Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Closing Time!

The Canadian Institute in Greece will remain closed throughout August, reopening on Monday September 3.

Kalo Kalokairi!

The Fred Winter Collection

Istanbul, the Suleymanye (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Digging Petras 2018: It's complicated!

Three weeks ago when in introducing Cole Furr, an MA student in Art History at the University of Toronto, to his trench at the Petras cemetery excavation [see: www.petras-excavations.gr], seeing the jumble of stones, with sherds and bones protruding from bottom and the scarps, I told him, “It’s complicated”. Both his trench and the rest of those being excavated this year have proven to be “complicated”. Had the excavation stopped 3-4 years ago the picture of the cemetery would have been straightforward and the interpretative narrative “clear”. Little did we know then how things would change so radically and so quickly.

The unexpected depth of the archaeological layers on the southern and the western sides of the cemetery have revealed each year since 2016 earlier phases and earlier structures than those identified previously at higher levels. This means that we are excavating below the floors of these buildings and finding walls and deposits from different phases of the Early Minoan period. Along with these remains are many secondary and some primary burials. Our three osteoarchaeologists from the University of Thessaloniki are having a difficult time keeping up with these discoveries. At the mid-point of the season I have excavated already in three different areas in order to document these patches of earlier remains. I’m sure that more areas are in my archaeological future! If you are on Instagram you can review the season from my account [grubbyminoan] using the hashtag: #petras_excavations_2018.

An ongoing excavation in Crete is a magnet for archaeological visitors, including those with Canadian Institute connections, of course. So far we have had a visit by Dr. Jenny Moody, who is one of the senior co-researchers on the Institute’s Sphakia Survey Project in southwestern Crete. After the tour we discussed obtaining samples from the Petras excavations for dendrochronological dating. Then came Prof. Carl Knappett (University of Toronto) and his graduate students who are having a study season at Palaikastro, to the east of Siteia. Prof. Dimitri Nakassis (once University of Toronto, now University of Colorado at Boulder and the Co-Director of the Institute’s Western Argolid Regional Project) accompanied them. It was good to chat about the WARP study season. Next Prof. Angus Smith (Brock University and President of the CIG Board of Directors) came with three of his students. After their tour we reviewed the progress being made on the fundraising efforts for the Institute’s new building. Prof. Tristan Carter (McMaster University) will give one of the summer Saturday evening lectures at the INSTAP East Crete Study Center in Pachia Ammos on his latest Palaeolithic period discoveries at Stelida on Naxos [SNAP], an excavation project under the aegis of the Institute.

This year we have continued the longstanding program of guided tours of the Petras excavations. On three Thursday mornings visitors were welcomed to the site. They came from Siteia mostly, but there also were Greeks and foreigners who summer in the area. Such public outreach efforts are also an annual feature of most of the Institute’s fieldwork projects I am pleased to report.

All in all it has been a complicated, challenging and stimulating field season at Petras. Is it ever any different there? My retirement from the directorship of the Institute so far has given me little free time to pursue to my various research projects. I hope that will start finally in September!

Kalo kalokairi from the Institute’s guest blogger in Siteia

David Rupp
Professor Emeritus, Brock University

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Istanbul, two Corinthian capitals of narthex of St. John of Studion (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Future Looks Bright for the CIG

As I begin this one-year term as Interim Academic Director of the Canadian Institute in Greece, I am grateful to the Board of Directors for approving my application. The CIG has done so much for so many that I am happy to contribute in any way I can to leading it during this exciting and transitional time.

I am currently in Athens but will be returning to Canada in mid-August for teaching during the Fall semester at the University of Victoria. This will also be my final semester as Chair of the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at UVic, a position I first took on in 2012.

Beginning in 2007, I started working with the CIG to bring students from UVic to Greece for a month of travel and study. In 2011 and 2012 we also included a ten day trip to Turkey. Building on these programs, I directed in winter 2017 the UVic Semester in Greece program, in which 10 undergraduates gained a full semester of UVic credit, taking courses and traveling to sites and museums throughout Greece over three months. In early 2019 I will return to Athens full-time, and I am looking forward to again directing the University of Victoria Semester in Greece program. Students from other universities are very welcome to participate - just contact me at bburke@uvic.ca for further details.

In terms of my background, I received my Ph.D. from UCLA in 1998 with a dissertation focused on the economics of cloth production in the Minoan, Mycenaean and Phrygian worlds. For a number of years I excavated at the Phrygian site of Gordion, in Turkey, home to the legendary King Midas. I have done fieldwork in other parts of the world too – including work in California, Ireland, as well as at the Palace of Nestor, Pylos, Agios Konstantinos, Methana, ancient Corinth, and surveys of Leukas and Dorati here in Greece.

Since 2007 I have been co-directing the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP) with Bryan Burns (Wellesley College) and Greek colleagues, Vasilis Aravantinos (until 2012), and presently, with Alexandra Charami. With funding gratefully acknowledged from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada and from INSTAP, we are excavating the site of ancient Eleon, located about 75 km north of Athens on a fertile plain connecting the major center of Thebes to the important waterway of the Euboean Gulf. The site, in the village of Arma, preserves material from the Prehistoric (Mycenaean), Archaic-Classical, and Medieval periods.

In the coming year I very much look forward to working with Jonathan Tomlinson who is taking on a more expansive role as Assistant Director of the CIG. The Canadian Institute in Greece is in the midst of some dramatic changes with the new building that has been purchased and a reassessment of its governance structure. My goal as Academic Director is to make sure that the teaching and research programs of the CIG continue to flourish and to make connections between Greek and Canadian students and scholars during this exciting time.

Brendan Burke
Interim Director, CIG

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Sardis, Artemis temple, Ionic capital with decorated canalis on both sides (Professor Fred Winter, 1978)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Korfu Museum, inscribed slab and inscribed Doric capital ("Xenvares column") (Professor Fred Winter, 1975)

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Warm Welcome to the Institute's New Director!

The Canadian Institute in Greece wishes a warm welcome to its new director, Professor Brendan Burke, who took over on July 1. Brendan received a BA in Classics and Art History from the University of Florida, and an MA and PhD in Archaeology from UCLA. He is currently Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria, where he has been since 2003. He also represents the University on the Institute’s Board of Directors as well as serving as Chair of the Institute’s Permits and Vision Committees.

Dr. Burke has carried out archaeological fieldwork in the USA, Ireland, Turkey and Greece, and currently co-directs the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project focused on the excavation of ancient Eleon in the village of Arma. This work is a synergasia between the CIG and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia.
Brendan's research interests cover all aspects of Greek art and archaeology, Aegean Prehistory and Anatolian archaeology. Dr. Burke has published numerous articles related to death and iconography, the economics of cloth production, as well as a monograph entitled, “From Minos to Midas: Ancient Cloth Production in the Aegean and in Anatolia” (2010).

In closing, I would also like to express the Institute's gratitude to Brendan's predecessor, Professor David Rupp, for his many years of service to the CIG. He and I worked together for thirteen years and I learned a great deal in the process. Thank you David, from all of us at the CIG!

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Kos, Asklepieion, detail  of Eastern Ionic base of Temple B (Professor Fred Winter, 1971)