News

Apollo (NEAF) Visiting Fellows for 2014

NEAF is pleased to announce the two recipients of the Apollo Visiting Fellowships for 2014, Dr Juan Manual Tebes and Dr Hanan Mullins. The award is intended to provide scholars of Near Eastern/ Western Asian or Central Asian Archaeology with an opportunity to come to the University of Sydney to undertake a short period of research at CCANESA. While in Sydney the recipients will be based in CCANESA and will have the opportunity to consult with students, colleagues and experts in their respective fields.

The first fellowship holder will be Dr Juan Manuel Tebes, Associate Professor and Director of the Center of Studies of Ancient Near Eastern History, Catholic University of Argentina and Assistant Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Dr Tebes is a Near Eastern historian with areas of specialisation in the history and archaeology of the Iron Age southern Levant and northwestern Arabia. Dr Tebes will be visiting Sydney during the month of August to conduct research into the southern arid areas of the Levant, particularly the Negev, southern Jordan (the ancient land of Edom) and Hejaz and is scheduled to give a public lecture on August 6 (for details click here).

The second NEAF Apollo Fellow for 2014 is Dr Hanan Mullins, who recently completed her PhD at the University of Paris I, France with a dissertation entitled 'The Pottery of the Late Bronze Age from the Northern Levant (Arqa and the southern Akkar plain)'. Dr Mullins will be based at CCANESA during September and will also give a public lecture for NEAF during this period (details to be advised).

In addition, both fellows will present aspects of their research in the Near Eastern Seminar Series during Semester 2.
The fellowships have been made possible thanks to the generosity of Alumni of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation.

Upcoming meeting - Australasian Women In Ancient World Studies

The Sydney chapter of the Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies (AWAWS) is hosting a second meeting at the upcoming Third Australasian Egyptology Conference to be held at Macquarie University in July 2014.

The AWAWS is a professional organisation established for women and men committed to gender equality and diversity in ancient world studies. This includes classics, ancient history, ancient languages and archaeology (all periods). The AWAWS Sydney meeting will take place on July 18, from 1:00-1:45pm in Building Y3A, Room 212, Macquarie University and all are invited to attend.

Download the invitation and membership application form here.

For further information about the AWAWS click here to visit their website.

Apollo Fellowship 2013-2014

The final recipient of the Department of Classics & Ancient History 2013 Apollo Visiting Fellowship for young scholars to undertake research in CCANESA was Dr Naomi Weiss, Harvard University, USA. The Apollo Fellowships for 2013-2014 were made possible thanks to the generosity of Alumni of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. A report on Dr Weiss's period of research is presented below.

Report by Dr Naomi Weiss, Harvard University
Thanks to the Apollo Fellowship, I spent three stimulating weeks at the University of Sydney in May and June 2014, just after finishing my PhD at Berkeley. The main reason for my visit was to confer with Professors Eric Csapo and Peter Wilson, whose work on music and theatre in Athens in the fifth century BCE had a great influence on my PhD dissertation on mousike in the tragedies of Euripides. Both were extremely generous with their time, meeting with me on several occasions to discuss my current work and to help me in articulating my ideas for a second book project on theatrical politics in archaic and classical Athens. I also learned a lot from our conversations about their ongoing project on the social and economic history of classical Greek drama, particularly by participating in their “theatre seminar” with Andrew Hartwig. But while meeting them had been the purpose of my application for the fellowship in the first place, I benefited enormously from getting to know the rest of the department as well. Both faculty members and graduate students gave extremely useful (and challenging!) feedback on my talk on Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis, which I delivered as part of the Classics and Ancient History Research Seminar Program. I also much enjoyed my conversations with Frances Muecke and Ben Brown in a more informal context.

My time in Sydney was also productive in terms of my own writing. I completed the first draft of a paper entitled “Hearing the Syrinx in Euripidean Tragedy” and then revised it effectively as a result of the very helpful suggestions made by Eric, Peter and Andrew during our theatre seminar. Through working on my paper on Iphigenia in Aulis, both in preparation for the talk and afterwards, I was able to prepare it for publication as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume on the interactions between tragedy and nondramatic choral lyric. I am very grateful to everyone at CCANESA for making my visit so rewarding and enjoyable.

Professor John Bodel: The Rediscovery of Rome and the Formation of the American Epigraphic Collection

In conjunction with Sydney Ideas, the Department of Classics and Ancient History is co-presenting a lecture by Professor John Bodel, Department of Classics, Brown University. The lecture is entitled "The Rediscovery of Rome and the Formation of the American Epigraphic Collection" and will be held on Tuesday 10 June, 6.00 to 7.30pm in the Law School Foyer, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney.

