American School of Classical Studies

Excavating the Birthplace of Zeus

Mt. Lykaion has long been known as the the birthplace of Zeus. Today it is the site of a collaborative excavation between the the Arcadian Ephoreia of Antiquities, and the University of Arizona under the auspices of American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). We interviewed one of the directors of the project, Dr. David Gilman Romano, about his hopes for the excavations. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Mt. Lykaoin looking out into Megalopolis

Romano: “We’re excavating the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion in the Arcadian Mountains. It’s composed of an upper area, which is the altar and the temenos at the southern peak of the mountain, and the lower area which is the athletic complex: hippodrome, stadium, baths, stoa, administrative buildings, seats, and several fountain houses. Mt. Lykaion was known as the birthplace of Zeus in ancient literature; Callimachus and Pausanias give us that information.”

On the left of the sanctuary of the Mistress is Mount Lycaeus. Some Arcadians call it Olympus, and others Sacred Peak. On it, they say, Zeus was reared –Pausanias 8.38.2 English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A.

Dr. David Romano and Dr. Mary Voyatzis look at the project

“This is our second five-year period of excavations. We know a lot more than we did ten years ago when we started excavating.”

Mt. Lykaoin

“We’re interested in learning more about a number of different things we discovered. For instance we have discovered pottery going back to the Neolithic Period in the area of the altar. We’d like to know more about that. It’s very early material. Who was coming here in the Neolithic period? What were they doing? Did they use the mountaintop as an altar or for a different purpose”

There is on Mount Lycaeus a sanctuary of Pan, and a grove of trees around it, with a race-course in front of which is a running-track. Of old they used to hold here the Lycaean games. Here there are also bases of statues, with now no statues on them. On one of the bases an elegiac inscription declares that the statue was a portrait of Astyanax, and that Astyanax was of the race of Arceas. –Pausanias 8.38.5 English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A.

A Greek student works on excavations

“Another question [we have] has to do with the cult of Zeus. How old is the cult of Zeus? We have burnt animal femurs from sacrifices that we have Carbon-14 dated to the sixteenth century BC, as well as continuity of cult through to the Hellenistic period. The cult was very likely alive and well in the sixteenth century. So we have wondered— does it go back further than that?”

“We’d like to know more about the Mycenaean shrine that we found on the altar. We found huge quantitites of Mycenaean pottery and we’d like to know more about the Mycenean cult.”

On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lycaeus, and from it most of the Peloponnesus can be seen. Before the altar on the east stand two pillars, on which there were of old gilded eagles. On this altar they sacrifice in secret to Lycaean Zeus. I was reluctant to pry into the details of the sacrifice; let them be as they are and were from the beginning. – Pausanias 8.38.7 English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A.

“And another question has to do with when the athletic games were associated with the cult on Mt. Lykaion, because this had to be very old. We have more or less continuous activity in the area of the altar from the fifth millennium BC, and we’d like to know how and when athletics became a part of the religious cult.”

    

Day of (Media) Archaeology

I have always been a Classical archaeologist. I was chosen to become a Punk Archaeologist. I became a media archaeologist by accident. On today, the 2014 Day of Archaeology, I am embodying this Trinity, these three archaeologies in one person. How did this all happen? And why today?

Classical Archaeology

In my capacity as Director of Publications for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), I have blogged three times previously (here, here, and here) on what I’m doing with archaeological publication. I still publish the journal Hesperia in print four times a year as well as a digital edition. I still publish print monographs and guidebooks. Today, as the print edition of The Athenian Agora: Museum Guide comes back from the bindery in Athens, I am building an interactive guidebook for it in HTML5 for use on Android and iOS devices to enable guests to browse the collections in whatever order they choose. I’m also entering content into Google’s free Field Trip app for the site of Ancient Corinth (which launched last week for the Athenian Agora), to allow for non-linear, wander-where-you-will exploration of these vast archaeological spaces. Today I am also writing a draft grant proposal to help fund the creation of a new kind of archaeological publication, something without any print component, that will include synthetic text, 2- and 3-D images, 3-D printer specs, query-by-image, -by-map, and -by-time, interactive data tables, and a “more like this” feature for exploring pottery fabrics by what they look like. All of this stems from my love of Classics and especially of the archaeology of the Greek world, and this deep and abiding love drives me to create new, better tools and publications to give this archaeology (and ultimately others) the publications venue it deserves while critiquing its current state and forecasting a better future (something I published here this week). Part of communicating archaeology is making it widely available and accessible to a global readership. The ASCSA’s efforts to make publications available as Open Access continue with 57 titles now available for free to read, download, and share. FieldTripPunk Archaeology

