10 June 2021 Start
11 June 2021 End
Online Conference

e-mail.: [email protected], [email protected]

Attica from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Archaic Period

June 10-11, 2021

The International Conference “Attica from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Archaic Period: The Spatial Roots of Politics and Society’”, is hosted by the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Italian Archaeological School at Athens.

The event will take place via Zoom on Thursday and Friday, 10th and 11th June 2021. The programme is here below.

Please, note that all time slots are given in Athens time (GMT +3).

The conference is open and free, but booking for attending the event is essential. We kindly ask all those interested to register at or by contacting the organisers, Nikolaos Arvanitis ([email protected]) or Alain Duplouy ([email protected]). The Zoom links and the abstracts of the papers will be circulated to registered attendees prior to the event.

In 1964 Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Pierre Lévêque presented a ground-breaking approach of Athenian history in their book Clisthène l’Athénien. Despite ancient Athenians’ low reverence for Cleisthenes, the two French historians made him the ‘grand architect’ of Classical Athens, the geometer of a new conception of civic space and time. The subtitle of their book, translated into English only thirty years later as part of the commemoration of the 2500th anniversary of the birth of democracy, clearly expressed the close link that existed between society, politics and space in Ancient Greece: An Essay on the Representation of Space and Time in Greek Political Thought from the End of the Sixth Century to the Death of Plato (1996). Since then, the image of Cleisthenes has changed and his own role in the political transformations of the late Archaic Athenian society has been reduced, while other interpretations of the ‘Cleisthenic’ reforms have been developed, including the idea of a self-organising community on the part of the Athenian demos, which might have been part of a larger regional trend with echoes in contemporary Eretria and Corinth (Ismard 2010). Space nevertheless remains an essential interpretive tool in ancient history. This region of c. 2 550 km2 offers one of the best documented territory of an ancient Greek city. Accordingly, this conference considers the use of space and network theories as potentially heuristic tools in current archaeological and historical research on Ancient Greece. Due to the abundance of archaeological and textual evidences Attica notably constitutes a privileged heuristic observatory of social identities expressed in distinctive spatial contexts from the Late Bronze age to the Classical period. However, many aspects of pre-Classical historical processes remain poorly understood due to the lack of a strong link to critically assessed spatial parameters. Among geographers, historians, social theorists, anthropologists and philosophers, there is a growing awareness of the constitutive significance of place and space, site and situation, locality and territoriality, studied in a multiscale approach and as nodes in a web of interactions. A spatial approach is assumed even for those loci, real or symbolical, retrievable in textual narratives: they have an important symbolic and representational salience, ultimately anchored in a palimpsest of multi-layered discourses which, as such, take ‘place’ as mental/narrative projections. Despite the current flourishing of IT technologies in archaeological practice, much of modern scholarship remains ill at ease when it comes to contextually visualising social patterns. On the other hand, when studied from textual evidence alone, political and social dynamics do not often integrate the multidimensional trajectories that archaeological research can uncover. We assume that social dynamics and historical developments can only be studied when the dynamics of space itself are understood in a four-dimensional perspective, as a series of interrelated events conveying agency. Space should be investigated as the physical expression of cognitive schemata that are culturally specific, contextual and historical. In other words, the object of the conference is to focus on the spatiality of historical processes and networks in ancient Attica and the interlinking scales —temporal and spatial— within which such networks navigate. Ultimately, the conference aims at drawing the lines for a meaningful biography of Attica over a long period of changes.

All time slots are in Athens time (GMT+3)

Thursday, 10th June 2021

10:00 — 10:15 – Reception
10:15 — 10:30 – Opening, Emanuele Papi, Welcome Speech

10:30 — 10:50 – Nikolaos Arvanitis & Alain Duplouy (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Introduction.

Session 1 – Attica from the Late Bronze Age to the Geometric Period (Chair Eleni Andrikou)

10:50 — 11:20 – Nikolas Papadimitriou (University of Heidelberg), Mycenaean Attica: How Much ‘Mycenaean’ and How Much ‘Attica’?
11:20 — 11:50 – Kostas Kalogeropoulos (Academy of Athens), Separated by the Erasinos River. The Northern and Southern Plain of Mesogeia from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age.
11:50 — 12:00 – Coffee break
12:00 — 12:30 – Floris van den Eijnde (University of Utrecht), Between Polis and Ethnos. A Networked Approach to the Development of the Athenian Polis.
12:30 — 13:00 – Maximilian Rönnberg (German Archaeological Institute), A Wealth of Choices: Changing Preferences and Local Particularities in the Placement of Burials in Attica from the Late Helladic to the Archaic Period.

13:00 — 13:30 – Nikolaos Arvanitis (University Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Big Sites in Attica Beyond Athens. The Case of Eleusis and Acharnai.
13:30 — 14:00 – Discussion

14:00 — 16:00 – Lunch break

Session 2 – Attica from the Geometric Period to the Classical Period (Chair Anastasia Gadolou)

16:00 — 16:30 – Nikolaos Arvanitis, Alain Duplouy, Anastasia Stroussopoulou (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Anagyrous. Anatomy of an Attic District.
16:30 — 17:00 – James Whitley (University of Cardiff), From Cups to Kraters: The Surfaces of Writing in Early Attica (800—500 BCE).
17:00 — 17:10 – Coffee break
17:10 — 17:40 – Erich Kistler (University of Innsbruck), Attic Gene between Eunomia and Stasis. Creating an Alternative to the Athenaion Politeia.
17:40 — 18:10 – Riccardo Di Cesare (University of Foggia & Italian Archaeological School at Athens), Archaic Attica and the Symbolic Construction of Space. Landmarks, Legends, and Cults.
18:10 — 18:40 – Discussion

Friday, 11th June 2021

Session 3 – Athens and its District before Cleisthenes (Chair Christina Merkouri)

10:30 — 11:00 – Tonio Hölscher (University of Heidelberg), The Archaic Agora of Athens. Its Location within the Topographical System of Athens.
11:00 — 11:30 – Annarita Doronzio (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Κατά κώμας. Athenian Settlement Dynamics under Examination.
11:30 — 11:40 – Coffee break
11:40 — 12:10 – Vincenzo Capozzoli (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), The so-called Urban Demes of Athens in the Archaic Age. Towards an Outline of the Evidence.
12:10 — 12:40 – Alexandra Alexandridou (University of Ioannina), Regionalism within Early Iron Age Athens: The Domestic Nucleus at the Academy.
12:40 — 13:10 – Discussion

13:10 — 15:30 – Lunch break

Session 4 – Methodological, Chronological and Regional Comparanda (Chair Stella Chrisoulaki)

15:30 — 16:00 – Andreas Kapetanios (Ionian University), From Space to Topos. The Archaeology of Continuity and Change in Structuring the Lavrion Landscape(s).
16:00 — 16:30 – Emeri Farinetti (Italian Archaeological School at Athens), Beyond Attica: Landscape Approaches in Boeotia and the Megaris.
16:30 — 17:00 – Paolo Carafa (University of Rome “La Sapienza”), Politics, People and Landscapes. From Attica to Ancient Latium.
17:00 — 17:20 – Discussion

17:20 — 17:30 – Coffee break

Session 5 – Perspectives

17:30 — 18:00 – Current and New Tools on Athens and Attica, with Nikolaos Arvanitis, Annarita Doronzio, Alain Duplouy, Barbora Weissova.
18:00 — 19:30 – Round Table with Tonio Hölscher (University of Heidelberg), Irene Lemos (University of Oxford), Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge), François de Polignac (EPHE, Paris).

For further information, please contact either or both of the organisers.