Corinth Excavations recently finished the final day of excavations for the 2017 season. Excavation was conducted in the Frankish Area southeast of Temple E under the direction of Corinth Excavations Director, Guy Sanders, and Field Director, Rossana Valente, University of Edinburgh PhD Candidate. The goal was to wrap up excavations in preparation for finishing the Frankish Area restoration project.
The April season excavation supervisors were Caitlin Clerkin and Heather Bowyer. Andrew Ward returned to volunteer in the museum and continued working on his Potters’ Quarter museum project from last year, including creating, editing, updating, or inventorying over 7,000 records on the database.
The May season excavation supervisor was Tori Bedingfield. Ruben Post worked in the museum, studying and entering data for coins in the collection from the Achaean League, materials he is using in his dissertation. Justin Dwyer returned to volunteer in the museum and continued working on his terracotta comic actor figurines project from last year, including associating object records with their full context information. Jeff Banks worked in the museum, identifying, labeling, and inventorying approximately 150 ceramic vessels from Zygouries. Corinth Excavations Illustrator Christina Kolb returned and continued drawing objects for Corinthian scholars.
Steinmetz Family Foundation Museum Fellow Katie Petrole has been busy finalizing Corinth Excavations lesson plans and uploading them to the K-12 Educational Resources website. With Corinth Excavations Assistant Director Dr. Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, Katie prepared for a major collaboration with representatives from KEPAP (Center for Culture, Athletics, and Environment of the Demos Corinthion) and Ephoreia of the Antiquities of the Corinthia. The planning team produced two pre-registered programs about sacred prostitution in Corinth in honor of International Museum Day (IMD), an International Council of Museums (ICOM) event. The programs, titled “City of Aphrodite”, featured objects from the ASCSA's collections related to the different roles of Aphrodite, ranging from terracotta figurines and doves to a bronze bowl and agate gemstone. Corinth Excavations Photographer Petros Dellatolas produced exquisitely artistic photographs of some the artifacts in preparation for the event and for its advertisement on social media. Local actors and members of the Opus Femina, the local choir led by Fallia Papayiannopoulou, recited and chanted excerpts from ancient literature pertaining to the complex issue of sacred prostitution in Corinth. All participants were thrilled to receive a plaster pendant with an imprint of the image of Aphrodite Hoplismeni from the agate gemstone (MF-2013-13) prepared with love by Corinth Excavations Conservator, Nicol Anastassatou. After these programs, Katie organized an informal artifact table around the theme “Saying the Unspeakable in Museums: Corinth Excavations and Contested Histories” in the museum courtyard. Volunteer Dimitra Sidiropoulou assisted at the table and helped visitors make connections with the objects and their meaning. Great conversations were had about archaeology, Aphrodite, symbols of the gods, sacred prostitution, and more. About 80 visitors stopped by the artifact table and hailed largely from Spain, Germany, USA, Korea, and Greece.
The end of the excavation was celebrated with a feast and party as is customary here at Corinth Excavations. This year the party was dedicated to Guy Sanders. Staff and members showed Guy their love and appreciation for a wonderful collaboration over the last couple decades.
We are now looking forward to a very busy June museum volunteer session. Volunteers Tori Bedingfield, Ruben Post, Jeff Banks, Katherine Harrington, Ginny Miglierina, Alayna Gould, and Marcella Giobbi will all conduct museum projects; Corinth Excavations Architect James Herbst will work with volunteers Inti Bogari on a GIS data project and Colin Wallace on a photogrammetry project.