May 21, 2020 - Catch up on the latest news from CAARI!

Dear : 
This view from our upstairs veranda with its cranes and high-rise buildings may astonish those who have not been at CAARI for a while.  But you'll see that there is a rainbow , too, arcing across the sky. It can be our emblem of relief and hope as we begin to emerge from the pall of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The sweeping cancellation of summer excavations, workshops, and conferences will make this a strangely quieter summer for us. BUT: a roster of splendid new fellowship recipients awaits the return of travel and open libraries.  We are pleased to announce their names and proud to know that they will join our community.  You can read about them just below. Noted scholar and former holder of multiple CAARI fellowships, Dr. Gloria London, will share news of her newest book, and of a new monument in the village of Agios Demetrios that is dedicated to the female potters whom she studied there

But first, here's the Report from the Director with valuable information about the current situation in Nicosia.  
Message from CAARI's Director   

Dear friends and supporters of CAARI,

Since my last report, we have remained in Covid-19 lockdown on Cyprus but from the 21st of May the restrictions have eased, and the easing will continue in several phases over the next months. We no longer need to send a text to a government number to leave the house for essential journeys; the public sector and many private businesses have reopened; we are all adjusting to the new rules for hygiene and social distancing.

As noted at the beginning of this Newsflash, we are cautiously optimistic about the future but now we must plan for new ways of working and interacting with each other. Libraries, along with archaeological sites and museums are scheduled to reopen on the 1st of June. CAARI will be abiding by the regulations, placing hand sanitizers at the entrances and a sign on the outside of the building stating how many people are inside. Wearing of masks is compulsory for dealing with members of the public. The rules for working state that each person has at least 2m distance between them, so we will ensure safety in the library by limiting the number of researchers. Although we will have no international researchers for some time, we will still do our best to cater to our local postgraduate students and scholars. CAARI will be instituting an email booking system, which our librarian Katerina will administer, so for those who are on Cyprus, please email  after the 1st of June to book library time.

Cypriot airports are scheduled to reopen on 1st July but we do not know what the restrictions may be for visitors from different countries. Obviously tourism is vital for Cyprus and this will be a difficult year for many businesses. The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus had to take the steps to cancel all excavation and study permits for the summer, and most international universities have also forbidden travel for their staff and students. Currently the CAARI residence has no new bookings until September and only very few for the remainder of the year. This will be a tough year for us, as well, but together we will get through it in the hope that the development of a vaccine occurs as quickly as possible.

Cassandra Donnelly, one of the team of resident researchers who looked after CAARI during the lockdown, looks up to the CAARI bird
To end on a more positive note, CAARI staff are particularly grateful that we've had such a great bunch of our long-term resident researchers locked in at CAARI for the duration. They've been living as a family in isolation, cleaning and cooking for themselves and taking care of the building. They had to deal 
with the aftermath of a ferocious spring storm this week that caused a great deal of water to enter the building through our lovely (but not watertight!) traditional windows and shutters. For some human contact and to keep our spirits up, we've been continuing with our CAARI Wednesday coffee mornings via Zoom!   I also took part in a very fun Zoom pub quiz with my excavation team from Kissonerga-Skalia on Saturday night, which cheered us all. And as you can see below, CAARI's garden has been resplendent.

Geraniums under the palm trees

Jacaranda tree in bloom

We're still hopeful that it will be possible to hold the conference that CAARI is planning in collaboration with the British Museum and the Council for British Research in the Levant on the 6-7 November: Empire and excavation: critical perspectives on archaeology in British-period Cyprus, 1878-1960 . We've received a full program of outstanding abstracts and are very excited about this stimulating event. If it is not possible to gather physically for a conference by November, we will hold it digitally. In either case, we will be able to transmit the conference online to share with our research community, with plans for publication of the proceedings.

We at CAARI wish you health and fortitude from our home to yours,

Lindy Crewe, PhD
Director, CAARI

Meet CAARI's 2020-2021 Fellowship Recipients

CAARI/CAORC Postdoctoral Fellows

Annual  funds from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers enable CAARI to offer two postdoctoral grants to American scholars to pursue research that will bring Cyprus into both their classroom teaching and their publications.

