Friday, December 30, 2016

Student, Intern, or Traveller? A Report on my Internship at the CIG

The past three months have been a whirlwind of new and exciting experiences. I have had the pleasure of acting as the Intern at the Canadian Institute in Greece for the Fall semester on behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University. Over the past three months, I worked to complete my tasks at the CIG, complete two online courses offered through WLU, and take advantage of my time in this country trying to see as many things as possible. Being granted this opportunity I have had the chance to immerse myself in Athenian culture and visit many of the archaeological sites that I have learned so much about in school. This internship has allowed me to gain a first-hand perspective into many aspects of archaeology that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to experience. Studying ancient Greek archaeology in a classroom is vastly different than getting out and actually seeing the temples and artifacts for myself. This internship has provided me with valuable connections, skills, and experiences that have greatly contributed to my passion for archaeology and left me with a desire to pursue the aspects I enjoy the most.

I had a variety of tasks that I completed throughout my internship at the CIG. Namely, I worked on the digitization of the Khostia Archive. In my first week, I was handed two large accordion style folders containing documents from the almost 40 year old archaeological project and it was my job to scan and electronically file each and every one. I was tasked with the responsibility of creating a unique system with which to name each individual file as it was scanned so it could be systematically stored. My problem solving skills and patience were put to the test as I developed a 20-digit coding system to name all 3074 documents. After countless hours of scanning spaced throughout my three months, I managed to complete the digitization of the Khostia archive and was also able to physically organize the records. One of my roles as the intern was to assist in the facilitation of the Fall lecture events hosted by the CIG. It was my responsibility to prepare the food, with the help of the fellows of course, and pour drinks at the reception. I met many great people at these events and heard many talks on a variety of interesting topics.

Throughout my time in Greece, I have been fortunate enough to travel to some of the important archaeological sites as well as visit six islands. In Athens, I visited all the major sites including the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora, the Roman Forum, and Hadrian’s Library, among many others. Of course, I couldn’t just leave it at that and made stops at many of the fantastic museums hosted by this city. My favourite museum to visit was the National Archaeological Museum where I pushed my way through the crowd to see the infamous mask of Agamemnon and the boxing boys fresco. Since I mentioned in my original blog post that I had aspirations of visiting some of the Greek islands, I just had to carry this out to the next level and ended going to a total of six islands. The first island I visited was Mykonos where I met up with a fellow Laurier Goldenhawk who took me scuba diving for the first time. While on Mykonos I took advantage of its proximity to the island of Delos and made the trip to visit the archaeological site. I was blown away by the sheer size and beautiful location of the site and found myself running around in awe.

The next island I visited was the picturesque Santorini where I went full out tourist and rented an ATV, went cliff jumping (even though it was almost November), and watched the sunrise over Oia. Of course, I couldn’t miss the opportunity and visited the Bronze Age site of Akrotiri. Somehow, I found the time to make day trips to the Islands of Aegina and Hydra. I rented another ATV on Aegina and raced around the island visiting the Byzantine ghost town of Paleochora, the Temple of Aphaia, and the beach to go swimming. In my last efforts to squeeze everything in before I have to unfortunately return to snowy Canada, I ventured to Crete. On my three day adventure, I tried to visit as many things as possible and was able to see the Minoan Palaces of Knossos and Malia, as well as the Venetian fortress in Heraklion and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Despite the fact that it was December, I managed to go for one last swim in the Mediterranean Sea at a deserted beach in Malia. I was also fortunate enough to make trips to visit the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio, Delphi, and Ancient Corinth, thanks to one of the Fellows, Mark.

Throughout my time in Greece I have had the opportunity to further explore my love for archaeology and delve into aspects that I had not yet pursued. My internship at the Canadian Institute taught me many valuable skills, especially how to carefully balance school, work, and leisure. I could not have asked for a better overall experience. I have learned so much throughout my time here and have been able to meet so many great people. I will always remember the memories I made here as well as the people I shared them with. I would like to express my thanks towards Jonathan Tomlinson and David Rupp for providing me with this internship, as well as Dr. Schaus for granting me this opportunity.

