Friday, September 28, 2018

Canadian Institute events, autumn 2018

The Canadian Institute in Greece has three lectures lined up for this autumn. First, on Wednesday October 17, Josh Beer (Adjunct Professor, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, Carleton University) will speak on The Athenian Plague and Eros as a Killer Virus in Euripides’ Hippolytus. Then, for Halloween, Wednesday October 31, Dr Judith Fletcher (Professor, Department of History and Ancient Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University) will spook us with “The haunted text: myths of the underworld in contemporary culture”. Finally, on Wednesday December 5, Dr Hallie Marshall (Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre & Film, University of British Columbia) will tell us How to Shop for Books in late 5th-Century Athens. In addition, we intend to screen a Canadian film one evening in November, so stay tuned for further announcements!

All events will take place in the Institute’s library, starting at 19.30. Abstracts for the three lectures can be seen on the Institute’s website, at: Everyone is most welcome!

Sarah Nash returns!

One of the Institute’s former Fellows is back in Athens and is giving a talk next Tuesday, October 2, at the Norwegian Institute at Athens. Sarah Nash is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta and was the Institute’s Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow in 2015-2016. Her lecture is entitled, “Private Portraiture of Girls and Women as Artemis in the Roman Imperial Era”. The talk is scheduled to begin at 19.00. The Norwegian Institute is located at Tsami Karatasou 5 (5th floor), Koukaki. Further details, including the abstract, can be seen here:

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Samothrace, sanctuary: Heraion, general views from SW, S and SSW, and detail of apse at S (Professor Fred Winter, 1983)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Welcome, Barbara and Heather!

The 2018-19 academic year has begun at the Institute, and I will shortly be announcing our programme of events for this autumn. This year we welcome the Institute’s 2018-19 Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellow, Barbara Scarfo, and Wilfrid Laurier University intern, Heather Robinson, who will be with us in Athens until December.

Barbara Scarfo has a BA (Hons) in Classics and Italian Studies and an MA in Classics, both from McMaster University. She is currently in the process of completing her PhD thesis, also at McMaster, entitled, “The Socio-Cultural Construction of Maternity in the Roman World”. In her study she analyzes three aspects of child-bearing in the Roman era: the social context of Roman maternity, the significant relationship between slavery and Roman maternity, and the social issues associated with unwanted pregnancies. While her main sources are chiefly textual (Greek medical writers, Roman jurists, and literary evidence), throughout her dissertation she draws heavily on epigraphic evidence (above all, funerary inscriptions in Latin and Greek) as well as material culture, such as the figural reliefs that appear on commemorations and osteological evidence.

Over the course of researching the subject of Roman maternity, Barbara encountered significant Greek evidence in the funerary stelae that feature depictions of mothers and infants. Previous scholarship mentions the grouping of mother and infant in passing, with the presence of a young child interpreted as an iconographic element signifying motherhood, and their focus is primarily on the relationships of the deceased woman with her father and other male relatives. In her new project, Barbara hopes to explore the topic of mothers and infants on Classical Attic funerary commemoration from a new angle and on a larger scale.

Heather Robinson is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is majoring in Archaeology and Heritage Studies with an option in geomatics. Heather has had an interest in Greek mythology and ancient history since reading Percy Jackson in Grade 8. She has more recently developed an interest in bioarchaeology and wishes to focus on that field of study throughout her master’s degree.  Heather has participated in excavations on the Town of Nebo Archaeological Project in Jordan in 2016, and during her time in Greece she plans to explore various parts of the country, and experience new food, museums, and culture.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Samothrace, sanctuary: Heraion from NW (from Stoa terrace) (Professor Fred Winter, 1983)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Survey says you not even close: the Western Argolid Regional Project, 2018

This year’s season was the second of our two planned study seasons, and so we returned to our usual summer digs in Myloi with a small team of faculty and graduate students. Our main priority was the study of the tens of thousands of artifacts that we collected in the field, housed in our αποθήκη (storage facility) in Argos. Sarah James and Scott Gallimore, the other directors of our project, organized a team composed of themselves, Grace Erny, Joseph Frankl, Alyssa Friedman, Melanie Godsey, Machal Gradoz, and Ginny Miglierina, joined by a number of visiting scholars: Daniel Pullen, for his expertise in prehistoric pottery, Guy Sanders, for Medieval and post-Medieval pottery, and Kim Shelton, for Mycenaean pottery. We were also joined by Christina Kolb, who illustrated pottery, and Susan Caraher, who helped us with artifact photography. [Figure 1: In the foreground Melanie Godsey (left) and Machal Gradoz (right) sort pottery; Alyssa Friedman, Scott Gallimore, and Guy Sanders work in the background.]

The αποθήκη team focused on reexamining artifacts from areas of interest, refining our identification of materials of all periods, and cataloguing artifacts of various types and from different parts of our survey area.  In the previous year, we had focused on material associated with 14 areas that we had preliminarily identified as “sites” – which we used not as a technical term, but rather as a kind of shorthand for large clusters of dense units – and pulled representative artifacts from each of them for cataloguing. This work continued in 2018, with a focus on two types of material: first, those that we hadn’t examined from the previous year, and second, objects that we initially assigned to the broadest chronological categories. There were big changes to our understanding, thanks especially to our visiting scholars, who helped us to refine our identifications of material from the Late Bronze, Medieval, and Ottoman periods.

