“Possibly the world’s finest Greek portrait”: Demosthenes – from Knole to Copenhagen

Among the most famous sculptures in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is the portrait statue of Demosthenes (inv. 2782; Arachne entry with some further bibliography). The statue is reported to have been found in Campania, where it was once part of the collection of a palazzo in central Naples. In 1770, it then made its way […]

Being Karian: On “Classical” Heritage in Bodrum

Gönül Bozoglu, Vinnie Nørskov and I have a new paper on “The Phantom Mausoleum: Contemporary Local Heritages of a Wonder of the Ancient World in Bodrum, Turkey” out in the Journal of Social Archaeology. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork in Bodrum that we’ve done over a number of years and especially a series […]

Robin Osborne on Phaleron and Rewriting Early Athenian History

Following up from yesterday’s post on the extraordinary finds from Phaleron, here’s an online lecture from Robin Osborne placing the mass graves (containing c.3% of the contemporary male population in Athens!) into the much larger context of archaic Greek political history and interpreting them as an expression of Athenian state power: “Archaeology and the Rewriting […]

Violence and the Archaeology of Internal War

A recurring theme in my work on ancient iconoclasm is the social meaning of violence and especially “mirror effects” in the treatment of stone and flesh-and-blood bodies, a topic that I am once again pursuing as part of the DFG network on internal war. For this reason, I was very much intrigued by the discovery […]

Making and Breaking the Emperors at Eretria

Some photos from a wet day visiting the excavations of ancient Eretria and its temple of the imperial cult with an interesting assemblage of seven heavily fragmented sculptures, possibly the outcome of late antique Christian response (see JRA 2001). We are eagerly awaiting Valentina di Napoli’s full publication of the finds.

The Death of Spolia? Roman Re-Use Cultures

Scholarship on reuse in the Roman (and late antique) world is growing at great speed. I have recently reviewed this large volume on “La sculpture et sesames reemplois”, edited by Vassiliki Gaggadis-Robin and Nicholas de Larquier (forthcoming in Latomus, 79.4): The volume compiles plenty of interesting new material, especially from the western Mediterranean, both in […]

Earthquakes, Sculpture and the Archaeological Record

Archaeoseismological research typically focuses on urban landscapes (see, for example, Andrew Wilson’s recent piece on Aphrodisias, or my own humble contribution on the Lykos Valley). Late antique assemblages of earthquake rubble at sites, such as Scythopolis (above), indeed show very nicely how earthquakes could affect urban life in devastating ways. What is much less systematically […]

Graphs, Statues and Social History

I first became aware of this graph of the chronological distribution of confederate monuments last year when Jen Trimble gave a virtual paper for our sculpture seminar. Not all of these monuments are statues, but many are…..The graph has since then appeared in Alexander Bauer’s JSA paper, “Itineraries, iconoclasm, and the pragmatics of heritage“. It […]

Safeguarding Statues in WWII

With colleagues, I am doing work on a group of sculptures now in the small archaeological museum in Agrinio. The sculptures were excavated in the 1920s, long way before the current Agrinio museum opened, and for fifty years or so they were housed in Athens. While looking into their history of display (and restoration), I […]