I didn’t invent Punk Archaeology. That was the love-child of Bill Caraher and Kostis Kourelis and can be thoroughly explored via their eponymous Punk Archaeology blog. I came to Punk Archaeology like St. Peter came to Jesus, and was baptized in Fargo at the first Punk Archaeology unconference on Feb. 2, 2013, where I played my first public rock show and published my first album, a collection of Punk Archaeology songs about cultural heritage, teaching, and excavation. In 2014 the book inspired by that unconference, Punk Archaeology, will be published with the appearance of a printed ‘zine. And today I am completing my abstract on Punk Public Archaeology as part of a panel for the 2015 Society of Historical Archaeology (SHA) annual meeting.

Building off of the definition of Punk Archaeology (#punkarch) established by Caraher and Kourelis, I define the movement and method as the following:

  • Apply a do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetic to archaeology projects, especially when funding, personnel, and other kinds of support are lacking.
  • Study marginalized archaeologies, and conduct the archaeology of cultures and places eschewed by the Academy.
  • Study the history and archaeology of Punk and Punk places.
  • Engage in actively communicating to and involving the public in all aspects/phases of archaeology.
  • Promote a spirit of cooperation and sharing of tools, data, and other resources with all other archaeologists, Punk or not.

punka_cover_1Media Archaeology

“Indeed, what media archaeology investigates are also the practical rewirings of time, as is done in media artistic and creative practice work, through archives digital and spatial, as well as DIY and circuit bending which recycle, and remix obsolete technology as much as they investigate how technology is the framework for temporality for us.”

-Jussi Parikka, Cartographies of Media Archaeology

I became a media archaeologist first through Punk Archaeology, namely in my born-again interest in Punk rock, and an addict’s desire to acquire all the gear to the neglect of all else. I was (and still am) deeply invested in record-bin excavations, and I continue to quest for mix- and demo-tapes, not for their resale value, but on the chance of discovering an unknown band or, better, yet, being able to trace the history of those cassettes throughout a community of listeners 25-40 years ago.

In April 2014, this obsession got a name: Media Archaeology. It came about with my involvement as one of the archaeologists invited to excavate the fabled “Atari Burial Ground” in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Our team, in cooperation with city workers, state environmental agencies, the landfill owner and his family, and a documentary film crew, excavated and documented 1,300+ Atari video games buried there in 1983, in the first-of-its-kind excavation of this kind of media. We were literally digging our own cultural heritage. With the salvage excavation over, we began writing for a general (and general archaeological) readership in Archaeology magazine, and in a forthcoming article for the Atlantic. Another piece written by Joshua Wheeler will appear at the end of the month in Harper’s, and the documentary film, Atari: Game Over, will premier at the San Diego Comic Con on July 25th.

Today I continue to work on my part of the technical article about the excavation that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal, and I am also continuing to review the photos and videos the team shot before, during, and after the Atari dig in anticipation of making everything Open Access possibly through OpenContext.org in 2014 or 2015 once our article is published. I have also just submitted an abstract for a panel on archaeological methods in media archaeology for a conference in Bradford, UK, in September, where I hope to talk more about how we decided to dig and document the way we did, and what we might have done differently.

atarireinhard

It gives me great pleasure to be able to do these archaeologies today, and every day, and I encourage everyone to broaden their horizons when it comes to this discipline and how we can communicate what we do.

Thinking About Open Access Archaeological Publishing

I spent much of the Day of Archaeology in closed windowless rooms discussing more or less weighty matters with other librarians.  Mercifully we manage to make some progress on some pressing issues.

