Cyprus Papers and Posters at the American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research happens this week in Boston. You can check out the schedule and program here.

For your convenience and interest, I’ve compiled a list of the papers and posters with explicit reference to Cyprus in their titles. As you can see there are four panels dedicated this year to Cypriot topics and a number of other papers, posters, and digital demonstrations scattered throughout the three-day conference.

Do check them out if you’re in Boston! 

Thursday, November 16

1F Archaeology of the Ancient Near East: Bronze and
Iron Ages 1

9:05 Igor Kreimerman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Destructions at the End of the Late Bronze Age: A Comparison between the Northern Levant, the Southern Levant, and Cyprus” (15 min.)

Friday, November 17

5A Landscapes of Settlement in the Ancient Near East
Harbor 1

9:25 Georgia Andreou (Cornell University), “The River Valley as a Study Unit and Conceptual Boundary in Settlement Studies: The Case of South-Central Cyprus” (15 min.)

5E Archaeology of Cyprus I

CHAIRS: Nancy Serwint (Arizona State University) and Walter Crist
(Arizona State University)

PRESENTERS:
8:20 Lindy Crewe (Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute), “Excavating Souskiou-Laona Chalcolithic Cemetery” (20 min.)

8:45 Peter Fischer (University of Gothenburg) and Teresa Bürge (OREA, Austrian Academy of Sciences), “Tombs and Offering Pits at the Late Bronze Age Metropolis of Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus: Results from the Excavations in 2016” (20 min.)

9:10 Paula Waiman-Barak (University of Haifa), Anna Georgiadou (University of Cyprus), and Ayelet Gilboa (University of Haifa), “Early Iron Age Cypro-Phoenician Interactions: CyproGeometric Ceramics from Tel Dor and Cyprus, a Study of Ceramic Petrography” (20 min.)

9:35 Giorgos Bourogiannis (Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities [Medelhavsmuseet], Stockholm), ”The Ayia Irini Project at the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm: New Research on an Old Excavation” (20 min.)

10:00 Andrew McCarthy (University of Edinburgh), Kathryn Grossman (North Carolina State University), Tate Paulette (Brown University), Lisa Graham (University of Edinburgh), Christine Markussen (University of Vienna), “A Transriverine Hellenistic Settlement at Prastio-Mesorotsos, Cyprus” (20 min.)

6E Archaeology of Cyprus II

CHAIRS: Nancy Serwint (Arizona State University) and Walter Crist (Arizona State University)

PRESENTERS:
10:40 Thomas Landvatter (Reed College), “Cremation Practice and Social Meaning in the Ptolemaic East Mediterranean” (15 min.)

11:00 Karolina Rosińska-Balik (Jagiellonian University in Kraków), “Architectural Features of the Agora of Paphos (Cyprus)—Some Remarks” (15 min.)

11:20 Nancy Serwint (Arizona State University), “The Workshops of Ancient Arsinoe” (15 min.

11:40 Pamela Gaber (Lycoming College), “The 2017 Season of the Lycoming College Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus” (15 min.)

12:00 R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Brandon Olson (Metropolitan State University of Denver), and William Caraher (University of North Dakota), “The Circulation of Imported Fine Wares on Cyprus in the Roman and Late Roman Periods” (15 min.)

12:20 Ann-Marie Knoblauch (Virginia Tech), “Excavating Cesnola: Public Interest in Archaeological Field Techniques in 1880s New York” (15 min.)

7E Archaeology of Cyprus III

CHAIRS: Nancy Serwint (Arizona State University) and Walter Crist
(Arizona State University)

PRESENTERS:

2:00 Katelyn DiBenedetto (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “The First Permanent Settlers of Cyprus: Pushing the Neolithic Boundaries” (15 min.)

2:20 Walter Crist (Arizona State University), “Changing the Game: Bronze Age Gaming Stones from Cyprus” (15 min.)

2:40 Louise Steel (University of Wales Trinity Saint David), “What Happened in Room 103 at Aredhiou?” (15 min.)

3:00 Kevin Fisher (University of British Columbia), “From Duplex to Courtyard House: Re-assessing Bronze Age Social Change on Cyprus” (15 min.)

3:20 A. Bernard Knapp (University of Glasgow), “Piracy and Pirates in the Prehistoric Mediterranean” (15 min.)