Professor Virginia Burrus  
CAARI/CAORC Postdoctoral Fellow
Syracuse University

Hilarion's Garden and Other Strange Places: Geography and Ecology in the Lives of Saints

The Cyprus of Jerome's Life of Hilarion (c. 390 CE) is at the center of an interdisciplinary study that opens conversations between texts, landscapes, archaeological remains, and human bodies. Exploring the places of Jerome's hagiography, I focus especially on earthquakes and ruins, on the one hand, and the persistence of plant life, on the other. Destruction and resilience are my themes-themes of particular relevance in a time of ecological crisis and pandemic.

My book will construct a literary and pictorial archive of holy habitats, following Bertrand Westphal's geocritical method. It will explore the dynamics of reading not only "for place" but also "in place," building on longstanding traditions of Cyprus travelogues. It will engage such distant disciplines as seismology and botany, while also creating a dialogue with works of contemporary art that foreground precisely what often slips into the background of historical and literary interpretations of the Lives of saints-the dynamics of place itself.

Dr. Edna J. Stern  
CAARI/CAORC Postdoctoral Fellow
Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa

Venice, Cyprus and the southern Levant in the 14th-16th Centuries: Ceramics as a Reflection of Contacts

This research will investigate the archaeological connections between Cyprus and the mainland during the late Lusignan, Venetian and early Ottoman periods (c. 14th-16th centuries) using ceramics. This is part of a larger project titled " Venetian Merchants in the Holy Land (Southern Bilād al-Shām) during Mamluk and Early Ottoman Rule," in which I am using imported Cypriot and Italian ceramics found in excavated Mamluk and early Ottoman villages and urban sites in modern Israel, to examine the actions and effects of foreign powers in a Mamluk province. Ceramics are concrete material cultural reflections of the Italian and perhaps Cypriot merchants'  activity and interaction with the local populations in the region.

I shall use the proposed time in Nicosia to get better acquainted with the local production and Italian imports. This will contribute to the completion of my reconstruction of the connection between Cyprus, the southern Levant and the Venetian merchants through the evidence of the maritime ceramics trade.

Edgar J. Peltenburg Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cypriot Prehistory

Established two years ago, this fellowship is unique to CAARI.  Each year it supports the work of an outstanding young scholar in the field that Professor Peltenburg developed so significantly.

Dr. Artemis Georgiou 
Peltenberg Fellow

Interregional Connectivity in Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean: The Study of Canaanite and Egyptian Jars from Dikaios' Excavations at Enkomi

As the recipient of the 2020 fellowship in honor of the late Professor Peltenburg at CAARI, I will center my research on the comprehensive study of vessels designated as "Maritime Transport Containers," found at the Late Bronze Age site of Enkomi. This ceramic class encompasses predominantly the so-called "Canaanite Jars" produced in multiple centers across the Levantine coast, as well as "Egyptian Jars", and Late Minoan "Transport Stirrup Jars". These vessels are the visible hallmarks of the vigorous trade between the sophisticated states of the eastern Mediterranean, and their study can provide indispensable views on interregional commerce during the second millennium BC.   Despite the significance of Enkomi as a nexus in eastern Mediterranean connectivity, the assemblages of imported transport containers remain poorly known. As the Edgar Peltenburg Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I will undertake a hands-on study of Maritime Transport Containers from the well-stratified levels of Enkomi to identify morphological variations, distinguish fabric categories and elucidate marking strategies. My research will also make use of CAARI's Petrography Laboratory to conduct thin-section petrographic analyses on a selected subset, with the aim of determining production areas. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide new insights into the character of ancient maritime commerce. I further anticipate taking an active role in the community at CAARI, with educational seminars and public-outreach events.

CAARI Predoctoral Research Fellowships

CAARI offers the only research grants for graduate students that are specifically earmarked for Cyprus. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of these grants in attracting gifted young scholars who work on Cyprus, and in enabling the research that they do.

