Last weekend was the international conference entitled “Communities in Transition. The Circum-Aegean Later Neolithic Stages” held at the New Akropolis Museum’s overly air-conditioned auditorium. This well-organized and well-attended gathering was ambitious in its scope and inclusive in the papers given. Zarko Tankosic (Norwegian Institute) discussed the peculiar exploitation pattern of the Karystian Kampos in the Neolithic period as revealed by the Southern Euboea Exploration Project survey there. The Institute was represented by Tristan Carter (Department of Anthropology, McMaster University) who explored the potential off-island sources for various prominent cultural features of the later Neolithic in Crete. In the same session was a paper on the Neolithic pottery from the site of Kiapha Thiti (also known as Kontra Gliate) in southern Attika that a team led by Dietmar Hagel (Queen's University) excavated in the 1980s. A Ph.D. candidate at University College London, Margarita Nazou, gave this interesting paper.
On a final note, not only were there the usual show and tell presentations, which have value in enlightening one on material little or unknown to the audience, but also a number of synthetic, thought-provoking papers. Krzysztof Nowicki (Warsaw) proposed that the settlement system seen in eastern Crete during the Bronze Age was established with the arrival of immigrants during the Final Neolithic II period. Miljana Radivojevic (University College London) gave one of the best powerpoint presentations and deliveries that I have heard in a very long time. She made a strong case for one of the core regions for the origins and development of copper, bronze, gold and silver metallurgy being western Bulgaria in the 5th millennium BC.
|Visiting the Institute's excavations at Eleon|
|View of the excavation area at the sanctuary of Apollo at Abai|
I will be spending the summer in Crete digging at Petras and at Halasmenos as well as working on the Winter Colloquium publication. From time to time I will blog concerning my experiences and observations. In addition, we will have a series of guest bloggers to provide more interesting fare. See you in September……………………………..….!