Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Fred Winter Collection

Samothrace, the stepped circular area on the sanctuary side of the Ptolemaion torrent-bed. (Professor Fred Winter 1975)

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Three-Month Internship at CIG - a Great Step in the Right Direction

When I first stepped off the plane and saw Athens, really saw it, (meaning, being in the city for more than a couple hours as I transferred planes), I felt apprehension, nervousness, but most of all, excitement. Becoming an intern for the Canadian Institute in Greece was a pretty big first step in my life. I had never lived away from my parents, and now the Atlantic Ocean separated me and everyone else I knew. I spoke the language in the sense that I could say “yiasoo” or “kalimera”, and then just smile blankly as I was dragged into a conversation. On top of that, I had a full-time student’s course load along with my actual work for the Institute. It would be a lot to handle, but thanks to my co-workers at the Institute, Dr. Jonathan Tomlinson, Dr. David Rupp, Chris Stewart and Myles Chykerda, I was able to make it through the internship with lessons, friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

Athens can be an intimidating city, especially to a newcomer. It’s often loud, with various noises like backfiring motorcycles, screeching cats, and weekend partiers’ celebrations lasting long into the night. The twisty and turning streets can lead one who has a bad sense of direction (such as me) hours away from their destination with just one wrong step. Several city maps torn in frustration got used up that way! Finally, the number of people crowding Athens can be overwhelming. The first time I went to Syntagma square, for instance, I was half-tempted to buy some sort of wooden implement from one of those touristy olive wood shops just so I could make myself some room!

But that’s the thing about Athens; there’s really nothing like it in the rest of the world, where the ancient is so well incorporated with the new. The fact that it is a bustling, sprawling city in the tradition of its past is a part of its charm. Ruins peek out of the corner of your eyes whenever you go for a walk. Metro stations feature artefacts in glass cases, compelling you to stop and admire as you wait for the train. The food and music of tavernas serenade your senses, emanating with the knowledge that they have rightly lasted hundreds, maybe thousands of years. Athens is a cosmopolitan city, whose history draws visitors come from all corners of the globe; no wonder so many archaeologists congregate here, to be in a place so well connected to the past. I feel so lucky to have been a part of that community, even if it was just for a few months.

I have learned a lot by being an intern at the Canadian Institute in Greece. Just being here, rooming in the hostel and going to various lectures, I was exposed to so many archaeologists, and the current trends in Mediterranean archaeology. I enjoyed learning about topics like the celebrant reality of the Athenian Dionysia or the settlement patterns of post-146 BCE Corinth. The libraries here in Athens, from the Canadian to the American and British ones, have exposed me to so many books that I want to read when I have the chance. Even some in Greek, as being here has really helped in learning to decipher those “omegas” and “alphas”. I also really enjoyed socializing at the many events that the CIG put on, such as the Portal to the Past Launch or Canadian music recitals.

As for my work at the Canadian Institute, it has really prepared me for the workforce. I have never had a job before coming over to Athens, with the justification that I needed to concentrate on my studies… I found I was really selling myself short! I’m much better at scheduling my days now, when it comes to figuring out a balance between work and school. I spent at least 25 hours a week at the institute, working in my own office, doing various jobs, to help the institute run from day to day.

Some of the things I did were cataloguing, accessioning books for the CIG library, and scanning photographic negatives—skills that I can take with me when I go back home. At the beginning of the year, I accessioned hundreds of book, helped deliver packages and various other office jobs. Later on, I helped with data entry for the CIG’s digital database, the Portal, and also helped create a catalogue for David’s slide collection. Domestic jobs, though no less important, were doing the weekly laundry, welcoming new guests to the hostel, and catering for the events that the CIG put on—hopefully my sandwiches weren’t too bad!

