Beyond the polis



The program comprises different categories of activity:

• Workshops

Paris, 12/05/2014

Atelier ‘Archéologie du rituel en Grèce à haute époque’

9 H 30 : Athéna TSINGARIDA (ULB), François de POLIGNAC (EPHE), Introduction

10 H : Première partie : Déceler les pratiques rituelles.

Irène SANCHEZ (Doctorante, Université d’Athènes/EPHE) : Honorer les dieux au milieu de ruines ? Archéologie du rituel dans les sites dits abandonnés dans les Cyclades de l'HR IIIC à la fin du VIIe siècle.

Alexandra ALEXANDRIDOU (Post-doc, FNRS-ULB), Yannos KOURAGIOS (Ephorie des Cyclades) : Les premières pratiques rituelles au sanctuaire de Despotiko à Antiparos à la fin de l’Âge du Fer et au début de l’époque archaique.

Vicky VLACHOU (Post-doc, ULB/Université d’Athènes),Premières attestations de pratiques rituelles sur le site de l’Amyklaion de Sparte.

12 H: Deuxième partie : Rites cultuels, rites funéraires, écarts et proximités.

Alexandra ALEXANDRIDOU (Post-doc, FNRS-ULB),Maison « sacrée » ou profane ? La reconstruction des pratiques collectives à l’Académie de Platon à Athènes pendant l’Âge du Fer.

14 H 30 : Suite

Vicky VLACHOU (Post-doc, ULB/Université d’Athènes), Les rites funéraires à Marathon pendant l'Age du Fer.

Vivi SARIPANIDI (Post-doc, Fondation Wiener-Anspach/ULB), Les accessoires du banquet dans les nécropoles de la Macédoine archaïque  : témoins d’une idéologie religieuse ?

15 H 30 : François de POLIGNAC, conclusions


Oxford, 24-25/05/2013
The purpose of the second workshop is to enable the research team to discuss their preliminary research with invited scholars from various disciplines. Participants : A. Alexandridou, I. Lemos, A. Mazarakis Ainian, A. Tsingarida, A. Vacek, V. Vlachou. The invited respondents will be : R. Parker, E. Kearns, B. Eder, I. Rutheford.

10.00-10.15: A. Tsingarida & I. Lemos, Introduction

10.15 -11.00: A. Vacek, Collective rituals and sacred space at the beginning of EIA : Some preliminary thoughts

11.15-12.00: V. Vlachou, Collective rituals and the beginning of cult at the Spartan Amyklaion: the ceramic evidence

12.00-12.45: I. Lemos, Lefkandi-Xeropolis: the 'ritual' zone

13.45 - 14.30: A. Alexandridou & A. Mazarakis Ainian, Sacred or Profane? Interpreting the character of Geometric edifices in funerary contexts in Attica

14.30 - 15.15: A. Tsingarida & D. Viviers, Funerary rituals without graves? The Archaic architectural complex of the North Necropolis at Itanos (Eastern Crete)

15.30-17.30: Final discussion

Detailed program of the workshop and abstracts of the papers

Brussels, 16/11/2012
The purpose of the first workshop was to enable the research team to discuss the selection of case studies study cases and geographical areas, and to define the accepted meaning of  key words in the subject such as ritual, collective practices and sacred places.
Participants : A. Alexandridou, Th. Brisart, I. Lemos, A. Mazarakis Ainian, A. Tsingarida, A. Vacek, V. Vlachou, D. Williams.