3:40 Joanna S. Smith (University of Pennsylvania), “Facing a Crowd: Dedicatory and Museum Displays of Cypriot Art” (15 min.)

8E Digging “Lustily” into Cypriot Prehistory: Studies in Honor of Stuart Swiny

CHAIRS: Zuzana Chovanec (Tulsa Community College) and Walter Crist (Arizona State University)

PRESENTERS:

4:20 Introduction (5 min.)

4:25 Helena Wylde Swiny (Harvard University), “Why Cyprus?” (15 min.)

4:45 Francesca Chelazzi (University of Glasgow), “Settlement Archaeology in Bronze Age Cyprus: The Pioneering Legacy of Stuart Swiny in the Southwest Forty Years Later” (15 min.)

5:05 Thomas Davis (Tandy Institute for Archaeology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “The House of the Dancing Bird” (15 min.)

5:25 Laura Swantek (Arizona State University) and William Weir (University of Cincinnati), “A Dig of a ‘Certain Kind’: Stuart Swiny and the Past and Future Potential of Sotira Kaminoudhia” (15 min.)

5:45 Zuzana Chovanec (Tulsa Community College) and Sean M. Rafferty (University at Albany), “A Legacy of Education and Collaboration: Stuart Swiny’s Role in Cypriot Studies at the University at Albany” (15 min.)

6:05 Alan Simmons (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “Thinking Outside the Hippo: A Personal Tribute to Stuart Swiny” (15 min.)

8A GIS and Remote Sensing in Archaeology 1

5:10 Carrie Fulton (University of Toronto), Andrew Fulton (Independent Scholar), Andrew Viduka (Flinders University), and Sturt Manning (Cornell University), “Using Photogrammetry in Large-area Survey of the Late Bronze Age Anchorage at Maroni-Tsaroukkas, Cyprus” (20 min.)

Saturday, November 18

10D Archaeologists Engaging Global Challenges

11:15 Louise Hitchcock (University of Melbourne), “Aged Tasmanian
Whiskey in Boston Is the New Faience Rhyton in Cyprus: Globalization and Plutocracy, Populism, and Piracy” (25 min.)

10K Maritime Archaeology

11:55 Stella Demesticha (University of Cyprus), “The Cargo of the Mazotos Shipwreck, Cyprus” (20 min.)

12H Archaeology of the Byzantine Near East

5:45 Charles Anthony Stewart (University of St. Thomas), “The Alexander-Heraclius Stele: a Byzantine Sculpture Discovered in Cyprus” (15 min.)

Posters

“Evolving Architectural Function in the ‘Earthquake House’ at Kourion, Cyprus” Erin Beatty (Tandy Institute for Archaeology) and Laura Swantek (Arizona State University)

“Against the Grains: The Story of Early Agriculture in Cyprus” Leilani Lucas (University College London; College of Southern Nevada) and Dorian Fuller (University College London)

Digital Archaeology Demos

“The Archaeology of Rural Landscapes: Surface Survey and Magnetic Anomaly Test Excavations at Maroni, Cyprus”

Catherine Kearns (University of Chicago), Peregrine Gerard-Little (Cornell University), Anna Georgiadou (University of Cyprus), and Georgia Andreou (Cornell University)

Final Draft: The Bakken Gaze

Last week, I posted a serialized (actually in process) version of my paper, “The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of an Industrial Landscape,” for the Northern Great Plains History Conference. On Friday, I tightened it up some and cut some words (although it’s probably still too long). 

The paper explains my interest in using tourism as lens to understand the Bakken oil patch and is written to support the release of a book that Bret Weber and I co-authored titled, The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape and published by NDSU Press this month (!). You can preorder the book now.

Or, better still, you can read, download, or comment on the paper via the Hypothes.is plug in here. Or you can join us at the Northern Great Plains History conference on Thursday from 2-4 at the Ramada Inn in beautiful Grand Forks, North Dakota!

BakkenCover

The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of the Industrial Landscape (Part 3)

Here’s the final installment of my paper for the Northern Great Plains History Conference next week here in Grand Forks. 

As I wrote about on Monday, I had hoped to make this paper paper more accessible and more breezy and personable, but by about word 1500, it had turned into the typical academic trudge. (I did manage to avoid using the word Foucauldian until 1600 words in!). Here are links to part 1 and part 2

That being said, I think it is probably the best thing I’ve managed to articulate on book, The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape (2017). You can preorder the book now.  

