Friday, January 22, 2016

Mycenaean Economics 202; Welcome Esther!

Our Winter / Spring Institute Lecture Program will start on Wednesday, January 27th. We are very pleased to have Associate Professor Dimitri Nakassis (Department of Classics, University of Toronto) give the lecture at 7:30 PM in the Library of the Institute. The title of his lecture, based on the research for his doctoral dissertation, is, “From types to relations: complicating the economic history of the Greek Late Bronze Age”. Dimitri is a Co-Director of the Western Argolid Research Project [WARP], a pedestrian survey under the aegis of the Institute, and a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

Research into the early Greek economy has largely relied on static types built from the top down on the basis of analogical and textual evidence, despite the rapid growth in the archaeological evidence over the past fifty years. Nakassis will argue, through analysis of the internal organization of the palatial economy and its external exchange relations, that the conventional models do not adequately explain the economy of the Greek Late Bronze Age. It is usually thought, on analogy with the Near East, that the primary economic roles of the Mycenaean palaces were redistributive as to staples and reciprocal as to wealth, yet the evidence is much less clear than has been previously thought. Internally, the palaces made use of a variety of means to acquire goods, including market-type exchanges, and it is probable that interregional trade was mainly coordinated by elite intermediaries. And you thought that Mycenaean economics was straightforward! Time to take the next course, 202!!

Welcome Esther!

This past Saturday Esther Knegt arrived from Canada to undertake her three month internship at the Institute. Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Esther is an undergraduate finishing her fourth year of studies at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. Some of her interests lie in archaeology, material culture sources, Greek history and language. She will complete a Language Specialization in Latin and Greek in addition to her major and enjoys reading and studying the ancient languages. One of her growing passions is for material culture which was enhanced when she had the opportunity to take a course travelling to various places in Greece to study the Aegean Bronze Age in the spring of 2015. She was able to visit and explore palace complexes and archaeological sites on Crete, Attica and on some of the Greek Islands. She loves visiting and experiencing architecture and artefacts first-hand as it provides an additional learning experience.

While assisting in the Library and scanning documents in the Archive of the Institute she will have opportunities to re-visit archaeological sites and museums at her leisure and without the crowds in Athens and elsewhere in Greece as well as to attend the many lectures on the calendar each week. Her immediate goal is to be accepted into an MA program focusing on material culture studies at an Ontario university.

When you come to the Institute lecture on Wednesday evening you will have a chance to meet Esther and to give her a very warm welcome to the Athenian archaeological community.

I almost forgot to mention that we will cut the Institute’s Vasilopita for 2016 on Wednesday as well after the lecture. You may find the flouri in your piece and win the 2016 gouri. Such fortune surely will give you happiness, good health and great productivity for the entire year!!! You can’t miss such an opportunity can you, eh!

David Rupp

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