Friday, September 28, 2012

An Art-Full Fall for the Athens Association of Friends of CIG

Krista Martynes
After hosting the art exhibition last week “Reflections: Canada in Greece / Greece in Canada” organized by the Friends of Canada the Institute will offer the members of the Athens Association of Friends a delightful potpourri of artistic events this fall.

On Thursday, October 11th at 7:30 pm the Montreal-based Canadian classical and contemporary clarinetist and composer Krista Martynes ( will discuss the integration of traditional music in European and Canadian composition and illustrate her themes by playing selections from various 20th century and contemporary composers. She is in Athens for a short period in October to play a series of concerts.

Chief Tony Hunt with the totem pole
The totem pole that has stood since 1975 in the gardens of the Residency of the Ambassador of Canada in Filothei is now undergoing restoration. The totem pole was built by the renowned First Nation artist Chief Tony Hunt and his relatives of Kwakwaka’waka ancestry in the 1960s. The conservator Andrew Todd from Bowen Island, BC is in Athens for the month of October working at the Benaki Museum under the sponsorship of the Canadian Embassy and generous donors to restore it to its former glory. On Wednesday, October 17th at 7:30 pm Mr. Todd will talk about this restoration project and the others he has participated in the Pacific northwest.

Magda Roussi's masks on display at the exhibition
A longtime friend of the Institute, the artist and researcher Magda Roussi (Former Director, Fine Arts Group, University of Piraeus), participated in the recent art exhibition (see above). Her consuming interest these days is the masks that the actors wore in dramas and comedies performed in ancient Greek theaters. She will present the findings of her extensive research and her creative artistic renderings of the masks that would have been used in the performance of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata on Wednesday December 12th at 7:30 pm.

So do not delay in putting these dates on your calendar and/or in your agenda! We look forward to seeing you for these varied and interesting presentations related to the creative spirit of humankind across the ages.

David Rupp

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Fred Winter Collection

"Myndos, view to modern village from the island at the mouth of the bay" (Professor Fred Winter)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Exhibition of Fine Art at the Institute

In the past few years the Institute has widened its program of offerings to reflect our broader mission and to serve as a bastion of events that both display the richness of Canadian culture and the strength of Canadian/Greek relations. This past week the Library of the Institute was transformed into an art gallery for the display of work by five artists in a variety of media. The exhibition was held under the umbrella of a newly-formed group in Athens called “The Friends of Canada” ( with the well-known Canadian writer, Kathryn Lukey-Coutsocostas as the guiding light. The works were on display from Tuesday through today.

Kathryn Lukey-Coutsocosta, H.E. Robert Peck and Stephanie Sampson
The title of the group exhibition was, “Reflections: Canada in Greece / Greece in Canada” Stephanie Sampson, one of the five artists, curated the show. The other participants were Terry Billings, Ana Kapodistria, Magda Roussi, and George Roussis. Media included photography, metal, watercolour and papier-mâché. Themes ranged from street portraits and real and altered landscapes to ancient theatrical masks and bronze sculpture. There was an enthusiastic and diverse crowd at the opening on Tuesday night. Ambassador Robert Peck and his wife Maria Pantazi-Peck were there to support the effort. The exhibition is one of the ways in which the Embassy is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the initiation of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Greece. I am told there are more events to follow!

Jonathan and I look forward to other artistic endeavours, especially Canadian flavoured ones, taking place at the Institute this year!!!

David Rupp

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Parliamentary Visitors to the Institute and the New Wilfrid Laurier University Undergraduate Intern is Here!

Rachel Dewan, Robert Peck, James Cowan, Noel Kinsella, David Rupp, Allison Stewart
As THE Canadian cultural organization in town, our Canadian Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, Robert Peck, ensures that all important visitors from Canada come to the Institute to learn more about us. On Monday evening we were honoured by the visit of the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, the Honourable Noel A. Kinsella. Kinsella was in Greece on an official state visit. He was accompanied by the Honourable James S. Cowan, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from the Liberal Party. Along with Ambassador Peck, Ms. Allison Stewart (the Embassy’s Counsellor), Ms. Janelle Feldstein (the Chief of Staff of the Speaker) and Ms. Marie-Ève Belzile (the Visits Officer for the Parliament of Canada) we had a full house!

Our visitors were most interested in the archaeological fieldwork that is carried out under the aegis of the Institute, and impressed by the large number of Canadian undergraduate and graduate students who participate in them each year. The diversity of our Canadian university support was noted positively. They had a chance to ask our new intern Rachel Dewan (see below) questions about her interest in archaeology and how being in Greece will help her future studies. Speaker Kinsella provided some very useful information on Canadian foundations that support cultural activities. It was an informative and useful visit for all.

Who will be next to grace the premises of the Institute???

Rachel Dewan
New Undergraduate Intern
This week our new undergraduate intern from Wilfrid Laurier University arrived to start a three month tenure with us. Rachel Dewan is not that “new” to the Institute, as she has been in Greece since the early Summer. She was a member of the Wilfrid Laurier field school that was held in June and July at Gournia in Crete. Afterwards she took the opportunity to travel around Greece.

Rachel is an enthusiastic student of archaeology and history. Her goal is to do graduate work focusing on the Bronze Age Aegean. She brings much experience and dedication to this position. While at CIG she will work on keeping the Library catalogues up-to-date as well as scanning and to organizing materials for the Archives. You’ll have a chance to meet her at our events starting next month (and, no doubt, at darts on Tuesday evenings!).

Welcome Rachel!!!

David Rupp

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Fred Winter Collection

"Side, vaults back of theatre, and detail view of one vault" (Professor Fred Winter)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Site Tours in Crete and 3D Laser Scanning of Sites

My sojourn in eastern Crete this summer provided me with many opportunities to expand my archaeological horizons. Many, of course, were á la minoenne, given the location. Detailed excavation tours by the individual directors brought me up-to-date on four important sites.

