Michael Laughy, assistant professor of classics at Washington and Lee University, will present the next archaeology lecture series program at Monmouth College on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Poling Hall.
Laughy, who last year was a member of Monmouth’s faculty, serving as an ACM-Mellon Fellow, will speak on the topic “The Archaeology of Christmas.” Free and open to the public, the series is sponsored by MC’s classics department, in cooperation with the Western Illinois Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).
“Ninety-five percent of Americans celebrate this holiday, nearly all of whom are familiar with the origin of Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Laughy. “The story of this holiday, however, begins well before Christianity; societies have been celebrating light and birth in the darkest days of winter since the Stone Age.”
Laughy will explore the history of Christmas as told from the archaeological record, from an examination of the multiple origins of Christmas traditions to the evolution of Santa Claus.
In addition to his archaeology lecture, Laughy will also present a “Coffee with the Classics Department” talk on Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. in Room 115 in Wallace Hall.