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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Cult, Memory, and Civic Identity in Kalydon

Alternative title: Kult, erindring og sivil identitet i Kalydon

Awarded: NOK 3.3 mill.

Research accounts of ancient Greek cults have mainly been period-specific and focused on temple architecture, marble sculpture, and metal dedications with preserved inscriptions to the gods, and other prestigious offerings. This project departs from these traditions given that it will look outside Athens, and will entail studying, disseminating and publishing unpublished ceramics and votives (dedicatory objects). Comparative analyses of published evidence from Kalydon, its region and the neighbouring regions will be utilized, and the history of the area will thus be contextualized for the first time with an emphasis on myth, cult and identity. The main sanctuary of Kalydon to Artemis Laphria was excavated by a Greek-Danish excavation team in the 1920-30s, and its architecture was published in 1948. But the remaining material stemming from the excavations was never published. It consists of pottery and dedications (votives such as terracotta and metal figurines of gods, goddesses, humans and various animals), weapons, and weaving equipment. Animal bones, teeth of boar and antlers have been mentioned in the excavation diaries but were never published. Some of this material stems from the period of Homer and Hesiod (ca. 8th cent. BCE). The area of Kalydon, in the region of Aitolia in western Greece, is not yet part of the scholarly literature concerning this early period, although emergency excavations in the last decade have provided some information. Consequently, this research regarding an underused, unpublished source on a largely unexplored Greek city is expected to result in a novel understanding of 1) The connection between myth and ritual practice; and 2) The use by ancient cities of memory and myth to enhance identity and promote their status and prestige in their surrounding regions. Despite the influence of COVID-19, I have successfully disseminated my research in various media since the last report. I have given two lectures online in 2020, the first in an international forum organized by Swansea University's Classics Department. That same year, I also lectured at a major international conference that had to be held online instead of physically, organized by the Austrian School of Archeology in Athens. This online conference had over 200 registered participants from around the world and internationally renowned scholars gave talks over 3 days. This paper is currently being proofread for a conference proceeding that is expected to be published in late 2021, early 2022. In 2021, I have given two lectures: a popular dissemination lecture on heroes, warriors and the Kalydonian boar-hunt for Reading University's Classics Department's seminar series "Heroic Beauty: Beautiful Heroism". In addition, I gave a lecture to Aarhus University's work in progress seminar series on new results from my research regarding Kalydon. I have written a popular science chapter about Frederik Poulsen and Ejnar Dyggve together with Søren Handberg for "Pastfinders, The Danish Roots of Archeology," which is published by Aarhus University Press and should be out this year. Finally, I also have three chapters on pottery in print from the excavations of Kalydon's theatre that should be published this year or early next year.

Research accounts of ancient Greek cults have mainly been period-specific, and focused on temple architecture, marble sculpture, and metal dedications with preserved inscriptions to the gods, and other prestigious offerings. This project departs from these traditions given that it will look outside Athens and entail studying, disseminating and publishing unpublished ceramics and votives. Comparative analyses of published evidence from Kalydon, its region and the neighbouring regions will be utilized and the history of the area will thus be contextualized for the first time with an emphasis on myth, cult and identity. The main sanctuary of Kalydon to Artemis Laphria was excavated by a Greek-Danish excavation team in the 1920-30s, and the architecture was published in 1948. But the remaining material stemming from the excavations was never published. It consists of pottery and dedications (such as terracotta and metal figurines of gods, goddesses, humans and various animals [votives]), weapons, and weaving equipment. Animal bones, teeth of boar and antlers have been mentioned in the excavation diaries but were never published. Some of this material stems from the period of Homer and Hesiod (ca. 8th cent. BC). The area of Kalydon, in the region of Aitolia in western Greece, is not yet part of the scholarly literature concerning this early period, although emergency excavations in the last decade have provided some information. Consequently, this research in an underused, unpublished source on a largely unexplored Greek city is expected to result in a novel understanding of 1) The connection between myth and ritual practice; and 2) The use by ancient cities of memory and myth to enhance identity and promote their status and prestige in their surrounding regions.

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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam