Attic gold-figured silver plate from Thrace

2019-07-17-0001

2015

I have been reading Athanasios Sideris, Theseus in Thrace: the silver lining on the clouds of the Athenian-Thracian relations in the 5th century BC (Sofia: Thrace Foundation, 2015). It includes some remarkable gold-figured silver plate from the Bojkov Collection as well as other collections in Bulgaria. The book supports my earlier research with Michael Vickers in Artful Crafts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Among the pieces that deserve to be more widely discussed:

a. Rheneia cup, Peleus hunting a stag

b. Rheneia cup, Theseus and the Marathon bull. Weight: 189.94 g. [45 dr]

c. Rheneia cup, Theseus and Skiron. Veliko Tarnovo, District History Museum, inv. 1728 P. Found in Kapinovo, near Veliko Tarnovo.

d. Kantharos, Thesus and Ariadne

e. Kantharos, Theus, Pirithous and Helen. Weight: 379.9 g.

f. Kantharos, infant Herakles with snakes. Wight: 282.4 g.

g. Phiale, Amazonomachy. Weight: 416 g.

Sideris then lists the corpus of Athenian silver plate including material from:

i. Semibratny

ii. Duvanli

iii. Chernozem, near Plovdiv

iv. Chmyreva tumulus.

v. Kapinovo

Other material in collections or on the market:

vi. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art inv. 2015.260.1–2.

vii. Phoenix Ancient Art.

 

 

 

Heritage Book Cover Challenge

Day1_HoskinsA former colleague challenged me to Tweet seven book covers. The challenge did not allow me to comment or explain my choices, and here are my short explanations.

I was introduced to Hoskins’ classic study of the English landscape in my teens. It explained the layering and development of the countryside around me. I suspect the appeal was that it expanded on my love of maps. (I was very tempted to include The Making of the Cretan Landscape.) The book connects me with archaeological landscapes from field-surveys in Greece to walking in the Cheviots.

Day6_Hbook_HW

Northumberland is a county rich in heritage. One of the key features is Hadrian’s Wall and my companion on numerous occasions has been Collingwood Bruce’s Handbook (I have chosen the cover of the edition I had as a student). For a more recent waterproof edition see here.

Day5_Powell

My copy of Dilys Powell’s The Traveller’s Journey is Done which explores the life of Humfry Payne, Director of the British School at Athens, was purchased in a secondhand bookshop in York. This book captures Greece in the inter-war period. I was later invited to revise Payne’s memoir in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (See Payne’s grave at Mycenae.) This is probably one of the books that stands in the background of my own research into the history of archaeology in Greece.

Day3_Manning_Balkan

Manning’s The Balkan Trilogy set in Bucharest and Athens is the only work of fiction in my list. I love the characterisation of the novels: Guy, Harriet, and Prince Yakimov. The fall of Greece connects with my study of Alan Wace who (like the Pringles) was evacuated to Egypt (The Levant Trilogy).

Day2_Istanbul

There are two guidebooks in my selection. The handbook by Sumner-Boyd and Freely prompted me to explore the more remote corners of this complex city.

Day4_Zanker

To my surprise there is no Greek archaeological book on my list. But Zanker’s approach to material culture challenged my approach to the visual world of antiquity.

Day5_Harts_RulesMy last book is a much loved companion that continues to sit on my office desk (though I do have a more modern edition). It was a recommended purchase as a graduate student and has been a welcome addition to my working library.

Winifred Lamb: museum curator and archaeologist

Lamb_Cambridge3

I will be exploring the relationship between Winifred Lamb’s work as an archaeologist in the Aegean, and her role as Honorary Keeper of Greek Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In the museum there are recognisable strands to her curatorial work: the display (and publication) of the Greek figure-decorated pottery, supplemented by the Ricketts and Shannon loan (and later Shannon bequest); the formation of a prehistoric gallery; the development of a collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman bronzes; and finally material from Anatolia. The Greek pottery interest was influenced by her work with (Sir) John Beazley in Room 40 during the final stages of World War 1.

In a second paper I will consider the process of writing Lamb’s biography: the archive sources including her correspondence, diaries, and photographs; her acquisitions for and gifts to the Fitzwilliam; and her publications. I will then turn to the writing of a life from an essay in Breaking Ground to the memoir in ODNB. What should be included or excluded? Where do the emphases lie?

Glenluce Abbey: book cupboard

img_4265-edit

Glenluce Abbey © David Gill

Within the cloister at Glenluce is a recessed book cupboard marked by a Ministry sign.

img_4266-edit

Glenluce Abbey © David Gill

For other books cupboards:

Archaeologist Spies of World War One

history_hit_spies

Winifred Lamb was recruited in the final stages of World War One for Room 40 in the Admiralty where she worked alongside (Sir) John D. Beazley. Her work there is discussed by me in the History Hit programme, “Archaeologist Spies of World War One“. Archaeologists excavated the ancient past during peacetime, but in war they had a different mission – to play a vital role in modern military intelligence.

Historian of archaeology Dr Amara Thornton explores a network of archaeologist-spies, codebreaking, mapping and running agents, and with expert contributors delves into the extraordinary double lives led by the critical players in the international theatres of World War One.

Lamb later worked as the Honorary Keeper of Greek Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and excavated in Greece through the British School at Athens.

Other members of the BSA also worked in intelligence during World War 1. They included David G. Hogarth, Alan J.B. Wace, Ernest A. Gardner, Harry Pirie-Gordon, and Richard M. Dawkins. Their work is explored in Sifting the Soil of Greece. 

siftingfcover

Winifred Lamb: the need for a biography

Lamb_cover (1)

I have been reflecting on why Winifred Lamb deserved a biography.

First, she pursued two parallel careers (captured in the sub-title). She was an active field-archaeologist during the inter-war period at sites that included Mycenae and Sparta, and her own excavations on Lesbos, Chios, and later at Kusura in Turkey. At the same time she was the honorary keeper of Greek antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum over nearly a 40 year span.

Second, she was closely involved with the on-going work of the British School at Athens (and contributed to its Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1936). She was also involved with the establishment of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara after the Second World War.

Third, she worked alongside some key figures in the discipline of archaeology. Among the names was Sir John Beazley with whom she worked in Naval Intelligence (Room 40) during the First World War. Sir Leonard Woolley introduced her to the Turkish language section of the BBC during the Second World War.

Fourth, she was one of a small group of women who worked at the British School at Athens immediately after the First World War. She was also one of the first women to excavate in Turkey in the 1930s.

Winifred Lamb: Aegean Prehistorian and Museum Curator

HARN Weblog

HARN Member, David Gill, has sent us the following information about his forthcoming book.

Lamb_cover (1)

Winifred Lamb was a pioneering archaeologist in Anatolia and the Aegean. She studied classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and subsequently served in naval intelligence alongside J. D. Beazley during the final stages of the First World War. As war drew to a close, Sydney Cockerell, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, invited Lamb to be the honorary keeper of Greek antiquities. Over the next 40 years she created a prehistoric gallery, marking the university’s contribution to excavations in the Aegean, and developed the museum’s holdings of classical bronzes and Athenian figure-decorated pottery. Lamb formed a parallel career excavating in the Aegean. She was admitted as a student of the British School at Athens and served as assistant director on the Mycenae excavations under Alan Wace and Carl Blegen. After further work at Sparta and on…

View original post 170 more words