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AIA-Stanford Book Club Discussion

Agatha Christie Mallowan: "Come Tell Me How You Live"

Over the course of her long, prolific career, Agatha Christie gave the world a wealth of ingenious whodunits and page-turning locked-room mysteries featuring Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and a host of other unforgettable characters. She also gave us Come, Tell Me How You Live, a charming, fascinating, and wonderfully witty nonfiction account of her days on an archaeological dig in Syria with her husband, renowned archeologist Max Mallowan. Something completely different from arguably the best-selling author of all time, Come, Tell Me How You Live is an evocative journey to the fascinating Middle East of the 1930s that is sure to delight Dame Agatha’s millions of fans, as well as aficionados of Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody mysteries and eager armchair travelers everywhere. Publisher’s Description 

April 9, 2021 at 7:00pm

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"Climate Change and the Origins of Amorite Cultures in the Ancient Near East"

Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7:00pm

Prof. Aaron Burke

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"Living through Crisis: Two Case Studies from the Ancient World"

Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Memorial Lecture

We are so lucky to get two fabulous lecturers in one night!

Prof. Eric Cline will be talking about 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms, that had taken centuries to evolve, collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. In this illustrated lecture, based on his book of the same title (1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed; Princeton University Press) that has recently been published in a revised and updated edition (2021), Professor Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether the collapse of those ancient civilizations might hold some warnings for our current society.

Prof. Diane Harris Cline will lecture on: The Topography and Monuments of Athens during the Plague: Sensory Disorientation in a Walled City

The plague of ancient Athens, which ravaged the city from ca. 430-426 BCE in part because of overcrowding inside the city walls, caused a humanitarian crisis of suffering which seemed “almost beyond the capacity of human nature to endure,” according to Thucydides (2.50). The intensity of suffering was amplified by a profound sense of disorientation, caused by experiencing unexpected sensory stimuli in once familiar places, including within their music hall, gymnasia, sanctuaries, and temples, most less than 20 years old, which were suddenly being used as either morgues or refugee camps. In this illustrated lecture, using an approach called “archaeology of the senses,” Professor Diane Harris Cline (Stanford, Classics, class of 1983) walks us through the monuments of Athens, as experienced through the senses during this crisis, demonstrating how the pandemic transposed pleasure gardens, monument-lined streets, and sanctuaries into a heterotopia of decay and death.

Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7:00pm - 9:00pm


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