- This event has passed.
Anastassios Antonaras, Head of Exhibitions, Communication and Education Department, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki | “Documenting Diversity in Thessaloniki and Its Hinterlands: Three Archaeological Stories”
This lecture examines the diverse population that lived in Byzantine Thessaloniki and the surrounding area through three case studies: a young girl with African religious beliefs who lived in the late 3rd century, a Slavic lady of the late 8th century, and a group of archers from the 14th – 15th century who were trained in the east. The first case study is a young girl who was buried in a simple pit tomb in the eastern necropolis of Thessaloniki. She wore two amulets: a wooden one, probably of ebony, in the shape of a male head with strong African features, and an amber one in the shape of feline bust. A Slavic lady, the second case study, is identified by a special bead that was found during excavations in the castle of Rentina, east of Thessaloniki. Such beads are characteristic of the Slavic tribes and similar examples have been found from the Volga region and Germany to Greece. A special type of men’s utilitarian jewelry, the ring of an archer, presents the third case study. This is a type of ring that initially had the sole purpose of protecting the thumb when the reflective bow’s string was released. These case studies demonstrate that among the population that lived in Byzantine Thessaloniki were a number of foreigners whose identity is only revealed through the careful examination of excavated objects.
Dr. Anastassios C. Antonaras, a specialist in the history of glass, jewelry and textiles, is an archaeologist and curator. He is Head of the Exhibitions, Communication and Education Department at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki. His books include: Glassworking, Ancient and Medieval: Terminology, Technology and Typology (2008); Roman and Early Christian Glassworking: Vessels from Thessaloniki and Its Region (which received a prize from the Academy of Athens in 2010); Fire and Sand: Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum (2012); Artisanal Production in Ancient and Byzantine Thessaloniki: Archaeological, Literary and Epigraphic Evidence (2016; repr. 2019); Glassware and Glassworking in Thessaloniki: 1st Century BC – 6th Century AD (2017); and The Art of Glass. Works from the Collection of the Museum of Byzantine Culture (2019). He is currently researching different aspects of glass production and glassware in Byzantine and Ottoman Empire and publishing the rich and diverse, ancient and Islamic glass collection of the Getty Villa Museum.
The event is co-sponsored by the UCLA SNF Hellenic Center, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, and the Archaeological Institute of America–Los Angeles County Society.
To register, please click here.