Central Missouri Society Hosted James R. Wiseman for Lecture on Ancient Corinth
October 26, 2012
The AIA-Central Missouri Society collaborated with the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri in Columbia to celebrate the second National Archaeology Day with a lecture by James R. Wiseman. Wiseman is a past-president of the AIA and one of the leading figures in archaeology in the US - and he had received the first degree in Classical Archaeology ever awarded by the University of Missouri! Wiseman discussed his excavations at Corinth that revealed a section of the city's underground water-collecting system and a bath dating from the Classical period. In the Roman period the bath was decorated in marble and a swimming pool with sculptural decoration was added, and in the Late Roman period the chamber became a place for depositing votive lamps. This installation was near the gymnasium of the city, and the excavations also uncovered what is probably the spina of the Roman circus beside it (identified by D. Romano in 2005). The lecture emphasized the challenges of digging underground and multi-faceted research that combines digging with analysis of topography, stratigraphy, architecture, sculpture, a marble inscription and lead curse-tablet, lamps and pottery. Most of the audience consisted of students (high school, undergrad and graduate), for whom Wiseman is a great role model, and their response was enthusiastic. A reception before the lecture provided an opportunity for Wiseman to meet many of our local members.