Francisco Estrada Belli Scientific American magazine article

December 16th, 2014

Francisco Estrada Belli Scientific American magazine covers the discovery he made in 2013 at Holmul and some implications for Maya political organization.

Click here for PDF of article.

Emeritus Professor Norman Hammond presented the Fourth Andrzej Wiercinski Annual Lecture at the University of Warsaw, Poland

December 1st, 2014

Emeritus Professor Norman Hammond presented the Fourth Andrzej Wiercinski Annual Lecture at the University of Warsaw, Poland, on December 5th 2014, on the theme “From Village to City: the Preclassic Foundations of Classic Maya Civilisation”. Previous Wiercinski Lecturers were Gary Urton (Harvard) on the Inka quipu and problems of decipherment (2010), the late Klaus Schmidt (German Archaeological Institute) on  the excavations at Gobekli Tepe (2011), and Jean-Jacques Hublin (Max Planck Institute, Germany) , on the peopling of Europe (2012).

Professor Hammond also spoke recently at University College London on “Maya Pre-History”, and on January 15th 2015 will deliver an invited public lecture on “Maya Art and Maya Kingship” at the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Irina Shingiray (GRS’11) appointed Postdoctoral Research Associate, Oxford University

December 1st, 2014

Irina Shingiray (PhD 2011) has been appointed as Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of History at Oxford University (UK). During her 3-year appointment, Dr. Shingiray will work on the project “Nomadic Empires: A World-Historical Perspective.” Congratulations Irina!



Christina Luke was a recent US speaker in Serbia

November 10th, 2014

Christina Luke, Boston University Senior Lecturer of Archaeology; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Field Archaeology; Chair, Cultural Policy Committee, Archaeological Institute of America; Co-director, Central Lydia Archaeological Survey was a recent US Speaker in Serbia (2-9 November 2014). The week-long session focused on cultural diplomacy and the recent emphasis from UNESCO to explore creative economies as part of heritage practice. Christina met with regional leaders and gave lectures in Belgrade, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad and Kragujevac to discuss heritage policies pertaining to EU integration as well as the intercultural dialogue. She also met with US Ambassador Kirby, US Cultural Attaché Drew Giblin and members of the Serbian Ministry of Culture, including Minister Ivan Tasovac and Assistant to the Minister, Asja Draca.
Hristina Mikic, executive director of the Creative Economy Group in Belgrade, organized the program and the second forum of the group was held at the Palace of Serbia on 6 November.


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BU Archaeology Professor Michael Danti spoke at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

September 23rd, 2014


Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release September 21, 2014


Threats to Cultural Heritage in Iraq and Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry will join the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas Campbell, and its president, Emily Rafferty, on September 22 to highlight the destruction of irreplaceable cultural heritage taking place throughout Iraq and Syria at the hands of violent extremists like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Syrian regime.

The event, to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City amid the United Nations General Assembly week, will feature a presentation by Professor Michael Danti and remarks from Secretary Kerry, Director General of UNESCO Irina Bakova, and other distinguished members of the preservation and museum community.

As the United States responds to the violence in Iraq and Syria that has destroyed millions of lives and caused enormous suffering to the region’s people, we also remain deeply concerned about the destruction of cultural heritage in these areas of tragic conflict. Ancient treasures have now become casualties of continuing warfare and looting and are targets for destruction

Historic monuments and archaeological sites of the world, which enrich modern societies by connecting all of us to our cultural origins and informing our identities, must be preserved.

The unique cultural heritage of both Iraq and Syria represent an historical sequence of human development from ancient times to the present day. The Department of State remains committed to preserving these countries’ ancient cultures and joins international partners, intergovernmental organizations, and other institutions in advancing efforts to protect and restore this heritage.

UNESCO Website coverage click here.

National Geographic article features William Saturno, Francisco Estrada-Belli, and graduate student Mary Clarke

August 26th, 2014

Losing Maya Heritage to Looters

Stolen artifacts are making it from the Guatemalan jungle to wealthy black-market buyers.


For instance, the only way to find 14 Maya pots at once would be to uncover the burial of a very wealthy king. In archaeology, such finds can make a researcher’s career and redefine our understanding of entire dynasties or eras during the Classic period (300-900 A.D.). But taken out of context, these pots are nearly worthless to science.

“It does almost nothing,” says William Saturno, an archaeologist at Boston University who has been working in Xultún for more than a decade and a National Geographic grantee. “It should be returned to the country of origin where it was taken from so that they might have it back. But it’s unlikely that it will tell anything.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Alumna, Christina Hodge (GRS’07), publishes book

August 19th, 2014

Dr. Christina Hodge (GRS’07), Collections Manager, Stanford Archaeology Center, Department of Anthropology at Stanford University has published a book based on her dissertation.  “Consumerism and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Colonial America”, was published by Cambridge University Press.

Congratulations Christina!



Professor William Saturno receives NASA grant

August 19th, 2014

Assistant Professor of Archaeology William Saturno has received another NASA grant for his ongoing investigation into Northern Peruvian Desert.   “An Archaeological Investigation into the Northern Peruvian Desert Region Using Landsat, Hyperion, Advanced Land Imager (ALI), and ASTER Data” through the Space Archaeology Program of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Earth Science Division.
Congratulations to Professor Saturno!

Professor James McCann BU Today Special Report, “Battling Ebola: Is Human Acitivity to Blame?”

August 19th, 2014

Human ecology may hold key to longer-term solution says CAS professor.

For historical context on the virus and the role that deforestation and human activity may have played in the current outbreak, BU Today spoke with James C. McCann, a scholar on the history of the food, ecology, and agriculture of Africa. He is a faculty fellow for the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, associate director of the African Studies Center, chair of archaeology, and a professor of history. He is also a Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow. His numerous books include Green Land, Brown Land, Black Land: An Environmental History of Africa, 1800–1900; Stirring the Pot: The Tastes and Textures of African Cookery; and Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500–2000, which won the 2006 George Perkins Marsh Prize as the best book on environmental history from the American Society for Environmental History.


Click here to read the entire article.

Professor Michael Danti part of a team to save Syria’s heritage

August 5th, 2014

On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of State and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) signed a $600,000 cooperative agreement to document comprehensively the current condition of cultural heritage sites in Syria and assess future restoration, preservation, and protection needs. ASOR’s documentation and planning will raise global awareness of the threats to Syria’s cultural heritage and identify immediate or future projects and assistance that can be carried out and provided inside Syria. ASOR’s Syrian Heritage Initiative—Planning for Safeguarding Heritage Sites in Syria is led by five co-directors / co-principal investigators: Scott Branting (ASOR), Jesse Casana (University of Arkansas), Michael Danti (Boston University and ASOR), Abdal-Razzaq Moaz (Indiana University and ASOR), and Andrew Vaughn (ASOR). LeeAnn Barnes Gordon (ASOR) serves as Project Manager for Conservation and Heritage Preservation. The international team also includes more than 30 additional scholars and specialists who will serve as co-investigators, consultants, or advisors.  Click here to read more.