CLAS230 Classical Mythology

Fall Semester, 1997-1998

Art Lecture Room, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

Instructor: Thomas J. Sienkewicz (

Special Activities:

Several extra-class activities will supplement class lectures, discussions, and assigned readings. If you have scheduling conflicts for required extra-class events, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. Where possible, alternative assignments will be arranged.

Attendance is required at the following event:

13th Fox Classics Lecture

"Goofy Gods and Half-Baked Heroes: Comic Entertainment in the Ancient City"

Dr. Anne Groton, Professor of Classics, St. Olaf College

Monday, November 17, 1997

Highlander Room, 7:30 P.M.

On Wednesday, November 19, 1997, students are expected to submit via the college computer network a special 600-word statement which summarizes the specific mythological issues raised by the presenter and relates this material to course work. This report will count as TWO weekly statements, but does not replace the regular Monday statements.

Attendance at other college functions and public lectures may be assigned by the instructor. Questions relating to these talks may appear on quizzes and tests.

Extra credit will be awarded to students who attend the following archaeological lectures at Monmouth College. Please submit a 100-word statement about the event in order to receive this credit. If you want transportation to any of these events, please let Prof. Sienkewicz know in advance.

Tuesday, September 16, 1997. Illinois Archaeology Week

"Mississippian Art in Illinois" by Lawrence Conrad of Western Illinois University

Mississippian art will be discussed in its social context in validating and supporting the theocratic Mississippian governments. The illustrated lecture will touch on topics ranging from community planning to weaving.

Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. 7:30 P.M.

Tuesday, September 23, 1997

"Underwater Archaeology: Sunken Cities of Lycia" by Robert Lindley Vann of the University of Maryland

Subsidence of many areas of the coastline in southwest Turkey has left the remains of several ancient cities partially submerged. As part of a survey of ancient Greek and Roman harbors in Turkey, an American team has worked since 1991 to record the architectural remains of some of these sites.

After a brief introduction to the region of Lycia and an overview of its magnificent landscape, this lecture will focus on two sites: Aperlae and Kekova. Both are relatively unknown in the archaeological record; in fact the survey beginning in 1996 by a team from the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado is the first systematic study of Aperlae. Both cities have abundant standing remains. The lecture will show the architectural, sculptural, and epigraphic evidence concurrent with a discussion of the field techniques for an architectural survey (both in and out of the water).

Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. 7:30 P.M. Room to be announced.

Thursday, November 6, 1997

"Mimbres: Pueblo Art and Archaeology in Southwestern New Mexico" by Stephen Lekson of the University of Colorado

Mimbres is the most famous of all prehistoric Southwestern art styles. The images painted, one thousand years ago, on Mimbres bowls are recognized today as a major achievement of Native American art. But the communities which produced this art were equally remarkable for their political and social accomplishments. The first real pueblos--closely packed apartment buildings with kivas and kachina ceremonialism--were Mimbres. Two centuries before Mesa Verde, Mimbres villages developed the characteristics and institutions, later so prominent in the historic Pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico. Mimbres accomplishments were, in part, the result of a unique ecological setting: Mimbres rose where the northern Puebloan culture met the canal irrigation needed for the Southwest's low deserts. Canal irrigation, developed first in the Phoenix Basin of Southern Arizona, created degrees of sedentism and aggregation in Mimbres unknown in the larger Pueblo world of its times. Recent projects, including work by Lekson on the upper Gila, has greatly expanded our knowledge of this vibrant, important society. The history of Mimbres archaeology and our changing understandings of the Mimbres' past are reviewed; new views of Mimbres art and archaeology are presented.

Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. 7:30 P.M.

Friday, November 7, 1997

"Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins, and Paquime: The Political History of the Ancient Southwest, AD 900-1500" by Stephen Lekson of the University of Colorado

For one hundred years, archaeologists have viewed the Southwest as a patchwork of boom-and-bust cultures, small in scale and politically independent. These polities were originally understood as New World analogues for "city states." New data and reanalysis of old data now indicate that an overarching political structure shaped the Pueblo Southwest from perhaps AD 900 to about 1500. A series of three historically-linked ceremonial cities--Chaco Canyon (900-1125), Aztec Ruins (1110-1270), and Paquime (also called Casas Grandes, 1250-1500--controlled vast political economies based on precious goods (turquoise, shell, copper bells and exotic birds). Historical connections, signalling the continuity of these three centers, were symbolized by a range of conspicuous architectural features unique to these sites, and by a remarkable landscape language of "positional legitimation"--much like the alignment of mosques to Mecca. The three major centers were sited on a shared meridian, manifesting principals of cardinality strongly evident in the city planning of Chaco Canyon and Paquime. The history of Chaco, Aztec, and Paquime is still told, in poetic form, in Pueblo origin stories. This rapidly evolving research, led by Lekson, will be presented, and its implications discussed; much of what we thought we knew about Pueblo prehistory will require significant reassessment.

Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. Noon.