Professor John Bodel is the W. Duncan MacMillan Professor of Classics Professor of History Department of Classics, Brown University. He studies ancient Roman social, economic, and cultural history and Latin literature, especially of the empire. Much of his research involves inscriptions, and he has special interests in Roman religion, slavery, funerals and burial customs, ancient writing systems, the editing of Latin epigraphic and literary texts, and Latin prose authors. Since 1995, he has directed the U.S. Epigraphy Project, the purpose of which is to gather information about Greek and Latin inscriptions in the USA.

For further information about the lecture and to RSVP please visit the Events webpage

Additional NESS presentation

On Wednesday May 14 CCANESA hosted a special one-off NESS presentation by Professor Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute and Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Chicago. Professor Stein presented a seminar on his recent research project entitled "The indigenous origins of social complexity in Northern Mesopotamia".

The seminar was well attended by staff and students and highlights the wide range of research interests fostered by the Department of Archaeology and specifically those taught within the ancient Near East.

Special thanks need to be extended to Professor Stein for taking the time out of a very short visit to Sydney to address the students, and to James Fraser and Ana Becerra, both PhD candidates in the Department for organising the seminar at short notice.

2014 Excavations at Paphos Theatre Site, Cyprus

Positions are now being advertised for the 2014 excavation season at the University of Sydney's Paphos Theatre Site in Cyprus.

Applications are currently open for a limited number of student positions (currently enrolled students or postgraduates) or contributing volunteer positions (non-archaeological trained members of the public) for the 2014 field season which will take place between 16 August and 21 September.

For further information on the project and the application process go to the Paphos Theatre website.

Applications close 30 May 2014

Zagora Archaeological Project: Call for volunteers 2014

The Zagora Archaeological Project (ZAP) is a collaborative venture between the Department of Archaeology, the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, the Athens Archaeological Society and the Powerhouse Museum. A call for volunteers for the 2014 excavation season on the Geometric settlement site at Zagora (Andros, Greece) has been announced, for the period between 22nd September to 5th November inclusive.

Volunteers may apply for a place for:

(1) the whole six-and-a-half week period,
(2) the three week period between 22nd September and 10th October inclusive, or
(3) the three-and-a-half week period between 13th October to 5th November inclusive.

Further information about the project and a link to the application form for the 2014 excavation season can be found here

Applications closed 2 May 2014

Apollo Visiting Fellowship 2014

Thanks to the generosity of Alumni of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF) is able to offer the Apollo Visiting Fellowship to enable a young scholar of Near Eastern/ Western Asian or Central Asian Archaeology to come to Sydney to consult with academic experts in their field and to work on their research at the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia at the University of Sydney for a concentrated period.

For information about the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation please follow this link

For information about Archaeology at the University of Sydney please follow this link

The scholarship is valued at AUS $4000. The closing date for applications is Monday December 9 2013.

The application form can be downloaded here

Applications have now closed.

A Taste of Paradise: In Celebration of Iranian Cultural Heritage

On Saturday 12 October 2013 the Department of Archaeology and the Council of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF) in association with the Association of Iranica in Australasia Inc. had the privilege of hosting an event at CCANESA dedicated to celebrating the cultural heritage of Iran.

The opening address to A Taste of Paradise: In Celebration of Iranian Cultural Heritage was given by the Head of SOPHI, Professor Barbara Caine. The event showcased a diverse range of engaging speakers and entertainment, with lectures on literary exchanges between Iran and the West, Sufism, and the archaeology of Iran together with live classical Persian music and afternoon tea with homemade Persian confectionery. The diverse audience included members of NEAF, academics, students and a representation of the Iranian community. The success of this event reveals the privileged reach of NEAF and the Department of Archaeology in engaging with the past and bringing its cultural legacy into the present.

Program

Iran Day Oshagh Ensemble musical performance

The Persian Oshagh Ensemble performing at the Taste of Paradise cultural event held in CCANESA

Persian Music Ensemble
–– Literary exchanges between Iran and the West
by Dr Laetitia Nanquette, The University of New South Wales.
Book Launch: Orientalism Versus Occidentalism.
–– The Visual Heritage Research Project: Iran Narrated by Historical Postcards by Dr Omid Tofighian, The University of Sydney.
–– Was Cyrus an Elamite? The Elamite Heritage of Persia
by Dr Javier Álvarez-Mon, The University of Sydney
–– The University of Sydney Iranian Archaeology PhD Showcase.
–– Book Launch: Sufism in the Secret History of Persia
by Dr Milad Milani, The University of Western Sydney (Launched by Emeritus Professor Garry W. Trompf Chair, History of Ideas, The University of Sydney)

Organised by: The Department of Archaeology and the Council of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF) at the University of Sydney in association with the Association of Iranica in Australasia Inc.

