Weds. February 15, 6:00 p.m., 308 Blegen Building, University of Cincinnati
Dr. Bjorn Løven, University of Copenhagen
"The Ancient Athenian Naval Bases in the Piraeus: The Backbone of the World's First Democracy"
Lecture Abstract: Athens in the 5th and 4th century BC was preeminent because of her naval power, and with the navy’s importance came that of her harbour city, the Piraeus, where naval bases housed the hundreds of triremes that served as the primary arm of Athenian might. The architectural glories of the Acropolis stood in second place to her naval bases. As an unnamed Athenian writer sang, “O Athens, queen of all cities! How fair your naval base! How fair your Parthenon! How fair your Piraeus!”
The Zea Harbour Project, digging on land and underwater in 2002 to 2012, has uncovered extensive archaeological remains of the Athenian naval facilities. This lecture will explore a complex archaeological puzzle and show how the remains can be connected to the dawn of Athenian power in the late 6th and early 5th century BC; to the young democracy at the time of the Persian Wars; to the age of empire when Athens ruled the eastern Mediterranean; and to the waning years of the 4th century BC when Athens stood in the shadow of Macedonia.
The Zea Harbour Project is a collaboration between the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Ephorate of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands (both under the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports), the SAXO-Institute, the University of Copenhagen, and the Danish Institute at Athens under the Danish Ministry of Education. It is directed by Dr. Bjørn Lovén. The Carlsberg Foundation finances the project.
Thurs. March 2, 6:00 p.m. -- Room 118 Law School, University of Cincinnati
Dr. Eugenia Gorogianni, University of Akron
"Myths, Archaeological Facts, and Other Oddities: The Case of Cultural Contact in the Middle and Late Bronze Age Aegean"
ABSTRACT: The ancient historian Thucydides reports that in the mythical age of heroes, Minos had established a Thalassocracy (rule of the seas) all over the Aegean region. Archaeologists of the 20th century have often flirted with the historicity of this particular myth in an effort to explain material culture change evident in the archaeological record of Aegean sites of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. Dr. Gorogianni will discuss this phenomenon of cultural change drawing on her work on the site of Ayia Irini on Kea, one of the sites that were deeply affected by this phenomenon.