Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

Syracuse, Euryalos Fort, scarp of inner ditch and Battery from interval to middle ditch (Professor Fred Winter, 1957)

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Iron Age Royal Tombs of Salamis on Cyprus: What Exactly Did They Represent?

In the mid-1960s Vassos Karageorghis, then the Director of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus, excavated outside the line of the defensive fortifications of ancient Salamis a series of spectacular Iron Age burials in built chamber tombs. These so-called “megalithic” tombs were constructed and used/reused from the early 8th through early 6th centuries BC. The cemetery was labelled by Karageorghis as the ”Royal Necropolis” and various features were thought to reflect the burial rites described in the Iliad (23) for Patroklos. This was one of the major discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean at the time. Two other, nearby on the plateau, later cemeteries were excavated as well at Cellarka and Koufomeron. Here were smaller, less elaborate rock-cut burial structures and grave offerings from the Cypro-Archaic and Cypro-Classical periods.

After the formal publication of this cemetery along with a general overview much has been written about the tombs, their burial assemblages and the meanings for the Iron Age city kingdom of Salamis over the years. Among these was one that I published in 1988 where I argued that these burials were of the first kings of the city kingdom of Salamis. The conspicuous display of wealth, imported exotica and military gear deposited in the impressive wide dromoi which were often lined with ashlar blocks I saw as bold statements of legitimacy and power by an ascendant elite that had created at the beginning of the 8th century BC a new form of political authority. This argument for secondary state formation on Cyprus was not received well by those scholars who believed that the Iron Age city kingdoms of the island were formed in the 11th century BC by the descendants of the presumed immigrants from the Aegean basin.

One of the more thoughtful, measured responses to my study was published in 2010 by Dr. Nicholas Blackwell, the present Assistant Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. When he came to Athens almost three years ago we talked about our differing views on these unique tombs and the idea that he should give a lecture at Institute to continue this crucial debate about Iron Age Cyprus. On Wednesday, April 29th at 19:30 in the Institute’s Library he will give a lecture entitled “Competitive and Emulative Mortuary Behavior on Early Iron Age Cyprus”. In his lecture he will revisited his arguments concerning the nature and meanings of the Royal Tombs as well to place them more fully in a wider mortuary context of the contemporary burial assemblages at Salamis and in the cemeteries from other city kingdoms on the island. At the end of his presentation I will offer my reactions and thoughts on his expanded arguments within the context of my continuing opinion that such tombs and burial assemblages on the island along with other data sets are physical indications of a significant change to greater complexity in the sociopolitical organization of the island. This was not simply the extravagant display by a new lineage of kings at Salamis as some have argued.

Come to see the scholarly fireworks before your very eyes!!!

David Rupp

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

Syracuse, Epipolai W Gate, steps up to parodos on S (Professor Fred Winter, 1957)

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Archaeology of Yesterday: What a Collection of Folk Pottery Can Tell Us About the Past

In the course of my wanderings around Greece I have been fascinated by the traditional potteries that still survive in places such as the island of Sifnos and in central Crete.  My interest in ceramic production was based as well on the excavation that I led in the 1980s of an early 19th-century red earthenware pottery kiln and workshop in Jordan, Ontario.

The contemporary ceramic production traditions in the Aegean basin have their origins in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Outstanding specimens are found today in Greek museums specializing in artisan crafts such as the Benaki Museum and the Vasilis Kyriazopoulos Folk Ceramics Museum in the former mosque on Monastiraki Square. A broader treatment of the potting industry is the subject of the Museum of Traditional Pottery on Melidoni Street in the Kerameikos District.

On Monday, April, 20th at 6:30 PM Yorgos Kyriakopoulos will share his passion for traditional ceramics in the Aegean basin from 1700 through 1950 in an illustrated lecture. The title of Kyriakopoulos’ presentation is «Η Αρχαιολογια του Χθες: Με αφορμη μια συλλογν νεωτερων κεραμικων και ενα φωτογραφικο αρχειο». He has been collecting and studying traditional or “folk” pottery since he was 13. The result of his considerable efforts is a collection with 3,700 vessels, 6,000 sherds and an archive with 7,500 photographs. Kyriakopoulos has also conducted tens of interviews with potters. He is especially interested in the relationship of the vessel forms to the foods and beverages prepared, produced, cooked, served or stored in them. In the context of making his collection he has sought to interpret food ways reflected in the vessels with the manner of life over the past three centuries.

The lecture is part of the 2014-2015 Lecture Program of the Συλλογος Φιλων του Ιστορικου Αρχειου τνς Αρχαιολογικις Υπερεσιας. The lecture will be held at the Historical Archive building at Psaromylingou 22, on the cusp between the Kerameikos and the Psyrri Districts. The Theseio Train station is the nearest Metro system stop.

