Trials, Tragedy and Resilience: Montserrat Exhibit

Thursday, March 1, 2018 to Friday, April 20, 2018
Rhode Island Hall

"Trials, Tragedy & Resilience" is an exhibit recognizing and celebrating Montserrat’s rich cultural heritage on the 250th anniversary of the attempted St. Patrick’s Day slave uprising on 17 March 1768. The histories presented here commemorate the resilience that Montserratians have displayed over time in their responses to difficult conditions imposed by slavery, colonialism, resource scarcity, and catastrophic natural disasters. This international exhibit is running concurrently at the National Museum of Montserrat, Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), and Aarhus University (Denmark) and presents information collected during the Survey and Landscape Archaeology on Montserrat project (co-directed by Brown University Professor John F. Cherry), the Endangered Archives/ICT Project, and other initiatives led by the Montserrat National Trust.

Montserrat is a small island (102km2) and British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. First inhabited by Amerindian peoples around 4,000 years ago, Montserrat has been home to many different cultural groups over the course of its human history. Some of these groups freely migrated to Montserrat, while others, like enslaved Africans, were brought against their will during the plantation era. Lasting contributions from Amerindian, African, Irish, and British inhabitants survive in the surnames, place-names, food, architecture, flora, landscape, and material culture of the island.

Montserrat has been radically transformed in the past two decades by the Soufriere Hills volcano. Beginning in 1995, pyroclastic flows from the eruptions buried the former capital city of Plymouth, rendered the southern half of the island an inaccessible Exclusion Zone, displaced two-thirds of the population, and killed nineteen residents. The volcano is still active. Demonstrating Montserratian resilience in the face of disaster, the island has recently reconfigured its settlements and society to accommodate a new way of life in the island’s north.

Presentation of Dissertation Research by Ian Randall (JIAAW)

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Ian Randall, a doctoral candidate in Archaeology and the Ancient World, will present his dissertation, "Setting an Insular Table: Pottery, Identity, and Connectivity on Crete and Cyprus at the End of Antiquity," in a public lecture. All are welcome.

Jiang Jianxin (Jingdezhen Institute of Archeology, China): Archaeological Discoveries from Jingdezhen

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

JIANG Jianxin is the director of the Jingdezhen Institute of Archeology, the director of the Chinese Ancient Ceramics Society, and president of Jingdezhen Tang Ying Institute. Since the 1980s, he has engaged in archaeological studies on Jingdezhen ancient ceramics remains and led multiple archeological excavations of kiln ruins from the Ming and Qing dynasties, including excavations of kiln factory ruins. He has authored more than twenty academic papers and is a chief editor for multiple archaeological journals and catalogues.

The lecture, "Archaeological Discoveries from Jingdezhen, Porcelain Kilns for China's Emperors," recognizes and appreciates the main characteristics and transformation in style of porcelains from the kiln of Guan Yao across different periods of the Ming Dynasty, highlighting the history and culture, ceramic technology, and art history. It also presents new explorations on Guan Yao porcelain from a variety of historical periods and perspectives, including: the beginning and ending years of the Ming Dynasty, the “blank period” of Guan Yao, Yong-Le Guan Yao porcelain and Zheng He’s Voyage porcelain, Xuan-De Guan Yao’s impact on Cheng-Hua Guan Yao and technological achievements, and others. Based on recent archaeological studies and excavation data, the history of the porcelain industry in Jingdezhen can be traced back to the middle and late Tang Dynasty. The Leping South Kiln surrounding Jingdezhen started producing celadon and ceramic whiteware, its high quality influenced by Yue kilns and Xing kilns. This laid the foundation of the early Jingdezhen porcelain industry and provided a technological foundation for the future success of a celadon production. New archeological findings at the Luomaqiao Yuan Ming Kiln Site also revealed important artifacts, such as many blue-white glazed porcelains from late Song and early Yuan Dynasty, blue-white porcelains and white porcelains from the Yuan Dynasty, and early-to-middle Ming Dynasty utensils with various styles, many methods of decoration, and a high technological level. According to the quality of the unearthed porcelains, the kiln site may have been an important fixed-point firing kiln site for the Yuan Dynasty Fuliang Porcelain Bureau.

