Scott Branting: Mapping the Past

Members’ Lecture
Co-Sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry

This lecture will present many of the ways in which new and emerging technologies are being used to archaeologically explore the massive Iron Age city at Kerkenes Dag in central Turkey. The city, dated to around 550BC, was most likely called Pteria in ancient times. It is a city mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus as the flash-point of an epic conflict between Croesus, King of the Lydian Empire, and Cyrus the Great, in the very first years of his reign over the newly formed Persian Empire. Our research has focused not only on these historical questions but also on questions of how cities ancient and modern are used and shaped by the people that inhabit them. We have been able to map out and explore Pteria using technologies such as global position systems (GPS), various types of remote sensing devices, satellite images, virtual reality and sophisticated computer simulations of virtual people walking through the ancient city. We have even developed a GPS car navigation system by which we can drive ourselves along the still buried streets of the ancient city and decide where best to excavate. Technology is allowing us to push the boundaries of what archaeology can accomplish and by so doing it is enabling us to reveal a great deal about ancient cities and civilizations.

Free and Open to the public
Reception to follow
For further inquiries or to RSVP, please contact the Membership Office at 773-834-9777