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Annual Lecture

The Cinelli Lecture Series

In tribute to the Foundation’s founder Count Ferdinando Cinelli and his wife Sarah, The Etruscan Foundation has established The Cinelli Lecture Series, a permanently endowed annual lecture series offered through the Archaeological Institute of America’s Lecture Program.

Current Lecture
2016-2017 Nicola Terrenato, PhD, the Esther B. Van Deman Collegiate Professor of Roman Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan will present the fifteenth lecture program for the Archeological Institute of America’s Society of  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania entitled, The Earliest Gateway of Rome: Recent work at Sant’Omobono in the Forum Boarium at 4:30 PM on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the Cathedral of Learning, Room 249, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Lecture Abstract
Recent archaeological discoveries at the Forum Boarium in Rome show that this riverine area had a crucial importance in the early development of Rome. Ever since the late Bronze Age, humans were settled here trying to mitigate a challenging natural environment to exploit this unique geographic position. The evolution of a river harbor in the area contributed to making this the main interface between Rome and the Mediterranean. Deep excavations at the site of Sant’Omobono have revealed the remains of the oldest known stone temple in the city.
For additional information on the lecture location and time schedule and please visit the website of the AIA Society: Pittsburgh, or contact John Newell. Additional program schedule information may be accessed at the Archaeological Institute of America website or call (617) 358-4184 for AIA annual lecture program updates.
Past Lectures
2015-2016 Erik Nielsen, President Emeritus, Franklin University, Lugano, Switzerland will present the fourteenth lecture program for the Archeological Institute of America’s Society of New York City, New York entitled, I Principi Etruschi di Murlo (The Etruscan Princes of Murlo) at 6:30 PM on Monday, October 19, 2015 at the “Casa” of the Friends of Italy (FAI), Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 West 12th Street , New York, NY 10011. Tel: (212) 998-8739.
Lecture Abstract
The site of Poggio Civitate, near the city of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, was the home to an elite stratum of Etruscan nobles who clearly controlled the area from their strategic position on the top of this dominant hill.
The excavations carried out there over the past 49 years by a cadre of international scholars and students, both graduate and undergraduate, have brought to light the substantial remains of a monumental structure, ca. 60m x 60m dating to the 6th century BCE. Elaborately decorated with painted, terracotta revetments and statues, the imposing structure stood out in contrast to the more humble buildings recovered in the vicinity dating to this period. Mysteriously, the building was systematically destroyed and its decorative elements buried in deep pits scattered about the site. The foundations were covered and the site was abandoned toward the last quarter of the 6th century. Who destroyed it and why remain unanswered at present.
As remarkable as the building was, it was not the first structure on the site. Beneath its foundations lay the remains of an earlier decorated complex consisting of a residence, a large workshop and a formally laid out building which may have served a religious function. The artifacts associated with this complex include elaborately carved figures in bone, antler and ivory, personal ornaments in silver, gold and amber as well as finely crafted bronzes. Imported luxury goods from Greece, Egypt and the Levant were present and give evidence to trade and lively exchange with neighbors throughout the entire Mediterranean basin and even cultures to the north. The local ceramics were of the highest quality and consistent with examples recovered from other rich sites along the coast during this period. They attest to the extraordinary wealth of the inhabitants of Poggio Civitate and help clarify our picture of Etruria in the Orientalizing Period, a time when wealthy and elite families enjoyed a life of luxury and exchanged gifts among themselves. This presentation will introduce the audience to the richness of the site and its architecture and give consideration to how the complex functioned.
For additional information visit the AIA Society: New York City website or contact Paula Kay Lazrus, President AIA Society: New York City at info@aianysociety.org. Additional AIA lecture program schedules may be accessed at: lecturers@aia.bu.edu or call (617) 358-4184 for AIA annual lecture program updates.
2014-2015 Ili Nagy, PhD, Professor Emeritus from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington will present the thirteenth lecture program for the Archeological Institute of America’s Society San Diego, California entitledVotive Terracottas in ther Archaeological Context: the Case of Cerveteri at 7:00 PM on Friday, March 13, 2015 at San Diego State University, SD State Arts & Letters Building, Room 101, San Diego, California 92115.
Lecture Summary
Votive terracotta sculptures have long been the focus of my scholarly work. Currently I am engaged in research to determine the place and thereby the function of these humble objects by examining their archaeological contexts. The ancient Etruscan site of Cerveteri (Caere) with its variety of sanctuaries, urban, suburban and extra-urban, offers an especially good case for a study of the archaeological contexts of votive terracottas. This lecture examines the contexts of votive terracottas from several sanctuaries of Cerveteri. Some intriguing new finds from this site allow me to illustrate the ever changing complexities involved in interpreting Etruscan popular religious practice.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):
N. T. de Grummond and E. Simon, eds. The Religion of the Etruscans(Austin, TX. 2006). esp. chapter on votive offerings by J. M. Turfa.
H. Nagy, “Etruscan Terracotta Figurines” in The Etruscan World, ed. by J. M. Turfa (London and New York 013) 993-1006. (This is an enormous volume with many good and brief articles in English.)

