Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Excavations by Mac Classics Student at Pylos

In the Summer of 2010, Hope McGilly (Classics, 2010) participated in excavations at Iklaina at Pilos in Greece. She reports:

This summer I was able to travel to Greece to participate in the Iklaina Archaeological Project excavation headed by Dr. Michael Cosmopoulos with the University of Missouri-St Louis. We were excavating at the site Iklaina in Pilos which is approximately four hours SW of Athens. This is a relatively new site, only being excavated for the last four years. The site is considered a Mycenaean settlement with Early and Middle Helladic finds. This was my first experience in the field and it was fabulous to apply the techniques that I had spent four years learning. Not only was able to participate in the physical excavation of the site, I was able to assist with washing and sorting pottery and operated the Floatation station where soil sample are processed for smaller artifacts (e.g. pottery sherds, beading, etc.) and also for paleoethnobotanical samples (e.g. pollen, seeds, etc.). However, I was most interested in the identification, sorting and analysis of faunal remains that I was able to complete in the lab under the supervision of Dr Deborah Ruscillo. I also attended classes in which we learned, in greater detail, about the techniques we were using (e.g. drawing, elevation, floatation, ceramic analysis, etc.) from experts in those fields.

I was also fortunate enough to be part of a program that insisted on allowing us to view major archaeological sites located around us on day trips to the Palace of Nestor, Mycenae and Olympia. Apart from this I spent a week in Athens seeing such sites as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Agora, the Temple of Hephaestus and the New Acropolis Museum. However, it was touring the Acropolis that had the most profound effect on me. To be able to stand at the base of the Acropolis, walk up and stand in awe beneath the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion moved me in a way that is difficult to explain. We spend years learning about these buildings, seeing their pictures on a daily basis, yet one cannot possibly describe the beauty and emotion that one witnesses standing reverently beside one of these great sites. I found that my appreciation for each and every detail has grown exponentially since then.

Greece is honestly one of the most gorgeous countries in the world. There is so much history, culture and art that surrounds you it can be overwhelming at times. I am glad that I was able to see the great metropolis of Athens and a small country town like Pilos; they are each amazing in their own way, yet completely different in the ways that the people live. It was an experience that I will never forget and I will cherish the memories made not only by the beauty of my surroundings, but also by the amazing people that touched my life while I was there.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Departmental Talk

The Department of Classics and
The Department of Linguistics and Languages
Prof. Nicholas Allen, University of Oxford

“Homer-Mahābhārata comparison: heroes and functions”

Thursday 14 October 4:30 DSB 505

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mac Classics Student places in National Competition

Congratulations to Louise Savocchia (Classics M.A., 2012) who won third place in the Classical Association of Canada's Undergraduate Essay Competition (Senior level). Her prize-winning paper was written as an undergraduate Honours Classics student at McMaster for Classics 4BB3, Seminar in Ancient Art. The paper, "Pocket-sized Political Statements: The Development of the Coinage of the Deinomenids of Sicily," combined textual and iconographic evidence to discuss the political messages that were conveyed by the tyrants' coins.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mac Classics Graduate Student in Rome and Pompeii

Meghan Fee (Classics M.A. 2011) writes on her experiences this summer:

I was one of twelve students in North America that was accepted to attend the Summer Program in Archaeology at the American Academy in Rome in the summer 2010. The purpose of the program is to give graduate students in all areas of Classical studies an overview of current developments in archeological method and theory, focusing on ancient Italy and the ancient Mediterranean world. The seven-week course taught the objectives and methods of archaeology through instruction and hands-on experience in active archaeological research. The program consisted of three weeks in residence at the American Academy in Rome for lectures and the opportunity to study the monuments and sources offered by Rome itself. The remaining four weeks were spent excavating in ancient Pompeii with the University of Cincinnati.

Links of interest:

(photo: Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius by M. Fee)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mac Classics Student Excavates at Mycenae

Carly Hoey (Classics `11) recently participated in excavations at Mycenae. She writes:

I was fortunate enough to participate in an archaeological dig at ancient Mycenae in Greece this summer. We excavated the lower town, which is located in a valley below the famous citadel that includes the iconic Lion Gate. This was my first time in the field and it was interesting to see all of the methods that are taught in class actually in use. The experience allowed me to have a better understanding of the different practices used in archaeology such as: architectural surveying, GIS, floatation, sifting etc. After participating in this dig I now have a much better understanding of what goes into archaeology, and the potential careers that are available. It definitely made me realize that I do want to pursue a career in archaeology and classical history. If you have the opportunity to participate in a dig do not pass it up, you will have the time of your life! It was an amazing experience and all of the people I met were unbelievable and full of passion. I hope I get the chance to go back again next year.

