Friday, January 25, 2013

Scrutinizing Laconian black figure pottery, CIG at the AIA Meeting in Seattle, and the study of stone tools in the Ionian islands

The institute’s lectures lately have avoided for the most part the perennial topic of ceramic studies. On Wednesday, January 30th at 7:30 PM Professor Gerry Schaus (Wilfrid Laurier University and the President of the Board of Directors of CIG) is going to end this drought. The intriguing title of his paper is “Laconian Vase Painting’s BIG BANG Theory”.

The sudden popularity of Laconian pottery on overseas sites, beginning in the 570’s BC, is normally explained by citing the quality of vases produced by two major painters, and several others who followed soon afterwards. The so-called Naucratis Painter is especially credited with establishing the style, building on a home-grown decorative tradition and adding features of Corinthian vase-painting to the elegant, newly-developed high-stemmed drinking cup, the kylix. This view of Laconian’s BIG BANG needs some correction, however, to account for the contributions of a little-known and under-appreciated vase painter who preceded the Naucratis Painter. Recent finds from Miletus in Turkey help cement this older painter’s crucial impact on the style.

After the lecture we’ll cut our pita for the New Year to ensure that health, productivity and friendship will prevail at CIG during 2013. Maybe your piece will contain the flouri??? If so, you will receive the gouri for 2013!!!

CIG Fieldwork and Members in the Limelight
Earlier this month the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) was held in Seattle, WA. Reports on CIG’s fieldwork projects were well represented. Brendan Burke (University of Victoria) and his co-researchers gave a paper on their results from at Eleon in eastern Boiotia in 2011 and 2012. Ian Begg (Trent University) and his co-researchers reported on the final field season in 2011 of the Leukos Survey Project on Karpathos. Hector Williams (University of British Columbia presented his study of the fortification walls of Mytilene. Rodney Fitzsimons (Trent University) discussed the meaning of monumental tomb construction in LH period. Spencer Pope (McMaster University) scrutinized Sicily in the 4th century B.C. Aspects of Middle Cypriote pottery was Laura Gagne’s topic (Trent University). Tristan Carter (McMaster University) was a busy person giving both a paper and chairing a session. Dimitri Nakassis (University of Toronto) chaired a session as well. Finally, James Conolly (Trent University) and Andrew Bevan’s new publication of the results of their survey of Antikythera under CIG’s aegis, Mediterranean Islands, Fragile Communities, and Persistent Landscapes. Antikythera in Long-Term Perspective was on display at the Cambridge University Press exhibit booth. We trust that they will donate soon a copy to the Institute’s Library, eh! If I missed inadvertently any of our members’ active presence there please let me know the details.

Who from CIG will be in Chicago in January, 2014 at the next AIA Meeting, giving a paper???

The Study of Stone Tools in the Ionian islands
The lecture series of the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaiologikis Ipiresias continues on Monday, January 28th at 6:30 PM. Associate Professor Georgia Kourtesi-Philipaki (University of Athens) will give a lecture in Greek on the history of the study of stone tools in the Ionian islands at the Historical Archive at Psaromylingou 22 on the border between Kerameikos and Psyrri.

Since the end of the 19th century stone tools have attracted the interest of Greek and foreign archaeologists who were working at prehistoric sites in Greece. The lecture examines the case in the Ionian islands. The first to collect stone tools in their excavations were W. Dörpfeld, S. Benton, W. Heurtley and, more systematically, S. Marinatos in the 1960’s. The real pioneer who set the standards for documentation and study of stone tools was A. Sordinas. He established that stone tools are equally as important as pottery. His study focused not just on typologies but also on more complex matters, crucial for the understanding of an island society, such as the provenance of the material and the methods of acquisition. All these issues will be presented in parallel to the progress of research on the lithic industries in Western Europe. Further, the influence of lithic studies on our understanding of prehistoric societies in general will be evaluated.

David Rupp

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