Excavating the Cradle of an Imperial Dynasty: The Material Culture and Prosopography of Byzantine Amorion

Thursday 03 Dec 2020

The lecture will be online through the ZOOM platform courtesy of the British School at Athens.

Amorion (modern Hisarköy, some 110 miles SW of Ankara, Turkey) occupies a special place in the history of the Byzantine Empire as the capital of one of the most important of its provinces, the thema of the Anatolikoi, and the birthplace of the homonymous short-lived dynasty of Byzantine emperors, the Amorian dynasty (820-867). The archaeological discovery of a consistent destruction level across the city that can be securely connected to the siege and sack of Amorion in AD 838 by the Abbasids, stands out as a unique discovery. The lecture will present some of the most important excavated monuments at Amorion, some new finds, as well as an inventory of individuals, attested on its archaeological record (inscriptions, molybdoboulla) in an effort to offer, for the first time, a livelier overview of Byzantine Amorion, based on its material remains as well as its people.

Dr Olga Karagiorgou read History and Archaeology at Athens University before gaining a MPhil and a DPhil at Christ Church, Oxford. She was the Greek Archaeological Committee UK’s first ever scholar! She was also a British Academy, A.S. Onassis Foundation and Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) postgraduate scholar. She was awarded post-doctoral Fellowships by the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. She taught at Oxford and at the Hellenic Open University and worked for the King’s College London Project on the “Prosopography of the Byzantine World-PBW”. She has participated in excavations in Greece, Syria and Turkey and has attended numerous conferences with papers related to her research on Late Antique Archaeology and Byzantine Prosopography and Sigillography. She has received the ARISTEIA II Award of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 for her Research Project entitled TAKTIKON and is Secretary General of the Greek Committee for South Eastern European Studies. She is currently Associate Researcher at the Research Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art of the Academy of Athens.

Dr Nikos Tsivikis read Byzantine Archaeology at the University of Crete. He has been awarded scholarships in the USA by Dumbarton Oaks, Princeton University, Medieval Academy of America, Metropolitan Museum of Art, California State University as well as in Greece and in Turkey. He is specialized in the evolution of Byzantine cities focusing on social relationships as expressed in the built and unbuilt environment while his interests in social issues extends beyond academia and is a founding member of various initiatives and joint projects. He is a senior member of the Ancient Messene Excavation Project (Peloponnese) and is leading the “Amorium Urban Survey (Asia Minor)” project. He has published papers in English, Greek and Turkish on Byzantine architecture, sculpture, epigraphy and metalwork. Formerly a post-doctoral researcher at the Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, he is currently a research fellow at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Rethymnon, Crete.

Organised by the Greek Archaeological Committee UK




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