I’ll post a more complete and ideally more polished version of the paper in a few days!

“The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of the Industrial Landscape” (part 3)

To return to the Bakken. It is simple – and superficial – enough to note that the Bakken and tourism relied on the same fossil fuel revolution that powered westward expansion in the United States, the growth of the middle class (and a persistent cycle of capital deepening) and the rise of tourism as mode to recognize the totalizing discourse of industrial modernity. More importantly, I think, is that tourism embodies this tension between the convenient familiarity of the modern world and the quest for authenticity. The rutted routes of the oil patch are literally inscribed with the movements central to a historic Bakken taskscape that has all but eliminated the possibility of being local. The stunning night vistas offered by flaring natural gas from a hotel parking lot in Watford City are in some ways indistinguishable from the well-known satellite photo that shows the Bakken aglow with light from flares and electrical lights. 

The term “the Bakken” further demonstrates how modernity has coopted the very authenticity that its absence was though to produce. While I have used the Bakken as shorthand for a part of the 200,000 sq. mile oil patch in western North Dakota, eastern Montana and southern Saskatchewan, the name derives from the North Dakota farmer Henry Bakken and, in fact, refers to a relatively thin layer of oil bearing rock some 3 miles below the surface of the ground. As another well-known image demonstrated, Bakken wells if extended above ground would produce a skyline that would put Manhattan to shame. Last year’s controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline further reveals how even the physically occluded Bakken taskscape stands prominent in our modern awareness of that place, perhaps, leaving only the Native American landscapes as a window into an authentic North Dakota past. 

In a sense, then, a tourist guide is not some kind of cypher that reveals hidden meaning to the educated visitor to the Bakken, but an effort to understand the complexities of the modern world. In this way, I think that the tourist guide offers “an archaeology” in a Foucauldian sense of describing the physical discourse of petroculture in the Bakken taskscape. The man camps, convenience stores, small-town mainstreets, rail yards, tank farms, drill and workover rigs, roadside memorials, boot cleaners, pallets fences, frank tanks, bobbing sucker rod pumps, and salt water wells are not foreign to our modern world, but part of its fabric. Oil production and the habits formed by its consumption is the modern world, and ss my editor noted when our book was still in draft, there are no locals in the modern world, only tourists. 

Writing Wednesday: The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of the Industrial Landscape

I’m continuing to work on my paper for next week’s Northern Great Plains History Conference. I started the paper with a little introduction on Monday, and here’s the second part of it.

With any luck, I can get this wrapped up over the weekend… stay tuned:

“The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of the Industrial Landscape” (part 2)

This is bring us to tourists and tourism. The same processes that opened Western North Dakota to white, European settlement, also created the modern tourist. The industrial revolution, propelled by the increased use of fossil fuels, transformed the economic landscape of Britain and the U.S. by producing a growing and prosperous middle class. The middle class increasingly committed their surplus capital to enjoying the industrial improvements in transportation via rail and steamship and This produced a growing sense of cosmopolitanism among the middle-class and introduced a world where – to use David Harvey’s observation – the speed of travel and production increasingly compressed space. For the modern tourist, the world was becoming both smaller and more familiar.

The tourist guide became a vital traveling companion for the modern tourist. It organized the chaotic world outside the train station or port into well-defined sites and experiences. Along with the tourist guide came hotels, resorts, and conveniences designed to offer a safe and controlled vantage point for the tourist to survey the world. The railroad brought late 19th and early 20th century tourists to the American west where they could experience nature from the comfort of well-appointed cabins or chalet style hotels that sprung up around the newly-designed national parks. As our contemporary world continues to shrink, we encounter the experience of industrial travel in the familiarity of the modern airport which represents the quintessential example of Marc Auge’s concept of non-places. These liminal, interstitial spaces designed to facility familiar movement is likewise expressed in the landscape of the modern suburb which is defined by its connectivity and convenience. Connected to the urban core by a tangle of highways, dotted with tidy mass transit stops, and replete with anonymous sounding subdivisions, strip malls, and manicured lawns, the experience of suburban life is eliminates the need for localness in the name of familiar convenience. 

