Ontario Aegean Archaeology Day to Hit Toronto this Saturday

Snow-weary Toronto residents are set to get some Aegean relief this Saturday. The Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto Canada, will be hosting Ontario Aegean Archaeology Day.

Nine speakers from universities in Ontario and New York State will present their research on the ancient Aegean. The event is free if you have a museum membership – non-members will have to pay the usual museum admission fee.

The event will be held in the Eaton theatre, and is sponsored by the museum, the Hellenic Republic of Greece, Greek Communities of Canada and the Archaeology Centre at the University of Toronto.

Don’t Miss These Talks

Professor Dimitri Nakassis is part of the Pyla Koutsopetria Archaeological Project which is investigating archaeological sites on the south coast of Cyprus, near the modern day village of Pyla. Among the sites is a mysterious settlement called Pyla-Kokkinokremos that only existed for a generation or two ca. 1250 BC. The people buried hoards of gold, silver and bronze before fleeing the site ca. 1200 BC.

This date, 1200 BC, is important since it signifies the onset of an Ancient Dark Age that saw the Mycenaean, Hittite and Egyptian civilizations collapse, and new kingdoms, such as the one at Tayinat, rise up. This Saturday Professor Nakassis will be talking about this Dark Age and what we can learn about it from ancient literary sources.

Professor Angus Smith, of Brock University, has been helping to excavate the site of Ayia Sotira on the Greek Peloponnese. The site is a cemetery with several Mycenaean chamber tombs. He is also working on the Mochlos project, which is investigating a small island off the north-eastern coast of Crete.They are currently diggingup levels of the site that date to before the Minoan palaces were built.

The chair of the second session is Professor Maria Shaw. Recently she put forward a theory that out of work Minoan artists came to Egypt at the time the Palace of Knossos was in decline. Those workers created the frescoes seen at Tell el-Daba. She will not be presenting at this event, but her husband, Professor Joseph Shaw, will be giving a talk on the ancestry of the Minoan hall system.

Full Schedule

(Source – Royal Ontario Museum)

10:30 am – Introduction: Paul Denis, ROM

Chair – 1st session: Professor Carl Knappett, Art, University of Toronto

10:40 am – Professor James Conolly, Anthropology, Trent University
Of Blades and Arrows: Hunters and Farmers of Antikythera in the Later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age

11:10 am – Dr. Jill Hilditch, Art, University of Toronto
As Far as the Eye Could See – Islandscapes and Community Space in the Early Bronze Age Cyclades

11:40 am – Professor Tristan Carter, Anthropology, McMaster University
Body Politics: Adornment and Identity in the Later 3rd Millennium BC Southern Aegean

12:10 pm – Professor Vance Watrous and Matt Buell, Classics, Buffalo University
Gournia 2008-2009: Revealing a Minoan Town on the Aegean Coast

12:40 – 2:00 pm – Lunch

Chair – 2nd session: Professor Maria Shaw, Art, University of Toronto

2:00 pm – Professor Joe Shaw, Art, University of Toronto
Tracing the Ancestry of the Minoan Hall System

2:30 pm – Professor Rodney Fitzsimons, Classics, Trent University and Dr. Evgenia Gorogianni As the Tide Turns: Local Responses to Pan-Aegean Cultural Changes at Ayia Irini, Keos

3:15 pm – Professor Angus Smith, Classics, Brock University
The Humble Dead: Mortuary Ritual in the Minoan/Mycenaean Hinterland

3:30 – 4:00 pm – Coffee Break

4:00 pm – Professor Carl Knappett, Art, University of Toronto
Network thinking in the Aegean Bronze Age

4:30 pm – Professor Dimitri Nakassis, Classics, University of Toronto
Apocalypse or Liberation? Narratives of Collapse in the Greek Late Bronze Age

5:00 pm – Lectures Conclude