The View from the Trenches: Sardis and the Practice of Medieval Archaeology, a workshop led by Eurydice Georganteli (Harvard University). Space in this workshop is limited; registration information can be found here. This event is part of the 2019 Harvard Medieval Material Culture Series The View from the Trenches: Archaeology and Medieval Studies Today, sponsored by the Committee on Medieval Studies, the Harvard Art Museums, the Department of History of Art + Architecture, and the Committee on Archaeology.
Sardis, capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, has been central to the story of antiquity and the emergence of coinage. As part of Alexander the Great’s empire, the Seleucid kingdom, and later the Roman and the Byzantine empires, the city thrived as a major administrative and ecclesiastical center until its destruction in the seventh century CE. Systematic excavations of the site since 1958 by Harvard and Cornell Universities, as well as a comprehensive research and publication program, have illuminated aspects of its landscape, built environment, social and religious topography, and material culture. Ongoing conservation and site development projects have begun to transform the site of ancient Sardis into an open-air archaeological museum, benefitting not only its visitors but also the inhabitants of Manisa’s Salihli district. In this workshop, we will introduce participants to archaeological theory and praxis, focusing in particular upon the tools and techniques employed by the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis to uncover the city’s rich past.