The Classical World

Greek Athletics and the Olympic Games
Athletics played an important role in the life of every Greek male. Each city-state had a gymnasium and stadium, and every boy dreamed of one day participating in the Panhellenic games. To win at the games was one of the highest honors attainable, reflecting glory not only on the winner, but on his family and city as well. This illustrated lecture takes a look at Greek Athletic Games, focusing on the stadiums, athletic facilities and artifacts from Olympia and the other three Panhellenic sanctuaries. Mr. John Kuhne

Anthropology and Archaeology
This "hands-on" program uses modern and ancient artifacts to introduce students to the study of world cultures. Students will be asked to identify artifacts to the best of their ability. We will examine the steps taken to draw these conclusions, and discuss how artifacts reflect cultural values.  Students will be asked to examine the type of information that can be learned through deductive reasoning and compare it to information gained through expertise and experience. Archaeology, as a branch of Anthropology, will be explored. Archaeologists ask many of the same questions as an anthropologist: What is this object? What is it made of? Was it manufactured? How was it manufactured? What type of climate does it come from? Is it still in use today? An archaeologist will relay personal tales from the field, and review the basic equipment and processes behind excavation. Ages 6 to 16.

Greek Athletics and the Olympics
Athletics played an important role in the lives of the Greeks. Each city-state had a gymnasium and stadium, and every boy participated in sports. Along with the athletic contests held at ancient Olympia (in honor of Zeus), there was a separate festival in honor of Hera (the wife of Zeus). This festival included foot races for unmarried girls. To win at the games was one of the highest honors attainable, obtaining glory for the winner, winner’s family and hometown. This lecture takes a look at Greek athletics, the Olympics, myth associated with it’s origins, and artifacts used by athletes.
 Ages 8-18.

Roman Myth and Mosaic Art
Let’s talk about the tradition behind mosaic making, and relay some of the more popular Roman legends. We will look at some beautiful mosaics, and discuss their role in the lives of the ancients. Some mosaics served as a way to keep myth and tradition alive, while others were merely decorative. Ages 10-Adult.

King Minos and the Labyrinth: The Minoan Civilization
King Minos survived in legend as a mighty king who presided over a great maritime kingdom on the island of Crete. Archaeological discoveries by Sir Arthur Evans at the turn of the century confirmed the existence of an ancient civilization on Crete, lending reality to the legends. From Evans' excavations at Knossos, and from those which have followed there and at other sites on Crete, we have come to know a great deal about the culture we call Minoan, yet so much remains unknown.  Did the Minoans control the Aegean Sea?  What are the facts behind the labyrinth?  Are there links between Crete and the mythical Atlantis?  Can myth be separated for history?  This illustrated lecture will present the artifacts, architecture and art that have aided in deciphering this fascinating culture. Mr. John Kuehne

Empire:  The True Story to Athenian Democracy
When we look at the architectural wonder of the Parthenon with its stoic, white marble which define Greek achievement, we attribute such magnificence to the civilization which gave birth to democracy.  It is not commonly understood that the Parthenon was built as a war trophy, paid for by the embezzlement of gold from subservient Greek settlements.  Witness the true rise of the Athenian Golden Age, its definition of democracy, the inception of its empire, and the greed and scheming which led to its downfall.  This is the Athens the text books don’t talk about. Mr. John Kuehne

The Amazing Bull-Sports of the Minoans
Mind-boggling feats of leaping and wrestling enraged bulls are popular motifs in Minoan art. From the famous "Tauraedor Frescoes" of the palace of Knossos to bronze statuettes, Minoan artists were fascinated with the images of athletes vs. bulls. Could these sports really have taken place? Is there any physical evidence for their existence? Who would be crazy enough to leap a charging bull anyway? This illustrated lecture looks at the art and architecture of the Minoan bull-sports and offers new theories on how the games were played. Mr. John Kuhne

Riding the Trojan Horse
Few ancient sites are as well known as Troy, yet many aspects of its history remain enigmatic. One of the first sites to be systematically excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in the late 19th century, it is again under excavation. The current team is a multinational, multidisciplinary group employing the latest technologies to add new chapters to the story first told by Homer. Experience a modern excavation by seeing the daily routine and work of one of the largest and most complex excavation teams working anywhere. Ms. Lynn Grant

Eat with Your Hands and Lean on Your Elbows: Food and Feasting with Romans
This slide lecture narrates how food arrived at the table in ancient Rome, who cooked and served it, and who came to the feast as guests. Roman banqueting and etiquette became more elaborate and extravagant over time, and included hours entertainment, toasts, and speech and poetry competitions. Banquets often had “themes” (the zodiac, seasons, or lives of the gods, for example) and food was often disguised as elaborate, edible sculptures. Illustrations of Roman sculptures and paintings of banquets, food stores, preparation, and Roman kitchens and utensils. An age-appropriate version is available for young audiences. Dr. Jill Furst

Love, Death and Magic on Etruscan Urns
Amaze your friends and students with tales of Love, Death and Magic in Etruscan Urns. Join us for this exciting presentation and learn about archaeology, daily life, trade and manufacturing, religion, language, death, burial and more in Italy's ancient Etruria . Dr. Turfa will reveal colorful images of romantic couples from circa 700 to 100 B.C.E. who party endlessly with the Under-world gods. But some erotic scenes are much more than what they seem: included are fertility spells worked by the deified ancestors, tiny vases of magical love portions, or the lead-inscribed binding spells of jilted lovers. In painted tombs and dusty urns, love, death and magic mingle with the Etruscans' very bones. Dr. Jean Turfa

 


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