In between such things I have been thinking about the effect that open access publishing has on disciplines like archaeology and ancient near Eastern Studies and Classics and Mediterranean Archaeology. The master List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies I’ve been compiling since 2009  on The Ancient World Online now includes includes 1188 titles, and has increased by 238 titles in the past year.  That’s a big corpus.  All three of the institutions I’ve been affiliated with over the past three decades have made major commitments to open access publishing:  the Oriental Institute, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Are scholars reading and citing open access journals?  Are scholars seeking out open access publication venues?  Are scholars taking advantage of  the emerging idea of data journals?  Is it significant that more than 4500 souls have subscribed to the Ancient World Online daily email update?  Is it significant that most open access publications never makes it into library discovery tools?  What will be the effect of this summer’s  enormously successful Linked Ancient World Data Institute be by the time the second one rolls around in a year?  Are people using the Ancient World Linked Data JavaScript Library?

It’s now two hot days later and these and other questions are still knocking around my mind.

 

Archaeological Publication and Linked Data

Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the first Linked Ancient World Data Institute (LAWDI or #lawdi on Twitter) at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) in New York City, the brainchild of Sebastian Heath, Tom Elliott, and John Muccigrosso. I presented on the current state of archaeological publishing of my organization, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). The best part about the conference, though, was listening to new friends and colleagues speak about the many aspects of linked data, open source, and open access the archaeology of the Ancient World. As the ASCSA’s Director of Publications, I am beginning to put into practice what was discussed at LAWDI, and look forward to continuing to contribute.

Here’s what’s been done so far:

1. Open Access Hesperia. Our journal, Hesperia, is currently housed on JSTOR. We have a Content Sharing Agreement with JSTOR, however, which allows us to share our content from beyond the 3-year moving wall. This means that in July 2012 individual readers who need to search for and download any/all Hesperia articles published from 1932-2009 will be able to do so from the ASCSA’s website for free. The PDF articles can be read on any device that can open PDFs, and they can be used without Internet access post-download. There is no DRM. I alpha-tested the behind-the-scenes upload utility yesterday with reasonable success. I need to do a batch name-change on the PDFs and then load those onto our webserver (the test links currently point to JSTOR, but this will change in July). It is my hope that I can find just over $1M with which I can endow the journal at which point I can make open access to it complete and eternal.

2. Open Bibliography on Zotero. After the LAWDI meetings, I returned to Princeton to map out what I could begin to do with the concept of linking content for the ancient world. I had briefly used Zotero to read articles posted by Tom Elliott on Twitter, but I’d never gotten into the platform as a contributor of content. Since then, I have created a Zotero group for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in which I have now shared publicly the enter bibliography of 1,500+ Hesperia articles and about 150 (or 230+) monographs. I need to go through (and encourage others to help with this) and edit the book entries and add abstracts to earlier Hesperia articles. This will take time, but it’s a good start.

3. Linking in eBooks. June saw the publication of our latest printed monograph, Isthmia: The Roman and Byzantine Graves and Human Remains (Isthmia IX), by Joseph L. Rife. I spent yesterday and will spend today creating links in the PDF eBook. My previous attempts at linking were restricted to links between text, note, table, and image. I have done this in Isthmia IX, tedium made bearable through listening to hardcore punk, gangsta rap, and the Euro 2012 match between Germany and Italy. This is only the first step. The next is to attempt to create dynamic, outward-looking links from every bibliographic citation and every footnote to actual articles and books on the Internet. This could be insane and/or impossible, but I’m going to try. I am also going to attempt to link each inventoried object as presented on the ASCSA’s open access website for archaeological data, ascsa.net. Lastly, I’m going to try to link from places mentioned in Rife’s book to records in Pleiades. Wish me luck.

The above is what I’m doing now and in July, and I’m looking forward to sharing/linking with other archaeologists worldwide on these and future projects.

Andrew Reinhard, Director of Publications, ASCSA

Archaeological Publishing

I’m an archaeologist, and I’m also a publisher. Many of my colleagues in the Publications Office of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA, founded in 1881) in Princeton, New Jersey, were archaeologists first, and edit, proofread, typeset, and manage the creation and production of our quarterly journal, Hesperia, as well as a wide variety of books. We work in the field when we can, but our primary job is to publish the work of the School: excavation reports and monographs of the Athenian Agora, of Corinth, and of affiliated excavations, as well as the publication of the work of our friends in the Gennadius Library, the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory, and the Archives, plus the research of scholars working within the broad field of Greek archaeology of all periods. The ASCSA is charged by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism with primary responsibility for all American archaeological research, and seeks to support the investigation, preservation, and presentation of Greece’s cultural heritage. ASCSA’s publications satisfy the last part of our mission.

