Friday, January 26, 2024

Welcome, Emma!

Earlier this month we welcomed our new intern from the University of Waterloo, Emma van Weesenbeek, who will be with us in Athens until April.

Emma is a third-year undergraduate studying Classics. When she graduates, Emma plans to complete postgraduate studies of the ancient world through museum studies and curating.


During her time at university, Emma has gained a greater understanding of ancient art and architecture and the intricacies of their creation, meaning, and importance in culture. While studying, she has also learned useful skills in research and communication that allow her to effectively connect audiences to her studies and explorations.


Thus, in spending time in Greece, Emma will be able to see how the culture from which her studies stem displays its own artifacts, and hopes she will be able to learn more about how ancient and modern Greek cultures intertwine and affect one another to further her studies and career goals.


Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Friday, December 29, 2023

Un premier trimestre qui tire déjà à sa fin

Depuis 2016, j’ai eu la chance de voyager à maintes reprises en Grèce et de visiter Athènes à plusieurs occasions. C’était avec beaucoup d’impatience que j’attendais le début de mon séjour d’un an dans cette ville que je connais et que j’affectionne particulièrement, grâce au soutien de la bourse Franz et Neda Leipen. C’est donc en septembre dernier que j’ai établi résidence à l’Institut Canadien afin d’y poursuivre mes recherches doctorales, lesquelles ont grandement été facilitées par l’accès à aux abondantes ressources de la bibliothèque de l’ICG.

Quoi de plus enrichissant pour une étudiante en archéologie classique comme moi qu’une immersion dans cette ville qui regorge d’histoire, où chaque coin révèle des vestiges archéologiques fascinants! Les flâneries dans les rues d’Athènes, les visites de ses sites et musées archéologiques, les discussions autour d’un (ou deux, voire trois!) freddo espresso, les ascensions hebdomadaires du mont Lycabette ont à chaque fois nourri mon esprit d’idées et d’inspiration. En effet, en plus de ma thèse, plusieurs autres projets, tels que la rédaction d’articles et l’élaboration de présentations, ont vu le jour au cours des derniers mois. À ces fins, il faut tout de même ne pas passer outre la consultation des riches collections des autres instituts archéologiques, qui a elle aussi significativement contribué à l’avancement de mes travaux!

Il est aussi essentiel de mentionner toutes les précieuses rencontres que j’ai faites lors de ce premier trimestre. Entre les nombreuses présentations auxquelles j’ai assisté, ma participation à l’organisation de la CIG Graduate Student Conference et les fameux rendez-vous hebdomadaires au Red Lion, j’ai pu tisser des liens avec des chercheurs et des collègues de partout à travers le monde. Ces rencontres ont su non seulement égayer mon trimestre, mais aussi mener à des échanges plus que stimulants. Un mot tout particulier pour Jonathan Tomlinson, assistant directeur de l’ICG, et pour Athena Wakeling et Taryn Rankin, toutes deux stagiaires à l’Institut pour le trimestre, qui ont grandement enrichi ces quelques mois avec leur présence et leur bonne humeur.

Le soutien de la bourse Leipen me permet de réaliser à la fois mon rêve de m’établir – du moins pour un temps – en Grèce, ainsi que de poursuivre mes ambitions académiques. C’est avec un cœur empli de précieux souvenirs, l’esprit bourdonnant d’idées et de projets et un fort sentiment d’accomplissement que je m’envole vers Montréal pour les Fêtes. Je dois cependant avouer que je suis déjà fébrile à l’idée de mon retour pour le prochain trimestre, afin de continuer de pleinement profiter de cette expérience unique, de continuer de m’en imprégner.

Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Καλή Χρονιά!
Justine Lefebvre, Boursière Neda et Franz Leipen 2023-2024

Friday, December 15, 2023

Four Months in Greece as an Intern

When I first arrived in Athens at the beginning of September, I had a feeling it was going to be an amazing four months. Unlike others who have completed the internship, this was my fifth time in Greece, as I have direct family ties to the country, and Greece has always felt like a second home to me.

Working as an intern at the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG) was an amazing experience, I applied to the internship to gain experience working abroad and to complete my postgraduate internship requirements in Museum and Gallery studies. During my time at CIG, I worked mostly in the archives department, starting the process of organizing archaeological documents from the Southern Euboea Exploration Project from 1984 to 2014. Along with archiving, I also assisted with events that took place at CIG, plus posting weekly on the Institute's social media accounts. Other than working at CIG five days a week, weeknights and weekends were about exploring Athens and Greece. I, the other intern Taryn, along with this year's CIG Fellow Justine, were always out exploring. From eating at great restaurants to exploring museums, or just walking the streets with a coffee in hand. There is always something to do in Athens! My most notable memory was our group walk to the top of the Acropolis and eating dinner at “tzitzikas mermigas” located in the center of Athens multiple times during the semester! Sharing these travel experiences with them both will last a lifetime, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to explore the city with them.