Cassandra Donnelly  
The Helena Wylde Swiny and Stuart Swiny Fellowship
University of Texas at Austin

Writing and Economy in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean

After a fall spent at CAARI collecting data for my dissertation at the Cyprus Museum, I will spend this spring as the Helena Wylde Swiny and Stuart Swiny Fellow in the Claude F. A. Schaeffer Library processing and interpreting my data. My dissertation project, "Between Writing and Marking in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean," tries to establish whether writers of Cypro-Minoan inscriptions and markers of potmarks shared a common body of graphic knowledge. Placing signs common to both systems  at the center of my study, I compare their paleographical and archaeological features to establish whether writers and potmarkers may have been one and the same groups of people and whether their systems were mutually intelligible. I conclude that the two systems overlapped in ways indicative of Cypriots' tendency to use writing prolifically and publicly, in contrast to their Eastern Mediterranean neighbors. This liberal approach to writing may account for the survival of the Cypriot script past the Bronze Age Collapse.

Rafael Laoutari  
The Anita Cecil O'Donovan Fellowship
University of Cambridge

Social Dynamics in Non-Urban Societies: a Multi-Scalar Analysis of Social Interaction in Prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus

The emphasis that archaeologists have placed on state, urban and complex societies over the years has resulted in the vague characterization of other forms of society as simple, less complex and egalitarian, and Prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus is no exception to this. Through the re-investigation of the materials from old excavations and the study of more recent excavated and published sites of the period, this project aims to apply a multi-scalar approach in the social dynamics active and negotiated in the island over time and space. The main concepts in the heart of this approach are practices, interaction  and identities meshed together into the complex and multi-faceted life of the people living and dying during this period. Therefore, this investigation primarily focuses on the study of ceramics, "individualized" artefacts and representations, as these are found in both habitational and mortuary contexts from a number of sites located around the island .

Anna Reeve  
The Danielle Parks Memorial Fellowship
University of Leeds

Ancient Cyprus in Leeds: Objects, Networks, Communities and Collectors From 1870 to 1930

My doctoral project investigates the ancient Cypriot collection at Leeds Museums and Galleries, some of which is on display in the Ancient Worlds gallery in Leeds City Museum.

I am taking an object-focused approach to exploring the history of this collection, tracing the itineraries of groups and individual objects, and undertaking a microhistorical analysis of their participation in sales, exhibitions, private collections, and museum displays. By doing so, I aim to  re-contextualize this little-known collection, mapping the intellectual and social networks created by the objects' movements, and contributing to the history of Cypriot archaeology, collecting, and museums.

I'm looking forward to drawing on the resources of CAARI and visiting the Cyprus State Archives and the Cyprus Museum to work towards tracing these objects' journeys, and producing a full catalogue of the collection. In particular, I will investigate the role of antiquities in representing Cyprus at the British Empire Exhibition in London in 1925.

Professor Christine Johnston
Scholar in Residence for 2020/2021
Western Washington University

The Middle to Late Cypriot Cultural Horizon: The Development of Base Ring Ware

While at CAARI I will be working on a project that examines cultural and economic change in the transition from the Middle to Late Cypriot periods. After the upheaval of this transition, new competing urban centers develop and become highly integrated within the Mediterranean-wide exchange system of the Late Bronze Age. New ceramic wares such as Base Ring Ware also appear and become broadly circulated.  The connection between Drab and Red Polished ceramics-the common local Middle Bronze wares of Western Cyprus-and Base Ring ware will be examined, including fabric  selection and preparation, firing technology, and vessel form and decoration.  Since the appearance and spread of Base Ring ware coincides with the emergence of greater urbanism and complexity, it is an important lens through which we can examine changes in production organization as Cypriot potters adjusted to shifting markets and consumer demands across an increasingly expanding economic landscape.

