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‘A tell-all confession’ part of next Archaeology Lecture

MONMOUTH, Ill. – A visiting lecturer will use the lens of ancient times to examine the “oldest profession.”

Nicholas Rauh, a professor of classics at Purdue University, will speak Oct. 17 at Monmouth College as part of the Archaeology Lecture Series.

Titled “Prostitution Ancient and Modern, A Tell-All Confession,” Rauh’s talk will be given at 7:30 p.m. in the Pattee Auditorium of the College’s Center for Science and Business.

The author of The Sacred Bonds of Commerce: Religion, Trade, and Society at Hellenistic-Roman Delos, and Merchants, Sailors, and Pirates in the Roman World, Rauh is both an ancient historian and an archaeologist whose research focuses primarily on the material culture of the Roman maritime world.

In his presentation, Rauh will focus on the available archaeological evidence for venues of prostitution in ancient trading ports such as Delos and the limitations of modern scholarly modes of analysis for investigating them. He will combine that material with personal observations obtained from his own experiences in Turkish police stations and tourist hotels in Turkey.

Ultimately, his presentation questions whether or not standard scholarly methods are adequate to the task of analyzing cultural behavior as commonplace, yet as subterranean, as prostitution.

On Oct. 16, Rauh will deliver a lecture at Augustana College in Rock Island. Titled “Searching for Pirates: The Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project,” his talk will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Hanson Hall of Science.

Free and open to the public, both of Rauh’s talks in the Archaeology Lecture series are sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Western Illinois Society.