Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Leontinoi, early ashlar walls overlooking valley between S. Mauro and Metapiccola, Nos. 17, 18 and 26 with masons' marks (Professor Fred Winter, 1968)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Celebrating 40 years of CIG and highlighting our continuing presence in the field

Now two weeks ago today we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the official recognition of the Institute by the Ministry of Culture. The two-day Colloquium started by welcoming remarks from Prof. Angus Smith (Brock University) as the President of the Board of Directors of the Institute, then a video message from the Canadian Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Kieth Morrill, and finally a succinct overview of the Institute's many contributions to Greek archaeology by Dr. Maria Vlasaki, the General Secretary of the Helenic Ministry of Culture and Sport. Afterwards there were a long series of papers relating to the results of the fieldwork since 1980. Our projects and researchers have accomplished many things in the space of 36 years in the field. We continue to support fieldwork that is changing the our understanding of the "Archaeologies of Greece". 

To see in person what our current archaeological projects with a fieldwork permit from the Ministry of Culture and Sport are doing Jonathan and I (together or separately) visit each one, usually every summer. Last week on Tuesday we journeyed to the Argolid. In the Inochos river valley to the northwest of Argos the Western Argolid Regional Project [WARP] is in their third and final season of intensive pedestrian survey of a 30,000 ha research zone. Dimitri Nakassis (University of Toronto) took us to three sites with good views of the surrounding valley and hilly flanks to assist in explaining the variable distribution of the artifact evidence and which concentrations probably represented "sites" and their probable span of occupation. The recording, management, analysis and display of the resulting large data sets would not be possible without the use of GIS.

We then went to their apotheke in Argos to see the finds. Scott Gallimore (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Sarah James (University of Colorado at Boulder) were working on analyzing the finds from this summer and from the their first year in the field. We had an opportunity to chat with the students assisting with the work. It appears that that the closeness to the major settlement of the region over time, which was always focused on/around Argos, has affected the level and nature of occupation in the valley.
Ancient Eleon in eastern Boiotia was our next destination on Wednesday the 15th. As the days were getting much hotter Brendan Burke (University of Victoria) and Bryan Burns (Wellesley College) showed us around the excavation of the hoped-for northern end of the Blue Stone Structure. This was a rectangular enclosure constructed in LH I to delimit the area where a series of burials in cist graves were inserted. After its use a low tumulus of earth was formed over it to mark the location. Certainly in the 14th through 12th centuries BC this area was respected and later structures were not built on it. The number of new walls being revealed around this enclosure is impressive. Their ongoing work at the site as part of the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project [EBAP] is a synergasia with Dr. Alexandra Harami the Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Boiotia.

Just below the akropolis at Eleon on the edge of the village of Arma EBAP uses a building for the conservation, study and drawing of the ceramics found in the excavation. Bartek Lis and Trevor Van Damme gave us an indepth presentation of the different Mycenaean and imported ceramics that have come from the Northwest and Southwest sectors as well as the Archaic/Classical votive materials from the Southwest Sector. The quality of these vessels from domestic contexts dating mainly to LH IIIA2 and LH IIIC is impressive. I enjoyed seeing my former student at Brock, Tina Ross, as she is the principal artifact illustrator for the project.

Finally, this past Wednesday I made a "surgical strike" on the Stelida-Naxos Archaeological Project's [SNAP] excavations on the lovely island of Naxos. In the 3+ hours that I had before boarding the boat back to Piraeus Tristan Carter (McMaster University) showed me all of this year's and last year's test trenches on the western side of the steep hill of Stelida along with the fossilized dune deposits on the shoreline. In the walkabout I was, thus, able to talk with all of the hardy diggers who are toiling away in the hot sun. The excavation has documented the exploitation of the massive quartzite outcrop that is the core of the hill from at least the end of the Lower Palaeolithic through the Mesolithic periods. The excavation phase of the project is a synergasia with Dr. Demetrios Athanssoulis, the Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades.

The depth of the sediments on the hillside and the various geomorphological processes that created the complex stratigraphy revealed by the sondages is an eye-opener. The sheer quantity of quarrying debris, cores and tool preforms that is spread all over the slopes is amazing. The team is hoping to find in situ cultural strata so they can employ various scientific dating techniques that will give them absolute dates BP for the different cultural horizons seen in the chipped stone material that has been recovered.

In early July I will fly up to Thessaloniki from Crete so that I can visit our excavations at ancient Argilos near Amphipolis. Stay tuned for my reactions to their very interesting finds!

Each of our fieldwork projects will submit a guest blog on aspects of their summer's work for posting during our annual recess in August. CIG is always close to you!

David Rupp

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Rome, Forum of Augustus, detail and general views of the columns of temple of Mars Ultor (Professor Fred Winter, 1971)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Kos, Asklepieion, lower terrace from NE to SW, with upper and middle terraces beyond (Professor Fred Winter, 1971)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Lindos, central portion of the lower stoa, with column screen and great stairway (Professor Fred Winter, 1971)

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Colloquium Celebrating CIG at 40

In 1976 the Hellenic Ministry of Culture recognized officially the then Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens as one of the foreign archaeological schools and institutes in Greece. In 1980 an archaeological project from McGill University, under the direction of Prof. John Fossey, began to survey and to excavate at the site of Khostia in southwestern Booetia. In the intervening years 19 other projects have taken the field with a permit from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture under the auspices of the Canadian Institute in Greece.

To mark this milestone in the history of the Institute there will be a Colloquium on Friday, June 10th and Saturday, the 11th at the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens (Odos Parthenonos 14 in the Makriyianni District). The title of the Colloquium is, From Maple to Olive: A Colloquium to Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Institute in Greece”. Over two full days (for the full program and times see: www.cig-icg.gr) there will be papers on the Institute’s many projects and on other archaeological research in Greece by Canadian scholars and their international collaborators.

I invite all of you to join us in this exposition on the varied contributions of the members of the Institute to Greek archaeology over the past 40 years.

David Rupp