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ECWG Dinner: Exploring the Past With New Technology: Climate, Epidemics, and the Fall of an Empire by Sarah Yeomans

October 20, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Sarah Yeoman at Euphrates

Washington Group Explorers Club Members, Associates/Friends & Members’ Guests, and Non- Members’ Guest List You are cordially invited to the October 2018 ECWG dinner meeting at the Cosmos Club, with an after dinner presentation by Sarah Yeomans Saturday, 20 October 2018 at 6:00 PM.

About the Presentation

At its height, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Iraq. The western Roman Empire lasted almost a thousand years. How such a mighty civilization fell – and why – has been a preoccupation of historians since at least the 18th century. But today, as new technology develops that can be applied to the field science of archaeology, we are able to understand more about the past than ever before. Innovations in environmental and biological sciences are giving us tools to add another significant piece to the puzzle that is the “Fall of Rome.”

Paragum Theate
Pergamum was one the three most important medical centers of the Graeco-Roman world and home of the famous Roman physician Galen. Overcoming vertigo, Sarah stands in the ruins of the city’s three-tiered theater, the steepest of any known from the classical Greek and Roman worlds.

Rome’s relationship with the environment, the dynamics of climate change, and the biological consequences of both are now understood to have heavily impacted the great empire, and contributed significantly to its ultimate demise. This presentation explores an integrated approach and the ways in which the science of the present helps us understand the events of the past, and how climate change, environmental exploitation and epidemic disease contributed to the collapse of one of the world’s greatest civilizations.

About Our Speaker

Sarah Yoeman

Sarah Yeomans is an archaeologist specializing in the Imperial period of the Roman Empire with a particular emphasis on the intersection of religion and science. She holds a Masters degree in Archaeology from the University of Sheffield and another in Art History from the University of Southern California. She is a professor as well as a perpetual student, teaching at St. Mary’s College of Maryland while pursuing her doctorate at the University of Southern California, where she is a Provost Fellow.

Sarah Yeoman
Yeomans excavates a burial at an undisclosed site in the Golan Heights

She currently also holds a fellowship at the American Research Institute of Turkey in Istanbul. A native Southern Californian, she lived in France, England, Hawaii and Italy before finally settling in the Washington, DC area, where she consults with a non-profit that conducts archaeological research of the biblical period in the Near East. Her current research involves Roman medical technology and cult, as well as the impact of epidemics on Roman society. She is generally happiest when covered in dirt, roaming archaeological sites somewhere in the Mediterranean region.


  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Roasted white veal with legumes and pasta
  • flourless chocolate cake

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Please include the following information:

  • Number of seats Reserved
  • Guest names(s)
  • Number of vegetarian meals (if any) desired
  • Organization Affiliation if other than ECWG

Mail with check to :

Arnella Trent
115 Willis Street
Cambridge MD 21613

Cost: $55 per person

No cancellations will be accepted after Tuesday evening, 16 October 2018.



October 20, 2018
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Arnella Trent


The Cosmos Club
2121 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington DC, 20008 United States
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(202) 387-7783