Prof. Jeff Soles at the Mochlos exacation
Mochlos excavations
Professor Jeff Soles (University of North Carolina – Greensboro) gave my wife and I an extensive tour of his recent discoveries on the island of Mochlos (, just off the north coast of Crete at the eastern end of the Gulf of Mirabello. Affiliated with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, this project has just completed its final field season after almost 25 years of research. Recent work has focused on defining the extent and nature of the Late Minoan IB settlement and its network of paved walkways. As the settlement’s history was long, beginning in the Early Minoan period, its stratigraphy is complicated. This season’s work, midway up the slope, uncovered the walls of many houses of the Archaic and Hellenistic periods built on top of the ruins for the Late Minoan IIIB and Late Minoan IB periods. Although Soles’ crew did not find more fragments of an unusual elaborately-carved ivory pyxis in the so-called “House of the Lady” as they had hoped, they did reveal what appears to have been a “window of appearances” facing a small square in front of the structure.

Newly excavated Neopalatial house at Gournia
Gournia excavations
At nearby Gournia a very large team is continuing the excavation of the extensive settlement and small palace started by Harriet Boyd over a century ago. My former student from Brock University, Matt Buell, the Field Director, showed us around the new trenches. Prof. Vance Watrous (SUNY at Buffalo) heads this project, which is also affiliated with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. A Practicum from Brock University and a field school from Wilfrid Laurier University were among the many educational programs at the site this year. On the northern edge of the Neopalatial settlement, which overlooks the Gulf of Mirabello, they were excavating more houses and paved pathways. Under the palace a series of trenches revealed evidence of a large Prepalatial period complex of rooms with open areas paved with sea pebbles. The discovery of a fragment of a Linear A document and clay bulla fragment add weight to the arguments concerning the settlement’s role as a regional administrative center in the Neopalatial period.

Prof. Yiannis Papadatos with visitors from the INSTAP East Crete Study Center at the Gaidourofas excavation
Gaidourofas excavations
A site that has was in the Greek newspapers and online sources last month was Gaidourofas located high above the upland village of Anatoli to the northwest of Ierapetra (where much of your vegetables probably come from). This new excavation is under the direction of Prof. Yiannis Papadatos (University of Athens). Sir Arthur Evans and John Pendlebury both made note of the substantial walls that are preserved to over 2 m above ground level. Situated among the pine trees at ca 900 m, overlooking the Libyan Sea, it is an unusual location for a complex of rooms with such substantial architecture dated to the Neopalatial period. It may have served as a regional collection and storage point for the exploitation of the uplands and mountains by goat herders and wild plant material gathers, since one of the rooms has the remains of many pithoi. The hypothetical but probable Minoan central place in the Ierapetra region may well have been to the south of this site where the hills meet the coastal plain above Gra Lygia.

Prof. Jan Driessen with members of the Minoan Seminar at the Sissi excavation
Sissi excavations
Finally, we joined the well-attended Minoan Seminar’s ( in situ visit to the Belgium School at Athens’ Sarpedon Archaeological Project at Sissi ( that are directed by Prof. Jan Driessen (Université catholique de Louvain). The settlement, on a low hill next to the north coast, is very close to the Minoan palace and settlement at Malia. Despite extensive erosion, interventions during WW II and modern activities, there is ample evidence for occupation stretching from the beginning of the Bronze Age to its very end. Across the site there is evidence for different phases of the settlement and a Prepalatial house tomb cemetery. A new discovery is what appears to be a “court-centered building” with numerous architectural features usually associated with the major Minoan palaces, such as ashlar masonry, a large stone kernos and storage facilities. The presence of such a structure within the “shadow” of the palace at Malia increases the need to re-think how we define a Minoan palace and the roles it may have played in society.

So the next time you are in eastern Crete these sites are definitely worth visiting.

Dr. Michaelis Xinogalos operating the FARO Focus 3D laser scanner at Khalasmenos
3D Laser Scanning
Just before our return to Athens, Dr. Michalis Xinogalos of Astrolabe Engineering came to the INSTAP East Crete Study Center in Pachia Ammos to give an informal workshop on 3D laser scanning for the detailed measurement and documentation of archaeological sites and buildings. He demonstrated the light weight FARO Focus 3D laser scanning device using the Late Minoan IIIC Shrine of the Goddess of the Upraised Arms at my wife’s site of Khalasmenos as his test case. From 13 locations around and within the remains, the device created within an hour a point cloud of the exterior and the interior surfaces of the structure. Back at the INSTAP Center, while his laptop was processing the data collected, he showed us how such devices have been used on the facades and interiors of standing buildings, excavation contexts, burial assemblages, statues, building complexes such as the entrance to the Akropolis in Athens, artifacts and ceramic vessels. The results with the colorized external surfaces were simply amazing! The high resolution of the point clouds and the software allows one to measure points with high accuracy as well as to cut any part of the image for cross-sections. Using other datasets it can create insightful constructions of structures with complex developmental histories. Although a 3D laser scanning device is still too expensive for the budgets of most archaeological projects it certainly represents a means to accurately and quickly document archaeological contexts, to analyze effectively the data in a multitude of ways, and to display the results from a variety of perspectives. Further, these datasets can be analyzed and manipulated concurrently by a group of researchers across cyberspace. This is certainly not simply another trendy toy for the gadget-addicted archaeologist, but a new tool in our data acquisition kit.

Now back to work and the fall/winter program of the Institute!

David Rupp

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Fred Winter Collection

"Kapikaya, some of the towers in the wall to the S of the road" (Professor Fred Winter)