Friday, December 29, 2017

The end is near, but not the adventure

As my time in Athens inches closer to the end, I must reflect on the last three months and what I have been able to accomplish. I came to Athens in mid-September from my much smaller home town. I first heard of the Canadian Institute in Greece internship program at my university back in my first year and was ecstatic at the idea of being able to live and work in Athens for 3 months. When that time came for me to apply at the end of my third year, I was more than delighted for this amazing opportunity to start.

Working at the Canadian Institute, my main task was to archive a group of old institute files. I worked tirelessly though my 3 months to digitize all the files and organize them into a consistent manner that would provide easy accessibility for any future researchers. This often included the rearrangement of several files and the redistribution of many documents. I ended this major project by physically archiving the documents within the Institute’s archive room and keeping a digital record of all documents and their location. Along with my archive project, I was also responsible for some small maintenance tasks of the Hostel and administrative tasks and errands in assistance to Jonathan. This mainly included laundry, running errands, and delivering and picking up packages. I was also responsible for the food and beverages at the Institute events.

The shock from coming from a small city to the hustle and bustle of the large city of Athens quickly wore off as I became more comfortable with the city through my own exploration. The city’s metro was easy to use and the bus system carried to me areas beyond the reach of the metro. My first goal while in Greece was to become as familiar with the city as possible and I accomplished this through many evening and weekend visits to the major and minor sites and museums of Athens. I was able to the visit the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch and Library, Temple of Olympia Zeus, both Agoras, Panathenaic Stadium,  the Aeropagus, Lycabettus Hill, Filopappou Hil, Kerameikos the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the War Museum, the Acropolis Museum and all the minor museums within all of the sites.
My second goal while in Greece was to visit some of my favorite sites outside of Athens that I had spent years learning about in my classes. I was thankful that the Bus Company KTEL was easy enough to use as it was my primary source of transportation outside of Athens. I was able to travel to Mycenae, Nafplio, Delphi, the sanctuary of Asklepios Epidavrous, Aegean, Ancient Corinth, Cape Sounion, Eleusis and the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, and Crete to see Knossos. I was almost able to complete my very long list, but three months is not long enough to travel around an entire country. At least it gives me incentive to return to beautiful country.

During my time in Greece I have also spent my time in Athens attending lectures at the other international Institutes, volunteering at the Weiner Lab at the American School of Athens, visiting the cinema to watch the latest movies, eating at the many cafes and taverns, and visiting the main shopping areas like Syntagma Square, the flea market and tourist districts, and the several shopping malls. I have used this experience to educate myself on the archaeological community within Greece and the country as a whole. This entire experience has been eye opening, unforgettable and very enjoyable. I am very excited and hopeful to return in the future.

Sarah Cozzarin,
Wilfrid Laurier University intern, autumn-winter 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"From Maple to Olive" is out! Kala Xristougenna kai Kali Xronia!

Over two very warm days in early June, 2017 the Canadian Institute in Greece celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Colloquium entitled, From Maple to Olive. Twenty-two of the papers as well as an anecdotal history of the Institute were submitted for inclusion in the proceedings. After a long and meticulous editing process, with Jonathan in the lead, the printer delivered the final product, 514 volumes, to the Institute on Monday morning. So we are very proud to announce that the 10th iteration of the Publications of the Canadian Institute in Greece monograph series is now published, just 18 months after the occasion.

On Wednesday, January 31st at 7:30 pm in the Library of the Institute we will launch officially the publication of this volume, From Maple to Olive. Proceedings of a Colloquium to Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Institute in Greece. On this auspicious occasion Professors John Bennett (Director, British School at Athens) and Giorgos Varvouranakis (Professor, University of Athens) will offer their assessments of the merits of the contributions and on the significance of the research on which they are based for Greek archaeology.

After the book presentation (copies of which will be on sale at a very special price) we will cut our Vasilopita for 2018. Who will find the flouri in her piece??? So save the date!

Kales Yiortes

Today, at noon, we will close for our annual holiday recess. We will reopen on Monday January 8th at 9:00 am.

Jonathan and Amelie will celebrate the holidays in darkest Yorkshire. Sarah has already returned to Ontario to be with her family and friends. Chris and his family will enjoy here their first “Greek Christmas”. While we are closed, their guest blogs will appear to keep you up to date on what they did these past three months. Metaxia, Romanos and I will have a quiet holiday with family in Athens.

Τις καλύτερες ευχές για το νέο έτος!
David Rupp

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

The formative years of contemporary Greek prehistoric archaeology

Modern textbooks and handbooks focusing on the art, architecture and archaeology of Greece are full of references to the results and finds from excavations conducted at a number of prehistoric sites in the two decades between the end of the Greek Civil War and the Junta. For a number of reasons projects organized by the foreign archaeological schools and institutes were in the forefront of this research on the Bronze Age and Neolithic period. Excavations by two of them, in particular, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) and the British School at Athens (BSA), were among the most significant for the development of Greek “prehistoric archaeology”. These, with few exceptions, were led by individuals from the famous ”Interwar Generation”, who have become the “greats” that we speak of today in reverence.