Twentieth Todd Memorial Lecture

Professor Harriet Flower (Princeton University), Consensus and Community in Republican Rome

18 July, 2013 5pm General Lecture Theatre, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney

Professor Flower is well known for her work on Republican history, including Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture (Oxford 1996), The Art of Forgetting (Chapel Hill 2006), and Roman Republics (Princeton 2010).

RSVP by 10 July to Elia Mamprin:

Apollo Fellowship 2013

Thanks to the generosity of Alumni of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, the Department of Classics & Ancient History was able to offer young scholars the opportunity to come to Sydney to undertake research in CCANESA as part of the Apollo Visiting Fellowship. The aim of the fellowship is to allow the recipient to consult with academic experts in their field and to work on their own research. The first Fellowship holder was Dr Emma Park from the University of Warwick, UK.

Two more Apollo fellows were hosted by the Department of Classics and Ancient History in 2013: Dr Hallie Marshall from the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, University of British Columbia (August 2013) and Lucy Jackson, PhD candidate from the Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford (September 2013).

Reports by Apollo Fellows 2013

Report by Dr Emma Park, University of Warwick, UK
The Apollo Fellowship which I was lucky enough to be awarded allowed me to spend four weeks in Sydney University in March and April 2013. I was based in an office in CCANESA, which I found was an excellent working environment. I made use of both CCANESA’s library and the Fisher library. I gave two seminars. The first, which I gave at the Classics and Ancient History Seminar, was entitled ‘Plato’s Philosophical Literature: Images of Beauty in the Phaedrus’. The second, which I gave at the SHAPE seminar, was on ‘Modern Aesthetics and Ancient Literature: Lucretius and the Problem of Imaginative Resistance’. The discussion which followed both talks provided me with many stimulating suggestions for the two articles which I was working on during my visit. I am particularly grateful to Professor Rick Benitez, for being my sponsor during my stay, and for all his helpful advice on my work. I am also grateful to Anne Rogerson, Ikuko Sorensen, Ben Brown, Bob Cowan, and many others at CCANESA and the Classics Department for their suggestions and hospitality.

Report by Lucy Jackson, PhD candidate, University of Oxford, UK
I visited the University of Sydney on an Apollo Fellowship in September 2013. The month I spent there enabled me to test out on world experts in the field certain key aspects of my current research into fourth-century BC dramatic choruses. The paper I gave to the department provided a useful linchpin of my visit around which I began and continued a number of enjoyable and fruitful conversations with Peter Wilson, Eric Csapo, Andrew Hartwig, Sebastiana Nervegna, Alastair Blanshard and Frances Muecke. These conversations have since proved critical in shaping the overarching structure of my current research project. The excellent facilities, at CCANESA and on Sydney’s delightfully vibrant campus, allowed me to continue the detailed editing of several thesis chapters while I was there. I had a great deal of fun amidst the community of researchers at CCANESA, discussing matters serious and matters silly. It was a wonderful environment to be part of, if only for a short time, and thoroughly conducive to the most rewarding kind of scholarly research.

Professor David Mattingly, William Ritchie Fellow 2013

Prof. Mattingly delivered his public lecture at CCANESA

Professor Mattingly delivering a public lecture at CCANESA as part of National Archaeology Week in May 2013


In May 2013, Professor David Mattingly, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Leicester and a Fellow of the British Academy, visited Australia as William Ritchie Fellow 2013. Professor Mattingly is an internationally renowned expert on the archaeology of ancient North Africa and has led many excavations and surveys in Libya and Tunisia. He has written several books on the archaeology of ancient North Africa and Roman imperialism and this year, delivered the prestigious Jerome Lectures at the University of Michigan and the American Academy in Rome.

During his visit, Professor Mattingly gave a series of seminars at the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA), culminating in a public lecture entitled Africa in the Roman Empire: New Perspectives on Old Ruins. The lecture was well attended and also formed part of the program for National Archaeology Week (NSW).

The lecture was co-hosted by the Ancient North African & Phoenician Diaspora Research Network (ANAPD). ANAPD is part of the Department of Classics & Ancient History, a new initiative designed to provide a way of connecting people from the University, Australia wide and around the world with academics, research students and other people interested in the history and archaeology of North Africa and the Phoenician settlements in the Ancient Mediterranean.

For recent Conference Reports please see under 'Events' tab

CCANESA Launch and Woodhouse Photographs

At the launch of CCANESA, with Woodhouse photos in the background, from left to right: Dr John Tidma

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 Dig Image 1

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

AAIA

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

Classics scholars Dr Sebastiana Nervegna, Prof. Eric Csapo and Prof. Peter Wilson in the CCANESA lib

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.