Barber will present lecture Elizabeth J.W. Barber, professor of archeology and linguistics at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA, will be the Lifto-Amundson Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar at The University of South Dakota later this month.
Barber will present a talk, "The Mummies of Chinese Turkestan" at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 21 in the Lincoln Room of the Coyote Student Center. The talk will examine the work of the past decade by local archeologists in Chinese Turkestan who have uncovered numerous naturally mummified bodies of Caucasians dating to the Bronze Age (2000 BC). Puzzling to the scientists is how, when and from where these people entered the Tarim Basin. One of the keys to the enigma may lie in the spectacularly well preserved and highly colorful woolen cloth and clothing found at the site.
Recognized worldwide for her expertise in prehistoric clothing, Professor Barber has just published a book on her research on the costume of these mummies. She will present "Penelope and the Origins of Greek Art" at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 in Farber Hall of Old Main. Barber will discuss how Penelope maintained a weaving trick for three years when weaving a plain shroud should take a few days. Her lecture will trace some of the early history of textiles, discussing what can be reconstructed about Bronze Age figured textiles. Barber also will show how certain elements survived through the Dark Age to jump-start classical Greek art.
Barber holds a B.A. degree from Bryn Mawr College in classical and near Eastern archeology and the Greek language, and literature and a PhD from Yale University in linguistics. Her research centers around the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in Greece, Turkey, Eastern Europe and particularly in both early cloth and clothing and early writing systems.