Fields, Sherds, and Scholars

It’s been all teaching for me since late August as I manage courses at Messiah College in Latin, Ancient Civilizations, and Historical Archaeology (including a little field component). But fall break is here at last which gives me a little reprieve to catch up on grading, stain the fence, and pass along a few of the goodies that have gathered in my inbox. (Next semester should be lighter which gives me some hope that I’ll return to a more regular output of Corinthiaka.)

For now, I pass along this circular for a conference titled, “Fields, Sherds and Scholars: Recording and interpreting survey ceramics,” which the Dutch Institute of Athens will host from February 24-25. Interpreting ceramic scatters is foundational to regional pedestrian survey, the most established method for reconstructing the ancient countryside, yet remains poorly understood. The deadline for submitting 200-word abstracts is Oct. 24. For information about submission, see this PDF circular.

Survey ceramics have always been convenient chronological markers of archaeological surveys, enabling us to recognize and date survey sites. Although landscape archaeology has now been going on for more than half a century and the amount of sherds collected in these projects is overwhelming, the interpretative value of the ceramic material is rarely exploited. What do the dots on the map actually represent and how did people use and shape the landscape?

This conference will also address sampling, recording and publication strategies that would best serve the interpretation of survey ceramics. Of course these depend on the research questions we have in mind, but to some extent the material itself dictates opportunities and limitations. The dataset is shaped by the choices what field data to record, which material to collect and how to record and publish. These strategic choices determine our research possibilities and the comparative value of project results.

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to this conference within the frame of these two topics:
• Sampling, recording and publication strategies
• Interpretative potential for survey ceramics

Corinthian Matters at the Archaeological Institute of America 2016

AIA2016I was not able to physically attend the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies late last week in San Francisco, but I did get to co-author with Bill Caraher a paper on the abandoned village of Lakka Skoutara for a colloquium on abandoned villages (more on that tomorrow). Bill has offered a short review /reflection on the conference at his blog this morning. The final program of the AIA, still available in PDF form, suggests a robust selection of Corinthian studies and the archaeology of the northeast Peloponnese. Here are some of those I noticed.

Session: The Archaeology of Greece in Late Antiquity

  • CHAIR: William Caraher, University of North Dakota
  • “House Size and Elite Inequality in Roman Greece” (Kilian P. Mallon, Stanford University)
  • “Keeping an Even Temper in Times of Trouble: Continuity and the Maintenance of Ceramic Traditions in Late Roman Corinth” (Mark D. Hammond, AIA Member at Large, and Heather Graybehl, AIA Member at Large )
  • “Local Prosperity and Regional Economy in Roman to Early Byzantine Greece: The American Excavations at Kenchreai, 2014–2015” (Joseph L. Rife, Vanderbilt University, Jorge J. Bravo III, University of Maryland, College Park, and Sebastian Heath, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)
  • “Market Access in Late Antique Thrace: The Ceramic Perspective from Molyvoti” (Alistair Mowat, University of Manitoba, Nicholas Hudson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Thomas F. Tartaron, University of Pennsylvania)
  • “Excavation in the Late Antique City at Golemo Gradište, Konjuh, 2014–2015” (Carolyn S. Snively, Gettysburg College, and Goran Sanev, Archaeological Museum, Skopje)


Session: The Northeast Peloponessos

  • CHAIR: Joseph L. Rife, Vanderbilt University
  • “Sikyon Excavations: 2013 and 2014 Seasons” (Yannis Lolos, University of Thessaly, Scott Gallimore, Wilfrid Laurier University, Sarah James, University of Colorado, Boulder, Nicola Nenci, University of Edinburgh, Matthew Maher, University of Winnipeg, Susan-Marie Price, University of British Columbia, and Martin Wells, Austin College)
  • “Trading and Transporting Timber in the Peloponnese: The Special Roles of Sikyon and Corinth” (Morgan T. Condell, University of Pennsylvania)
  • “Athena at Corinth: Revisiting the Attribution of the Temple of Apollo” (Angela Ziskowski, Coe College)
  • “Outreach in Ancient Corinth: Educational Enrichment in the United States and Greece” (Katherine Petrole, Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens)
  • “The Antonine Julian Basilica in Corinth” (Paul D. Scotton, California State University, Long Beach)

Colloquium: Deserted Villages (Double session sponsored by the Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group. ORGANIZERS: Deborah E. Brown Stewart, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and Kostis Kourelis, Franklin & Marshall College. These are the papers relevant to the Corinthia and Peloponnese)

