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Public Lecture: Superpowered Archaeology - Archaeological Questions and Scientific Revelations

Event Details:

  • Date:       Wednesday 19 September 2018
  • Time:      Starts: 17:00
  • Venue:    The Cyprus Institute – Novel Technologies Laboratory, 1st Floor Events Room, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker: Prof. Marcos Martinón-Torres, George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Cambridge

* This lecture will be preceded by the Ceremony for Establishment of A.G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences, which starts at 15:30

* The lecture will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk.


Some of the most important archaeological discoveries do not take place in the field: increasingly, they are made in laboratories. Scientific analyses allow us to obtain unimaginable degrees of resultion in our understanding of past peoples through the study of the things they left behind.

At the intersection between archaeology and science, we reveal the countless ways in which our ancestors interacted with nature and with each other. We ask what, when, how, and why, but often go much further than that. The results excite our imagination but also, frequently, they teach us important lessons.
This lecture will take us on a superpowered journey from prehistoric sites in the Mediterranean, across the Sahara and up to the heights of the Andes, before flying to the first Chinese empire. Along the way, we will see archaeological scientists engaging advanced techniques for elemental, microstructural, molecular and digital image analyses that shine a bright light on the past while also giving us some inspiring thoughts for the future.

About the Speaker

Marcos Martinon TorresMarcos Martinón-Torres has recently taken up the Pitt-Rivers Chair of Archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge, after several years leading a team of international researchers as Professor of Archaeological Science at University College London. He is a specialist in the application of scientific methods to archaeological artefacts, seeking clues to investigate their manufacture, origins or date. With active projects in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, some of his most prominent research has focused on medieval alchemy, China’s Terracotta Army and the archaeometallurgy of prehistoric gold.

He has received numerous research grants and awards, authored well over 120 academic publications, delivered public talks in over 20 countries, and featured in several TV documentaries internationally. He currently serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of Archaeological Science and President Elect of the Society for Archaeological Sciences.

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Additional Info

  • Date: Wednesday 19 September 2018
  • Time: Starts: 17:00
  • Speaker: Prof. Marcos Martinón-Torres
  • Speaker Position: George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Cambridge