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Seminars and Events 2020
Lecture on 20 February 2020
Preserving immortality: Conserving a child mummy


Marica Mucic,

University of Melbourne


The Subject: In 1964 the Australian Institute of Archaeology purchased an Egyptian­ child mummy at Sotheby’s for use in its education program. Since that time the condition of the mummy has deteriorated, and its use in the program became problematic. With a grant from the Copland Foundation the child mummy has been conserved at the University of Melbourne and a display case has been constructed by Thomas Ingpen of POD Museum & Art Services. The lecture will describe the problems, procedures and achievements of the conservation process. The mummy will be displayed at the lecture.


The Lecturer:­ Marica has an honours degree in archaeology from La Trobe University and a master’s degree in conservation from the University of Melbourne. She has been a long-standing volunteer at the Australian Institute of Archaeology and is now employed as an Assistant Conservator by Grimwade Conservation Services where she participated in the conserving of the child mummy.

When:           5.15 pm  Thursday 20 February, 2020

Where:          Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                    (La Trobe University, Building TER 11, Melways 873-4, University parking restrictions end at 5pm)

Contact:        Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

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Postponed until 2021 - Date to be advised
The Lost Fortress of Umm Tawabin in Jordan Revealed


Alexandra Ariotti

Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies


The Subject: Umm Tawabin is a large fortified hilltop site overlooking the Wadi ‘Arabah and the Dead Sea in southern Jordan. The site comprises a citadel with the remains of a fort and three other buildings, a road, dam and quarry and over one hundred unusual circular stone structures, all enclosed by an extensive 2.5 km long casemate wall.Under the auspices of the Ghor as-Safi Project, with funding provided by the Palestine Exploration Fund, Alex Ariotti has surveyed and excavated Umm Tawabin since 2015. The site was part of the local Nabataean defence system between the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD and then became part of the Roman limes . Archaeological evidence suggests a much longer period of habitation from the Bronze Age through to the Islamic period. The lecture will describe Umm Tawabin’s archaeology and present the first detailed chronological sequence of the site.


The Lecturer:­ Alex is an independent researcher and ceramics illustrator with experience in archaeology, history, museums, tourism and hospitality. She has worked on field projects in Australia, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus and Greece, including the Tel El Ful Excavation, Israel, the Marki Alonia Excavations, Cyprus and the Zoara/Ghor as-Safi Project in Jordan, amongst others. She lives in Crete, publishes Roman and Byzantine ceramic studies and archaeological field reports, and leads the Umm Tawabin project. She is in Australia for a three-month work assignment.

When:           5.15 pm  Thursday 26 March, 2019

Where:          Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                    (La Trobe University, Building TER 11, Melways 873-4, University parking restrictions end at 5pm)

Contact:        Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

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Umm Tawabin Figure-3-1024x683.jpg
Petrie Oration: Postponed until 2021 - Date to be advised
Copper production and trade in Middle Bronze Age Cyprus: The view from Lapithos


Adjunct Professor Jennifer M. Webb AM FAHA FSA PhD

Department of History and Archaeology, La Trobe University, Melbourne
Senior Research Associate, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus
Editor-in-Chief, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology (SIMA), Astrom Editions, Nicosia


The Subject: The Middle Bronze Age in Cyprus (ca 2000–1700 BC) has often been seen as comprised of agro-pastoral villages largely isolated from the wider eastern Mediterranean world. Current excavations and new readings of ‘legacy’ data, however, are challenging such views, suggesting that communities were more complex and interconnected and that the internationalism of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, largely based on the trade of Cypriot copper, had its antecedents in the Middle Bronze Age. The site of Lapithos, on the north coast of Cyprus, is of major importance in this discussion. Some 140 tombs excavated here in the early 20th century produced over 1800 copper-base artefacts and more than 150 imported objects of faience, gold, silver, lead, copper and bronze. These suggest that the settlement was involved in an internal procurement network, which linked Lapithos with mining villages close to copper ore bodies in the Troodos Mountains, and an international maritime trade in metals and other goods in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC.

This paper will present current research on excavations undertaken at Lapithos in 1913 and the results of X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry analyses of 415 copper-base objects. The latter constitute one of the largest site-specific datasets for the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean and offer an opportunity to investigate the use of non-local tin and alloying, recycling and mixing practices on Cyprus in the Middle Bronze Age.


The Lecturer:­ Dr Jennifer Webb is Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cyprus. She has devoted many years to archaeological research on Cyprus and has co-directed a number of excavations on the island. She is currently working on a major legacy project to publish over 80 Middle Bronze Age tombs excavated at Lapithos on the north coast in 1913 and 1917. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Society of Antiquaries, London and in 2017 was made a Member of the Order of Australia, for ‘significant service to education, particularly to archaeology’.

When:           5.15 pm  Thursday 27 August, 2020

Where:          Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                    (La Trobe University, Building TER 11, Melways 873-4, University parking restrictions end at 5pm)

Contact:        Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

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A view from the site of ancient Lapithos toward the sea 1927

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