My Archaeology of Alcohol YouTube Series “Uncorked” with ArchaeologyNow

Dunk in to the incredible history and diversity of fermented beverages around the world and across the ages in Uncorked. This YouTube series is co-hosted by Lucas Livingston (Ancient Art Podcast) and Stephen Batiuk (University of Toronto) and produced by Archaeology Now, the Houston chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Visit the YouTube playlist for the complete Uncorked series.


Egyptomania, the Early Years – Piranesi, Gerome, Desprez (93)

Louis Jean Desprez, Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl, 1779-84

Louis Jean Desprez, Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl, 1779-84

This short excerpt from my lecture on the art and history of the Egyptomania phenomenon delves into its early origins. As Europe emerged from the Middle Ages, Egyptian antiquities pillaged during the Roman Empire were excavated from their slumber under Roman soil and newly erected across the city. Even before the translation of the Rosetta Stone, before Napoleon’s epic Egyptian expedition and publication of Description de l’Égypte, artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Louis Jean Desprez were already experimenting and defining what we would come to call Egyptomania. In the subsequent generation, academic painter Jean Léon Gérôme reveals a mature appreciation for ancient Egyptomania in his meticulous renderings of the the Roman Empire.

One Ring to Rule Them All (92)

This extended episode takes us on an unexpected journey across the Art Institute of Chicago to explore the artistry and influences of rings. We go well beyond personal adornment and discuss the significance and many meanings of “ring” as it appears in visual culture.


Le Grenouillard (Frog-Man), 1892
Jean-Joseph Carriès
French, 1855–1894
Art Institute of Chicago, 2007.78