When I wasn’t working in the Insitute, I was doing online classes with Wilfrid Laurier’s distance education program. I’m currently in my third year of undergrad, but I felt I could handle the workload, and it seems to be working well so far! Being here has also given me some ides as to where I want to go in my career as an archaeologist—I know for sure, for example, that I want to go to graduate school. Of course, I always made sure to make some time to explore the city as well, after my schoolwork was done. After all, I was taking a Greek history course, and what better way to study than by actually being in Athens itself?

During my stay with the Institute, I visited various archaeological sites and museums across Athens. This included the likes of the Keramikos, the Agora, the National Museum, and of course, the Acropolis. I really enjoyed this, since I got to see places and artefacts I had only seen in my textbooks. Things like the death mask of Agamemnon, the Antikythera device, and the Diplyon Vase. Places like Hadrian’s Arch, and of course, the Parthenon. The Acropolis in particular was a revelation to me, being able to experience what it must have been like to visit all those temples back in the Classical period. I’ve never had so much fun climbing up the side of a mountain before!

All in all, I’m leaving Athens with the sense that this internship really changed me. I no longer feel nervous or apprehensive about new experiences; I’ve lived away from home, made friends within the local population, and have done much more than I thought I could accomplish. From now on, when it comes to new experiences that come my way, I will face them head on, with the hopes that they will be just as enlightening as my time here in Athens at the Canadian Institute in Greece.

Sophie Goldberg,
Wilfrid Laurier University

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

CIG Holiday Recess

As the old year is coming to an end Jonathan and I wish to inform you that the Institute will close today at 1:00 pm for the annual Holiday Recess. We’ll reopen, rested and ready, on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

The winter/spring lecture program of the Institute will be announced in mid-January. For the Friends Association we have planned an excursion and art exhibits in the New Year.

With Jonathan off to the UK, Myles to the United States and Canada, and my family to Mt. Pelion we are all escaping from the grips of Athens for longer or shorter periods of time. Sophie has already returned to Canada and we look forward to welcoming the new undergraduate intern from the University of Waterloo.

For those whose Fridays would not be complete without a CIG blog do not despair! Next Friday Sophie will tell us all about her three months at the Institute and in Greece. Then for the first blog of the New Year, Myles will give us his considered critique of life in Athens during the fall. These literary treats will help you digest the holiday leftovers and recover from the optimistic celebrations.

Κάλες Γιόρτες!
David Rupp

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Fred Winter Collection

Ephesos, rebuilt, façade of the Celsus Library. (Professor Fred Winter 1982)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thoughts of Summer and a Lecture about the Jewish Community on Chios

It is December. It is cold and blustery in Athens. The holidays are almost upon us. What are we thinking of??? The summer 2014 field seasons, of course! November is a busy month at the Institute as we must prepare our applications for fieldwork and study for the coming summer that have been approved by the Institute's Permit Committee for submission to the Ministry of Culture by end of the month.

This year we have submitted applications for the continuation of the excavations at ancient Eleon in eastern Boeotia by the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP: Prof. Brendan Burke, University of Victoria) and at ancient Argilos in Macedonia by the Mission archéologique gréco-canadienne d’Argilos (MagA: Prof. Jacques Perreault, Université de Montréal, and Dr. Zisis Bonias, Ministry of Culture). Another renewal is for the continuation of the survey at Stelida on Naxos by the Stelida-Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP: Prof. Tristan Carter, McMaster University). We also hope to have a new survey project in the northwestern Argolid. Prof. Dimitri Nakassis (University of Toronto) and his team seek approval to investigate an area northwest of Argos with the Western Argolid Research Project (WARP). As SNAP did for the Cyclades, WARP will take the Institute, we hope, to a new region of Greece. The Kastro Kallithea Archaeological Project (KKAP) under the direction of Prof. Margriet Haagsma (University of Alberta) and Dr. Sophia Karapanou (15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities), having finished the excavation of Building 10, is seeking a study permit to analyze the finds for publication.