• Conferences

• At ULB, 14-16/11/2013 International symposium organized by N. Kourou (University of Athens), A. Tsingarida (ULB), V. Vlachou (ULB - University of Athens) Pots, Workshops and Early iron Age Society. Function and Role of Ceramics in Early Greece:

A. Tsingarida (ULB), General introduction to the symposium

V. Vlachou (ULB), Potters and Painters: aspects of organization of some Attic LG pottery workshops

A. Alexandridou (ULB), Domestic Ware, Ritual Utensils or Funerary Vases? Functions of the Late Geometric pottery from the “Sacred House” of the Academy in Athens

I. Lemos (Oxford), Conclusions of the symposium

• At the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), 16-19/01/2014, International symposium organized by J. Blok & F. van der Eijnde, Feasting and the Polis Institutions :

17/01: A. Alexandridou (ULB), Ritual feasting (?) in Early Iron Age Athens: the evidence from the site of the Academy

17/01: V. Saripanidi (ULB), Feasting beyond the polis: sympotic equipment in burials from Archaic Macedonia

17/01: V. Vlachou (ULB), Feasting at the sanctuary of Apollo Hyakinthos at Amyklai: the evidence of the Early Iron Age

• Paris, Musée du Louvre, 23/01/2014, A. Tsingarida & D. Viviers, La nécropole d'Itanos (Crète orientale) : apport des fouilles récentes à l'archéologie des pratiques funéraires

• Archaeological Institute of America, Annual Lecture, 13/02/2014 (USA, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ASU Fulton Centre, Tempe, Arizona): I. Lemos, Towards a Geometric Perfection. The Artist and Crafts of Early Greece

• University of Edinburgh (UK), 07-09/04/2014, International Conference organized by D. Rodríguez Pérez, Greek Art in Context; 08/04: V. Saripanidi (ULB), The Mortuary Functions of Imported Pottery in the Archaic Northern Aegean

• Wien Universität, Institut für Klassische Archäologie (Germany), 02-03/05/2014,  Dining in Context. What Shape Should We Use? Choices and Use of Dining Vessel Shapes c. 700 – 100 BC. Workshop für Nachwuchswissenschafterinnen.

02/05: A. Alexandridou (ULB), Dining and Early Cult Activities at the Sanctuary of Despotiko (Antiparos)

03/05: A. Vacek (Oxford), What Travelled With Greek Pottery? Drinking and Feasting in the Levant

• An international conference is being organized by Professors A. Tsingarida (ULB) and I. Lemos (Oxford) to be held in Brussels, at ULB, in September 24-26 2015, under the title of the project. During this conference the participants of the project will present their latest research on the subject and so will do a number of other scholars, who work on similar issues on other areas of the ancient Greek world. The aim of this conference, the proceedings of which will be published, will be to investigate the role of collective rituals in the formation of social and cultural identities from the 12th to the 6th c. B.C. and especially to compare various regional patterns attested both inside and outside the Greek mainland.


• François de Polignac (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris), Rituals in Context. Scales and Horizons of Interpretation


• Birgitta Eder (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), The Role of Sanctuaries and the Formation of Greek Identities in the LBA/EIA Transition
• Matthew Haysom (British School at Athens), Ritual, Social Practice and Religion: Making the Most of Overlapping Spheres in Archaeology
• Katja Sporn (Deutsche Archäologische Institut, Athens), Communal Rituals and Religious Acts. Problems of Definition
• Yannis Mylonopoulos (Columbia University), Panem et circenses. Ritual Meals and Performances in Early Greek Sanctuaries as Means of Exclusion
• Sandrine Huber (Université de Lorraine), Greek Sacrificial Practices Overseas: a Mediterranean Perspective
• Irene Sanchez (EPHE, Paris-National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Ritual Practices in Abandoned Settlements in the Cyclades from the 12th to the 6th Century B.C.: Mobility or Fixity? • Alexandra Alexandridou (FNRS-Université libre de Bruxelles), Tracing Earliest Cult Activities at the Sanctuary of Despotiko (Antiparos) in the Central Cyclades • Mieke Prent (VU Universiteit Amsterdam), Between Poleis: Constructing Social Identities at the Sanctuary of Palaikastro, Eastern Crete • Gudrun Klebinder-Gauss (University of Salzburg, Austria), Dining with the Ancestors: The ‘Westkomplex’ in Aegina-Kolonna
• Mary Voyatzis (University of Arizona), Enduring Rituals in the Arcadian Mountains: The Case of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion
• Floris Van Den Eijnde (Universiteit Utrecht), Invention of Tradition at the Cult of Demeter in Eleusis: the Post-Bronze Age Remains and the Hymn to Demeter
• Caroline Thurston (University of Oxford), Destruction and Deposition: the Mycenaean Figurines from the Ritual Zone at Xeropolis-Lefkandi
• Maria Mili (British School at Athens), Sanctuary Assemblages in North-central Greece: Coping with Similarity and Difference
• Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier (Deutsche Archäologische Institut, Athens), Changing social identities of the clientele of the sanctuary of Apollon at Abai (Kalapodi) from the Mycenaean to the Archaic periods as reflected in the ritual practices


