Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Closing Time Again! Digging Petras

The summer is at it mid-point and that means that the Institute is going to close for its annual August Recess today Monday, July 31st. We reopen for an active fall on Friday, September 1st. Cana has just returned to Canada after 3 months with us. Jonathan and Amelie are vacationing in northern Greece and in England. And Metaxia and I will be in Crete and in the Cyclades.

My summer in the trenches

For the past month I have been digging once again at my wife’s ongoing excavation of the Pre- and Proto-Palatial house tomb cemetery at Petras immediately to the east of Siteia in eastern Crete. As the excavation of the cemetery is nearing completion I have been tackling problems relating to the use of the plateau over its long time span. Thus, so far I have excavated an Early Bronze Age II primary burial under a later house tomb, attempted to date more accurately an area in between several house tombs, determined the lowest course of an external platform bordering on Ceremonial Area 2, and excavated a space to reveal the nature of the use of a room dating to the LM III period. No doubt more assignments will come in the final week. The finds and the importance of the results have varied from area to area as is always the case in field archaeology. Frequently more digging generates more questions, rather than providing information for the sought-after answers.

The weather has ranged from cloudy, fall-like to very hot and windless. For the most part the northern winds have blown and the temperatures have been bearable for digging 8 hours in the sun, five days a week. As I did last year I’ve recorded the daily life, activities and personalities of the excavation via posts on my Instagram account (grubbyminoan) with the hashtag #petras2017 (for last year it was #petras2016). I welcome your visits and likes!

The hardworking crew this year included Greek and Spanish graduate students as well as a Ph.D. candidate from Ireland. For part of the season five undergraduate students from Rhodes College in Tennessee dug with us under the supervision of Prof. Miriam Clinton. Among the many visitors to the site were two Canadians, Lucia Nixon (Oxford University) and Matt Buell (Concordia University). Otherwise, I was the extent of the “Canadian Content” at Petras for the summer, alas.

I wish you all a warm kalo kalokairi! Jonathan and I look forward to reconnecting with you all in September.

David Rupp

Friday, July 28, 2017

Farewell to Greece, Ancient Monuments, and the Wine-dark Sea

As I prepare to leave it seems hard to imagine the next stage of my life away from the hustle of Athens, the tasty tavernas on every corner and the sea a short and tantalizing trip away. When I first learned that my university – York University – had a Global Internship Program, I leapt at the chance to travel and live abroad again. When I learned that an internship in Greece was available, I was even more excited. Here was a chance to experience the culture, cuisine and history of a place I had studied for several years and only dreamed of visiting! Three months, thousands of photographs, and many new friends later, I can truly say that fond memories of the people, the insights I have gained from this unique cultural heritage and charm of this nation will remain with me always.

At the Canadian Institute in Greece, I was responsible for several tasks. One was the daily upkeep of the hostel and welcoming of new guests – which allowed me to meet other students and researchers from various universities across Canada. In addition to the hostel, I also handled the incoming new library and research materials, tried to resist the urge to read every new book, and completed the organizing, cataloguing and storing of all materials from previous Institute colloquia. Also, I digitized, catalogued and stored the items from the Institute’s archives – giving me the hands-on opportunity to trace the CIG’s history from the beginning to the present. Preparing for and assisting with the Institute’s annual Open Meeting along with the Fellow, Keven Ouellet, was a chance to see an accumulation of the finds and activities of the Institute from the past year. This internship also afforded me the chance to attend various lectures hosted by other foreign archaeological institutes in Athens. My first two months were happily spent running from a lecture on hidden inscriptions on black-figure vases, to one on numismatics to another on ancient warships! I was also able to meet many Canadian professors and interact and become friends with many students here in Greece to attend classes or conduct research.
Living in Athens and interning at the Canadian Institute meant I was able to take advantage of the many museums and historical sites within the city. Numerous trips were made to the Areopagus, the Acropolis, The Tower of the Winds, the Panathenaic Stadium, Lykavittos Hill, as well as the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. I was also privileged enough to venture outside of Athens on my weekends and evenings, which led to several adventures in Piraeus, Sounio, Aegina and Nafplio to name a few. The length of my internship here afforded me time not just to see, but also to research and contemplate the significance of each place I was visiting. A few days in the former capitol, Nafplio in the eastern Peloponnese, taught me about the rebirthed Greek state between 1823 and 1834, and seeing both the Temple of Aphaea on Aegina and the graffiti of Lord Byron on the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio were learning experiences of the most remarkable kind!

In addition to the wonderful sites and monuments at my fingertips in Athens, one of my favourite things to do was just wander the streets of the capital city. Around each new corner I would find some new and beautifully-painted example of Neo-Classical architecture, some quaint family-run café, or park inhabited by elderly gentlemen playing invested games of backgammon. I am thankful for the opportunity to have these quiet moments in Greece, where despite my sorely-lacking spoken Greek and my Canadian passport – I felt at home. The music is something I will remember this time by, from listening to global artists perform at the Athens Jazz Festival, to local bouzouki players, to the humbling and magical experience of listening to the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic play at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus! I am grateful to York University for the opportunity to travel to Greece – the summer I have spent here has been enlightening, informative, and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is impossible for me to leave Greece without saying that I am anticipating the moment I return!
Cana Fallon
York University intern, summer 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Fred Winter Collection

Etruria: Vetulonia: Tomba del Diavolino 2, views of doorway side of chamber, detail of base of central pilla, and general view from dromos (Professor Fred Winter, 1982)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Fred Winter Collection

Etruria: Vetulonia: Tomba della Pietrera, brick-arched entrance to upper chamber and central stone pillar of the interior of the lower chamber (top of pillar visible toward lower left of No.7) (Professor Fred Winter, 1982)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Fred Winter Collection

British Museum, architecture on the Portland Vase (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fred Winter Collection

British Museum, Nereid Room, reconstructed façade of the Nereid Monument  (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)