Ailidh Hathway
Wilfrid Laurier University, Fall Intern 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Taranto Museum, panel from large mosaic with lion and horse (lion very poorly done) (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Short but Productive Semester Studying CIG (Ceramics-In-Graves) at the CIG

This proved to be an exciting and full semester for me as one of the two Elisabeth Alföldi-Rosenbaum Fellows at the CIG. Arriving on September 1st, I immediately set to the task of researching my project for this semester – the ceramic burial vessels recovered from four trial trenches on Corinth’s so-called Hill of Zeus, excavated by the American School of Classical Studies in 1933. Learning how to deal with the material and records associated with an 83-year old excavation proved to be a challenging puzzle, but one that I took up with enthusiasm. The regional sources of most of my pottery, the implications for the topography of Late Roman Corinth, and the opportunity to apply some of my knowledge as a (novice) studio ceramicist were all features of my lecture on December 7. I was pleased to have so many attend and I enjoyed what was truly a rewarding Q&A session!

My work on the Hill of Zeus pottery was punctuated with various other projects and trips this semester. In late September I participated in the 30th Congress of the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (RCRF) in Lisbon, Portugal, where I presented a poster (which I’m also transforming into an article). My focus was on the theme of ceramic regionalism within the context of a globalized Roman world, using material from my dissertation which was based on the Late Roman pottery from the Panayia Field, Corinth. Lisbon is a beautiful city, and the conference provided the opportunity to visit the Roman industrial site of Troia where staggering amounts of fish products were processed and shipped throughout the Empire in amphorae (which we were also given the opportunity to handle!). My conference in Lisbon was followed by a brief visit to Canada for a dear friend’s wedding – a whirlwind trip that was well worth the jet lag! A trip to Rome for five days in late November also allowed the opportunity to see some different sights, as well as familiar faces.
One of the best parts about this semester was the opportunity to spend time in Athens again, one of my favourite cities. It was nice to go back and revisit the amazing sights and museums, as well as some of the restaurants I fell in love with during my previous visits here. For me, Greek food is comfort food, but when I’m in the mood to cook, the fresh produce at the local laiki never disappoints. My attempts to minimize the massive amounts of spinach or potatoes that the vendors are inclined to pack into your bag (one man can only eat so much in a single week!) got increasingly better as I attempted to put to use the skills I’ve been acquiring this semester in my Greek lessons. Interesting lectures are also never difficult to find in Athens, and, of course, there was always the opportunity to make new friends from the various foreign schools while playing darts at the Red Lion every Tuesday!

Living at the CIG and assisting with the preparations for lectures gave me an inside look of the day-to-day operations of a foreign institute in Athens, while my library skills were tested through the accessioning of recent acquisitions in numerous different languages. I’m pleased to say that our catalogue of used books for this January’s book sale is ready to go, although I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be here to bid on some of the treasures that are awaiting new owners. Although I’ll be taking a position at Penn State this spring, you can be sure that I will be catching the live-streaming of the exciting spring lecture series that I know David and Jonathan have planned. Thank you all!

Mark Hammond
Elisabeth Alföldi-Rosenbaum Fellow, CIG

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Taranto Museum, moasic with Abduction scene (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kales Yiortes kai Kali Xronia!

The Holidays are upon us! As of 13:00 today the Institute is closed for two weeks. We will resume our work and activities on Monday, January 2nd at 09:00.

Aidlih is already back in Canada. Mark is leaving shortly for North America. Keven departs on Sunday for Canada. Jonathan and Amelie will be in England and Metaxia and I in Arkadia. It is a time to relax, recharge and spend time with family and friends. The challenges, surprises and achievements of 2017 await us and the Institute when we return.

Tou xronou me agape kai hygeia!!!
David Rupp

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Labraynda, large masonry tomb SE of temple (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, December 9, 2016

An Athenianographer's Delight

The modern city of Athens is probably best known to the readers of this blog as the geographical location of the urban core of the ancient city-state of Athens which encompassed all of the region of Attica. The Akropolis, the Agora, the Kerameikos, the Pynx, the Mouseion, the Roman Agora, the Library of Hadrian, as well as the other areas and monuments are what epitomize this city for the visitor at least. However, as one moves away from the ancient nucleus the “archaeologies” become fewer and less densely packed in the modern city that has sprawled around since Athens became the capital of the new state in 1834. At some point there are no discernable antiquities to be seen.