• Carolyn Aslan (Koç University, Istanbul), Community Ritual Practices at Troy from the Early Iron Age to the Archaic Period
• Vivi Saripanidi (FNRS-Université libre de Bruxelles), The Use of Golden Funerary Masks in Archaic Macedonia: Continuity or Convergence?
• Reine-Marie Berard (École française de Rome), Funerary practices and the formation of the polis at Megara Hyblaea, 8th-6th centuries BC
• Evi Margariti (University of Cambridge), Beyond the Domestic: Food and Plant Use in Temples, Altars and Funerary Pyres
• Alex Mulhall (University College London), Evidence for Ritual Activity in Region II at Lefkandi? A Zooarchaeological Perspective
• Georgia Kotzamani (Ephorate of Western Attica, Piraeus and Islands, Hellenic Ministry of Culture) and Alexandra Livarda (University of Nottingham), An Exploration of the Social Role of Plants at Xeropolis, Lefkandi, Euboea
• Tatiana Theodoropoulou (CNRS-UMR 7041, Maison René Ginouvès, Nanterre, Paris), Ritualizing the Sea: Aspects of Ritual Activities related to the Sea in the Aegean from the 12th Century to the 6th Century B.C.
• Irene Lemos (University of Oxford) and Athena Tsingarida (Université libre de Bruxelles), Conclusions

Detailed program of the workshop

• Seminars


25/11/2012: A. Vacek (Oxford), Al Mina and the consumption of Greek pottery in the Near East during the Early Iron Age. A common story or an exceptional case?

22/11/2012: A. Alexandridou (ULB), Early Iron Age and Archaic cultic activity at the sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalauria on Poros: the pottery evidence

In the frame of the graduate program seminar “HAAR-B4205: Grèce I. La céramique dans les sanctuaires grecs à l'époque archaïque” organized by Dr. Alexandridou (in replacement of Prof. Tsingarida, who will be on a sabbatical):

25/11/2012: A. Vacek (Oxford), Al Mina and the consumption of Greek pottery in the Near East during the Early Iron Age. A common story or an exceptional case?

9/10/2014 : A. Alexandridou (ULB), La céramique aux sanctuaires d’Athènes et de l’Attique.

23/10/2014 : V. Saripanidi (ULB), Les céramiques dans les sanctuaires du nord de la Grèce pendant l’époque archaïque.

13/11/2014: A. Vacek (ULB), Greek pottery in the sanctuaries of Ionia (Asia Minor).

04/12/2014: V. Vlachou (ULB), La céramique du sanctuaire d'Apollon à Amykles (Laconie) et son contexte Spartiate.

• University of Oxford

16/03/2013: A. Vacek (Oxford), Al Mina and its maritime trade during the 7th century B.C.

06/02/2014: V. Saripanidi (ULB), The symposium in Archaic Macedonia. Evidence from Funerary Contexts

• Database

As part of the second phase of the research program a searchable database will be compiled. This will include an interactive map showing the sites which are being studied, and a dataset will provide scholars with further information about the sites and the archaeological evidence
Both the map and the sites dataset will be made available on-line to encourage further research on the subject.

