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As an Egyptologist trained in geological sciences, Dr. Andrew Shortland became interested in applying scientific analysis to the identification and interpretation of material culture from the ancient and historical worlds. Today Shortland uses the latest technology to answer questions about valuable or historically important objects. Typically these involve queries about provenance, date, identification of past restoration or conservation—and even the detection of deliberate fakes and forgeries.
Using examples from his cases, Professor Shortland will describe a wide variety of different analytical techniques in his work including SEM-EDS, microprobe, XSRF, LA-ICPMS and optical microscopy.
Dr. Andrew Shortland is professor of archaeological science at Cranfield University in UK. He is Deputy Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute, where he runs a group that specializes in the application of scientific techniques to archaeological and forensic problems.
Tickets $18, Members $12
A remarkable earthworks complex that was built and occupied by American Indians from about 1700 to 1100 BCE in what is today northeast Louisiana is designated Poverty Point World Heritage Site. Some archaeologists refer to Poverty Point as the "New York City" of its day because it was so huge, sophisticated and out-of-character compared to everything else going on at that time. Trading hub, engineering marvel, monument to ingenuityôhe original configuration included five earthen mounds; six nested, c-shaped, earthen ridges that served as the habitation area; and a flat interior plaza.
Although it is not the oldest or the largest mound complex in North America, it stands out as something specialá singularityâecause of its scale and design, and because the people here lived by hunting, fishing and gathering wild foods. Also, because there was no naturally occurring rock at the site, tons of stone for tools and other objects were brought in over distances up to 800 miles. At Poverty Point, we can glimpse a reflection of humanity that no longer exists.
This program is co-sponsored by Fort Bend Archeological Society and Houston Archeological Society.
Taking us to the absolute limits of life--the biotic fringe--where scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself, Dr. Tullis Onstott of Princeton University will explain how geomicrobiologists are helping the quest to find life in the solar system by going to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth's crust. The recent discoveries of exotic subsurface life forms are helping understand the possibilities of life in the Universe. Book signing following lecture.
More than doubling in size since the 2013 Houston Fabergé Symposium, the McFerrin Collection now totals nearly 600 objects and will be displayed in its entirety for a limited time. Recent acquisitions focus on rare Imperial pieces with fascinating stories. Join us at the Houston Museum of Natural Science as renowned Fabergé researchers discuss the genius of Fabergé and his place in history as related to the royalties of Europe.
The Fabergé symposium "The Wonder of Fabergé, A Study of the McFerrin Collection" hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science features sessions presented by world-renown Fabergé experts with space allotted for Q&A. The confirmed speakers include Tim Adams of San Diego, Dr. Galina Korneva of Russia, Christel McCanless of Alabama, Mark Moehrke of New York, Mikhail Ovchinnikov of Russia, and Dr. Wilfried Zeisler of Washington DC.
Lunch will feature an informal discussion with collectors Artie and Dorothy McFerrin who will tell entertaining stories behind the building of their collection and also entertain questions from symposium participants.
The afternoon includes a viewing of the McFerrin Fabergé Collection, the Museum's world-renown Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals and Smith Gem Vault which features several Fabergé pieces from a private Houston collector. A selection of Fabergé books will be available for signing with Dorothy McFerrin and Dr. Wilfried Zeisler.
Unique to Houston, the Energy Capital of the World, is the high concentration of geologists. To utilize the specialized talent of HMNS staff and docents who have a unique knowledge in geology, mineralogy, gemology and Fabergé, you will be able to bring your Fabergé pieces for these experts to identify the unprecedented variety of materials-from precious gems to ordinary stone-that Fabergé craftsmen used in their objects works. You will be amazed at what you will find out about your piece. Not only what the material is, but where it came from.
A demonstration of gemstone-cutting and metalsmithing techniques used by Fabergé craftsmen-cabochon and stone faceting, stone carving, enameling, guilloche, chasing, repoussé-will be presented by artists of the Houston Museum of Natural Science Volunteer Guild.
Early-bird registration by June 30: Tickets $65
Regular price starting July 1: Tickets $100
Symposium tickets include breakfast and lunch. Tickets must be purchased by October 20 and are based on availability. Tickets are not refundable after October 20.
The Welcome Dinner with presentation by Dr. Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm of Finland requires a separate ticket purchase.
Museum Admission Discount: Symposium attendees will receive a discounted rate for all Houston Museum of Natural Science attractions and exhibition halls-including the McFerrin Faberge Collection-on November 3 and 5.
Hotels: Conference hotel information is available at www.hmns.org/fabergesymposium
People all over the ancient world played games. Dr. Irving Finkel of the British Museum has decoded several ancient games. He will share how these games were played 5,000 years ago. An ancient game tournament will follow the presentation. You can try your hand at Senet, the Royal Game of Ur, Parcheesi and Go and Chess with 12th century Lewis chessmen.
Suggested for ages 6-12 and adults.
Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Houston Society.
Exciting stories about griffins, dragons, sea monsters and giants have been told for thousands of years. Were they real? What is the truth? Children's author Dr. Adrienne Mayor of Stanford University reveals some suprising secrets connecting fossils with fabulous creatures of myth.
Suggested for grades 6-12 and adults.
Drawing on fields from genomics to medicine and the study of our microbiome, evolutionary biologist Dr. Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine the future evolution of our species. But how will modernizationéncluding longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel and widespread use of medicine and contraceptivesáffect our evolutionary future? Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary historyïne that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.