At the same time, even the most modern tourist continues to crave the experience of authenticity even if it remains neatly bounded by familiar conveniences. In fact, this tension between convenience and authenticity defined the modernizing character of the tourists’ gaze and affirmed the cosmopolitan position of the tourist and the superiority of the modern world. In the 20th century world, the experience of authenticity might be as limited as a conveniently choreographed luau on the carefully maintained lawn of a Hawaiian resort or as adventurous as a night in a well-prepared Berber tent in the Moroccan desert. The tourist might also find authenticity in their encounters below the surface of their own modern life. World Fairs, for example, represented the quintessential tourist destination of the modern world, allowed the casual visitor a glimpse into the workings of the industrial age through exhibitions for modern manufacturing and technologies. 

Industrial tourism exposed the tourist to authenticity by revealing the hidden mechanisms through which the modern world functioned. The wonders of technology presented at world fairs became a staple of tours of manufacturing facilities and plants as well as monumental industrial installations like the Hoover Dam. In the late-20th century, the rise in ecotourism or even poorism which leads the environmentally conscious or “ethically woke” tourists to experience authentic nature or human experiences ostensibly foreign from their own. As numerous critics have pointed out, the quest for authenticity in the modern world makes for some bizarre ethical compromises.

To return to our tourist guide to the Bakken… 

Localness and Tourism in the Bakken Oil Patch

This weekend, I started getting some ideas on paper for a conference paper that I’ll be delivering next month at the Northern Great Plains History Conference on a panel on the Bakken. My paper is part of my ongoing efforts to adapt my research on the Bakken to the larger discussion of global petroculture. Despite the fact that my book with Bret Weber is due out in less than a month, I’m still struggling to argue that tourism represents a useful way for understanding the economy of extractive industries (and perhaps late capitalism in general) in the 21st century. 

At the same time, I’m trying to make my writing style – especially for conference papers – a bit more accessible and maybe even personal. A long time ago, when I started this blog, I really wanted to work on writing in a more conversational way, but over the past decade (!!) the pressure to write for academic publication has slowly wrung any life from the turgid prose that regularly appears on this blog.

[That all being said, and after reflecting on Gary Hall’s Uberfication of the University, maybe there is something to be said for the scientistical and relatively anonymous character of academic prose which forms a barrier between the reader and the individual writer and protects a kind of professionalism in an era where personal brands are taking on growing influence.]

In any case, here’s the start of my paper for the October 5th conference:

“The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of the Industrial Landscape”

My paper today is part advertisement and part confession. The advertisement is for my soon-to-be-published book, The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape, by my friends at North Dakota State University Press.

The confession is a bit more involved, but it involves my efforts to locate my research as the co-PI on the North Dakota Man Camp Project with larger trends in petroculture.

I started writing The Bakken during a little break during my sabbatical year on my blog, as a way to think critically but also playfully about my regular trips to the Bakken from 2012 to 2016. I wanted to find a way to describe they dynamism of the Bakken while taking into account my interest in landscapes, settlement, and the role of the modernity in shaping our world. At the same time, I was working on too many other things and lacked sufficient discipline to produce a sustained, book-length argue, so I wanted to have some ready-made structure for my ideas. To that end, I adopted the from of the traditional tourist guide which offered itineraries for the curious traveler. It gave me a structure into which I could compose my observations.

As I worked on this project more, my thought became increasingly influenced by the anthropologist, Tim Ingold’s idea of taskscapes. Taskscapes are landscapes shaped by repetitive actions that range from the long term indications of intensive agricultural work to the ephemeral paths in the snow linking university buildings in the winter or the momentary bustle of cars and students at the end of a school day. As I poured over my notes and photographs and then visited the Bakken with various drafts of the guide in hand, I became increasingly attuned to the movements associated with the oil industry as well as our movements as we visited workforce housing sites throughout the region. I came to recognize the parallels between our movement in the landscape as we stayed in mancamps, stopped at truck stops and convenience stores and crisscrossed the dirt roads that provide access to wells, drill rigs, pipelines, rail sidings and other work sites in the region. While I’m not particularly inclined to compare our work to closely to that of people working in the Bakken, we nevertheless encounter a taskscape with similar features.

The final bit of focus came from a comment that the series editor, Tom Isern, made on an early draft of our work. He recommended that we avoid using the word “local” to describe longterm residents of the Bakken. This was, in some ways, the final piece of the puzzle for me as it pushed me to think about the nature of localness in the Bakken. As a scholar who regularly studies communities and landscapes associated with the pre-modern world (particularly Greek and Roman antiquity), I associated localness with having a sense of place in the landscape. For me, intense familiarity conferred a kind of intimacy that made space into place and connected a community or an individual to a particular landscape. The sense of place is key to being local.

