Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chris Stewart, CIG Volunteer

Contact sheet from photo collection of Professor Fred Winter CIG-ICG
I just thought I’d take a minute to introduce myself.  My name is Chris, and I just moved to Athens about 7 months ago.  I’m a writer, artist, and I have a degree in Communication.  I came to find the CIG when I attended a couple of lectures last summer.  The study of Archaeology fascinates me as a hobby and I really enjoyed seeing presentations by experts working in the field.  It gives so much more life to the topic than you can simply see by looking at artefacts in a museum.  Well after attending a few lectures, I decided that I would see if Jonathan and David could use any of my skills as a volunteer.  As it turns out they had great plans for updating the Internet and media presence of the CIG, and that was something I’m good at.  So we started this blog, a twitter account, and we have many more ideas for the future.
Negatives from photo collection of Professor Fred Winter CIG-ICG
During the set up for this blog David and Jonathan pulled out a large box of photo negatives and told me about the wonderful donation made by Professor Fred Winter.  Instantly the artist in me wanted to dive in and examine these photographs.  Fortunately someone was needed to organize and index this large collection, and if I wanted it, the job was mine.  I’ve just started this monumental task and already I’ve found some wonderful photos that I hope in the future can be displayed to a broader audience.  As I continue to go through the many thousands of photos I’ll post here about my finds and any problems I run into.


Friday, March 25, 2011

CIG Fieldwork and Prostitution in Ancient Greece

Exposed remains at Kato Leukos, Karpathos
Each year the British School at Athens publishes its Archaeological Reports. The main report item is always “Archaeology in Greece” authored by the Director of the BSA and other collaborators in Greece. As of 2009 it has a “sister publication”, AGOnline ( under the general editorship of the Director of the Ecole française d’Athènes.

Three of the Institute’s field projects are covered in the current article for 2009-2010. The synergasia at Kastro Kallithea in Thessaly, directed by M. Haagsma (University of Alberta) and S. Karapanou (15th EPCA), is reported on (p. 107). The work of another synergasia at Argilos in Central Macedonia, directed by J. Perreault (Université de Montréal) and Z. Bonias (48th EPCA), is covered (p. 141). Finally, I Begg’s (Trent University) Leukos Survey Project on Karpathos is mentioned too (p. 169, fig. 180). You can learn much more about each project from our website.

Book of the Blog
The nature and variation of the prostitution in the ancient Greek world has fascinated scholars since at least the publication of Hans Lichts’ Sexual Life of Ancient Athens in 1932. Feministic and gender studies of the past twenty five years have taken new approaches to investigating this perennial social institution. Recently the use of artistic depictions, artifacts, sculptural works and architectural remains have augmented the known textural sources to elucidate the topic further. Despite the concentrated efforts of many researchers from many perspectives numerous questions remain unanswered. Some of these include, according to Thomas A. McGinn (Vanderbilt University): What were the origins of Greek prostitution? What distinguished a pornē from a hetaira? Was prostitution totally exploitative or somewhat autonomous? Were prostitutes marginalized in society? How can brothels (porneia) be identified? Were there other venues for venal sex?

A panel discussion held at the 2007 APA/AIA meeting in San Diego attempted to address these questions and others. The organizers, Allison Glazebrook (Brock University) and Madeline M. Henry (Iowa State University) have published the nine papers plus an Introduction and a Conclusion in the volume, Greek Prostitutes in the Ancient Mediterranean, 800 BCE – 200 CE (Wisconsin Studies in Classics, University of Wisconsin Press, 2011). Over half of the contributions deal with the extensive and varied, but nevertheless ambiguous, evidence from Archaic through early Hellenistic period Athens. The literary evidence for prostitution in the Geometric and Archaic periods characterizes it as the traffic of women first in war and then in commerce. Brothels in Hellenistic Delos, Republican literary tropes relating to prostitution, the roles of prostitutes and pimps in Late Republican political conspiracies and the Greek technical and colloquial terminology for female and male prostitutes, procurers, and brothels complete the volume. The myriad of references cited provide an excellent springboard for more research. Individually and collectively the contributions and the volume offer many stimulating and thought provoking insights into the complexity and the variability of prostitution in the Hellenic world.

