Friday, May 9, 2014

The Institute’s Annual Open Meeting and Invited Lecture; The Greek Ambassador to Canada Retires with Honors

Map of Greece showing the locations of CIG fieldwork in 2013
It is May and the sweet weather of full spring is here. That means it is the time for the Institute’s Annual Open Meeting and Invited Lecture. On Wednesday, May 14th at 7 PM at the Auditorium of the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene (Parthenonos 14, Makriyianni) we will hold our Annual Open Meeting. I will report on the activities of the Institute since last May. The main focus of my remarks will be the presentation of the principal results of our four archaeological fieldwork projects in the summer of 2013. These are the Greek-Canadian excavations at ancient Argilos in Macedonia, at Kastro Kallithea in Thessaly, and at ancient Eleon in Boeotia, and the Canadian intensive survey at Stelida on Naxos. The finds are particularly significant this year, I am pleased to report.

Gold ring from the “Tiryns Treasure”
We are honored to have Professor Dimitri Nakassis (Department of Classics, University of Toronto) give the Invited Lecture this year. Dimitri’s lecture, “Cities and Thrones and Powers: Rethinking the End of Mycenaean Civilization”, will continue the provocative narrative in a broader fashion of his recently published book, Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos (Brill: Lieden/Boston, 2013).

Model of the Citadel of Tiryns in the LH IIIC period
Nakassis points out that it is commonly accepted that the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces around 1200 B.C. engendered a deep-rooted change in the social order and a substantial decrease in social and economic inequality. It is thought that the palatial elite disappeared along with the palaces, leaving local communities to their own devices, and resulting in the promotion of local leaders. This paper argues that this interpretation relies on a monolithic and bureaucratic model of the state that does not stand up to close scrutiny. He has recently argued (see above) that palatial affairs were managed by a broad array of independent high-status individuals, and that the palace is thus not so much a free-standing and closed system as a framework for interactions between heterogeneous agents. The collapse of the palatial system did have significant effects, of course, but recent work on the archaeology of the 12th century B.C. suggests that these palatially-active elites did not simply vanish. They rather continued to assert their elevated status in the Greek mainland in ways that were, to a large extent, unchanged. These strategies were ultimately unsuccessful, however, perhaps because they failed to account for their new socioeconomic environment.

Ambassador Anghelopoulos at the University of Ottawa
Farewell to the Greek Ambassador to Canada
When I was in Ottawa at the end of September to give a lecture about the Institute and its work I had the pleasure of meeting the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to Canada, the Honorable Eleftherios Anghelopoulos. We talked about the opportunities for cooperation between the Institute and Greek Embassy relating to the upcoming exhibition of Greek artifacts in Montreal and Ottawa in late 2014 and 2015. Alas, we were not able to follow up on this topic before Ambassador Anghelopoulos retired at the end of April. The Board of Directors of the Institute (Prof. Gerry Schaus), the Ottawa Chapter of the Friends Association of the Institute (Ms. Helen Tryphonas) and the Museum of Classical Antiquities of the University of Ottawa (Dr. Antonia Holden) honored Ambassador Anghelopoulos with a plaque for his four years of service in Canada and, especially, for his generous and unflagging support of the public programs and exhibitions of the Museum. During his tenure as Ambassador to Canada, these organizations had benefitted from two collaborative projects commemorating respectively 75 years of Greek-Canadian diplomatic relations and the 150th anniversary of Constantine P. Cavafy. The mega-exhibit entitled “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great” would not have been possible without the Ambassador’s perseverance and leadership as well as the relentless work of his staff at the Embassy.

Presenting the plaque to Ambassador Anghelopoulos
We look forward to Ambassador Anghelopoulos’ continued support and participation in the activities of the Institute here in Greece. Enjoy your well-earned retirement, sir!

David Rupp

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