Dr. Gloria London Presents a New Book and Describes a New Monument

Dr. Gloria London has held a range of research fellowships that have brought her to CAARI often.  A specialist on ancient cooking wares, she has also become a leading scholar of traditional Cypriot pottery.  She writes here on her initial visit to Agios Demetrios, on the new monument there to the women potters whom she studied, and about her newest book on the huge wine fermentation jars called pitharia. At the left is the museum of traditional pottery that she installed in the village of Agios Demetrios.
The first time and last time that Vathoulla changed a car tire involved the vintage CAARI Cortina on July 22, 1986, driven by Rick Gann, the first Leventis Foundation Fellow. We were on a narrow, secluded road high in the Troodos Mountains, searching for the village of Agios Demetrios. I would live in the village for the next month to record potters making jars, cookware, incense burners, and jugs by hand. My ethnoarchaeological project required that I observe active potters, and the potters of Agios Demetrios were village women, producing household pottery.

Monument to the potters-all women-installed in the village of Agios Demetrios in 2020.  Bust by Nikos Katelaris.
A monument to those potters was erected this year in the village. It shows the bust of a hardworking woman and names the nearly 50 village potters (all but one of them women) since 1891. It also thanks those who have preserved and recorded the industry. I am honored to be included. Mr. Nikos Katelaris created the bust, which stands outside a building that houses locally made pots that I helped to collect and catalogue.

Village women produced the household pottery I documented for thirty-five years while I ignored the big pitharia. They presented a challenge to see or draw in the crowded dark storerooms, where they were covered by heavy cloths, wine drippings, and metal pots, and embedded under an array of treacherous-looking agricultural equipment that dangled from hooks. Pitharia had formerly been made in the village by itinerant male jar makers from Kaminaria or Fini.  They were huge vessels, and required 45-70 days (depending on size) to shape, dry, and fire. The last one was made at Fini in September, 1972. I focused on active potters, who worked in lovely courtyard settings under their grape arbors. Recently, though, I did turn to pitharia.

Monument in Agios Demetrios with Dr. London's name (6th line from the bottom)
A police officer from Denmark, who served with the UN Peacekeeping Force, compiled an unpublished manuscript about pitharia. He first joined UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) in part to fulfill his dream of becoming a Mediterranean archaeologist. Police Detective Knud Jensen drew 66 jars and copied the incised writing or made  wax impressions. He collected the names of jar makers, their home village, and their clients. Jensen's superior social and investigative skills led him to trace century-old jars to their source in 1971. He interviewed descendants of the jar makers in Lazania before his untimely death in Denmark, April 1986. His most important jars stand on display at Fikardou.

Dr. London with Mr. Pilavakis in Fini village
Four or five times since 1986, I sent a holiday card to Jensen's wife offering to help publish the manuscript. Recently their daughter found my correspondence and replied in the affirmative. She asked if I had use of the diaries her father had written while in Cyprus. They arrived with photographs of jars tucked into the pages. The diaries, along with discussions with Mr. Pilavakis of Fini, form the basis for my new book:  Wine Jars and Jar Makers of Cyprus: The Ethnoarchaeology of  Pitharia. SIMA PB 188, 2020.

Be sides Vathoulla's inimitable and unstinting help from the beginning, my research benefitted from a Fulbright Award (1986/87) and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1999/2000), and CAORC (2016), each generously administered by CAARI for 35 years. CAARI has been a great support for my work.
Looking Ahead from Covid-19

As restrictions seem to be easing, we can look ahead to reopening and renewal. But the last weeks have been difficult financially, closing off our sources of income and posing uncharted challenges.  CAARI's unique position as an American institution based in Cyprus has made U.S. government assistance programs, such as the CARES Act, not available to us. This places CAARI under significant stress.  While many of you are navigating your own pandemic-induced predicaments, we ask that you please keep CAARI in mind. Our need will continue, and we will be grateful for your support in this unpredictable time.

Are you a young scholar who has benefited from CAARI's library or fellowship programs? Don't discount the power of a small gift! $20 or $30 from each student who rejoiced at CAARI's washing machine, showers, or library would accomplish so much to ensure that those resources are available for future students discovering Cyprus - and for your continued work on the island.

To all our valued donors This news-flash has shown CAARI enabling scholarship-from the brave new projects outlined among the graduate students to the mature publications of past CAARI Fellow Dr. London. To all who help CAARI sustain this keen, vigorous work: thank you for your generous participation!

Annemarie Weyl Carr

Annemarie Weyl Carr
Vice President, CAARI Board