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Stavros Vlizos, Associate Professor, Ionian University, and Vicky Vlachou, École française d’Athènes | “New Evidence on a Spartan Religious Center: The Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios at Sparta and the Current Research Project”
The Sanctuary of Apollon at Amyklai (Sparta) was inextricably associated in antiquity with the celebrated festival of the Hyakinthia. Ancient literary sources describe salient aspects of the festival and the cult that was centered around the tomb of the hero Hyakinthos and the altar of Apollo in two succeeding stages that never overlapped each other. Material evidence from the sanctuary area demonstrates the early beginnings of the cult and ritual, already since the mid-10th century BC. By the late 8th to early 7th century BC, the formal delimitation of the sanctuary area, the quantity and quality of the material deposits support the importance of the sanctuary and its festival within the formal institutions of the Spartan polis. It can be argued that the importance of the sanctuary may be related with the seniority of the shrine and the continuity of the ritual activities in this area over the centuries. The lecture shall focus on shifts in use and function of material culture that are parallel to transformations and changes of the social, political, and religious landscape of Sparta. Furthermore, the connection of the cult site to neighboring areas in proximity, further away, and parallel trajectory to the rest of the Spartan sanctuaries shall be discussed.
The event is co-sponsored by the UCLA SNF Hellenic Center, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America–Los Angeles County Society, and Pan-Laconian Federation of United States and Canada.
After completing his studies at the University of Ioannina and the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (Dr.Phil.), Stavros Vlizos first worked as a contract archaeologist at the Ministry of Culture (1997-2001) and then as a researcher and scientific associate at the Benaki Museum (2002-2013). As an Associate Professor, he teaches a wide range of courses in Museology and Archaeology in the Department of Archives, Library Studies and Museology at Ionian University. He is director of the Amykles Research Project, associate of the Athens Archaeological Society, corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute, and co-founder of the Athens “Roman Seminar.” His research interests and publications refer to issues of promotion and management of cultural heritage and archaeological goods, as well as topics highlighting the material culture of Ancient and Roman Greece and the importance of ancient sanctuaries diachronically.
Vicky Vlachou studied History, Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens. She is currently a scientific member (Belgian) at the École française d’Athènes (EfA, membre). She is a scholar of the Early Iron Age Aegean (ca. 1000-600 BC). Her doctoral thesis (2010) was awarded the G.P. Oikonomos prize of the Class of Letters and Fine Arts of the Academy of Athens. She is a member of fieldwork and publication projects at Xobourgo on Tenos (Cyclades), Amykles (Sparta), Itanos, and Anavlochos (Eastern Crete). She is the editor of the collective volume Pots, Workshops and Early Iron Age Society: Function and Role of Ceramics in Early Greece (Études d’archéologie 8, Brussels 2015).
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