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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Archaeology Programs


Ashoka and the Maurya Empire

Monday, November 14, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In 250 B.C. the Maurya Empire was the wealthiest and largest in the world, extending across Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and most of the Indian subcontinent. It reached its apogee under the rule of Ashoka, a notable emperor. Independent scholar Colleen Taylor Sen traces the rise of the Maurya Empire from its roots in the Indus Valley; considers Ashoka’s role in ancient Indian political and religious history; and examines what the legacy of this empire means for the region today.


Lost Civilizations: Nubia

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Nubia, the often-overlooked southern neighbor of Egypt, has been home to groups of vibrant and adaptive peoples for millennia. Sarah M. Schellinger of Ohio State University explores the Nubians’ religious, social, economic, and cultural histories through their archaeological and textual remains, reminding us that they were a rich and dynamic civilization in their own right.


Lost Civilizations: The Maya

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Megan E. O’Neil, assistant professor of art history and museum curator at Emory University, delves into ancient Maya art and architecture, primarily from the Late Classic period (600–900). She also explores how people from the 16th century to the present have perceived, portrayed, and exploited Maya art and culture.


Lost Civilizations: Egypt

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From Roman villas to Hollywood films, ancient Egypt has been a source of fascination and inspiration in many other cultures. Christina Riggs, professor of the history of visual culture at Durham University, examines its history, art, and religion to illuminate why ancient Egypt has been so influential throughout the centuries—revealing how the past has always been used to serve contemporary purposes.


Lost Civilizations: The Incas

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The Inca were the last major civilization of the Andes, the descendant of a human presence in the region dating back millennia. Kevin Lane, archaeologist and senior researcher at CONICET Universidad de Buenos Aires, analyzes the Inca rise to power, highlighting the social, economic, cultural, dynastic, and military reasons behind the emergence of their imperial hegemony throughout western South America.