The other main goal of the study season had to do with our data. Here, Bill Caraher, Rachel Fernandez, and I were the main participants, assisted by the other members of the project. Some of our work involved going out into our survey area to revisit areas of interest and to ensure that our documentation was sufficiently rich for our preliminary and final publications. [Figure 2: Rachel Fernandez (center) and Bill Caraher (left) at Palaiokastraki.]

We mainly worked on our digital data, however, in part to help guide the team working in our storage facility and in part to advance our analysis of the survey as a whole. Bill and Rachel prepared our survey data for publication, and worked on ways to analyze and visualize artifacts of the same (or similar) date that cluster in the landscape. We found, for instance, that 50 meter buffers around each unit with material of a particular date allowed us to identify clusters that could act as starting points for more detailed analyses. [Figure 3: Clusters of Archaic material (in blue) in the western part of our survey area.]

We also continued to work on the modern period. Ioanna Antoniadou returned to continue her invaluable ethnographic work, conducting interviews and consulting local archives. Kostis Kourelis visited us for a couple of days, helped us to interpret some recently-abandoned modern houses in our survey area, and consulted on how to document the modern villages on the edges of our survey.  [Figure 4: Kostis Kourelis illustrates an abandoned 20th century house at Chelmis.]

All in all, it was an amazingly productive summer. We effectively finished analyzing the artifacts from the survey, thanks to a lot of hard work by a large and dedicated team, and readied our field data for publication. Closely working with this evidence has made us question many of our past narratives for the region, and encouraged us to come up with better interpretations for what we are finding. Yet for all of the incredible work that we did this summer, so much more remains to be done (hence the title of this post). In this coming winter, we’ll need to continue to work closely with our digital data and, most importantly, begin to write our contributions for the project’s publication. Fortunately all of this year’s efforts will give us a very solid foundation to build on!

Dimitri Nakassis
Professor, University of Colorado Boulder; co-director, Western Argolid Regional Project

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Samothrace, sanctuary: views to Arsinoeion area from SW (Professor Fred Winter, 1983)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project - Excavations at Ancient Eleon 2018

EBAP concluded its final excavation season at the site of ancient Eleon in the village of Arma on July 8, 2018 before a period of study and publication. This project is a synergasia between the CIG and Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia, under the direction of Dr. Alexandra Charami (Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia) and co-direction of Drs. Brendan Burke (University of Victoria) and Bryan Burns (Wellesley College). Dr. Kiriaki Kalliga is also a key partner in our research project. We are very grateful for the research funding we received in 2018 from an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (#435 2018 0773), the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, and the University of Victoria and Wellesley College. The Canadian Institute in Greece has facilitated and supported the permit process each year and we are grateful to the scholars, students and volunteers who made our work possible.

Our season started off in late May and the weather was surprisingly cool and rainy. The site had been covered by a tarp all winter which prevented any serious damage and erosion. (Slide 1) On the few rainy workdays we had, the team visited the apothiki and learned about pottery sorting, processing and conservation. (Slide 2) We were also able to visit the amazing archaeological museum at Thebes. Once the sun came out by mid-June, the weather became very hot! With our team of about 20 student volunteers, we were able to remove the tarps (Slide3) and work was focused on the impressive Blue Stone Structure, an Early Mycenaean burial complex dating to about 1700 BCE (Slide 4).

With the hot weather (Slide 5) we made every effort we could to stay cool and in the shade, using umbrellas donated to our project by Café Contigo in Dilesi! (Slide 6) Work this year on site progressed very well. We made great progress in understanding the full extent of the Blue Stone Structure and recovered more burial remains. In the apothiki our team of conservators, illustrators, ceramicists and specialists made great progress on our finds. We had an active program of digitization, where 3D scans were made of certain vessels and small finds.

Every year our team of students and researchers have to live and work together for six weeks and we have been very fortunate over the years to get some truly excellent people on our team. (slide 7) We have a range of students, most from the University of Victoria and Wellesley College, but also students from Wilfrid Laurier, Carleton College, McGill University, University of Cincinnati, Rutgers University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and Texas State University participated this year. (slide 8) We believe students enjoy the opportunities to share what their university experiences are like in Canada and the US. The work is challenging, with early morning sunrises, wild animals and mandatory social gatherings (Slide 9).

This year we were also able to participate in some very fun and rewarding community activities.  The local school children of the Tanagra area had an exhibition focused on the archaeology of the region – called the Tanagra Express (Slide 10) and they kindly invited us to participate. We in turn were also able to host a group from the town of Arma, where our project is based. (slide 11) We had nearly 100 people come to our Open House in July and were able to share our research results with the community (slide 12).

Brendan Burke
Associate Professor, University of Victoria; co-director, Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Fred Winter Collection

Verona: view over part of the city from Castel San Pietro (Professor Fred Winter, 1983)