  • “Life in an Abandoned Village: The Case of Lakka Skoutara” (William Caraher, University of North Dakota, and David Pettegrew, Messiah College)
  • “An Abandoned Mudbrick Hamlet at Penteskouphi near Corinth: Its Condition, Educational Potential, and Natural Environment” (Guy D. R. Sanders, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Isabel E. M. Sanders, Independent Scholar, and Miyon Yoo, Independent Scholar)
  • “Drones and Stones: Mapping Deserted Villages in Lidoriki, Greece” (Todd Brenningmeyer, Maryville University, Miltos Katsaros, National Polytechnic University of Athens, and Kostis Kourelis, Franklin & Marshall College)
  • “Abandoned Settlements in a Historically Abandoned Environment: The Example of Kythera” (Lita Tzortozopoulou-Gregory, The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, and Timothy E. Gregory, Ohio State University
  • “Roads, Routes and Abandoned Villages in the Western Argolid” (Dimitri Nakassis, University of Toronto, William Caraher, University of North Dakota, Sarah James, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Scott Gallimore, Wilfrid Laurier University)

Individual Papers:

  • “The Archaic Reservoir at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia: A Study of Depositional Processes” (Martha K. Risser, Trinity College, Connecticut )
  • “Finding Their Way: Late Classical Votive Reliefs at Ancient Corinth” (Aileen Ajootian, University of Mississippi)
  • “Korakou, the Port City of Mycenaean Corinth” (Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, American School of Classical Studies at Athens)
  • “Sauroctonos Corinthius” (Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University)
  • “Little Gifts: Dedications at the Sacred Spring in Corinth” (Theodora Kopestonsky, University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

“Bridge of the Untiring Sea”: Contents

Working through page proofs today for my contribution to the forthcoming Isthmus collection. I have transcribed below the table of contents for the volume, which highlights a chronological arrangement: two essays on the Bronze Age, about 7 essays on the archaic to Hellenistic sanctuary, and 7 essays on the Roman and late Antique Isthmus. Some 13 of the 17 essays deal specifically with Isthmia. While some of the essays explore broader historical issues, this is solid archaeological volume with its strong emphasis on classes of artifacts and particular sites.

I’ll add the bibliography to the Corinthian Studies library in Zotero today. The other front matter for the volume includes new maps of the Isthmus, new authoritative plans of Isthmia, about 160 photos and illustrations, and 6 tables. Look for this volume in print in August or September.


Introduction (Elizabeth R. Gebhard and Τimothy E. Gregory)

Chapter 1. An Early Mycenaean Habitation Site at Kyras Vrysi (Eleni Balomenou and Vasili Tassinos)

Chapter 2. The Settlement at Kalamianos: Bronze Age Small Worlds and the Saronic Coast of the Southeastern Corinthia (Thomas F. Tartaron)

Chapter 3. The Archaic Temple of Poseidon: Problems of Design and Invention (Frederick P. Hemans)

Chapter 4. The Domestic Architecture of the Rachi Settlement at Isthmia (Virginia R. Anderson-Stojanović)

Chapter 5. City, Sanctuary, and Feast: Dining Vessels from the Archaic Reservoir in the Sanctuary of Poseidon (Martha K. Risser)

Chapter 6. The Temple Deposit at Isthmia and the Dating of Archaic and Early Classical Greek Coins (Liane Houghtalin)

Chapter 7. Riding for Poseidon: Terracotta Figurines from the Sanctuary of Poseidon (Arne Thomsen)

Chapter 8. The Chigi Painter at Isthmia? (K. W. Arafat)

Chapter 9. Arms from the Age of Philip and Alexander at Broneer’s West Foundation near Isthmia (A. H. Jackson)

Chapter 10. New Sculptures from the Isthmian Palaimonion (Mary C. Sturgeon)

Chapter 11. Agonistic Festivals, Victors, and Officials in the Time of Nero: An Inscribed Herm from the Gymnasium Area of Corinth (James Wiseman)

Chapter 12. Roman Baths at Isthmia and Sanctuary Baths in Greece (Fikret K.Yegül)

Chapter 13. The Roman Buildings East of the Temple of Poseidon on the Isthmus (Steven J. R. Ellis and Eric E. Poehler)

Chapter 14. Corinthian Suburbia: Patterns of Roman Settlement on the Isthmus (David K. Pettegrew)

Chapter 15. Work Teams on the Isthmian Fortress and the Development of a Later Roman Architectural Aesthetic (Jon M. Frey)

Chapter 16. Epigraphy, Liturgy, and Imperial Policy on the Justinianic Isthmus (William R. Caraher)

Chapter 17. Circular Lamps in the Late Antique Peloponnese (Birgitta Lindros Wohl)