On Monday, December 11th Dr. Rania Balli, (archaeologist, Ph.D. University of Athens) will give an illustrated lecture entitled «Η δράση της Αμερικανικής και της Βρετανικής Σχολής την εικοσαετία 1947-1967».

Dr. Balli will argue that this was a very crucial period in Greek archaeology, for many reasons, just after the end of WWII to the dictatorship of the colonels. Her lecture is based on the very rich archival material stored in the libraries of the ASCSA and of the BSA which is useful for revisiting the excavations, and also for the personal testimonies of the important archaeologists from that period. The life and work of major American and British archaeologists who worked in Greece during this period will be traced, as well as their contributions to the evolution of the prehistoric archaeology in Greece.

The American archaeologists who were active in prehistoric archaeology were Carl Blegen (Palace of Nestor at Pylos) and John Caskey (Lerna in the Argolid and Ayia Eirini on Kea). The work of the British archaeologists is represented by the most important excavators of the two decades, i.e. Alan Wace (Μycenae), Sinclair Hood (Εmborio on Chios and Knossos on Crete), William Taylour (Aghios Stephanos in Laconia), Hugh Sackett and Mervyn Popham (Palaikastro, Crete), George Huxley and Nicolas Coldstream (on Kythera) and Colin Renfrew (on Saliagos).

Through the correspondence of these important archaeologists of the period and other archival material light will be shed on their work, their contributions to the evolution of prehistoric archaeology in Greece and, in general, their participation in the many sociopolitical issues that affected postwar Greece.

The lecture in Greek will be at 7:00 pm in the Library of the Canadian Institute in Greece. The public is welcome to learn more about the “personalities” who shaped Greek prehistoric archaeology 50 to 70 years ago.

David Rupp

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Fred Winter Collection

Sardis, temple of Artemis, original pronaos and cella from W with alter W doorwall in foreground (Professor Fred Winter, 1982)

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Late Bronze Age I Settlement at Ayia Irini: Cycladic? Minoan? Or Both?

One of the recurrent themes in research in the prehistoric period in the Aegean basin is the nature and the extent of the cultural and economic influence of the proto- and neo-palatial Minoan culture of Crete on the islands of the Cyclades, on the islands and coastal littoral of the eastern Aegean and on the southern Peloponnesos. Were the artifacts found in these locations the result of direct or indirect trade, or produced there by itinerant crafts specialists from Crete, or the possessions of resident Minoans. Maybe a combination of these? Then there is evidence of Minoan-style architectural features and layouts as well as external and internal decorative styles. Was all of this evidence for what has been termed “Minoanisation” the result of some form of local acculturation via frequent trading contacts or indications of residents (seasonal and/or permanent from Crete?

In Late Minoan I there is evidence for a major route of travel from Crete through the southern and western Cyclades, the so-called “Western String” as seen at Akrotiri on Santorini, Phylakopi on Melos, and Ayia Irini on Kea. At some point I predict that the harbor at Ios will be added as a stopping point on this chain. The 'Western String' model articulated by Jack Davis in a seminal article in 1979 in which he argued that Minoan economic and political influence spread along this westerly group of the Cyclades to exploit commercial potential, especially the copper and silver at Lavrion in southern Attica. This is one of the approaches available to investigate spheres of interaction or relationships between individual communities.

On Wednesday, December 6th Rodney D. Fitzsimons (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University) will give an illustrated lecture entitled “Taking a Seat at the Minoan Banquet: An Architectural Approach to the Minoanisation of the Aegean Islands”.
The dissemination of “Minoanising” cultural traits throughout the Aegean in the latter half of the second millennium BC has long been of interest to archaeologists working in this region of the ancient world, with recent scholarship stressing the active, rather than passive, role played by the indigenous inhabitants of the various territories participating in this process. While much emphasis has rightly been placed on the adoption and adaptation of the wide range of “imported” artefactual, artistic, administrative, and technological cultural traits throughout the region, comparable changes in the built environment that resulted from the same phenomena of “Minoanisation” have received relatively little attention to date beyond basic enumeration. In his lecture Professor Fitzsimons seeks to address this lacuna in current scholarship, using as a starting point the Northeast Bastion at Ayia Irini on Kea, where a new Minoan-style banquet hall has recently been identified. He will then reassess the evidence for and the significance of the adoption and adaptation of Minoan-style architectural motifs elsewhere in the southern and eastern Aegean. The focus of Fitzsimons’ study will fall not on the ultimate origin of “imported” architectural elements, but rather on the significant changes that the adoption and adaptation of such motifs wrought on the local physical, cultural, and sociopolitical landscapes.

This Institute Lecture will take place in the Library of the Institute starting at 7:30 PM. Please join us for the lecture and then afterwards help us welcome the holiday season.

David Rupp