The week leading up to the Day of Archaeology has been an extraordinary one for us in Publications. We just received our advance copies of Histories of Peirene: A Corinthian Fountain in Three Millennia, by Betsey A. Robinson (Vanderbilt University). The creation of this interdisciplinary volume utilized, for the first time at the ASCSA, a dedicated project wiki, and favored the digital exchange of files and comments outside of email. Communication between project team members in several U.S. and in Greece was both constant and transparent making for quick turnaround. We used Google Sites for the wiki which was the project’s hub at host for files, Skype for voice/video communication, Adobe Creative Suite 5 for design. We also assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) for the first time within an ASCSA book so that readers could view large, high-resolution plans online. Post-production, we’re using (also for the first time) Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with print media to promote and market the book, and are putting review copies into the hands of traditional reviewers like the Bryn Mawr Classical Review as well as into the in-boxes (and Dropboxes) of archaeologists in the blogosphere. Archaeological publication has to include ways of letting the world know new research has been published.

Other books in production for 2011 include volumes on Greek manuscripts, Bronze Age Tsoungiza, Sikyon, Athenian pottey, Byzantine graves and human remains at Isthmia, dedicatory monument inscriptions from the Athenian Agora, and a collection of articles on houses and households in ancient Crete. We split the editorial and proofreading duties between our full-time staff of editors and freelancers who have been trained in the ASCSA’s house style (modified Chicago style) as well as in archaeology and Classics.

Hesperia, the journal of the ASCSA, has recently undergone some changes to make it more contemporary, useful, and accessible to archaeologists and other scholars worldwide. On August 1st, the journal’s full run (80 volumes from 1932 until now), becomes available on JSTOR’s Current Scholarship Program. All issues of the journal have never been online in a single location before, so now readers can browse across all articles from the past 80 years.

With Hesperia appearing both in print and online, we wanted to be able to begin to take advantage of the Internet in allowing us to host digital editions of issues that contain full-color images, something that is prohibitively expensive to print. For issue 80.2 which will be released on August 1st, we’re including a free, LH IIA2 pottery catalogue from Tsoungiza both as a PDF file, but also as an HTML webpage for improved usability. For some archaeological publication of data, we need to think beyond what can be printed, and consider other ways of presenting archaeological data for the use of other scholars and researchers. We hope to host everything from color images to 3D reconstructions to entire data sets. The full-color article and online supplemental material are first-steps in that direction.

We are also venturing into open-access content for Hesperia, and have begun to post articles for free on our website. We expect this section to grow considerably over time.

Lest people think that archaeological publishing consists of musty-dusty tomes, we are currently embarking on a program of eBook creation, providing both print and digital editions of new titles to our readers, ultimately digging into our back-list to make older books available digitally, too, in a format that can be both searched and annotated and are not merely page-scans saved as PDFs.

Ultimately we hope to produce apps that will merge archaeological texts with multimedia, GPS functionality, data, and more, providing a reader full context. As all archaeologists know, context is key.

On July 29th, the Day of Archaeology, I will be meeting with editors and archaeologists both in person and via Skype as we plan a new way to manage our publishing projects with less paper, more speed, and better communication. We’ll also be reviewing the f&gs (folded & gathered sheets) for the print edition of Hesperia 80.2 prior to approving the issue for binding. I’ll assist our designer with typesetting our monograph on Greek manuscripts. I’ll be emailing several of our authors who are currently in the field in Greece and in Turkey about the status of their books and articles. I’ll look at a lot of digital images of pots. And I’ll probably take a break to go through the Publications archives to catalogue some correspondence from the 1930s and 1940s, finding delight in hand-written notes and typescript pages marked in pencil.

I was an archaeologist before I became a publisher. I excavated at Isthmia (Greece) and Poggio Civitate (Italy). I earned my MA in art history and archaeology at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and my BA in archaeology (double-major with writing) from the University of Evansville. I’m tickled that I am publishing an article by my undergraduate adviser this week. And I am honored to be publishing Agora “blue books”, Corinth “red books” as well as Hesperia (and Hesperia supplements), series that I used extensively during my student years. I love being a publisher, and I love publishing the work of my peers and of my heroes.