You can follow the work of all of these Institute projects in this blog in the summer, with my posts and those of our guest bloggers. Even better, you can go to our recently launched Portal to the Past (www.portal.cig-icg.gr), the Institute’s online, interactive digital archive of archaeological research conducted over the last 33 years. There you can check out what the research goals of each project are, where exactly they are conducting their fieldwork, who the researchers are on each project, the sources of their funding, what are the significant results of their work, the publications that have resulted from their research and analyses, and - most of all - images of their findings. So now is the time to review on the Portal what EBAP, MagA, SNAP and KKAP have accomplished over the years! You can see the earlier 14 projects of the Institute and the Frederick E. Winter B/W Negative Collection as well. What are you waiting for???

A lecture on the history of the Jewish community on Chios and a holiday party
Next Friday evening, the 13th, at 7:00 PM, the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaologikis Iperesias is sponsoring a lecture in Greek on the history of the Jewish community on the island of Chios under the rule of the Ottomans, from the 14th century until 1912. The illustrated lecture will be given by Valia Papanastasopoulou, a Ph.D. candidate in prehistoric archaeology at the University of Athens. The lecture will be at the Historical Archive at Psaromylingou 22, off Agion Asomaton on the border between Kerameikos and Psyrri. The Thisseio train station is the nearest Metro stop.

Immediately after the lecture the Syllogos Filon will hold its annual holiday party. Besides live music played on the Clavinova by a talented musician, there will be a North American style “potluck” dinner. You can contact me (drupp@brocku.ca) to see what you could bring to the festivities. Bring your friends too to make the occasion even merrier!

As this is a most challenging time for many people in Athens we will be collecting dry goods to give to one of the food banks in the city as well as collecting donations to give to Paidika Choria SOS.

David Rupp

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lecture and Recital by Krista Martynes

On Wednesday December 4th at 7:30 pm in the Institute’s Library Krista Martynes will give a lecture and recital entitled, “The Integration of Traditional Music in European and Canadian Composition”.

An accomplished classical and contemporary clarinetist as well as composer, Krista Martynes (www.kristamartynes.com) has performed with Orchestre des Régions Européennes, and at the 19th International Sacred Music Festival at the Abbaye de Sylvanes she was a featured composer as well as performing the works of such composers as Georges Aperghis, Pascal Dusapin, Gerard Pesson, Wolfgang Rhim, and Jorg Widmann. Krista has premiered major works at the Maison de la Musique in Nanterre and at the Theatre de Nantes, in France. She has also performed at the Musikprotokoll and Transart Festival in Italy, and the Klangspuren Festival in Austria. Her video commission from New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), was featured in the Sound Play Festival in Toronto. The works of the Greek avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis are part of her repertoire.

Krista will discuss the integration of traditional music in European and Canadian composition. To illustrate her points she will play selections from and pieces by the eccentric and avant-garde composer Count Giacinto Scelsi D’Ayala Valva, the non-conformist underground Russian composer Edison Denisov, the Pultzier Prize winning American composer Lang, and the Serbian composer, now living in Montreal, Ana Sokolovic. Canada, as a nation, has many different forms of "traditional" music based on the large immigrant community varying throughout the formation of the nation. Being a young nation, the standpoint of Canadian composition today includes a non-formalized relation back to Canadian roots, unlike those of different European countries. During this lecture, Krista will discuss the vast origins of the varied influence on oppositions in Canada and Europe.

So come and join us for this different kind of event and help us salute the upcoming holiday season.

David Rupp

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Fred Winter Collection

Aosta, detail of same gate-passage and portcullis groove. (Professor Fred Winter 1975)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Late Hellenistic Corinth as Seen from the Panayia Field

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens’ excavations at ancient Corinth over the past century have revealed many features of the public areas of this important city. In the last decade a new area to the southeast of the Forum, the Panayia Field, has opened up a window on a residential district with a broad road running through it that was here from 1st century BCE though the 12th century CE. This coming Wednesday, the 27th, at 7:30 pm in the Institute’s Library Professor Sarah James (University of Colorado at Boulder) will give a lecture entitled “Late Hellenistic Corinth: New Finds from the Panayia Field”. This is based on her recent doctoral dissertation for the University of Texas at Austin.

