Dr Emmanuela Bakola, William Ritchie Fellow, 2011
Emmanuela Bakola, Leverhulme Research Fellow at King’s College London, visited Sydney as William Ritchie Fellow in June 2011. Dr Bakola is working on a new project entitled ‘Aeschylean Tragedy and Early Environmental Discourse’. While at CCANESA she worked on the concept of ‘interiority’ and its association with ‘depth’, an association which stands at the heart of her exploration of the perception of the Earth as oikos. She gave a paper entitled ‘The oikos in the Oresteia and the origins of ecological discourse’ and started working on a new paper called ‘Deep, Inside, Earth: The spatial symbolism of Darius’ anodos in Aeschylus’ Persians’. The latter has important implications for the argument of the presence of a stage-building in early Aeschylean theatre.
In Dr Bakola's words, “I am extremely grateful for the rich and generous feedback I received from the scholars at CCANESA, and for having had access to excellent resources. I consider my time as visiting fellow at Sydney a turning point for my new project on Aeschylus and early ecological discourse.”
CCANESA Library Opens on Tuesdays
The Department of Classics and Ancient History has been able to extend the opening of the CCANESA Library from three to four days a week with the help of a generous donation and student volunteers at the front desk. The library, usually open from Wednesday to Friday, was opened on a Tuesday for a trial period to assist Honours and Postgraduate students. The extra day a week has proved very popular and will be continued until mid-October when Honours students submit their theses.
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CCANESA Launch and Woodhouse Photographs
CCANESA was formally accorded the status of a University Centre by the Provost on 13 May 2009. It was launched by the Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO on 2 December 2009, with addresses by Mr David Malouf, AC and the Inaugural Director, for the period 2009-2010, Prof. Peter Wilson, the William Ritchie Professor of Classics. The speakers emphasized the collaborative nature of this venture and the wonderful facilities now at the disposal of those who study the ancient Classical and Near Eastern worlds. The official launch saw CCANESA full of keen partners and supporters, including the Greek Consul General Mr Vassileos Tolios, the Dean-elect Prof. Duncan Ivison and Provost-elect Prof. Stephen Garton.
The Centre was kindly given permission by the University’s Nicholson Museum to reproduce three of its collection of over a thousand black and white photographs taken by William John Woodhouse that mostly record his travel in Greece during 1896, 1908, 1921 and 1935. He travelled widely across the country including trips from Aetolia to Corinth, Cyprus to Athens and Boeotia to Corfu. As a photographer, he not only portrayed ancient sites and architecture but also chose to record the everyday life and culture of the people of Greece in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
“I carry in my mind what perhaps no one else in Australia has, a series of pictures of Greece in her different stages of growth covering half a century of her existence.” - W. J. Woodhouse
The pictures have been printed on large canvasses; two of large fallen column drums hang in the entrance/reception area and one of a sweeping view Athens from the Acropolis hangs in the boardroom. These impressive pictures include: On the Acropolis in the 1890s and View of the Acropolis from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The picture in our Board Room is a panorama of Athens with Mount Lykavettos in the background.
Woodhouse witnessed the transformation of Greece into an industrialised society, something he very much regretted.
“All that was the true spice of travel in Greece is now but a memory. The old mode of travel by pony or mule, on the native samari, or great wooden pack saddle, with its accompanying Agoghiat, whose muttered calculations of what he plotted to make out of you would sometimes be overheard, has quite fallen into disuse; so that when I inquired for mule and man I was greeted with mockery.” - W.J. Woodhouse
This remarkable collection was donated to the Nicholson Museum in 1984 by his daughter, Miss Liska Woodhouse.
30th Anniversary of the University of Sydney’s Excavations at Pella in Jordan. A Commemorative Display of Pottery.
Pella is a vast multi-period site which lies in the foot hills of the eastern side of the north Jordan Valley, along the main trade route north-south from Egypt through the Levant to Syria and Anatolia in the north, and eastward along the Tigris and Euphrates into Mesopotamia. Pella is situated at the south-east end of the Jezreel Valley which runs north-west from the Jordan valley to the plain of Akko/Acre on the Mediterranean coast. Thus Pella is placed at the cross-roads of the major north-south and east-west routes of the region, in a position that was central to the movement of goods between different and far-reaching lands.
Pella has been excavated for 30 years, initially by a joint College of Wooster, Ohio, and University of Sydney team, from 1979 to 1985, and thereafter solely by the University of Sydney, led initially by Emeritus Prof. Basil Hennessy and Dr Tony McNicoll, and now by Dr Stephen Bourke, with various co-Directors.
The 30th anniversary commemorative display of pottery at CCANESA includes examples dated from c. 1500 BCE or the Bronze Age, down to c. 550 CE, or the Byzantine period. The Late Bronze Age is represented by three vessels (an amphora and two bowls) from Tomb 62 and Tomb 18. The amphora and one of the platters (from Tomb 62) are particularly fine examples of the beautiful Levantine ceramic, Chocolate-on-White ware.
