Peabody Museum Multimedia

Lectures, Talks, Videos, and Slide Shows

Divination Series

Movius Lectures

Trash Talk: The Anthropology of Waste Series

Visible Language Series

Other Lectures and Talks

Videos in the Galleries


Slide Shows

Videos Behind-the-Scenes                      





Lectures and Talks

Divination Series (2012-2013)

Perfect Model: The Past, Present, and Future of Prediction  (April 18, 2013)

David Orrell, scientist and author of The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction


"Happiness: What Your Mother Didn't Tell You" (February 20, 2013) (mp3)

Daniel Gilbert, Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness


"Apocalypse Soon? How the World Ends (or Doesn’t) in Religions of the World" (November 28, 2012)

Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor for the Study of Latin America, Harvard University


"Silent Voices of African Divination Systems" (October 25, 2012) (mp3)

Philip M. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Drew University


"Arousing Images: The Poetry of Divination and the Divination of Poetry" (September 20, 2012) (mp3)

Edward L. Shaughnessy, Lorraine J. and Herlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor of Early China, University of Chicago


Trash Talk: The Anthropology of Waste series


"Tornadoes, Twin Towers, and Hurricanes: 20 Years of Urban Disaster Clean-up" (April 19, 2012) (mp3)

Ben R. Turner, President of Phillips and Jordan, Inc.
Patrick McMullen, Executive Vice President, CFO, & Treasurer of Phillips and Jordan, Inc.



Film Clips & Conversation: "Garbage City and the Informal Economy" (mp3) (April 5, 2012)

Justin Kramer, director, Zabaleen Project
Carrie Vermillion, producer, Zabaleen Project
Lucie Fernandez, Waste Pickers Global Coodinator, WIEGO Network



"Waste Ecologies: Waste is Natural and Necessary, So How Do We Design Our Future?" (February 29, 2012) (mp3)

Pierre Belanger, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design



"Terrible and Charismatic Waste: A Close Reading of Ocean Plastics" (February 9, 2012) (mp3)

Max Liboiron, ABD, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University; Regional Co-Director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition



"Stuff by the Yard: Campus Materials Management" (January 26, 2012) (mp3)

Robert Gogan, Manager, Recycling and Waste Services, Harvard University 



"Products, Plastics, Putrefaction, and Power: Rethinking How We Manage Materials to Achieve Just Sustainability" December 1, 2011 (mp3)

Samantha MacBride, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs




 "Trash Track: Reverse Engineering the Removal Chain" October 26, 2011 (mp3)
Dietmar Offenhuber, SENSEable City Lab, M.I.T.



"The Archaeologist’s View of Trash" (Oct. 6, 2011) (mp3)

Richard Meadow, Director of the Zooarchaeology Laboratory, Peabody Museum; Senior Lecturer on Anthropology, Harvard University



"Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Trash in Industrial America" (Sept. 22, 2011) (mp3)

Susan Strasser, Richards Professor of American History, University of Delaware



Garbage: Learning to Unsee (Sept. 15, 2011) (mp3)

Robin Nagle, Director, Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University, Anthropologist-in-Residence, New York City Department of Sanitation



Visible Language series


The Preservation and Importance of Inscriptions: 21st-Century Challenges (April 28, 2011) (mp3)

Barbara Fash, Director, Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, Peabody Museum



A Brief History of the Spectre of the Internet and the Death of Writing (April 20, 2011) (mp3)

Matthew Battles, author, Library: An Unquiet History



The Living Sign: Maya Hieroglyphs and Vitalized Writing (February 24, 2011) (mp3)

Stephen Houston, Dupee Family Professor of Social
Sciences, Brown University 



February 10, 2011

To Write or Knot? Another Route to Record Keeping in the Ancient Americas (mp3) 

Gary Urton, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University More...

December 2, 2010

"The Alphabet: Its Origins and Early History" (mp3)

Peter Machinist, (Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University). More...

October 6, 2010

"Diviners and Scribes: the Origins and Development of Writing in China" (mp3) 1:12 Adam Smith explores how China became one of the few regions in the world where the literacy developed independently. The last hundred years of discovery, decipherment, and archaeological discovery of texts now draw a rich and detailed picture of the early development of writing. More...

Dr. Adam Smith, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University, is the speaker.

September 16, 2010

"On the Origins and Development of Writing" (mp3) 1:12 This talk highlights recent discoveries in the field of comparative writing systems, including social and biological implications of the surprisingly similar origins of writing around the world. Find out more about the lecture here.

Marc Zender (PhD 2004, Archaeology, University of Calgary) is a Research Associate in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, and a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology.

Movius Lectures


March 22, 2012


"Recent Discoveries in the Altai: Issues on the Evolution of Homo Sapiens"  (mp3)

Anatoly Derevianko, Head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.


March 10, 2011

"The Evolution of Big-Game Hunting: Protein, Fat, or Politics?"  (mp3)

John D. Speth, Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Curator of North American Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan.  More...