• A collective volume

A collective volume with contributions from all participants has been scheduled for the end of the two-year program (2014). This volume will form part of the peer-reviewed series Kernos - Revue internationale et pluridisciplinaire de religion grecque antique.

Table of Contents

I. S. Lemos (University of Oxford) & A. Tsingarida (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Collective rituals and sacred space at the beginning of the EIA
A. Vacek (University of Oxford)

Lefkandi Xeropolis: the ‘ritual’ zone
I. S. Lemos (University of Oxford)

Collective Rituals in EIA Eretria and Oropos : the new evidence
A. Mazarakis Ainian (University of Thessaly/Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne)

Sacred or Profane? Interpreting the character of Geometric edifices in Attic funerary contexts
A. Alexandridou (Université libre de Bruxelles/University of Oxford)

Collective rituals and the beginnings of cult at Early Sparta: the case of the Spartan Amyklaion.
V. Vlachou (Université libre de Bruxelles/Université d’Athènes)

Collective rituals and distinctive contexts : The evidence of Archaic Eastern Crete
A. Tsingarida & D. Viviers (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Constructing continuities with the Heroic past : Feasting practices and the political ideology of the Archaic Macedonian Kingdom
V. Saripanidi (Université libre de Bruxelles)

I. S. Lemos (University of Oxford) & A. Tsingarida (Université libre de Bruxelles)

• Recent Publications

A. Alexandridou, "Le traitement funéraire des immatures dans la nécropole archaïque de Vari", in A. Hermary, C. Dubois (eds), L’enfant et la mort dans l’antiquité III. Le matériel associé aux tombes d’enfants, Arles, 2012, 39-56.

A. Alexandridou, “Destructions at the grave. Ritual burning and breaking in 7th century Athens ”, in J. Driessen (ed.), Destruction. Archaeological, Philological and Historical Perspectives, Louvain, 2013, 269-283.

I. Lemos, Area Editor, "Bronze and Iron Ages". in: R. S. Bagnall, K.Brodersen, C. B. Champion, A. Erskine, S R. Huebner (General Eds),The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, Wiley- Blackwell, 2013.

V. Saripanidi, “The local pottery from the Archaic-Classical Cemetery of Sindos”, Pottery Workshops in Northern Aegean, Thessaloniki, 2013, 217-222.

V. Saripanidi, “Pottery, Glass and Faience Vessels, and Clay Lamps”, in: A. Despoini et al., Σίνδος. Το νεκροταφείο. Ανασκαφικές έρευνες 1980-1982, vol. II (Athens: The Archaeological Society at Athens), Athens, 2014, 19-231.

A. Tsingarida, "The reception of the Van Branteghem collection in Belgium”, in H. Wiegel, M. Vickers (eds), Excalibur : Essays on Antiquity and the History of Collecting in Honour of Arthur MacGregor (Oxford), 105-112.

A. Tsingarida & D. Viviers (ed.), Pottery Markets in the ancient Greek World, Brussels, 2013.

A. Vacek, "Imitation or innovation? Style, decoration and syntax of Greek and Cypriot pottery during the Geometric period", in Cyprus. An island culture. Society and social relations from the Bronze Age to the Venetian Period, Oxford, 2012, 224-240.

A. Vacek, "Euboean Imports at Al Mina in the Light of Recent Studies on the Pottery from Woolley’s Excavation", in M. Kerschner and I.S. Lemos (eds.), Archaeometric Analyses of Euboean and Euboean Related Pottery: New Results and their Interpretations. Proceedings of the Round Table Conference held at the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Athens 15th and 16th April 2011, Vienna, 2014, 141-156.

3D Reconstruction

Prof. I. Lemos (Oxford) in collaboration with S. Delcros (ULB) are currently developing a 3D reconstruction of the ritual zone at Lefkandi. This reconstruction will elucidate the ways in which the excavated space and its structures were used within the frame of rituals and will serve both research purposes and the dissemination of the project results to the public.




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