Professor Glazebrook deserves high praise for donating the volume to the Institute’s Library. The Library seeks to serve as the repository of the publications of Canadian scholarship relating to any aspect of Greece’s rich cultural heritage – past and present.

David Rupp

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Graduate Student Conference and Cultural Heritage Management

The Institute is not simply an institution that exists in Greece. It has a solid and broad base in Canada with it 15 educational institutional members, the Associations of Friends of the Institute in Ottawa and Toronto, and numerous individual members across Canada. Among the activities of the Institute in Canada is the co-sponsorship of the biannual graduate student conference in Classics and Archaeology. This year it will be held at the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) on March 18th and 19th. The theme is: “Peoples and Peripheries: Living on the Edge”. Eleven graduate students from across Canada will present their research ranging from the Mycenaean period to the Late Roman period, from literature to contemporary cinema, from the Iberian peninsula to Palestine. The keynote speaker will be Professor Mark Lawall (University of Manitoba) who will talk on aspects of transport amphorae in the eastern Mediterranean ca. 550-100 BCE. For more details concerning the location, etc. contact Professor Brendan Burke (University of Victoria) at:

Book of the Blog
The economic situation in Greece is in crisis mode now due to the huge public debt. In the process of paying off the bondholders, however, the Greek economy is not just stagnating, it is declining. Many economists and some politicians are advocating development projects to revive and to broaden the country’s economic base. “Green Development” is an especially popular choice here for obvious reasons. Most would agree that Greece must continue to embrace innovative policies in order to eliminate the underlying causes of the present crisis and to reorient its economy for sustainable, long-term growth.

The physical environment and the cultural heritage of Greece are resources that are too often overlooked as potential driving forces in the development of the numerous regional economies of the country. Konstantina Liwieratos has made such an innovative proposal in Competitive Advantage Strategy in Cultural Heritage Management. A case-study of the Mani area in the southern Peloponnese, Greece (BAR International Series 1989, Oxford 2009). In brief, the use of the “competitive advantage strategy” posits that for tourism and general development, heritage should be viewed as a competitive advantage. Here heritage is not considered as an attraction by its nature, “…but as the main resource/input on the basis of which a product might be created, called destination” (p. 9). The uniqueness of such a destination as well as other destinations in a region allows for their integration into a long-term, strategic management policy that includes landscape preservation and ecotourism. With active participation by local stakeholders and interest groups in the planning process, the sustainable conservation and maintenance of these heritage destinations has a higher probability of success than approaches currently in use. Given that such a strategy does not exist in Greece at the moment Dr Liwieratos has created a dense and detailed case-study, a strategic management and development plan, for the Mani in the southern Peloponnese to demonstrate how this might be done and what benefits it may provide. In as much as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible to a major extent for both heritage preservation and touristic development perhaps they should consider seriously adopting the “competitive advantage strategy”? It is “green” as well!

You can find this monograph and others on heritage preservation and cultural management topics in our Library.

David Rupp

Friday, March 11, 2011

Updating Internships and Conserving Archaeological Materials

Lana Radloff
Each academic year the Institute is honored to host one or more student interns from York University, the University of Waterloo and Brock University. These three-month long, hands-on educational and practical work experiences help the Institute in many ways, especially in the Library. During this past fall our intern was Lana Radloff, a M.A. candidate in archaeology in the Department of Classics at Brock University. This hard-working and dedicated intern is featured in the “Grad Student Profile” posted on February 17th in the e-newsletter The Brock News.

Book of the Blog
In the past when the term “archaeological conservation” was mentioned it usually denoted finding sherd joins and mending pots. The cleaning and repair of sculptural or epigraphical fragments would come to mind too. In the past 2-4 decades, however, archaeological conservation has changed dramatically with advances in technology as well as sensitive analytical techniques. The professional now is more complex and demanding, involving a wider range of responsibilities. To bring some coherence to this situation an “Archaeological Discussion” group was formed as a subgroup of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works’ Objects. To mark this occasion, a conference was organized (of unstated date and place, alas) to re-define and re-position the concept of “archaeological conservation” in light of new developments, analytical techniques and digital technologies.

