Universiteit Leiden

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Forum Antiquum: Catherine Morgan

  • Catherine Morgan (University of Oxford)
Thursday 23 November 2017
University Library
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden
Heinsius conference room

Understanding Ithaca. New Directions in the Achaeology of a Small Island

Based on re-appraisal of a decade of British fieldwork on Ithaca in the 1930s and new investigations under the aegis of the British School at Athens, this lecture examines the contribution of the central Ionian archipelago, with Ithaca at its heart, to our understanding of larger political processes in the Adriatic region from the Early Iron Age to the Early Roman period. The central case study is a new assessment of changing patterns of cult activity in the so-called Polis cave in northern Ithaca. Rejecting the traditional, narrowly ‘Homeric’ approach to this site, the lecture examines how the shrine operated to express, mediate and connect island identities and interests under changing political and economic circumstances.


Catherine Morgan is Senior Research Fellow in Classics at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Formerly Director of the British School at Athens, her current work focuses on the central Ionian Islands, where she co-directs a survey and publication project in northern Ithaca in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kephallonia and collaborates in the research of the University of Crete on Meganisi. In the Corinthia, she co-directs the Kenchreai Quarries Survey. Her publications include Isthmia VIII (1999), Early Greek States Beyond the Polis (2003), and (with Xenia Charalambidou), the edited collection Interpreting the Seventh Century BC (2017).

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