Another great bonus about the internship was the chance to explore other parts of Greece during the weekends, and I took full advantage of this opportunity! I had the chance to visit a friend in Thessaloniki on two separate weekends; during my time in Northern Greece I explored the city and visited the local museums. The most memorable was the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, where I learned about the history of Northern Greece, something I have always been interested in learning more about. Thessaloniki is truly an amazing city, and I highly recommend visiting, as it is rich in history and culture! The next solo trip I went on was to Arachova and Delphi; as the two villages are just under two and a half hours from Athens, it is the perfect weekend away from the city! The views were picturesque, and the small villages were charming and very welcoming. Not to mention, the museum and archaeological site of Delphi is one my favourites within Greece, as nothing compares to mountain terrain!

As my time in Athens ends, it is bittersweet to me, as I have learned so many new things, explored unfamiliar places and met new people in the same work field. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity from CIG, and I recommend this internship to anyone who gets the chance. As that is all for now from me, returning to Athens soon is on my itinerary!

Yassou Athens, see you soon!

Athena Wakeling
Georgian College intern, Autumn 2023

Friday, December 1, 2023

My Greek Experience: Memories to Last a Lifetime

During my internship at the Canadian Institute in Greece, I was able to enjoy many activities outside of my responsibilities at the Institute. There are so many museums and galleries near the Institute that I visited at least one per week without going to the same one twice. My favourite museum was the Goulandris Natural History Museum which has many displays of taxidermied animals, including sea, land and flying animals, found in Greece and around the world. They also had informative diagrams about the botanical aspect of Greece’s landscape. I also enjoyed the Byzantine museum which took me through the progress of Christianity in Greece and surrounding countries.

At least once a week, I would go to a new restaurant or cafe in order to try new Greek, Cretan or other types of food I’ve never had in Canada before. My favourite restaurants were Mylolithos, a Greek taverna in Panormou street that combines traditional Greek food with modern adaptations; Thanasis, which is a traditional taverna in Monastiraki and the first restaurant I ate at when I first landed in Athens; and Little Kook, which I learned about from the previous intern who wrote about it in her end of internship blog. It is a dessert-focused cafe that is intensely decorated and was Halloween themed when I went.

My favourite part of my time in Greece was when I took a solo trip and travelled to the nearby island of Aegina, during the last weekend of October where it was still warm enough to be able to enjoy the beach and water. Compared to Athens, Aegina town, where I stayed, is a much quieter and less busy place but still full of activities, shops, and restaurants. I enjoyed fresh seafood, sitting on the docks and relaxing on the beach enjoying the view. My visit to the island coincided with their Ohi Day parade celebration. Everyone I met there was very friendly, social, and helpful.

Syntagma, Ermou street, Monastiraki, and Plaka were also common places to go on weekends. These popular streets are convenient and easy to get to from the Institute’s accommodation. There, I could walk around the shops and find things I needed or wanted to get as souvenirs and it would also lead me to Plaka where I could find different booths set up with jewelry, knick-knacks, and hand-crafted items. It was a great street to be around people, window shop and get exercise by walking around.

One final thing that also happened weekly was attending darts night on Tuesdays at the Red Lion Pub, the oldest pub in Athens. It was a great place to socialize and meet people from other international Institutes or friends of friends with a shared interest in archeology. I am so thankful for this once in a lifetime opportunity and the amazing memories that I made.

Taryn Rankin
Wilfrid Laurier University intern, autumn 2023

Friday, November 17, 2023

Recent Research by the CIG at Khavania, Crete

On Wednesday 22 November the Institute will host its third event of the 2023-2024 academic year. This will be an in-person lecture in the auditorium of the Institute’s premises at Orminiou 3A, Ilisia. [Metro: Megaro Mousikis or Evangelismos]

Starting at 19.00, Rodney D. Fitzsimons (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University) & D. Matthew Buell (Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Concordia University will deliver a paper entitled, Having Our (Saracen’s) Head Examined: Recent Research by the CIG at Khavania, Crete".

"This paper presents the preliminary results of the Khavania Archaeological Project, which was conducted over the course of three seasons in the summers of 2019, 2021, and 2022. The primary objective of this research was to document all natural and anthropogenic features at the coastal site of Khavania, East Crete, where trial excavations by the local Ephorate had brought to light the remains of a substantial harbour settlement with occupation spanning the Early Bronze Age through historic periods. Exploration of the eastern and southern shores of the Mirabello Bay has produced abundant evidence for cultural development in the region, which stands in stark contrast to the lack of attention shown for the western side of the bay, where Khavania is situated. Rescue excavations throughout the area have produced a solid understanding of the historical landscape, but the earlier prehistoric remains have continued to elude detection. It is in this context that the site of Khavania begins to assume such importance. Utilising both traditional and digital means of architectural recording, we identified a number of structural features, while limited collection of surface materials indicates activity spanning the Early Bronze Age through to the Medieval era. Finally, analysis of fixed and portable remains indicates that Khavania’s residents were interacting with contemporary settlements within the broader region throughout these periods. These results allow us to begin filling in a striking lacuna in the larger archaeological landscape that occupies a key, strategic position at the crossroads of several important communication routes running along the north shore of the island."

We look forward to welcoming you to the Institute for what promises to be a fascinating presentation.