March 5, 2010


Lawrence Guy Straus: "Hunters and Artists of Late Ice Age Europe: The Magdalenian World" 1:04:40 (mp3). Near the end of the last Ice Age, glacial ice sheets in Europe retreated, and people could finally expand beyond their Ice Age refuges. How would they adapt to their new environment? Recent discoveries by Straus and his colleagues at the major Magdalenian site of El Mirón Cave in the Cantabrian Mountains show how regional styles in both rock and portable art clearly defined distinct social territories (often with very different regional ecologies, major game species and thus human settlement-subsistence strategies). Find out more about the lecture here.

Lawrence Straus has been a professor of anthropology for nearly 35 years at the University of New Mexico. He is a specialist in the Paleolithic prehistory of Western Europe. Straus is the editor of the Journal of Anthropological Research.

 April 8, 2010

Michael Moseley"Four Thousand Years Ago in Coastal Peru" (mp3) 1:08:00. Could the ancient city of Caral in Peru be the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere? Covering more than 130 acres, Caral was an urban center with large temple mounds that predate Giza’s famed pyramids. Michael Moseley discusses the four-thousand year-old architectural monuments in the Supe desert valley that are the focus of claims for the earliest civilization in the Americas. Find out more about the lecture here.

Dr. Michael Moseley earned his doctorate from Harvard University studying coastal Peru, and went on to become a curator at the Peabody Museum and the Field Museum before joining the University of Florida.



February 23, 2012


Gordon R. Willey Lecture: "Maya and the Idea of Empire: A View from the Field"  (mp3)
David Freidel, Professor of Archaeology, Washington University in St.  Louis


March 29, 2011

Gordon R. Willey Lecture: The Teotihuacan Cosmogram and Polity: Update on the Sacred City and its Three Monuments (mp3)

Saburo Sugiyama, Professor, International Cultural Studies, Aichi Prefectural University & School of Human Evolution and Social Change More...

November 10, 2011

5:30 pm

Lecture: The Copan Sculpture Museum: Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone (mp3)
Barbara Fash, Director, Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, Peabody Museum


April 14, 2011


Lecture: Excavating the Great Aztec Temple:Achievements and Perspectives (mp3)

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, General Coordinator, Great Aztec Temple Project  More...

(in Spanish, with English translation)

October 13, 2011

5:30 pm

Tatiana Proskouriakoff Lecture: "New Research on the Aztec Script: A True Writing System" (mp3)

Alfonso Lacadena García-Gallo, Research Professor in the Department of History of America II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid


December 9, 2010

Technology, Tombs, and Texts: Uncovering the Ancient Maya Past at Caracol, Belize (mp3)

Drs. Arlen and Diane Chase, co-directors of Caracol Archaeological Project (Belize), University of Central Florida (Orlando). More...

November 19, 2009

Marc Zender: "Much Ado About Nothing: 2012 and the Maya" (mp3) 1:09:50. Did the ancient Mayas predict December 21, 2012 as the catastrophic end of the world?  The popular theory has spawned books, documentaries, and a Hollywood disaster movie. In this talk, Zender enlists William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. He suggests the famous romantic comedy about deceit, mistaken identity, and the peril of unexamined assumptions will “shed some light on the New Age nonsense surrounding the supposed Maya ‘end date’ of 2012.” Find out more about the lecture here.

Marc Zender (PhD 2004, Archaeology, University of Calgary) is a Research Associate in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, and a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology.


May 8, 2014

"Volcanoes, Climate Change, and Modern Human Migrations across Africa"  (mp3)

Christian Tryon, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University


March 14, 2013

6:00 pm

Lecture: Everyday Life in Colonial Peru: Archaeology and Texts of an Early Town
Jeffrey Quilter, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology


February 7, 2013

6:00 pm

Lecture: The Other American Revolution: Archaeology and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680
Matthew J. Liebmann, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University


October 17, 2012

6:00 pm

Lecture: "Unearthing Xultun: New Discoveries in Maya Science and Art"  (mp3) William Saturno, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Boston University


November 21, 2011

5:30 pm

Lecture: "Animals and Humans in Old Norse Archaeology and Religion"  (mp3)  Kristina Jennbert, Archaeology Professor, Lund University, Sweden


October 20, 2011

5:30 pm

Lecture: "The Ground Remembers: Archaeology of Harvard’s Founding" (mp3)

Christina Hodge, Co-Instructor, Archaeology of Harvard Yard, Peabody Museum


March 15, 2011

Presentation: "Digging Veritas: Archaeology at Harvard University" for Massachusetts Archaeological Society Northeast Chapter at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology in Andover, Massachusetts.  (mp3)

Diana Loren, Associate Curator, Peabody Museum

Christina Hodge, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Peabody Museum

October 18, 2010

David Carrasco (Neil L. Rudenstine Professor for the Study of Latin Amer. in Fac. of Divinity/Arts and Sciences; Neil L. Rudenstine Professor for the Study of Latin America in the Faculty of Divinity and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University) talks with K-12 educators  about teaching Day of the Dead "Teaching Day of the Dead" (mp3) 51:00

 Slide Show


Samina Quraeshi and  Diane Moore:Sacred Spaces: reflections on a Sufi Path (audio slide show)