Critics of the modern world have questioned whether this kind of place-making is still possible. The most famous expression of this is Marc Auge’s concept of non-places. Auge argued that non-places were characteristic of super-modernity. They are uniform, generic, independent of the particularities of culture or geography, and limit in substantial ways the development of an “organic social life.” While these may seem deeply negative traits of the modern world (and, indeed, Auge saw them as such), they are also some of the very features that allow diverse communities and groups to integrate. My use of the word “local” to describe long-time residents of the Bakken effectively separated these people from the modern world of oil boom. I located them in place, whereas the rest of the landscape that our book described was anchored in the time of taskscape.

The shift from space – that is localness – as a defining feature of communities in the Bakken to the more universal measure of time reflects a long-standing desire for communities to be modern. (A cynic might even go so far to suggest that the presence of indigenous communities in the region with identities deeply connected to a particular spatial context (as is evident in the meaning of the word indigenous) offered a racial motivation for avoiding the term “local.”) In a world that is increasingly emphasizing the global, being local is a liability.

More to the point, the long-term white, European communities in the Bakken are, to some extent, the product of the same forces that created the most recent oil boom. In the late-19th century, coal powered trains opened the prairie to organized settlements and town popped up (and disappeared) across a neatly organized grid. The names of towns preserve not some archaic sense of place, but the names of railroad magnates and promoters. The difference between the residents of these towns and the new arrival to work in the Bakken boom is primarily temporal. Both groups were depended upon fossil fuels, produced for markets distant from the region, and experienced the contingencies of the global economy, and both groups inscribed the landscape with marks of modernity. By eliminating the term “local” from our guide to the Bakken, we conflated the experience of long-term residents with folks who came to the Bakken in the most recent boom.

This is bring us to tourists and tourism…

Three Cypriot Thing Thursday

Just a quick post today centered on three interesting Cypriot related things that have come through my news feed recently.

First, if you’re looking for funding to do research on Cyprus and at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), go and check out their website for a glorious gaggle of fellowship opportunities. As anyone who has worked on Cyprus for any length of time will attest, CAARI is the institutional heart of foreign archaeological work on the island. Its recently improved facilities include a spectacular new library for paper books and a air conditioners (egg nishnahs for our Australian colleagues) in the hostel. 

Second, if you find yourself on Cyprus this October, be sure to check out the Nea Paphos and Western Cyprus Colloquium. It is being held in celebration of Paphos being named a European cultural capital for 2017. My colleagues, Scott Moore, Brandon Olson, and I, will have a paper presented by the inestimable Joanna Smith who will probably single handedly represent the recent flurry of activity at Polis in Western Cyprus. Here’s a link to the program.

Finally, my buddy David Pettegrew sent along a little article from the Cyprus Mail recently that announced that the tennis courts which have long stood to north of the Larnaka District Archaeological museum and the to the east of the excavated area of the ancient harbor of Kition. The goal is to make this site more visible to visitors and, perhaps, expand the excavated areas while also creating a new welcome area. The site of Kition is among the most under appreciated on Cyprus largely because its tucked in and around the modern city of Larnaka. The last few years, however, have seen a concerted effort to make the site more visible and understandable to the visit and when the museum reopens with redesigned and expanded displays, I suspect the Kition will return to its rightful place among the ancient cities of Cyprus.

UPDATE: To this we can add a conference to celebrate the centenary of Honor Frost’s birth to be held at the University of Cyprus from October 19-24! Titled “Under the Mediterranean” the program looks at Frost’s legacy of underwater research on ancient harbors across the Levant and Cyprus.  

Call for Papers: Archaeology and Social Justice

I was pretty excited to see the theme of this year’s Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology and the Ancient World workshop: archaeology and social justice. Here’s a link to the call for papers or, if you’re too lazy to click on a link, you can read it below!

It would be very cool to see something at this conference on the archaeology of care or even the recent discussion about the value of punk archaeology as an ethical critique. 

