Lisa Çakmak, associate curator of ancient art at Saint Louis Art Museum and an alumna of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan, will give the keynote lecture for a student symposium on archaeology held this week at U-M.

Çakmak’s lecture, Uncovering Archaeology in American Museums, is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Pond Room in the Michigan Student Union, Friday, December 8, 5:30–6:30 p.m.

The symposium, Into the Third Century: The Past, Present, and Future of Michigan’s Archaeological Museums, is sponsored by the Collaborative Archaeology Workgroup in conjunction with the Kelsey Archaeology Museum’s bicentennial exhibition Excavating Archaeology @ U-M, 1817–2017. The exhibit, which runs until May 27, 2018, celebrates 200 years of archaeology at U-M and focuses on the collections held by the University’s two archaeology museums: the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, founded in 1922, and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, founded in 1928.

The symposium, which is also free and open to the public, will be held at the Kelsey Archaeology Museum on December 8–9, 2017. (See schedule below.)

Museums and archaeology have had a long and complex history at the University of Michigan. Beginning from a mandate to collect and preserve artifacts of ancient cultures, they have since expanded to more involved and sometimes conflicting imperatives of exploring, excavating, educating, interpreting, and intervening in today’s world. These missions have become increasingly intertwined with issues of US and international politics, including: environmental awareness and custodianship, cultural heritage and ownership, and the increasingly complex uses and potentials of technology and information science.

As archaeology at the University of Michigan moves into its third century, this wide-ranging conference offers the opportunity to reflect on the past achievements as well as the shortcomings of archaeological museums at the University of Michigan along with the research currently being undertaken by our students and faculty both within the museums themselves and out in the field. Finally, contributions concerning possible visions of the future of archaeological museums— whether dealing with technology, display, or the objects and spaces themselves—offer a glimpse into what the next century of archaeology at Michigan may look like.


Friday, December 8

5:30pm - 6:30pm

Introduction: Prof. Terry Wilfong, Director of the Kelsey Museum

Keynote: Dr. Lisa Çakmak, Associate Curator of Ancient Art, Saint Louis Art Museum

"Uncovering Archaeology in American Museums," Pond Room, Michigan Student Union

6:30pm - 7:30pm

Reception (Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, catered by EAT)


Saturday, December 9

8:00am - 9:00am

Breakfast for graduate students/presenters (Kelsey Museum, Panera)

Sessions (20 minutes per speaker, including questions, Kelsey Museum Lecture Room)

9:00am - 9:10am

Opening comments, Prof. Terry Wilfong, Director of the Kelsey Museum

9:10am - 10:30am

Legacy Collections and Modern Interpretations

Elspeth Geiger: Something Old and Something New: Marrying Old Collections with New Perspectives

Caitlin Clerkin: Notes from Seleucia: Working with a historic, legacy collection

Martin Menz: Recent Studies of Inter-regional Interaction in Eastern North America

Elizabeth Nabney: A Karanis Collaboratory: New Approaches to a 1920s Excavation


10:40am - 12:00pm

Scales of Resolution: Individual and Multiple Museum Resources

Craig Harvey: A Wealth of Opportunity: Publishing and Working with Coins of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Shannon Ness: A Hoard of New Information: Integration of the Kelsey Coin Collection with Larger Archaeological Databases

Alexandra Creola: Analyzing Authenticity: The Enigma of Etruscan Scarab Beads in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Timothy Everhart: Museums for Bias Correction: View from the Inaugural Season of the Woodland Ohio Monumentality Project (W.O.M.P.)

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch, Technology, and Poster Session (Kelsey Museum)


Annie Sherfield: Better for the Objects: How the move from Ruthven to the Research Museums Center will aid in artifact conservation

Bianca Gallina and Josiah Olah: An Archival Review of UM Excavations at Dimé, Egypt

Christina DiFabio: Context and Craft Production of Lamps from Roman Sepphoris in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Collection

Matthew Naglak: Archaeological applications of photo-based 3-D modeling at Notion in Turkeyand Gabii in Italy

2:10pm - 3:30pm

The Future of Archaeological Museums

Nadhira Hill: Can You Dig It?: Towards a Better Understanding of ‘Archaeology’ in Archaeology Museums

James Torpy: Museums and Community Engagement in Cyprus

Alison Rittershaus: In the Moment: Targeted Sensory Experiences in Museums

Lauren Fuka: Collections on the Move: Relocating UMMAA Collections to the ResearchMuseums Center

3:30pm - 3:45pm

Closing Comments, Prof. Michael Galaty, Director of the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology