Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

santen lima

Ann Santen, President of the Cincinnati Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, found out this week that she won the AIA's most prestigious award for commitment to the mission of the AIA, the Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award. Her role in initiating and growing our Department Outreach Program formed the basis for the honor. Ann will receive her award at the AIA Annual Meeting in Chicago in early January. Ann is an inspiration to students and faculty alike, and we are lucky to have her in our community. For more on the award: For more on the Classics Outreach Program:


This past summer, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation held a colloquium in Athens honoring Carl and Elizabeth Blegen. 

Carl Blegen was not just a member of this deparment from 1927 to 1957 (and as Head from 1951-1957), but was also an active participant in the modern history of Greece. He enlisted with the American Red Cross in 1918 and worked in Eastern Macedonia and aided with the repatriation of Greek refugees from Bulgaria. He was decorated by King Alexander of Greece for these efforts.

The Blegen's lived in Athens at Ploutarchou 9, which is now home to the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation.

The various speakers at the colloquium spoke about lesser known aspects of the couple's life and work in Greece and in prehistoric archaeology. 

More information can be found here and a videocast of the colloquium is presented here.

pylos roof

In 2010 Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis of the Department of Classics learned of the need to replace a roof that had been erected over the Palace of Nestor in 1960 to cover Carl Blegen and Marion Rawson's excavations. In 2011 Davis and Stocker began to collaborate with the firm of Kyriakides A.E. in Athens, which produced for UC the architectural and engineering studies required for a new roof. These studies, after approval from the Greek Archaeological Service, resulted in the release of €3.1 million in EU funds for construction. Since October of 2012 Stocker has being directing an international team of archaeologists and students representing the University of Cincinnati in excavations at the Palace of Nestor, in collaboration with a team from the Greek Archaeological Service. This research was necessary to prepare the ground for the new roof.

In the past few years UC Classics has been well represented at the Archaeological Institute of America/American Philological Association (AIA/APA) conference each winter. This year we will have twelve speakers from UC Classics presenting their scholarship.

Natalie Abell: "Establishing a Middle Ground: Social Practice and Intercultural Interaction at Bronze Age Ayia Irini, Kea, Greece"

Recent studies of interaction in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (MBA-LBA) Cyclades have been primarily concerned with explaining the hows and whys of “Minoanization,” the process by which Cycladic islanders adopted aspects of Cretan culture. Although such studies have become increasingly theoretically sophisticated, culture change in the Bronze Age Cyclades is still often viewed as the result of unilateral action or influence from Crete, while diachronic analyses that emphasize variation between Cycladic communities are rare. This paper takes a different perspective, focusing on changes in both Minoanizing and non-Minoanizing ceramic production and consumption patterns at Ayia Irini on the island of Kea.

During the MBA and earlier LBA, Ayia Irini was a major exchange hub that linked culturally distinct regions – the Cyclades, Crete, and mainland Greece. An analysis of changes in ceramics in use at Ayia Irini during this period suggests a complex picture of interaction and influence. Minoanizing pottery and technology were employed at Ayia Irini already in the earlier MBA, a period usually considered to precede Minoanization. During the height of Minoanization, Keian potters continued to manufacture non-Minoanizing vessels, while both Minoanizing and non-Minoanizing ceramics were imported from the Cyclades and mainland Greece. Ultimately, the local repertoire of drinking and eating vessels, although partially Minoanized, was in no period wholly comparable to Cretan or other Cycladic assemblages. It is argued that the idiosyncrasies of the Keian ceramic repertoire were not merely an inevitable consequence of the geographical situation of the site at the intersection of regional exchange networks. Rather, it is suggested that Ayia Irini was a kind of middle ground, where people from different cultural backgrounds were able to join in notionally shared drinking and eating practices and, perhaps, associated values. Participation in such events would have served to reinforce social bonds and to promote trade between locals and non-locals. The adoption of Cretan ways of doing things at Ayia Irini, when situated in this context, may be viewed not just as a reaction to growing Cretan cultural or political power, but as part of active Keian strategies to promote interaction with Cycladic islanders and mainlanders as well.

CWB Box 35 F1 1966 AIAMedal cropped

Carl Blegen accepting the AIA Gold Medal, 1965
Image courtesy of the ASCSA

In 1965 Carl Blegen was awarded the first Gold Medal for archaeological achievement by the Archaeological Institute of America. He was not available to go to the US in December to receive the award, but it was presented to him at the home of the American Ambassador to Greece in Athens the following year. 