So check out the call for papers below: 

State of the Field 2018: Archaeology and Social Justice

Friday, March 2 – Saturday, March 3, 2018
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World will host a workshop called State of the Field 2018: Archaeology and Social Justice on March 2-3, 2018. The workshop will be the culmination of two years of discussion on this theme, and is also intended to raise new issues, ask new questions, and encourage ongoing dialogue. Our gathering builds on a tradition of “State of the Field” workshops hosted by the Joukowsky Institute to reflect upon trends in archaeological work, each year focusing our discussion on issues impacting an area of particular interest to our faculty and students. While previous versions have dealt with a country or region of archaeological significance, this year’s event will focus on archaeology’s relationship to ongoing movements for social justice.

Within the context of archaeology, we conceive of social justice as pertaining to issues of privilege and opportunity that affect the makeup of scholars in the field, efforts among archaeologists to engage with the public and with broader social and political discussions, and the degree to which archaeological scholarship and pedagogy intersect with or impact these issues. It also refers to the asymmetries of power and structural inequalities in society at large. This choice of topic has been inspired by recent global social and political concerns, responses from universities and academia that seek to address issues of representation and access, and, most importantly, grassroots movements for social justice.

This workshop thus seeks to engage primarily with the role of archaeology in contemporary social justice movements, while insisting that discussions of diversity in the past can inform experience in the present. We welcome papers that explore the relationship between archaeology and the present political climate, with the intention of addressing the challenges currently facing the field of archaeology and the academy more broadly. We also seek to engage in conversations about the biases and structural problems that make archaeology more accessible to some than to others, in order to help the discipline reach a broader and more inclusive public.

The workshop will include four sessions, each addressing issues of the relationship of archaeology to ongoing struggles for social justice and/or the role of archaeology in those struggles. Rather than predefining the content of these sessions, we intend to shape them with contributions from this call for papers; we wish to offer an open space for discussion of the following, and other, relevant issues:

· The materiality and temporality of current social issues
· Disciplinary decolonization
· Archaeology’s role in discussions of “diversity and inclusion”
· Identity and inequality in the past and present
· Structural and practical access to archaeology and the academy
· Activism and engagement within archaeology
· Archaeology in/of social justice movements
· Archaeology’s relationship to white nationalism
· Archaeology in moments of crisis

To submit a proposal for a paper of approximately 20 minutes, please send an abstract of 350 words or less to Joukowsky_Institute@brown.edu by October 1, 2017.

For questions about this CFP, or about the conference, please see our conference website or email Joukowsky_Institute@brown.edu.

The Northern Great Plains History Conference and the Bakken

Next fall, the Northern Great Plains History Conference will be in Grand Forks. So my colleagues and I put together a panel proposal on the Bakken.

Here it is:

The 21st-century Bakken Oil Boom in Historical Perspective

While the Bakken Oil Boom may have gone into momentary abeyance, its long shadow continues to extend over both the economy and the cultural and political imagination of North Dakota. The papers in this panel consider the technological innovations that led to the increase oil production and population, the historical context for violence in the region, and the structure of the Bakken work force as a manifestation of the 21st-centurty concerns with precarity. The final paper presents a broadly synthetic attempt to frame the Bakken at the intersection of late modernity, petroculture, and the tourist’s gaze upon an industrialized landscape. These papers offer a distinct local and early effort by historians to understand the history of the Bakken Boom and to reflect on contemporary and future challenges facing the state.

North Dakota’s Super Boom:  How Fracking Changed Production in Bakken
Clarence Herz, Department of History, North Dakota State University

From Prohibition to Safe Harbor: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of North Dakota’s Commercial Sex Laws
Nikki Berg Burin, Department of History, University of North Dakota

Tales of Murder and Mayhem: Historical Violence in the Bakken
Richard Rothaus, North Dakota University System 

Aliens in the Bakken: Precarity and Workforce Housing
Bret Weber, Department of Social Work, University of North Dakota

The Bakken Gaze: Tourism, Petroculture, and Modern Views of an Industrial Landscape
William Caraher, Department of History, University of North Dakota

 

The Medieval Countryside at a Regional Scale in the Western Argolid and Northeastern Peloponnesus

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a call for papers for a panel  on the Medieval Countryside at the Archaeological Institute of America’s annual meeting next January.

Life intervened and we missed the deadline to submit a paper. Fortunately, the organizer, Effie Athanassopoulos was merciful and nudged the deadline a bit for us.

