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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 3, 2004

Archaeologist To Speak On Ancient Rome During UI Visit Sept. 8-16

Simon James, a leading archaeologist, will visit the University of Iowa Sept. 8 to 16 as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. James is senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Leicester, England.

He will give a number of public lectures during his visit, both on campus and at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. His keynote address, "Eagles and Wolves: Roman soldiers in peace and war," will be Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. in Room 1505, Seamans Center at the UI.

James's research specialties are diverse, ranging from Iron Age archaeology and the Celts to the Roman army in Syria. He is particularly interested in defining ethnicity and identity, and in the interaction between contemporary politics and reconstructions of the past. His current work focuses on the archaeology of violence and warfare in the Roman imperial army, and presents a fresh perspective that challenges earlier interpretations of the period.

He has published numerous books and articles on his research, including Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report VII, the Arms and Armour, and other Military Equipment (2004), The Atlantic Celts: Ancient people or modern invention? (1999), Britain and the Celtic Iron Age (1997) and The World of the Celts (1993)

James's visit to the UI is co-sponsored by the departments of anthropology and classics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional sponsors include the departments of history and art and art history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Office of the State Archaeologist; the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art; and the Archaeological Institute of America, Iowa Society.

In addition to the keynote, the following free, public lectures have been scheduled:

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m.: "Archaeology and ethnicity: the case of the Celts" 112 Macbride Hall

Thursday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m.: "The Roman galley slave: Ben-Hur and the birth of a factoid," The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

Monday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m.: "The life and violent death of Roman Dura-Europos," 302 Schaeffer Hall

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m.: "Isle of warriors, druids and human sacrifice? Britain at the coming of Rome," E109 Art Building (Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Iowa Society)

For further information contact the Department of Classics at 319-335-2323 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Department of Classics, 319-335-2323,