Although I was in Greece to practice archaeology I had time afterwards to travel around the country for a few days. I was in Athens for two days and Dr. Spencer Pope was actually able to give me and a few friends a tour of the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. It is amazing to see in person the temples and sculptures that you learn about in class. I found that it makes you appreciate it much more because you are able to see the amount of work and effort that went into these astonishing works of art. After Athens I spent a few days in Santorini, which is one of the many islands of Greece. It was nice to finally get to relax and just enjoy the country, the food and the people. I know that everyone always raves about Santorini, but it honestly is a breath-taking island. Greece is a stunning country, full of extremely kind and welcoming people and I thoroughly enjoying every minute of my trip!

Carly Hoey

(Photo: excavations in process at Mycenae. Photo by C. Hoey)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mac Classics Grad in Greece

Kyle McLeister (MA ’11) recently finished a six week study tour of Greece as a member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Summer Session (http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/programs/Summer). The summer session, which was comprised of 20 students and high school teachers from across North America, divided its time between three weeks in Athens and three weeks travelling throughout the rest of Greece, visiting sites of major archaeological and historical importance, as well as numerous museums in Crete, the Peloponnese, and northern Greece. The program not only allows students to gain first-hand experience with the monuments of ancient Greece, but it also gives them to opportunity to forge professional ties with students and scholars in the field.

(The Hephaisteion in the Athenian Agora. Photo: K. McKleister)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mac Humanities Newsletter

The most recent issue of the McMaster Humanities Newsletter has a feature on the Dept. of Classics: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Congratulations to Samantha Huisbrink (Fine Arts and Art History Major and Classics Minor) whose drawing of the Parthenon was published in the Winter issue of Calliope Magazine as part of a feature on the Athenian Acropolis.

Monday, March 8, 2010

E. Togo Salmon Visiting Professor

Professor Nate Rosenstein,
Ohio State University

"Phalanx & Maniple: the Origins of Roman Warcraft"

Thursday, March 18, 2010
4:30, DSB 505

"War, Wealth, & Consuls"

Friday, March 19, 2010
3:30, TSH 719

Friday, February 26, 2010

Upcoming Events

The Classics Departmental Speaker Series is pleased to present two upcoming talks:

4 March: Prof. Andrew Faulkner (Dept. Classical Studies, University of Waterloo)
"A Powerful Voice in the Background: Speech in Homeric Hymns"
TSH 701, 4:30 pm

11 March: Prof. Jeffrey Becker (Dept. Classics, McMaster University)
"The Gabii Project, 2007-2010: Preliminary Conclusions and Future Perspectives"
TSH 701, 4:30 pm

Representatives of the Dept. of Classics will also be at the Humanities Majors Fair
Friday, 5 March, 11:30-2:30, Gilmour Hall 111

Friday, February 12, 2010


At the recent Faculty of Humanities' Awards Assembly, Classics students were on display! Classics major Liana Brent was the featured speaker and used the archaeological excavation as a metaphor for the undergrad experience. The list of award winners included:

Katie Ambeault: Graham Ronald Toop scholarship

Liana Brent: Bertram Osmer Hooper Scholarship, University senate scholarship

Debra Coburn: University scholarship

Michael Courtemanche: John H. Trueman scholarship

Giselle Lo: The Latin Prize

Rebecca Rathbone: University senate scholarship

Louise Savocchia: E.T. Salmon scholarship, University senate scholarship, Varey scholarship,

Barbara Scarfo: Beatrice Corrigan Memorial Book Prize

David Tabron: Gladys Ballantyne Parker Prize

Melissa Verhey: Harold & Gertrude Freeman scholarship

David Wallace-Hare: Alexander Gordon McKay scholarship,

Deans' honour list:
Katie Ambeault, Liana Brent, Chih Chen,
Michael Courtemanche, Rachel Forbes, Rebecca Ketelaars, Sabrina Kokosarevic, Angela Kwok, Giselle Lo, Irina Malakhova, Telmo Medeiros, Jeffrey Poort, Rebecca Rathbone, Louise Savocchia, Barbara Scarfo, Tristan Sibley, David Tabron, Melissa Verhey, David Wallace-Hare