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens has digitized the audio of that presentation and we present the short audio here. This same audio was played during the William P. Donovan lecture hosted here in Cincinnati in November.

On November 4 the Department of Classics hosted a conversation with alumnus William P. Donovan. Donovan is a retired professor from Macalester College who spoke about his work during the Blegen excavations of the Palace of Nestor in Pylos in the 1950’s and 1960’s. 

Donovan touched on many issues during his talk. He discussed  the differences in excavation methodology that have occurred over the years, he reminisced about Carl Blegen, and he told us about the early history of this department. His talk includes an audio tape recording from Blegen himself, recorded as he was the first Gold Medal for archaeological achievement from the Archaeological Institute of America.

You can watch the video of the talk below.

You can hear the Blegen audio here.


UC Classics is hiring!

Assistant Professor of Classics (Archaeology)

University of Cincinnati

The Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati invites applications for a tenure-track position in Archaeology at the level of Assistant Professor of Classics, to begin in the fall of 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter. Candidates should be able to teach Greek and/ or Roman archaeology, Classical Civilization, and either Ancient Greek or Latin language and literature, and should demonstrate high scholarly potential. Candidates should have an interdisciplinary specialization in the archaeology, socio-cultural history, and economic history of the Iron Age Mediterranean. A Ph.D. in Classics or a related field is required for appointment.

The department offers B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Classics and has recently expanded to 15 full-time faculty lines, including ancient historians, archaeologists, and philologists. The graduate program is one of the largest in the country, with over 30 students in residence. The Department is housed as a single unit with offices, classrooms, lecture halls, and library occupying adjoining floors. The John M. Burnam Classical Library contains the largest Classics, Byzantine, and Modern Greek collection in the world. Full information about the department is available at

Faculty are expected to make significant contributions to knowledge through research and publication, to teach undergraduate and graduate courses with excellence, and to fulfill reasonable service obligations to the scholarly and local communities.

Candidates should register for the position online at (Position Number: 213UC6188) and attach a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and a writing sample; candidates should arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Preliminary inquiries can be addressed to the Chair of the Search Committee, Professor Steven Ellis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The committee will review applications starting November 15, 2013. Where possible, we will conduct preliminary interviews at the annual meeting of the AIA/APA in Chicago, IL, January 2-5, 2014. The University of Cincinnati is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Internal Number: 213UC6188


Eleni Hatzaki has been awarded a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship for the academic year 2013-14. This prestigious Fellowship is supported by the income from sales of books in the Loeb Classical Library, the ubiquitous small green and red volumes with ancient text on one page, English translation on the opposite. The Fellowship will provide academic leave for completing the primary publication of Eleni’s current fieldwork project (Little Palace North), an excavation at the famous Bronze Age site of Knossos on Crete, Greece.

Her study aims to enhance our understanding of urban activities at Minoan Knossos. The project focuses on the area north of the Little Palace, the largest elite building so far excavated at the site other than the Palace, located in the public-elite core of the Late Bronze Age (1600-1100 B.C.) town. By testing new against older excavations conducted in the 1900s by British Archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, and in the 1970s by Mervyn Popham (Eleni’s Oxford DPhil supervisor, who taught at UC Classics in the early 1970s), this project aims to define how the space around the Little Palace was used and by whom. New excavations occurred in 2001 and 2002, and produced 3 tons of fragmentary pottery excavated in over 450 stratigraphical units associated with 6 successive architectural phases. Although Eleni has been studying the finds since the end of the excavation (together with an international team of specialists), the Loeb Fellowship will give her much needed time to bring it all together.

The results of this project will provide new information about the development of the prehistoric town of Knossos. The old and new evidence together show that the urban landscape of Knossos underwent various drastic changes between 1600-1100 B.C., which contradicts the prevailing view first proposed by Sir Arthur Evans of an unaltered urban layout for the duration of Late Bronze Age Knossos. Since Evans’ view of limited change at urban Knossos provided a model for understanding contemporary sites in Crete, the results from Eleni’s study prompt a re-examination of urban development in other Cretan settlements with long and complex occupation sequences.

In addition to the Loeb Foundation, the project is funded by the Louise Taft Semple Fund through the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, and runs under the aegis of the British School at Athens with the permission of the Greek Ministry of Culture. Publication is planned in a series of peer-reviewed articles.

UC Classics faculty have a long history with the Loeb Classical Libary Foundation and have won five of these fellowships in the last decade.