Excavations in the Panayia Field revealed a complex of Hellenistic structures with a mix of domestic and industrial activities that were in use from the 4th to 1st century BCE. One of the most spectacular finds was a floor deposit dated to ca. 125-75 BCE, which enabled the ever-growing picture of life in the city after 146 BCE to be further filled out. New and restudied evidence attests to the presence of an informal but permanent community of agriculturalists and craftsmen living in the heart of the city, who were responsible for small building projects, engaged in commercial activities, and had contact with imported products from the eastern and central Mediterranean. The neighboring city of Sikyon was well-positioned to profit from the political collapse of Corinth. Finds from the two cities indicate very close ties between them in this period. The results of this research are the re-discovery of Late Hellenistic Corinth and the creation of a vital link between the Greek and Roman phases of the city.

Sarah has her Honours BA in Anthropology and her MA in the History of Art (Ancient Studies Program) from the University of Toronto. She has dug at Stymphalos with Hector Williams’ University of British Columbia excavations there under the aegis of CIG.

Come join us and learn more about ancient Corinth.

David Rupp

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

An Appraisal of CIG's "Portal to the Past"

As our loyal readers will recall, on Wednesday evening, October 30th we opened the Institute’s Portal to the Past (www.portal.cig-icg.gr) to public use. On the occasion of the presentation I asked Dr. Agiatis Benardou (Research Associate in the Digital Curation Unit of the Athena Research Center in Athens) to give an appraisal of it from an external perspective. Afterwards, she consented to share her critique with the readers of this blog. What follow are Dr. Benardou’s thoughts on the features of the Portal and on its general significance within the wider world of cultural heritage portals.

“It was both an honour and a great pleasure to have been invited to speak about Portal to the Past on its launch on October 30th. It is an honour because it was only some short twelve years ago that, as an undergraduate in Ancient History, I worked briefly as a volunteer in the library of the Canadian Institute, which was, needless to say, a valuable experience."

"The great pleasure lies elsewhere, though. For the best part of my professional life I have been working in the field of the Digital Humanities. What does this mean? It means that I am trying to figure out ways in which technology and the ever-expanding digital world can support Humanities research. I am trying to understand and analyze the needs, the so-called User Requirements, of Humanities scholars, mainly Historians and Archaeologists, in order then for the developers to translate them into tools, services, databases, repositories and whatever else we ask them for."

"Do you know what the first and foremost User Requirement is? Make an educated guess! It is access to the material. Unhindered access to content, which will enable researchers to gather, view and make effective use of it. Going through Portal to the Past, I was pleasantly surprised by how much material is gathered there and how easy it is to search across multiple, distributed data sets, texts and images. Portal to the Past provides online access to dispersed archival as well as archaeological resources relating to material of the Institute all over Greece. Users stemming from multiple backgrounds and archaeological sub-disciplines, from Prehistory to much later periods, will interact with Portal to the Past asking all sorts of research questions, following diverse goals, building on dissimilar data and methodologies, and employing various entry-points into it."

"Which brings me now to the friendliness of the interface of the Portal. Those of you who have used portals to big volumes of content, you must have tried to fight against incomprehensible links, endless lists of vocabularies, broken connections between data. I was looking at Portal to the Past and I could not help noticing the architecture, how easy it is to navigate through it, how you can make both a structured navigation as well as browse and berry-pick information. This is particularly important for us archaeologists, as serendipitous discovery is one of the key methods employed within the activity of searching in archaeological research."

