Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

Lost Civilizations: The Barbarians

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0120
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

Early iron age tools from the area of modern-day Poland

We often think of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome as discrete incubators of Western culture, places where ideas about everything from government to art to philosophy were free to develop and then be distributed outward into the wider Mediterranean world. However, Greece and Rome did not develop in isolation.

The lands to the north of the Greek and Roman peninsulas were inhabited by non-literate communities that stretched across river valleys, mountains, plains, and shorelines from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east. We know about them almost exclusively through archeological finds of settlements, offerings, monuments, and burials—but these remnants paint a portrait that is just as compelling as that of the great literate, urban civilizations of this time.

Archaeologist Peter Bogucki surveys the development of these groups’ cultures from the Stone Age through the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west, highlighting the increasing complexity of their societal structures, technological accomplishments, and distinct cultural practices. Focusing on several key sites, including Biskupin in Poland, Hallstatt in Austria, and Corlea in Ireland, Bogucki provides glimpses into the silent Europeans who lived during the final millennium B.C. In telling the stories of these nearly forgotten people, he offers a new dimension to how we think about classical antiquity.

Bogucki’s book The Barbarians: Lost Civilizations (Reaktion Books) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

Additional programs in the Lost Civilizations series

October 5 - The Aztecs

October 26 - The Sumerians

December 7 -  The Indus

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.