September 23 AIA Lecture "Spying on the Past: Satellite Imagery and Archaeology in Southern Mesopotamia"
Program begins at 2 pm in Joslyn's Abbott Lecture Hall

The Omaha-Lincoln Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), in partnership with Creighton University's Department of Fine and Performing Arts and Joslyn Art Museum, continues its exceptional programming with another free public lecture.
An AIA Kershaw Lecture in Near East Archaeology
"Spying on the Past: Satellite Imagery and Archaeology in Southern Mesopotamia" presented by Carrie Hritz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Archaeological Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University

The integration of spatial datasets from historical satellite imagery, digital elevation models (DEMs), and past archaeological surveys provides new insights into the nature and remains of past landscape transformations. Using southern Mesopotamia as a case study, this lecture addresses long-held assumptions concerning the nature and relationship of settlement patterns and river channel systems in antiquity. GIS and image analysis are used to fill in gaps in the settlement record and propose a revised location for the Tigris River during most of antiquity. Given that only one-third of the central alluvial plain had been ground surveyed in southern Mesopotamia, how complete was our picture of landscape and settlement? How could gaps in settlement be interpreted? The present work in the area east of Baghdad suggests that archaeologists and historians have underestimated the nature and movements of the Tigris River. Satellite imagery can help reveal the location of the Tigris River prior to its settling into its modern course, shedding light on its potential role in the rise of early Mesopotamian agricultural societies. The work presented here proposes a methodology for unweaving and mapping preserved pieces of ancient landscapes, addressing larger issues of human modification of the landscape.

CARRIE HRITZ is interested in human-environment interactions in the ancient world as recorded in the archaeological record and the rise of complex societies in the ancient Near East. Her research has focused on the creation of landscape models to better understand the physical and cultural transformations that guide the development of irrigation and impact the dynamic settlement pattern of southern Mesopotamia through time.

“Spying on the Past: Satellite Imagery and Archaeology in Southern Mesopotamia” is the AIA Kershaw Lecture in Near East Archaeology

Founded in 1879, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) was chartered by the United States Congress in 1906, in recognition of its role in the development and passage of the Antiquities Act, which Theodore Roosevelt signed into law that year. Today, the AIA remains committed to preserving the world's archaeological resources and cultural heritage for the benefit of people in the present and in the future. The Lincoln-Omaha Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, chartered in 1995, provides the residents of Nebraska and western Iowa opportunities to attend lectures by prominent international, national, and local archaeologists.