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Seminars & Events 2017
Cuneiform in Australia and New Zealand (CANZ Project)


Friday 15th September 2017, 5.15pm

Introduction: Christopher Davey, Director, Australian Institute of Archaeology


The CANZ project: Wayne Horowitz, Professor of Assyriology, Hebrew University Jerusalem


Australia Collections: Dr Luis Siddall, Macquarie University


Magical-Medical Tablet from New Zealand: Dr Peter Zilberg, Hebrew University Jerusalem


The CANZ Project: The Project aims to translate and publish (or re-publish) all cuneiform material in collections in Australia and New Zealand. Australia’s largest collection of such material is held by the Australian Institute of Archaeology.


The Seminar: Work on the AIA collection is drawing to a close. The Seminar will review the status of the work. There will also be an opportunity to inspect some of the AIA collection.


Venue: 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

2017 Petrie Oration

Eat, Pray, Smelt: the Enigmatic Prehistoric Desert Site of Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, U.A.E.


Thursday 11th May 2017, 5.15pm


Presented by

Lloyd Weeks,

Professor of Archaeology, University of New England


The subject:

Saruq al-Hadid, discovered accidentally in 2002 in the mobile dune fields of southern Dubai,

is one of the most important but enigmatic late prehistoric sites in Arabia. It displays a

super-abundance of material remains including thousands of copper, iron, gold, bone, wood,

stone and shell artefacts and metal production residues) in contexts characterized by

pervasive ritual’ snake imagery. A UNE-based team has been working at the site since 2014,

in collaboration with DubaiMunicipality, and this talk presents an overview of the results of our field and laboratory research, including new understandings of the site’s stratigraphy, environment, and the human technological and ritual activities that were undertaken there. The talk will place the site in the broader context of Bronze Age and Iron Age societies in

south-eastern Arabia, and try to explain what attracted humans to this isolated desert site and why they returned time after time over many centuries, to hunt, herd, feast, and craft.


The Lecturer: Professor Weeks researches the archaeology of prehistoric Iran and Arabia, and metal production and exchange systems in the ancient Near East. He has participated in collaborative field projects in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah in the U.A.E. and in Fars Province, Iran, incorporating field survey, excavation, materials analysis, and palaeo-environmental reconstructions. He is currently directing the Saruq al-Hadid Archaeological Research Project (SHARP), a collaboration between Dubai Municipality and the University of New England.


Venue: Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, McLeod
(La Trobe University, Building EC/TER 11, Melways 873-4)

Thursday 11th May, 2017 at  5.15pm 


Contact:  Christopher Davey - 0421 595 966                                                                

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