The First Kings of Europe: An International Exhibition about the Prehistoric Balkans
William Parkinson, The Field Museum of Natural History
October 23, 2023 · 4:30 pm—6:00 pm · 3-S-15 Green Hall
Archaeological Institute of America; Program in Archaeology; Department of Art & Archaeology
Lecture: The modern world is plagued with unprecedented levels of social, economic, and political inequalities. But these inequities did not happen overnight; in places like southeastern Europe they emerged over the course of thousands of years as the small egalitarian farming villages of the Neolithic gave way to some of the earliest hierarchical kingdoms in the Iron Age. This is the story that is told in the First Kings of Europe exhibition, an ambitious international collaboration between twenty-six museums in eleven countries in southeastern Europe. The exhibition, organized by the Field Museum of Natural History, is currently on display in Chicago before it travels to Ottawa, Canada, in early 2024. In this presentation, Bill Parkinson gives an overview of the exhibition he co-curates with his colleagues, Attila Gyucha, and discusses the challenges they faced during the process of putting it together over the last eight years.