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ARCE-PA Presents: 

December Lecture & 2015 Winter Pot-Luck Party

  Roger Bagnall, PhD
Leon Levy Director & Professor of Ancient History, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW)

"Excavating Papyri and Ostraca at Berenike and Amheida: Occupation, Dumping, and Dumps"

December 6, 2014 at 3:30 PM
Room 345
Penn Museum

Ostraka—texts written on small objects, generally potsherds—have received relatively little attention from both archaeologists and scholars who work on ancient texts. But they were found everywhere in the ancient world, recording in short form a variety of types of texts destined to be thrown away once read, or else replaced by some longer-term record. As conditions in Egypt become ever more humid, papyrus is found at few sites, but ostraka at many. 

This lecture will reflect on the experience of being a project ostracologist for two Egyptian excavations, at Berenike on the Red Sea coast and at Amheida in the Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert. In both cases the ostraka were mostly dumped, but there the similarities end. I shall explore the relationship between archaeological context and contents at the two sites.
Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, Bagnall was Jay Professor of Greek and Latin and Professor of History at Columbia University, where he had taught for 33 years. During that time he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the Department of Classics. 

Educated at Yale University and the University of Toronto, he specializes in the social and economic history of Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique Egypt. He has held many leadership positions in the fields of classics and papyrology; he is co-founder of a multi-university consortium creating the Advanced Papyrological Information System. 

Among his best-known works are Egypt in Late Antiquity (1993), The Demography of Roman Egypt (1994; with Bruce Frier), Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History (1995), Early Christian Books in Egypt (2009), and Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East (2010). His edition (with Giovanni Ruffini) of the first volume of Ostraka from Trimithis inaugurated ISAW's series of digital books. He has also edited many volumes of papyri and other ancient texts. 

He directs NYU's excavation project at Amheida (jointly sponsored with Columbia) in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Académie Royale de Belgique, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.

Bagnall is one of the general editors of the 13-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient History, which appeared from Wiley-Blackwell in November 2012.  Other current projects include the editing the graffiti from the basilica in the agora of ancient Smyrna and publication of texts from the excavations at Amheida and Berenike.

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2015 Winter Pot-Luck Party

Immediately after Dr. Bagnall's Lecture, ARCE-PA will be having our annual Winter Party. We invite all of our lecture attendees to join us. The party will be pot-luck, so we encourage everyone to bring their favorite food.  ARCE-PA will be providing drinks.  There will be great conversations, food, drink, and games.

The ARCE-PA Winter Party is free for all ARCE-PA members, but there will be a $5 donation for non-ARCE-PA members.

Please contact us at pres@arce-pa.org to let our chapter president, Beth Ann, know what you will be bringing.


*Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are held at the Penn Museum at 3:30 PM*
*Entrance fees are $10 for the general public, $7 for University Museum members and UPenn Staff & Faculty, $5 for Students with ID, and FREE for ARCE-PA members and children under 12

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