Ancient Maya and Northern Iroquois to Meet in “Archaeology and Warfare” at Trent University


Opening of Bagnani Hall celebrated through symposium featuring international speakers

Friday, October 8, 2010, Peterborough

An upcoming “Archaeology and Warfare” symposium at Trent University featuring keynote speakers from Princeton University and King’s College in London, England will celebrate the newly opened Bagnani Hall at Traill College on October 15 and 16, 2010.

The symposium brings together an incredible mixture of speakers from within and outside Trent, examining Old and New World warfare, covering topics as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa, the northern Iroquois, and Byzantine campaigns in Anatolia in the eleventh century.

Dr. Hugh Elton, Trent’s Acting Dean of Arts & Science – Humanities presents “Archaeology of Late Roman Warfare” in session B of the Symposium on Saturday. “I'm very excited about this conference, which includes two speakers using new techniques that push the boundaries of military history, usually seen as a very traditional discipline,” says Professor Elton. “Courses taught at Trent on Ancient and Medieval Warfare are very popular with our students.”

International keynote speakers at the Symposium include Professor John Haldon, from Princeton University and Dr. Phil Sabin from King’s College. After the welcome address by Trent’s founding President Thomas H. B. Symons, the symposium begins with Prof. Haldon’s talk, “Computers and Medieval Logistics: the Manzikert Campaign.” Prof. Sabin presents the closing lecture, “Novel Techniques in the Reconstruction of Ancient Warfare.”

Keynote speaker Prof. Haldon teaches Byzantine history and Hellenistic studies at Princeton University. He is the director of the Euchaita/Avkat Project - an archaeological and historical survey in north central Turkey. As well as traditional methods of field survey and historical research, this long-term project employs cutting edge survey, mapping and digital modeling techniques to enrich our understanding of the society, economy, land use, demography, paleo-environmental history and resources of the late Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk/Ottoman periods. He is also co-director of the Medieval Logistics Project - an international project deploying Geographical Information Systems and sophisticated modelling software to analyze the logistics of East Roman, early medieval Western European and Early Islamic warfare and structures of resource allocation.

Keynote Speaker Prof. Phil Sabin studied history and natural sciences and did his PhD in the War Studies Department at Queens’ College in Cambridge. He held research fellowships at Harvard University and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. His past research interests have included British defence planning and public opinion about defence, but his main focus now is on the analytical modelling of warfare as a dynamic strategic and tactical contest. He has used this analytical approach to study two areas in particular – the air power contests of the 20th century, and the great land battles of the ancient world. His highly innovative use of simulation and gaming techniques for the modelling of past conflicts extends also to his teaching.

Key Highlights of the Symposium include:

Friday, October 15 - 6:30 p.m.
Founding President and Vanier Professor Emeritus, Thomas H.B. Symons, Trent University
Welcome, Opening Remarks

Friday, October 15 - 7 p.m.
Keynote Speaker - Professor John Haldon, Princeton University
“Computers and Medieval Logistics: the Manzikert Campaign (1071)”

Saturday, October 16 - 10 a.m.
Dr. Steven E. Franklin, President and Vice Chancellor, Trent University
Welcome, Opening Remarks

Saturday, October 16 - 2 p.m.
Professor Hugh Elton, Trent University
“The Archaeology of Late Roman Warfare”

Saturday, October 16 - 5 p.m.
Keynote Speaker - Professor Phil Sabin, King’s College
“Novel Techniques in the Reconstruction of Ancient Warfare”

The Archaeology and Warfare Symposium, generously supported by Traill College and the Trustees of the Bagnani Fund, has been organized to celebrate the opening of the new Bagnani Hall at Traill College, which officially opened its doors on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

Bagnani Hall is a living memorial to the contributions and philanthropy of Gilbert and Mary Stewart Bagnani, whose support for Trent University was remarkable. The Hall is also an important addition to Traill College, which is and always has been an historic and significant part of Trent University as a whole. With the new graduate studies focus of the college and the addition of the new Bagnani Hall, the role of Traill as a connector between the University and the community is active and ongoing.

For more information on the Bagnani Estate and naming of the Hall, read the Daily News story.

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For more information, please contact: Dr. Hugh Elton, Acting Dean Arts & Science – Humanities, 705-748-1011 x6141 or