"Having spoken about content and interface, please allow me to introduce another concept, which is of equal importance to the previous ones - metadata. Metadata is the data about the data or, put more simply, the information which accompanies the content. For ages, we, researchers in Archaeology, have craved for rich, coherent, good-quality metadata. Metadata of course compliments the 'Content', it fleshes it out, but I must stress that it is a corpus of information in itself."

"Whoever has been to a museum must know what I am going to talk about now. You often stand in front of a great, a magnificent find, set within a glass frame, frequently with a short description in a tag below. You look at it, you admire it but cannot make any connections between this object and the one right next to it. There is no context which sets a common background to them, allowing you to draw a more complete and thus coherent picture about both of those objects. Sometimes the same stands with archaeological material within portals. There is no contextualization. I was going through Portal to the Past and was impressed at how this issue has been addressed. There is no stand-alone object, map, image, or body of text within it. No piece of data that does not belong to a greater family of information. This in itself is a very significant contribution to the research community: The bigger picture."

"Last but not least, in my work we have noticed that about two thirds of respondents in various surveys we have conducted in the area of user behaviour in Archaeology have stated that they would be interested to find out about others’ current research work. This is surprising, but true. Also, almost as many have stated that they would be prepared to share interesting resources and information on their own work with others, and that they would like to publish jointly with others. I strongly believe that Portal to the Past will encourage and enhance collaboration and joint work in the field of Greek Archaeology, and to me this is one of its major contributions to researchers. The more we show people what open access can offer, the more they will make of it, the more fascinating research goals they will be setting."

"I would like to close this short review by thanking the Canadian Institute in Greece. I want to thank you personally for inviting me to speak at the launch and I would also like to thank you on behalf of the entire archaeological research community for offering us this great online archive. Thank you.”

So, if you have not already visited the Portal, Dr. Benardou’s observations should inspire you to go to it now to see if you agree with her assessment of what the Institute has made available online relating to Greek Archaeology! Please let us know what you think of it and why.

David Rupp

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Fred Winter Collection

Side, views of the sand-drited sections of the Land Walls. (Professor Fred Winter 1968).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Two lectures of interest this coming week

The first Institute lecture this autumn will take place this coming Wednesday, November 13th at 7:30 pm. As the speaker, Professor Margriet Haagsma (University of Alberta) is held in high esteem by both the Canadian Institute in Greece and the Netherlands Institute at Athens (NIA; where she held the position of Director and participated on their excavation at New Halos in Thessaly) this special joint lecture will be held at the Library of the NIA at Odos Makri 11 in Makriyianni (Metro: Akropolis).

Prof. Haagsma was kind to share with us a preview of the lecture entitled, “Cities and Sustainability: Reflections on Household Management in New Halos, Thessaly”.” This household archaeology approach informs the Canadian Institute's excavation of Building 10 at Kastro Kallithea, to the west of New Halos, directed by Prof. Haagsma.

The sustainable city is a hot topic today but not a new one; philosophers like Aristotle and Plato suggested ways of organizing the ideal city for sustainability. Engineers and architects in ancient Greece devised sophisticated city plans, defensive structures and road systems. Wealthy citizens donated impressive architectural monuments to adorn the urban landscape or financially contributed to them. But to what extent was the urban population able to maintain a city’s infrastructure and amenities? Prof. Haagsma will present a case study from New Halos in Thessaly, a city founded in 302 BCE under Macedonian influence, in which she will consider sustainability through the lens of the basic social and economic unit of the city: the household (oikos).

The Catholic pilgrims and churches of the Venetian Period at Herakleio, Crete
I have been remiss so far this fall in informing my readers of the lectures of the 2013/14 lecture program of the Association of Friends of the Historical Archive of the Hellenic Archaeological Service. The third lecture will take place this Monday, November 11th at 6:30 pm at the Historical Archive on Psaromilingou 22, on the edge of Kerameikos and Psyrri (Train: Thisseio).