S. Haynes, Etruscan Civilization. A cultural History. (Los Angeles 2000).

For additional program information contact: Elizabeth Ann Pollard, AIA Society: San Diego Email: epollard@mail.sdsu.edu Tel: (619) 594-6992 Website: http://aia-sd.org

2013-2014 Lisa Pieraccini, PhD, The History of Art Department’s Visiting Scholar in Ancient Art at the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California will present the twelfth lecture program for the Archeological Institute of America’s Society Milwaukee, Wisconsin entitles The Ever Elusive Etruscan Egg on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sabin Hall / Room G90, 3413 North Downer Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Lecture Abstract
Representations of the egg in various media are certainly not lacking in Etruscan art. On bronze mirrors we frequently find large eggs referring to the birth of Helen. Rich orientalizing tombs of the seventh century BC often contained imported ostrich eggs, highly prized luxury items indeed. The well-known Tragliatella vase, according to some scholars, curiously displays a couple holding eggs. At Tarquinia, the painted tombs frequently depict an egg being passed from one banqueter or reveler to another, or held out for display. Even one Caeretan brazier found in the archaic Tomba Maroi III at Caere contained eggs, which we can imagine were placed on the burning coals in the brazier during the funeral banquet. Scholars have suggested that the Etruscan egg was full of symbolic meaning. But what does this all mean? What exactly did the egg symbolize and how did it function in the rich realm of Etruscan funerary ritual?
For additional program information contact Jane C. Waldbaum at the AIA Milwaukee, Wisconsin Society: aiamke@milwpc.com or jcw@uwm.edu.
2012-2013 Alexandra Ann Carpino, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona will present the eleventh lecture program for the Archaeological Institute of America’s Society Nashville, Tennessee entitled Etruscan Faces: From the Symbolic to the Real on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Nashville Parthenon, 250 25th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203.
Lecture Summary
The art of portraiture represents one of the Etruscans’ most original and important contributions to western culture. Beginning in the seventh century B.C.E., representations of both anonymous and named men and women were crafted in variety of materials and styles, and placed in either funerary or religious contexts. By concentrating on the heads and chests of their subjects rather than on their body as a whole, Etruscan artists emphasized both physical differences and social identity, along with age and, sometimes, states of health. Thus, their likenesses became highly personalized, and a genre of art not previously articulated in the Classical world, was born.For additional program information contact Betsey Robinson at the AIA Nashville, Tennessee Society: betsey.a.robinson@vanderbilt.edu Tel: 857-204-0295.
2011-2012 David Soren, Regents Professor of Anthropology and Classics at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona will present the tenth lecture program for the Central Arizona Chapter of the AIA Society entitled The Mysterious Sacred Spring of the Emperor Augustus on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM. The lecture will be held in Neeb Hall (room 105), 920 South Forest Mall, Arizona State University (Tempe Campus), Tempe, Arizona.
2010-2011 Dr. Francesco de Angelis, Associate Professor of Roman Art and Archaeology with the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia, University, New York will present the ninth lecture program for the Washington Society AIA entitled Myths and Social Life in Etruscan Tombs: The Hellenistic Urns from Chiusi on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 8:00 PM at Maggiano’s, 5333 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
2009-2010 Dr. Giovannangelo Camporeale, Presidente dell’Istituto di Studi Etruschi e Italici, of Florence, Italy will present the eighth lecture program for the Los Angeles, California AIA Society entitled Narrative, Myth, Society in the Early Etruscan Culture on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:30 PM at the Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.The lecture will be free of charge to the public but a ticket must be obtained in advance to access the lecture program. Tickets are available either by phone (310) 440-7300 or via the Getty web site at: www.getty.edu/visit
2008-2009 Professor Nancy T. de Grummond of Florida State University presented the seventh lecture program for the Rochester, New York AIA Society entitledLooking at Divination: Themes of Prophecy in Etruscan, Greek and Roman Art on April 16, 2009 at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
2007-2008 Professor Jocelyn Penny Small of Rutgers University presented the sixth lecture program for the Dallas, Texas AIA Society entitled The Art of Etruscan Art on February 19, 2008 at the Meadows Museum, on the campus of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
2006-2007 Professor Richard De Puma of the University of Iowa presented the fifth lecture program for the Cleveland, Ohio AIA Society entitled Etruscan Goldon March 14, 2007 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Cleveland, Ohio.
2005-2006 Professor P. Gregory Warden of Southern Methodist University presented the fourth lecture program for the Washington, DC AIA Society entitled Cult, continuity and cultural identity at the Etruscan settlement of Poggio Colla (Florence) on October 10, 2005 at the American University Faculty Club in Washington, D.C.
2004-2005 Professor Anthony Tuck of Tufts University presented the third lecture program for the Boston, Massachusetts AIA Society entitled The Singing Rugon March 18, 2005 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
2003-2004 Professor Helen Nagy of the University of Puget Sound presented the second lecture program for the Madison, Wisconsin AIA Society entitled Etruscan Demons of the Underworld on October 28, 2003.
2002-2003 Professor Richard De Puma of the University of Iowa presented the inaugural lecture program of the Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology for the Detroit, Michigan AIA Society entitled The Forgeries of Etruscan Art on April 10, 2003.