Channel Tour and Houston Maritime Museum.

Victoria, Texas, LaSalle Odyssey Tour. Visited Museum of the Coastal Bend and toured Historic Victoria.

Houston, Texas. San Jacinto Monument Tour. Visited Museum and Battlefield.

Sugar Land, Texas. Visited Muslim Mosque and Hindu Temple.

Houston, Texas. Visited Buddhist Center, Jewish Museum and Villa de Matel Roman Catholic Church.

Orange, Texas. Visited Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

Schulenberg, Texas. Toured four historic Painted Churches

Galveston, Texas. Visited Moody Mansion and Haak Winery.

Brenham, Texas. Visited Peckerwood Garden, Folk Art Collection, and Blue Bell Creamery.

Galveston, Texas. Harbor Tour and Bishop's Palace.

Houston, Texas. Visited Holocaust, Asia Society and Weather Museums.

West Columbia, Texas. Visited Varner-Hogg Plantation Buildings and Columbia Historical Museum.

Huntsville, Texas. Visited Sam Houston Park, Home, Museum and burial site at Oakwood Cemetery.

Orange, Texas. Visited the Stark Mansion and Stark Art Museum.

Mini Excursions

Louisiana Expedition

Central Texas, Gault (Clovis) Site Tour. Also visited Clifton-Bosque Museum and Waco Mammoth Museum.