Department Colloquium: Tom Tartaron (Penn) "Kalamianos: 20 Years of Research at a Unique Mycenaean Harbor"

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 4:45pm to 6:15pm

402 Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th St.

*4:15-4:45 pm: Coffee and cookies in Cohen Hall 2nd Floor Lounge. All are welcome.

Speaker: Tom Tartaron, Associate Professor, Department of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Title: "Kalamianos: 20 Years of Research at a Unique Mycenaean Harbor"

Abstract: On a bright morning in May, 2001, a group of archaeologists waded ashore at an unpromising, rocky headland near the fishing village of Korphos on the Saronic Gulf in southern Greece. We never imagined that within minutes, we would discover the exposed foundations of a nearly complete Mycenaean harbor settlement. In this presentation, I describe the many ways we have explored and learned about this place, today called Kalamianos, in the last 20 years, focusing first on the archaeological site itself before moving outward to its hinterland; to a Saronic “maritime small world”; and finally to the bigger world of the Late Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean. This journey has involved classic techniques of architectural documentation of some 50 buildings and on- and off-site pedestrian survey. It has included marine geophysics and dive surveys to explore the harbor and work back to the Bronze Age shoreline, and archaeometric analysis of pottery. It may even be possible to invoke the Catalogue of Ships in Book 2 of Homer’s Iliad, and it has been the subject of a Penn senior research project to imagine daily life at Kalamianos through artistic interpretation. As the SHARP team is poised to publish the first of a two-volume final publication, my aim is to show how diverse skill sets and areas of expertise can come together to paint a vivid portrait of a unique site that may have been Mycenae’s main harbor on the Saronic Gulf.