There are more than 100 tombs at Pella. Tell Husn is a largely natural hill to the south across the Wadi Jirm from the main tell. Tomb 62 (Area XI), on its north-eastern side, is a very rich tomb, excavated in 1984, and dates to the MBA to LBA (1600–1500 BCE). Tomb 62 was by far the largest and best equipped of the 20 MB/LB period tombs excavated at Pella over the years, and one of the largest tombs excavated in the southern Levant. More than 2000 objects were recovered from the tomb, including an assemblage of domestic ceramics of typical Jordanian and Palestinian types, as well as a number of imported Cypriot and Syrian pieces. In addition to pottery, small finds included scarab and cylinder seals, gold jewellery, arrow heads, bone inlay and spindle whorls, calcite flasks, and glass beads.
Representing the Iron Age is a chalice, c. 1050 BCE, one of in excess of 200 objects in total from Tomb 89. Tomb 89 in Area II, was excavated in 1987. It is a single chamber tomb dating to the IA IB/IIA (c.1050–850 BCE) and is situated to the north-east of the main tell, in a modest IA cemetery on the lower north-western slopes of Jebel Abu el-Khas. This area comes into use at the end of the LBA when burials appear to cease on the northern slopes of Tell Husn.
After the end of the 9th C BCE there was a gap in major occupation of the site until the middle Hellenistic period, c.200 BCE. During the later Hellenistic period the main mound was densely populated before the city was destroyed (86 BCE) by the Jewish king, Alexander Jannaeus. The 1st century CE (Early Roman period) once again saw a progressive increase in Pella’s population which continued into the Late Roman era (132–324 CE) from which are displayed a jug and a bowl, c. 300 CE. From the following Byzantine era, 324–640 CE, we have selected a ‘Jerash’ bowl and a casserole dish, c. 550 CE. The display is completed by an early Islamic (Umayyad) pilgrim flask dating just before Pella’s destruction by a massive earthquake in 747/8 CE.
In all,a small sample of the wide ranging influences, styles and chronology of the material from Pella.
Drawing the Past: Illustrations of Ancient Architectural Elements from the AAIA Folios & Rare Books Collection
In the field of archaeology, visual presentation has always been of paramount importance to both scholarly interpretation and public appreciation of finds from excavations. From the folio engravings of the dilettanti, such as James Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s “Antiquities of Athens” in 1762, to the artistic renderings of Knossos, Mycenae and the Athenian Agora by Piet De Jong during his long association from the 1920s with the British and American Schools in Athens, the blurring of the distinction between scientific documentation and art has a long history. This tendency in its turn exerted a strong influence on the European architectural movements of their time. We have selected a range of representative drawings and photographs of architectural elements to illustrate this interplay and these are displayed in our board room in a changing exhibition that will showcase a variety of these images from our collection.
New Project in the History of the Greek Theatre Wins Australian Research Council Support
A team of five academics from the Department of Classics & Ancient History and the Department of Archaeology have secured a large Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant to study ‘The Theatrical Revolution: The Expansion of Theatre Outside Athens’. Over the course of the next five years, Professor Peter Wilson, Professor Eric Csapo, Emeritus Professor Dick Green, Dr Ted Robinson and Dr Sebastiana Nervegna will investigate the social and economic consequences of the growth of theatre in the first two centuries of its existence (500-300 BC). A combination of factors – a historical focus upon Athens as the hegemonic power in Greece, rigid discipline-boundaries (that place theatre squarely in the domain of literary studies), and the dominance of unidirectional models of cultural transfer – have caused past generations of scholars to take little interest in non-Athenian theatre. They have tended to ignore, or downplay any evidence they could not deny. Theatre appeared an entirely Athenian phenomenon until, late in the fourth century, the ‘integrity’ of the Greek cities was broken by the conquests of Alexander the Great.
A very different conception of Greece is now emerging. The current climate of free trade, the internet, and high levels of personal mobility have made scholarship much more ready to look for and accept evidence for a multicultural, interconnected and networked Mediterranean, where former generations noticed only cultural and economical isolation.
However, recent discoveries and recent studies make it certain that theatre was already widespread beyond Athens in the fifth century BC. By the end of the Classical period (479-323 BC) it had emerged as one of antiquity’s largest industries. Well before the Hellenistic period (323-86 BC) it played a cardinal role in the social and political development of Classical Greece: theatre provided a medium for the dissemination of a panhellenic language (koine Greek) and a unified mythology that formed the basis of Greek national identity. This project will address the clear need to identify, collect, assess and analyse the evidence for theatre’s impact on Greek and Mediterranean society and culture.
This project will be based in the William Ritchie Theatre Office within CCANESA. News of conferences and other events related to the project will be posted here in due course.