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 […]

Cross-Marked Ancient Sculpture: A New Case from Patras

Very long ago, I published a paper based on data from my dissertation, a small corpus of ancient sculpture on which one or more crosses had been carved or incised somewhere on their body. I have recently posted an update to this corpus on my Academia page, including the above naiskos in the very nice […]

The Archaeology of the Hajj

The holy mosque at Mecca with high-rise pilgrim hotels and other construction massively re-shaping the cityscape. Photo copyright Khaled Desouki. One of my future projects is to take a closer archaeological look at pilgrimage in a cross-cultural perspective. So it was fascinating to see this photo essay in the Danish newspaper Information on the Hajj […]

Gaza: The Lost Ancient City

The newest issue of Archaeology Magazine has an interesting feature on the sad state of the antiquities of Gaza (and its small archaeological museum in particular) after the recent conflict. As a lot of people will be aware, Gaza was in antiquity one of the most important and prosperous trading centres of the eastern Mediterranean. […]