The contributions from this conference are published in The Conservation of Archaeological Materials. Current trends and future directions, edited by E. Williams and C. Peachey (BAR International Series 2116, Oxford 2010). These mostly short contributions provide a series of “snapshots” that demonstrate what is happening in this rapidly expanding profession. These case studies cover a wide range of archaeological materials, analytical techniques and technologies, cultures and discovery contexts. Besides attempting to define more accurately the nature and purpose of the profession the first section explores what are its possibilities for the future. The other sections deal with, “Fieldwork and artifact stabilization”, “Documentation and the technical record”, “Archives and repositories”, and Collaboration and community involvement”. Many of these discussions resonate with the contributions in the two volumes mentioned in my previous blog relating to “digital heritage”. For the conservation, documentation and analysis of archaeological materials from the Aegean basin there are many contributions of interest here.

Cordially yours,
David Rupp

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Early Urbanization in East Crete and Digital Heritage

Perhaps the most striking development accompanying the emergence of the Greek city-state (ca. 1200-480 B.C.) was the appearance of new urban centers whose form, contents and construction provided the most visible and effective means of creating, reinforcing and symbolizing the social, political and economic relationships that characterized the new “polis” system.

Excavations at the site of Azoria (Kavousi – Ierapetra) conducted from 2002 to 2006 under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, brought to light an unparalleled collection of architectural data, largely unobscured by later building activities, that provides one of the best opportunities to study the architectural correlates of state formation and early urbanization in the Greek world. On Wednesday, March 9th at 7:30 pm Professor Rodney Fitzsimons (Associate Professor, Department of Ancient History and Classics, Trent University) will give an illustrated lecture on this fascinating topic to the Friends of the Canadian Institute in Greece. His lecture is entitled, “Making an Archaic City: The Social, Political and Architectural Correlates of Urbanization at Azoria, East Crete”.

Book of the Blog
The various digital technologies are found in almost every aspect of contemporary life. It should be no surprise, therefore, that they are increasing omnipresent in archaeology, especially in the areas of analysis, synthesis, interpretation and reconstruction. These technologies permit a level of interactivity, whether psychical or virtual, not possible before. Thus, they enable archaeologists and historians “to push the edge of the envelope” in the interpretation and reconstruction of the past.

One of the international forums for the exchange of information, best practice and new approaches is the annual international conference organized by Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). Their last conference was held in March, 2009 in Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Forty eight of the innovative papers were promptly published in Making History Interactive, edited by B. Frischer, J.W. Crawford and D. Koller (BAR International Series 2079, Oxford, 2010). The range of topics and approaches as well as cultures and chronological periods where the central theme was explored is staggering! A CD-ROM accompanies the volume to provide color imagery and tables. Almost 40% of the contributions relate in some fashion to the ancient world and the Mediterranean with topics related to reconstructing ancient Rome and Pompeii dominating. Three-dimensional reconstructions of pottery and numismatic analyses were prominent too.

This evolving field of “digital heritage” has a strong Greek component focused on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Greek universities and the foreign schools and institutes. At the end of October, 2008 the Directorate of the National Archive of Monuments of the then Ministry of Culture organized a conference in Athens on this broad theme. Leif Isaksen (University of Southampton) contributed a paper at both conferences. The conference papers were published shortly afterward with the title, Digital Heritage in the New Knowledge Environment: Shared spaces & open paths to cultural content, edited by Metaxia Tsipopoulou. There is a CD-ROM with all of the contributions in .pdf format.

Both volumes are available at the Institute to ensure that you know where the organization, the analyses and the presentation of cultural heritage in a digital environment are headed.

David Rupp

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Altar of the Twelve Gods and the Zea Harbour Project

Here are a couple of links which may be of interest. The first is to an article in the English version of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. The piece  reports on the unearthing of the Altar of the Twelve Gods, in the area of the Athenian Agora, during renovation works on the Piraeus-Kifissia metro line:

The second is the new website of the Zea Harbour Project, a combined land and underwater archaeological investigation of the ancient harbours of Zea and Mounichia in the Piraeus. The project operates under the auspices of the Danish Institute at Athens:

Best wishes,
Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director