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Medieval mysteries? Archaeology lecture uncovers how castles work

Loyola press release - September 3, 2013

Ever wonder what went on inside a medieval castle? Anthropology and archaeology expert Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., will uncover the inner-workings of castles in Southeast England in a free, public lecture at Loyola University New Orleans. The lecture, “How Castles Work,” takes place Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. in the Whitney Bank Presentation Room in Thomas Hall. Free parking is available in the West Road garage on Loyola’s main campus.

Castles are a place of work, and they do work in different ways, according to Johnson. They control the flow of things, of animals and of humans around the landscape. Although many experts have studied castles as military structures serving in attacks and defense, and castles as social symbols, this new view of castles focuses instead on more practical aspects.

Johnson is an anthropology professor at Northwestern University. His research interests include the archaeology of Britain and Europe (1200 to 1800 A.D., particularly castles and traditional houses) and archaeological theory.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Classical Studies program and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. The lecture is part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s National Lecture Program series in memory of George H. Forsyth Jr., an archaeologist known for excavations at the Church of Saint Martin in Angers, France, and the Monastery at Mount Sinai, Egypt.

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