David W. Rupp

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Greek Experience

After recently completing my Master’s degree at Brock University in June of 2014 and being in the process of applying to PhD programs, I was looking for a way to remain active within the Classics field.  My professors in the Department of Classics at Brock University suggested the internship program at the Canadian Institute in Greece. This sounded like a wonderful opportunity and I promptly applied. I was thrilled when they offered me the opportunity and spent the fall preparing for my long stay in Athens, Greece.

I arrived in Athens on Sunday, January 10th, 2015 in the evening and rested from my long travel and began the internship the next day, Monday, January 11th, 2015. After a brief introduction to the Institute, I was put to work organizing and updating the library. My main tasks were to ensure that the monographs are in order properly based on their Library of Congress numbers and to make certain that all the information in the CIG’s catalogue matched the information on the monographs in the library. This was extensive work and took up the majority of my time here. I also couriered the CIG’s latest publication to various institutions around Athens, which proved to be a bit of an adventure when I found myself lost near the Victoria metro station.

In addition to my work in the library of the CIG, I attended various academic lectures at the British School, the American School, the French School, the Finnish Institute, and the Swedish Institute. This allowed me to remain up to date on some of the current research and projects in Greece and the Classics field, and to meet many different academics from different parts of the world. As a Roman historian primarily, I learned quite a bit about archaeological projects in Greece and some new and exciting interpretations of many ancient sites. I also visited a great majority of the museums in Athens and a majority of the sites. The most notable Athenian sites for me are the Acropolis, Olympeion, Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lyceum, and the stadium. I also took part in the weekly gathering of academics at the famous Red Lion pub to play darts and socialize with various people. This was always a great opportunity to unwind and get to know people from the various institutions in Athens.

In addition to my Athenian exploits, I attempted to travel as much as I was able outside of Athens. My first excursion was to Sounio where I visited the Temple of Poseidon. The atmosphere was absolutely stunning and the Temple was perfectly placed on a cliff overlooking the deep blue sea. The temple is in relatively good condition and well worth a visit! I next visited Delphi, one of if not the most important site of the ancient world. After visiting, I can see why it was so important and it truly is the perfect place for a massive sanctuary. The stadium, Athenian treasury, and Temple of Apollo are well preserved, generally, and the views from the sanctuary of the surrounding mountains are unparalleled. The Kastalian spring, sanctuary of Athena, and the museum are wonderful sites as well. During my travels I made sure to visit Aegina, a small island about 40-50 minutes by hydrofoil from Athens and very easy to get to. Visiting Aegina is a chance to experience the Greek islands without traveling too far from the city. There I visited the site of Kolonna and the temple of Aphaia which are situated with a perfect view of the sea and mountainsides. Finally, I visited Corinth, a necessity for a Roman historian in Greece. The site is not as impressive as Delphi, but the ruins are quite spectacular. The remains of shops and mosaics on the walls, as well as the forum and Temple of Apollo are quite impressive. Also, again the site is situated with a wonderful view of the mountains that surround it. Coming from Ohio, I am not often exposed to hills and mountains and the landscape of Greece is certainly that! A taste of this can be found on Lykavittos in Athens which provides a stunning view of Athens as far as the eye can see.

In addition to the landscape and the wonderful historical sites, I was most impressed with the large academic community within Athens. Every week throughout the year there are many academic events and lectures to keep those interested in ancient Greek and Roman history, archaeology, literature, and art satisfied. These events serve an educational function, but also allow people to meet other academics and people interested in Classics. The food in Greece and the culture is also marvelous and not at all what I’m used to in Ohio. I enjoy the relaxed, casual attitude of a majority of Greeks and the often personal way with which they treat everybody.

I am grateful to the Department of Classics at Brock University, without which I would not have had this opportunity, and the Canadian Institute in Greece for allowing me the opportunity to work and live here in Athens. This experience had added new skills to my repertoire and was a valuable opportunity to meet fellow academics and visit the sites I’ve read about all too often. Hopefully I will be starting my PhD this fall and will have the opportunity to return t Greece in the near future.

Tessa Little
Brock University graduate intern

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

Paestum, posterns in E wall N of the E Gate (Professor Fred Winter, 1957)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Kalo Mina!

Today at 1:00 PM we will start our annual Pascha recess. The Institute will reopen on Monday, April 20th at 9:00 AM. We will be looking forward to an Institute Lecture on April 29th and the Annual Open Meeting on May 13th.

Tessa Little, our graduate intern from Brock University will return to North America after three months of diligently putting our Library into proper order. On Megali Paraskevi you can read about her experiences and adventures in her guest blog. S’efharistoume para para poli Tessa!!!

Lana Radloff is also heading for North America in part to give a paper at conference at Pennsylvania State University. Go Lana!

Jonathan is making his annual pilgrimage to Yorkshire, this time where he will marry Amelie. While I don’t think that he will livestream the ceremony and the reception afterwards, his Facebook page should fill in all of the details and then some. We wish him and Amelie a long and felicitous marriage!!!

The Tsipopoulou-Rupps will not venture beyond Greece’s borders. Athens and Crete will keep us busy, indeed.

Kalo Pascha se olous!!!
David Rupp