Free lectures featuring some of today's most prominent archaeologists are held throughout the year. Interested in learning more about future lectures and events? Send your name and address to to be added to the mailing list.
In October 2021, Aksel Casson presented "The Risks and Rewards of Archaeology as Activism: A Decade of Research in Turkey." He is the assistant professor of anthropology and archaeology at Slippery Rock University. During this lecture, Dr. Aksel Casson shared his personal reflections on a decade of fieldwork in Turkey and how this experience helped to define his complicated insider/outsider relationship with the peoples and cultures of the nation. Dr. Casson is the son of a Turkish mother and an American father, and found himself doing archaeological work against a backdrop of various protests around the country, including at Gezi Park in Istanbul. He participated in the Sinop excavations along the Black Sea coast from 2007-2011 and worked on the Yedikule historical gardens in Istanbul in 2013-2014. Dr. Casson discussed the role of heritage management in the 2013 political protests and talked about his own detainment and arrest in 2017—on political grounds. This continues to prevent him from returning to Turkey, where his mother resides, and his family is actively working to restore his grandmother’s ancestral home.
In March 2019, Curator Emerita Nancy Lapp recounted stories from her life and career to illustrate the changes in Near Eastern archaeology during the course of her work and study from the late 1950s to the present day. Her personal story provides valuable insights into the emerging history of a modern-day discipline.
From 1955, when Nancy became the first female student of William F. Albright (the “father of American Near Eastern archaeology”) to her overnight stay in a sandy wadi of the Iraqi desert in 1958 . . . from her unexpected journey on a Russian ship to Beirut in 1960 to local revolutions and a regional war . . . from her becoming curator of the Kelso Bible Lands Museum in 1970 to her travels and numerous publications of today, Nancy’s archaeological journey has spanned more than half a century and included a treasure trove of adventures and discoveries—sometimes unexpected ones, as explorations of ancient remains inevitably mixed with contemporary events.