In 2017 the UC Berkeley El Hibeh team returned to the site to assess damage from the serious looting that occurred in 2011 and afterwards. To our surprise, the looters had uncovered human bones just about everywhere on the site; these bones had been tossed aside or spread about into innumerable disarticulated piles. When asked if the bones were young or old, male or female, our osteologist merely replied “yes.” He further suggested the bones may have derived from mass burials resulting from the 6th Century CE pandemic known as the plague of Justinian. This talk will review the El Hibeh evidence for mass death and then expand to examine selected questions and issues regarding pandemics more generally in the ancient world—and how the ancient experience of a pandemic might differ from ours.
Lecture in memory of Prof. Cathleen (Candy) Keller
About Programs at the Ancient Art Council
Programs are varied and include such activities as lectures by noted archaeologists, museum curators, and ancient art historians; exclusive tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions; fund-raising events; and travel programs to ancient sites and other museums. Members also receive invitations from related organizations to attend lectures ad exhibition openings. Your annual membership dues and contributions will assist in furthering the Ancient Art collection at the Fine Arts Museums.