Here’s our abstract:

The Medieval Countryside at a Regional Scale in the Western Argolid and Northeastern Peloponnesus

Dimitri Nakassis, University of Colorado
Sarah James, University of Colorado
Scott Gallimore, Wilfrid Laurier University
William Caraher, University of North Dakota

The study of the Medieval Mediterranean is paradoxical. On the one hand, scholars have continued to define the master narrative for the Medieval and Byzantine periods in the Mediterranean through politics and church history. On the other hand, few periods have seen as concerted an effort to understand the life and experiences of non-political classes from villagers to monks, mystics, and merchants. At the risk of simplifying a complex historiography, historians of the Annales school pioneered the study of everyday life in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. At the same time, Byzantine historians have drawn influence from concepts of cultural materialism to critique the co-development of particular economic and political systems and to recognize the fourth to fourteenth century as a period of rural transformation. This work has found common ground with landscape archaeologists who since the 1970s have sought to emphasize long-term, quantitative methods within tightly defined regional contexts to understand the tension between local and regional developments in the Medieval the countryside.

Recent work in the Peloponnesus and central Greece by the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project, The Argolid Exploration Project, the Boiotia survey, the Methana Survey Project among others, provides a methodologically-sophisticated, regional perspective on the Medieval countryside that is almost unprecedented in the Mediterranean. This paper add to this existing body of regional evidence based on three seasons of the Western Argolid Regional Project. From 2014-2016, this project documented 30 sq km of the Inachos river valley through highly intensive pedestrian survey. This work has revealed significant post-Classical activity ranging from Late Antique habitation to 13th century settlements and Venetian towers. These sites derive greater significance from both the impressive body recently published fieldwork on the countryside of the northeastern Peloponnesus and the well-documented histories of the urban centers of Argos, Nafplion, and Corinth. The existence of both rural and urban contexts in this region offers a unique opportunity to consider the tensions between town and country and rural life and urban politics in the post-Classical centuries. The result is a study of the Medieval countryside that probes the limits of the long-standing and largely urban and political master narrative while also demonstrating significant regional variation.

 

Call for Papers: The Medieval Countryside

Years ago, Kostis Kourelis and I collaborated with a group of interested archaeologists of the Medieval Mediterranean to create an Archaeological Institute of American Interest Group. Since that time, the members of that group have hosted panels at the annual AIA meetings, collaborated on edited volumes, and served as a center of gravity for promoting Medieval archaeology.  

Last year, they hosted two panels dedicated to the archaeology of abandoned villages and they were really good. 

This year, they’ve proposed a panel on the Medieval Countryside. Here is the information:

Call for Papers

The Medieval Countryside: An Archaeological Perspective

Proposed Colloquium Session for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Boston, MA, January 4-7, 2018

Organizer: Effie Athanassopoulos on behalf of the AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group

The proposed colloquium will examine the contribution of archaeology to our broader understanding of the medieval period in Greece and the Aegean region, especially rural settlements. Since the early 1980s, when large-scale, intensive surveys were undertaken in several areas of Greece, a rich and diverse database of sites and off-site material pertaining to the medieval period has been generated. Thus, for the first time we can approach the rural landscape, habitation and land use, from the perspective of archaeology. Prior to this development, we were constrained by the lack of textual sources, such as tax registers or monastic archives, which are available only for few areas. Archaeological surveys, along with excavations, have expanded our options and provided a more even geographical coverage.

However, the rich databases that have been generated by regional projects have not had significant impact on related fields, such as history, or existing narratives of Byzantium. Prominent publications in the field of Byzantine studies that include archaeological results tend to focus on excavations, with survey contributions rarely mentioned. So, why haven’t survey data been incorporated into broader historical themes involving settlement, land use, social history or cultural identity? Why hasn’t the promise of a broader impact of landscape archaeology projects materialized? What are the obstacles that discourage the engagement of a wider group of scholars with survey data? Is it simply a matter of time, because most survey projects have been slow to disseminate their results? What other issues need to be addressed?

The purpose of this session is to identify obstacles that have limited the impact of this body of archaeological work and propose solutions. The goal is to bring together past and ongoing archaeological projects that focus on the medieval landscape, initiate collaboration, facilitate comparative research, and take steps towards enhancing data sharing and dissemination.

If interested to contribute, please email the following information to Effie Athanassopoulos (efa@unl.edu) by March 3, 2017.

  1. Name(s), institutional affiliation and contact information
  2. Paper title and abstract (maximum 400 words) conforming to the AIA Style Guidelines