For many, this modern urbanscape is simply something to move through quickly and endure while wanting to do something else. The fact that modern Athens has not just expanded but has evolved and changed in major episodes through the past 180 years or so is mostly lost on the unreflective individual. One of the seminal periods for the creation of the present urbanscape was the famous Mesopolemos era or Interwar period from around 1920 to the start of WW II in 1940. The Balkan Wars, the Asia Minor catastrophe, the influx of large numbers of refugees, the political conflicts between the royalists and the Venezelists, the dictatorship of Metaxas among other phenomena set the stage for a meteoric transformation of the city.

On Monday, December 12th Prof. Dimitris N. Karidis, Professor Emeritus of the History of Architecture at the National Metsovian Technical University of Athens will give the third lecture in the 2016-2017 Lecture Program of the Σύλλογος Φίλων του Ιστορικού Αρχείου της Αρχαιολογικής Υπηρεσίας, entitled, «Τα χέρια πάνω από την πόλη. Μοντερνισμός και εκσυγχρονισμός στην Αθήνα του μεσοπολέμου».

Using various archival sources, architectural theses and manifestos, planning documents, archaeological discoveries, infrastructure projects, apartment building construction and contemporary socioeconomic developments Prof. Kardis, as an architect and urban historian, will examine the roles of “modernism” and “modernization” in the context of a resurgent traditionalism in the architectural transformation of the city during these two decades. So for all of you out there who consider themselves at least amateur “Athenianographers” and not simply topographers of ancient Athens this lecture will expand your knowledge of a significant part of the central core of the city that is still standing, after the relentless demolition and apartment building construction from the late 1950s to the earlier 2000s.

The Lecture will take place in the Library of the Canadian Institute in Greece starting at 19:00. The public is welcome.

NB A milestone reached

In the past five years since the advent of this blog I have written, if my count is correct, now 200 blogs! This milestone of communications is a remarkable accomplishment I may add (in all modesty, of course)!

Kales Yiortes
David Rupp

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Fred Winter Collection

Telmessos, group of tombs to the E of Amyntas Tomb (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, December 2, 2016

New Light on an Old Excavation

For a variety of reasons not every excavation that is conducted gets properly studied, let alone properly published. This is a world-wide phenomenon, alas. Most of these orphans disappear from the institutional memory of a site, a region or an organization after a few decades, even if they could be significant discoveries. These are the “cold cases” of archaeological research buried in the files.

Every now and then an archaeologist stumbles in on the storerooms of the artifact remains of these lost efforts. On occasion he or she takes an interest in reopening the investigation of such a long-forgotten dig to see what can be learned by studying the finds. On Wednesday, December 7th Dr. Mark D. Hammond (the Elisabeth Alföldi-Rosenbaum Fellow at the Canadian Institute in Greece this fall) will present his research on one such cold case from the archives of the long-running excavation project of the ASCSA at ancient Corinth. The title of his lecture is, “From the Kiln to the Grave: The Early Excavations of a Late Roman Cemetery on the Hill of Zeus, Corinth”.

In 1933 the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, attempting to locate a temple dedicated to Zeus, dug four trial trenches on the so-called “Hill of Zeus”region in ancient Corinth. Instead, they uncovered part of a large Early Christian cemetery to the west of the Asklepieion. The results of these excavations were never published but a new study aims to contextualize this material both within the cemetery and for Late Roman Corinth generally. Although working with an 83-year old excavation poses various challenges, the first stage of the study, focused on the ceramics recovered from the graves, is revealing important results. Detailed examination of the vessels themselves is providing insight into the manufacturing practices that produced them as well as their intended (and unintended) use in the grave. Further, a careful consideration of the fabrics together with comparative analyses place the vessels within pre-established local, regional, and long-distance networks. This study offers as well some refinements to the chronology of the cemetery.

So please join us on the 7th at 19:30 in the Library of the Institute to see how an archaeological cold case becomes hot! Afterwards we will do our part to welcome the start of the holiday season with appropriate tasty treats. At the same time you can join us in bidding a fond farewell to Ailidh Hathway, our Wilfrid Laurier University undergraduate intern for the past three months.

David Rupp