Presented in Chinese with English translation

Lecture by Jane Webster (Newcastle University)

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Dr. Jane Webster is Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology and Head of Archaeology in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University. She is a historical archaeologist whose research focuses on colonial material culture, from the early Roman Empire to the eighteenth century. She works mainly in two fields: Romano-British iconography and the archaeology of slavery (looking at the latter in both in the Roman period and between 1660 and 1807). Webster is currently writing a book called "Material Culture of the Middle Passage," looking at the social world of slave ships making the Atlantic sea crossing that took slaves to the New World during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Brown Bag Series in Archaeology: Darcy Hackley (JIAAW)

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Darcy Hackley, a doctoral candidate in Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, will be discussing her research in an informal talk. Pizza and soda will be provided, or feel free to bring a lunch. For a full list of Archaeology Brown Bag talks, please visit

Lecture by Matthew Barnes (Mystic Seaport) on Viking Ships

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Matthew Barnes is a 2010 graduate from the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and is currently a boat builder and lead shipwright for the Mystic Seaport overseeing the 30 month restoration of the Mayflower II (in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.)

In the summer of 2016, Matthew spent 12 weeks apprenticing at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark assisting in the traditional reconstruction of the Gislinge Boat, a 30’ fishing boat from the Viking Age. During his trip, he also visited 7 countries in Europe and Scandinavia, following the path westward of the Norse people of the Viking Age including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Amsterdam, Scotland, Norway, Sweden and England researching and documenting the effect this expansion had on wooden boatbuilding.

In his lecture he will be discussing the traditional building methods used in the construction of a ship during the Viking Age. He will also be covering his findings of the Norse effect on wooden boat building in the North Atlantic and the World, which is still evident today over a 1000 years later.

Visit his blog at

Brown Bag Series in Archaeology: Katherine Brunson (JIAAW)

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Katherine Brunson, Postdoctoral Fellow in Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, will be discussing her research in an informal talk. Pizza and soda will be provided, or feel free to bring a lunch. For a full list of Archaeology Brown Bag talks, please visit

Colloquium: Other Pasts: Comparing Landscapes, Monuments, and Memories Across the Mediterranean

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Peter van Dommelen, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, and Felipe Rojas, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University

Susan Alcock, University of Michigan

Amnesia Anatolica: Comparing Forgettings in Hattusas and Ankara
Felipe Rojas, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University

The Pasts of “Others” in the Roman West
Andrew C. Johnston, Yale University

Tartessos, Regional Memory, and an Alternative “Classical” Past
Carolina López-Ruiz, The Ohio State University

Colonial Memory and Ritual Practice in the Phoenician World?
Josephine Quinn, Worcester College, University of Oxford

Memory and the Moveable City in Ionia
Naoíse Mac Sweeney, University of Leicester

Fighting Pharaohs Egyptian Battle

Quiet Green (Front Green)

Students in ARCH 1630 Fighting Pharaohs: Ancient Egyptian Warfare will recreate an ancient Egyptian battle on Brown's Quiet Green. Details to be announced.

Brown Bag Series in Archaeology: Sarah Newman (James Madison) and Stephen Houston (Brown)

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Sarah Newman (James Madison University) and Stephen Houston (Anthropology, Brown University) will be discussing their research in an informal talk. Pizza and soda will be provided, or feel free to bring a lunch. For a full list of Archaeology Brown Bag talks, please visit

Elizabeth Minor (Wellesley) and Carl Walsh (JIAAW): Discussion of Kerma Material

Rhode Island Hall, Room 108

Elizabeth Minor is a postdoctoral fellow at Wellesley College who works at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. She and Carl Walsh, a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University's Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, will discuss their research and work with Kerma material. Kerma is one of the largest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia, located in present-day Sudan.