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Mary E. Voyatzis, “Exploring Sacred Landscapes in the Mountains of Arcadia”
The mountainous region of Arcadia, situated in the heart of the Peloponnese, has attracted considerable interest and attention since antiquity. Many ancient authors described Arcadia in detail, discussing its rich mythology, many sites, unusual gods, numerous sanctuaries, engaging history, diverse geography, and the important fact that its inhabitants were indigenous, living there even before the moon (Proselenoi), and the original inhabitants of Greece (Pelasgoi). During the Renaissance, Arcadia was depicted in art as a beautiful, pristine, and magical place with unspoiled wilderness. By the 19th c. European travelers were exploring the region, and later in the century archaeologists began excavating its various sites. For over 140 years Arcadia has been investigated by archaeologists from Greece and many other countries in Europe and North America. In this illustrated lecture, Professor Mary Voyatzis considers some of the sites recently excavated in Arcadia, and focuses on two where she has been involved, the Sanctuary of Athena Alea at Tegea, and the Sanctuary of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion. We shall see how archaeological discoveries have contributed significantly to our understanding of the history of Arcadia and enhanced our appreciation of this enchanting mountainous region.
Mary E. Voyatzis is Professor in the School of Anthropology and the Department of Religious Studies and Classics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her research areas involve Ancient Greek ritual and religion, sanctuaries and their development over time, and ancient Greek pottery. Dr. Voyatzis was a Principal Investigator in the excavations at the sanctuary of Athena Alea at Tegea, 1990-1994, and she is currently a co-director of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey project (since 2004).
This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Additional co-sponsors include the Hellenic Cultural Foundation of Tucson and the Panarcadian Federation of America, Nea Mantineia Chapter #102.