The Church of San Marco, Herakleio
The lecture in Greek, «Οι Άγιοι Τόποι της ενετικής Κρήτης», will be given by Dr. Maria Georgopoulou, the Director of the Gennadeius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Drawing from archival and other historical sources, travellers’ accounts and archaeological research Dr. Georgopoulou will examine the “sacred landscape” of Candia (modern Herakleio) during the Venetian occupation (1211-1669 CE). Many of the Catholic (Latin) churches of the city were considered to be important places for pilgrimages. The churches preserved the relics of the saints and icons which combined in a masterly fashion Venetian and Byzantine elements and artistic styles.

Icon of Mesopanditissa with jewels
So, if your intellectual tastes tend toward Hellenistic settlements and households or Venetian churches and icons in Crete next week is an important one! The stars are with you, at last!!!

Have you visited yet our new Portal to the Past at: www.portal.cig-icg.gr? Don’t be the last one on your block to do so!

David Rupp

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Portal to the Past is Live! And a Canadian Film Night

Canadian Ambassador Robert Peck
Kalo Mina!

On Wednesday evening at the Italian Archaeological School’s auditorium the CIG Portal to the Past was unveiled to the public. After over a year’s efforts by a diligent and enthusiastic team, the dream of the Canadian Ambassador Robert Peck for a “virtual photograph exhibition” and my goal of creating a digital archive for the Institute came forth as the Portal. It is now open to the public at: www.portal.cig-icg.gr . In the medium term it will become trilingual, with the French and the Greek versions comparable to the present English one. The Portal will be a living entity in that it will be added to on a regular basis, with additional materials from older projects, more imagery from the Frederick Winter B/W Negative Collection, the latest material from each year’s fieldwork and the work of new projects. Other collections of images relating to Greek archaeology are contemplated as well.

Eduardo Moura
The program included welcoming remarks from Ambassador Peck and from Mr. Eduardo Moura, the Vice-President and General Manager (Greece) of the Eldorado Gold Corporation from Vancouver. The Eldorado Gold Corporation provided the financial support for the undertaking. I then presented the Portal, first putting it into the context of the mission of the Institute and our long standing desire to share the wealth of archaeological information from our 18 fieldwork projects over the past 33 years with a wide audience both in Canada and in Greece. Next I showed off the content of the Portal as well as the many user-friendly features included in the platform. Dr. Agiatis Benardou, Research Associate in the Digital Curation Unit of the Athena Research Center here in Athens, gave a nuanced appraisal of the Portal’s objectives, their manner of delivery and how it compares to other cultural heritage portals. She has agreed to share her remarks shortly in a guest blog!

Agiatis Benardou
Although the event was not live streamed it was videoed by Chris Stewart. This will be posted on our YouTube channel by the end of the month. At the reception afterwards at the Swedish Institute our guests were able to test the Portal and to discuss the whole issue of sharing archaeological data online.

At the reception
So now is the time to go to www.portal.cig-icg.gr to give the Portal a complete test drive! Afterwards you should set up links to the Portal on your favorite websites so that the world can find it when they are searching for archaeological information from Greece.

Canadian film night is back!
Our first event of the fall for our Athens Association of Friends of CIG is on the coming Wednesday, November 6th at 7:30 pm at the Institute’s Library. We are featuring the 2002 Canadian film “Men with Brooms”. This offbeat comedy, centered on curling, tells the story of a reunited team from a small Ontario town, north of Toronto, which longs for the glory of the big win at the “Golden Broom” that they sought ten years earlier but various personal issues had intervened on. It was directed (and performed in) by Paul Gross, with Molly Parker, Leslie Nielsen, Conner Price, plus others. While south of the border this gentle comedy received mixed reviews, in the True North it was appreciated for its wry take on Canadian sensibilities, the “sport” of curling and its sound track that includes songs from The Tragically Hip, Kathleen Edwards, The New Pornographers and Our Lady Peace, among others.

So come with your popcorn and jellybeans to share this fun evening of Canadian Content with us!

David Rupp