This week in addition to writing up an article and making library research for another one I went to a couple of research seminars and lectures in different organisations and institutes. This gave away something special about every institution I visited or I am loosely a member of.
First I headed to the Swedish Institute at Rome as a Stockholm University employer. I also worked an afternoon in the library, since not all books are in all libraries and sometimes you have to crisscross the city in order to collect all you need from the National Library or German Institute, if you are looking for rarer items. This time the Dutch book I needed was in my ‘home’ institution, so I could stay for a longer time and chat with Frederik, Eva and Anette. Part of the seminars in the Institute is in Swedish and this particular seminar presented a series of aquarelles painted by a famous Swedish architect in his more advanced years in Tarquinia. They were not particularly amazing, but the story about a close friend of the Swedish royal family the Institute wanted to keep in their fold was fascinating and the atmosphere in the seminar very cosy.
The following day I could attend the Wednesday dinner in the http://www.bsr.ac.uk/ and meet my friend Elisa and her postdoctoral fellow contemporaries. The event on the day was the Rickman lecture and Professor David Abulafia was giving a talk on thalassocracies. This was a good lesson about the British mores and polite academic discussion in the honour of a passed-away scholar.
On Thursday I headed to the Museum of Villa Giulia for an Italian presentation on Veii. A team from the Pigorini Museum and the University of Roma Tre have started excavating a Final Bronze Age burial place with cremations. This cemetery obviously connects with the settlement on Isola Farnese and presented some interesting detail. The archaeologists and physical anthropologists had used CAT scanning in recognising the metal objects and bones inside the pottery urns, when possible. This helped in excavating them in the laboratory. The cremations included some very small children, which shows that at least some children of some status level got formal burials.
The presentations clearly present a new trend, since they were short, concise, well-presented and with lovely, partly personal photos of the people at work and the main results during the first season of excavations. The audience was mainly Italian; I spotted myself and Anette on top of a Dutch archaeologist who has studied in Italy and lived there for years. In the multitude of the overlapping programme – I could not stay in an interesting meeting about sensory archaeology in the Swedish Institute – means in Rome that sometimes very interesting and important results do not reach the international community.