NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World – School of Humanities NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World – School of Humanities

NEAF Saturday Seminar Series | Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World

This Saturday series will move away from a site, period or historical perspective, and look at some of the major technological innovations and their impacts on their social, economic and environmental contexts in the ancient Near East.

In a series of eight lectures over four Saturdays, NEAF speakers will focus on a selection of intellectual, technological, and materials-based game-changers, and explore recent multidisciplinary approaches and new research tools that are deepening our understanding of the Near East.

Lecture 1 | 10am-11am

The Rise of Metallurgy in West Asia
Dr Joseph W. Lehner | University of Sydney

Abstract: The last ten years of research in ancient metallurgy has changed fundamentally how we view the rise of this complex technology. Yet despite the incredible new details and new techniques in

archaeological science, many large questions remain open. What gave rise to the invention, innovation and adoption of metallurgy? Was there more than one centre where metallurgy developed independently?

What is the relationship between social complexity and metal? In this lecture, we will explore the latest research, from the earliest copper producers of the ancient Balkans to the precocious diversity and virtuosity of the earliest metal technologies across West Asia.

Lecture 2 | 11am-12pm
How to Build a Roman City: techniques of urban construction
Dr Craig Barker | University of Sydney

Abstract: This talk will examine the processes of Roman urban architecture and infrastructure, from town planning and layout to colonnaded thoroughfares and plazas, arches and city walls, to public buildings such as theatres, amphitheatres, stadia, temples, basilicas, curia, markets and baths.

What made a Roman urban centre unique, and how did Romans adapt to earlier urban architecture and setting in the East of the empire?

This talk will use examples of Roman urban structures in Italy, Asia Minor, Cyprus, North Africa and the East and will take us through Roman methods of urban planning and design and construction techniques from quarrying and long distance trade of building materials through to the use of marble façading, methods of brick construction and the role of concrete through to decorative elements such as frescoes, painted plaster and mosaics.

We will examine some of the most famous buildings of the Roman world and examine the techniques of their construction and chronological changes and regional variation.

The seminars will be held online on Zoom


Please go to book via our NEAF website.
Click here to register

You can register for the whole series at a discount, or book for specific Saturdays.

Individual lecture $20 | Entire series $60

Non Members
Individual $30 | Entire series $90

All students are free 

Click here for the full seminar series details

Please note – a minimum of 20 attendees is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.


Once payment is received a receipt, Meeting ID and non-transferrable password will be sent to you.

On admission to the Zoom lecture, participants will be matched to names of financial participants. Please ensure your zoom log-in screen name correctly identifies you. If you are dialling in via telephone, please ensure the number listed when booking on our website is the same used when connecting via telephone.


Our Introduction will start at 9.55am.

The lecture will start at 10am and the second lecture will begin at 11.05am and finish at 12 noon.

There will be opportunity for questions following the lectures, time permitting.


| +61 2 9351 4151
F | +61 2 9114 0921
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Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)




May 07 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




+61 2 9351 4151

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