Solomon of Rice University will present an entertaining review of the latest evidence of human evolution in modern times. Join us at HMNS this evening which is the book launch event for the new book is "Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution."
This event is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute's Civic Scientist Program.
On the forefront of the Civil Rights movement, Reverend William Lawson and his wife Audrey founded Houston's Wheeler Ave. Baptist Church in their home in 1962 while he was serving as Professor of Bible at the new Texas Southern University. Join Rev. Lawson in conversation with his daughter Melanie Lawson for special evening recounting key moments in his campaign for civil liberties, including organizing Houstonians to travel to the March on Washington and his friendship and working relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Discover how ritual and human sacrifice, depicted at sites such as the Nunnery Quadrangle of Uxmal, and the Ball Court, the Castillo de Kukulkan, Cenote Sagrado, and Temple of the Warriors at Chichén Itzá, and the Nunnery Quadrangle of Uxmal, provide understanding into the Maya beliefs governing such activities as a warring season and enthronement of kings. In addressing Maya rituals, Dr. Tomás Gallareta Negrón will explain how Maya ritual is not dead, as shamanism still being practiced today.
This program is co-sponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support from the Mexican Consulate General of Houston and BBVA Compass.
A great deal of recent research has suggested that many modern health problems relate to recent changes in our gut microbes. As we have started to look at skin and the environment of our homes, it looks as though the changes in what we are exposed to and covered in externally may be equally as great.
We evolved in a wilderness of parasites, mutualists, and pathogens, but we no longer see ourselves as being part of nature and the broader community of life. In the name of progress and clean living, we scrub much of nature off our bodies; however, a host of species still cling to us and always will. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Join biologist and author Robert Dunn as we explore the influence these wild species have on our well-being and the world.
Dr. Robert Dunn is a biologist with the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University. His lab studies the species around us in our everyday lives, species we tend to think of us as well known. Most of those species are not well known and so there are many things to discover in your backyard, in your bedroom, or even on your roommate. Book signings of "The Wild Life of Our Bodies" and "Every Living Thing" following lecture.
This program is sponsored by The Leakey Foundation.
Dragons are among the few mythical animals common to all cultures world-wide, with accounts from Europe, South America, Classical World and China of physical evidence, supposed proof that fabulous beasts once really existed. Explore the kinds of puzzling natural evidence that might have led people to believe in dragons, griffins and other fantastic creatures. Could the discovery of dinosaur fossils have led to the invention of dragons? This event is sponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support by KPMG. Book signing of "The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times" following lecture.
The order Squamata is represented today by lizards and snakes (9900 species). Lizards were probably established by the Late Jurassic, although their ancestors were likely present in the Triassic. Amber deposits around the world have been trapping lizards since the Early Cretaceous. In this talk we will be traveling to three continents and six geological horizons to see what these fossil resins have to tell us about the history of these animals in the planet.
Recognized as having the most casualties of any other engagement, the Battle of Gettysburg is noted as the turning point of Civil War in 1863. Traditional Civil War histories have concluded in 1865, now Dr. Brian Jordan has mined previously untapped archivesóoldiers' anguished letters and diaries, and gruesome medical reportsôo trace a Union regiment's shocking transition from the battlefield to the home front.
Instead of being welcomed home as heroes, these veteransôending rotting wounds, battling alcoholism, campaigning for paltry pensionsôragically realized that they stood as unwelcome reminders to a new America eager to heal, forget and embrace the freewheeling bounty of the Gilded Age.
Also speaking this evening will be Ed W. Clark, Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, who will address the current state of affairs at Gettysburg. A book signing of Dr. Jordan's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book "Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War" will follow the lecture.
This program is co-sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation.
This evening kicks off the second Fabergé symposium "The Wonder of Fabergé, A Study of the McFerrin Collection" hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This evening you will enjoy a seated dinner and presentation by Dr. Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm of Finland entitled "Fabergé in the Light of 20th Century European Jewelry." As a historical phenomenon Carl Fabergé has had a unique impact-through him and his work the world has learned about the fin du siècle in Russian history. Objects chosen from the McFerrin Collection will be used as illustrations for this study.
This event will be held at Hotel ZaZa's Art Gallery, located on the block in between the Museum and the hotel.
Regular price starting July 1: Tickets $80
Tickets must be purchased by October 20 and are based on availability. Tickets are not refundable after October 20. Space is limited. Please make your reservations early to ensure your spot.
The symposium on November 4 requires a separate ticket purchase.
In the Valley of the Kings recent excavations and CT scanning by Japanese investigators on the Tomb of King Tut have revealed evidence of another burial chamber next to the tomb of king. Dr. Mostafa Waziri will overview the extensive work by international teams at the site and also explain the theory that this is the tomb of the famed queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamun's mother.
Reflecting the whims and ideas of many architects and kings over 2,000 years, the colorful history of the Temples of Karnakôhe largest temple complex ever built÷ill be told through examining old and new excavations. Salah El-Masekh's extensive research brings a new understanding to the function of the temple complex. El-Masekh will also discuss the most recent excavations at Karnak, including a public Roman bath and harbor that is said was used for the boat of the god Amun for traveling across the Nile to bless the souls of the pharaohs who were buried on the west bank.
Both of these distinguished speakers are with the Egyptian Antiquities Authority. Mostafa Waziri is director of excavations at the Valley of the Kings. Salah El-Masekh's is director of excavations at the Karnak temple complex.
Tickets $27, Members $19