Jonathan Tomlinson  
Assistant Director


Friday, October 20, 2023

The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Greek Industry

On Wednesday 25 October the Institute will host its first event of the 2023-2024 academic year. This will be an in-person lecture in the auditorium of the Institute’s premises at Orminiou 3A, Ilisia. [Metro: Megaro Mousikis or Evangelismos]

Starting at 19.00, Iason-Nikolaos Rodopoulos (Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, York University) will deliver a paper entitled, The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Greek Industry.

“In 1947, the decision of the United States to finance the rebuilding of the Greek economy led to the creation of AMAG (American Mission for Aid to Greece). AMAG was initially responsible for managing the subsequent financial assistance provided by the United States through the Marshall Plan. For the next decades, the funds were distributed to Greek industry in the form of loans from the Greek banks, upon approval by the governmental KED (Central Committee of Loans), which was replaced by OHOA (Organization of Financing Economic Growth) in 1954 and by ETVA (Greek Bank of Industrial Growth) ten years later.”

“Ongoing doctoral research in primary sources, found mostly in the Archives of the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Piraeus, the General State Archives, and the Archives of the Public Power Corporation, attempts to critically re-examine the Greek “economic miracle” by attempting to find the criteria by which companies were receiving or denied funds provided by the Marshall Plan and how financing was used at the company and sector level. Through this lecture, the findings of the research thus far will be presented, as an attempt to formulate the historical context within which Greek industry was reconstructed after World War Two, reached unprecedented economic growth in the 1950s and 1960s, but started declining in the 1970s.”

We look forward to welcoming you to the Institute for what promises to be a very interesting lecture.

Jonathan Tomlinson  
Assistant Director

Monday, September 18, 2023

Welcome, Justine, Athena and Taryn!

From L-R: Justine Lefebvre, Taryn Rankin and Athena Wakeling

The new academic year has begun at the Institute, and we welcome the Institute’s 2023-2024 Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow, Justine Lefebvre, Georgian College intern, Athena Wakeling, and Wilfrid Laurier University intern, Taryn Rankin.

Justine Lefebvre is a PhD candidate in History at Université de Montréal, under the supervision of the Institute’s Director, Prof. Jacques Perreault. Her research focuses on metal production in Northern Greece during the archaic and classical periods, through the study of the specific case of bronze production at Argilos during these periods.

Located a few kilometers west of the Strymon river in Northern Greece, Argilos is an ideal location for the development of its metal production: an abundance of surrounding metal resources, a prosperous economy, and good relations with the Thracian populations from whose metallurgical expertise it can benefit. In order to thoroughly study this metallurgical production, the thesis relies on a multidisciplinary approach, combining traditional archaeological methods and archaeometry. Indeed, a sampling of bronze artifacts from the vast inventory collected in Argilos since 1992 will be subjected to typological, metallographic, chemical, and isotopic analyses. The results obtained through these analyses will provide a detailed picture of metallurgical production in Northern Greece throughout the Archaic and Classical periods, by identifying the nature and quality of Argilos’ production, and by evaluating how it fits into its regional context, in terms of distribution of raw resources and finished products.

Thanks to the Neda and Franz Leipen Fellowship, Justine hopes to complete the writing of her thesis, to which her nine-month stay in Greece is instrumental. First, a presence in Athens will allow her to benefit from easy access to the valuable resources available in the libraries of the Canadian Institute and other foreign research institutes, as well as in the numerous archaeological museums. Moreover, a stay in Northern Greece will allow her to visit the archaeological museum of Amphipolis, with the aim of completing the study of archaeological material linked to Argilian metallurgical production, as well as to study that which is still in situ at Argilos.

Athena Wakeling is a Wilfrid Laurier University graduate who received her BA in Archaeology and Anthropology in 2021. Athena is currently completing her postgraduate degree at Georgian College, specializing in Museum and Gallery studies, and will be completing her semester internship at the Canadian Institute in Greece.

Throughout her three programs, Athena has gained knowledge and understanding around topics connecting theoretical concepts of culture and history, while applying them into the real function of Museums or Galleries in the 21st century.

Athena is eager to get hands-on experience in the archival documentation field of work and will be applying her skills to the archives at the Institute, continuing the organization and documentation of past site reports and records across Greece. While Athena is in Greece, she intends to travel around the country and educate herself about Greek culture and history since she has direct familial roots to the country.

Taryn Rankin is a fourth-year undergraduate studying at Wilfrid Laurier University with a double major in Ancient Studies and Anthropology. Upon graduating, Taryn is interested in continuing her ancient history and anthropological studies at a graduate level with a focus on ancient and modern ethnobotany.

In her studies, Taryn has learned how to work with and understand multiple forms of media and research which is important in being able to make information approachable to all audiences as well as the importance of easily accessible knowledge through physical and online libraries.

Taryn will use her skills and knowledge gained from her studies to work in the Institute’s library to increase its resources and the knowledge available to its visitors while also using her time in Athens to learn about Greek life and history. By the end of the internship, she hopes to have new-found knowledge and experience that will aid her in completing her studies and future career.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director