July 27, 2018 - Catch up on the latest news from CAARI!

Dear : 
Above, in balmy twilight, you see the members, friends, and distinguished guests of the CAARI community in the garden of the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, celebrating CAARI's 40th Birthday. CAARI's Facebook page has a torrent of pictures; this news-flash, too, will turn first of all to the birthday festivities. But more important than looking back is using a birthday to look forward, and Dr. Lindy Crewe's ensuing Message from the Director unveils our first giant step in this direction. It is one we invite you to join us in. The news-flash closes with an inspired insight by CAARI Trustee, Professor Pamela Gaber, into a question that has tantalized scholars of ancient architecture for centuries: the origin of the volute capital.

Views of the 40th Birthday Festivities

Achilleas Demetriades toasts CAARI
The birthday festivities opened with the
gala dinner at the Presidential Palace. Here CAARI trustee and distinguished solicitor, Achilleas Demetriades
, the Master of Ceremonies, personifies the warmth and elegance of this event as he toasts CAARI's four decades of service to the archaeology of Cyprus. Before him, 24 tables of a dozen guests each raised their glasses in festive response to his acclamation.

A table of dignitaries:  Dr.Barbara Porter (back turned), Director of ACOR; Prof. Patricia Fall; Prof. Tim Harrison, ex-President of ASOR; Prof. Susan Ackerman, President of ASOR; Prof. Brigitta Lindros Wohl, Secretary of CAARI, with Anna Wohl; Dr. Rick Spees, Director of CAORC, and Roberta Spees; Prof. Annemarie Weyl Carr, Vice President of CAARI.

A particular pleasure of the evening was the sequence of warm, enthusiastic statements by officials of the government of Cyprus, the Embassy of the United States, and the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus.

Vasiliki Anastasiadi, 
Minister of Transport, Communication, and Works , spoke of CAARI's role building knowledge about Cyprus and transmitting understanding of it.

Dr. Marina Ieronymi-dou-Solomidou , Director of the Department of Antiquities , spoke of CAARI's long cooperation with the Department in excavating, protecting, and educating people about Cyprus' past.
U.S. Ambassador Kathleen Doherty
spoke of the thrill of learning about the long past in her many interactions with CAARI's staff and scholars. She has been an enthusiastic friend of CAARI.

Trustee Sturt Manning presents our thanks to Trustee Chris Christodoulou
The dinner honoured CAARI Trustee Chris Christodoulou. President of the Cyprus-American Business Association, and Operations and Project Development Manager of the N. K. Shakolas Group of Companies, he also represents the N. K. Shakolas Group of Companies on matters related to environmental issues and social responsibility. Immensely knowledgeable about the construction industry in Cyprus, Mr. Christodoulou oversaw CAARI's library expansion with keen, attentive vigilance.  It is thanks to him that the expansion was completed on time, under budget, with excellent contractors, to the satisfaction of all.
Chris Christodoulou and his fellow Cyprus Trustees worked together to fund publication of a birthday book, CAARI and the Archaeology of Cyprus:  The First 40 Years. Compiled and designed by CAARI Director Lindy Crewe, it includes a richly illustrated timeline of CAARI by Trustee Alison South, and entries from many archaeological teams that worked in Cyprus during CAARI's forty years, giving major discoveries, images, stories, and memories. 
Trustee Chris Christodoulou greets guests at the gala

A copy was given to each guest at the gala dinner.  You are warmly invited to order a copy for your own library by sending a check for $35 or €30 to: 
11 Andreas Demitriou Street,
Nicosia 1066

The gala dinner was just the beginning of the celebration.  Two days later, CAARI presented the biggest Summer Archaeological Workshop in years.

CAARI Director Lindy Crewe opens the 37th Annual Archaeological Workshop

It was held at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, and addressed an enthusiastic overflow audience of 170 people.  There were thirty-seven oral presentations, and for the first time, it included a poster exhibition as well.
Light from the projector plays across the face of Professor Nancy Serwint as she speaks in the Workshop, and the camera captures rapt listeners.

After the Workshop came the third celebration: a party for all at CAARI itself .

Looking down from the veranda in the evening as CAARI alumni/ae, friends, and supporters assemble in the CAARI garden over brandy sours, beer, an ample Cypriot buffet, and a flood of conversation and memories

If you look on Facebook, you'll see more CAARI faces, but one can't resist giving a glimpse of them here, too-you'll recognize many...

Charles Stewart,  Annemarie Carr, Michael Toumazou, Photoulla Chrisodoulou, Jenny Webb

Vathoulla Moustoukki, Sturt Manning, Tom Davis, Vassos Karageorgis, Raymond Ewing

As well as the gala dinner, the Workshop, and the party at CAARI, there were visits to sites: Michael Toumazou and Nick Kardulias introduced us to Athienou's long past and its wonderfully hospitable present; Annemarie Carr took people church-hopping in the Troodos. It was a joyous, generous time.

As CAARI Librarian Katerina Mavromichalou cheers, Director Lindy Crewe blows out the candles on the birthday cake, adorned with the birthday logo of the dancing bird with its CAARI@40 banner.  When the candles are blown out, of course, it is time to make a wish for the year or years to come.  Thus this is also the time to turn to the other side of the birthday message. A birthday invites us to look ahead.  CAARI is 40 now.  What are the most important goals, and the most important challenges, that lie ahead as we look to the coming decade?  What do we most want to celebrate when we turn 50 in 2028? Dr. Crewe's "Message from the Director" points to a compelling opportunity.

Message From the Director

Thanks so much to all who contributed to our fantastic 40th birthday celebration events, especially to the CAARI staff who worked so very hard to make it all happen. CAARI's dominant concern over the past decade has been the library expansion, now essentially complete.  What is next?  I think a major effort must be directed to our fellowships to ensure that we continue to support the next generation of Cypriot scholars.  Only CAARI offers research stipends specifically earmarked for Cyprus.  These fellowships play a major role in CAARI's intellectual life; they are also critical in drawing fresh talent into the field of Cypriot studies. An extraordinary pair of gifts, fortuitously but fortunately timed to coincide with the birthday, have opened a thrilling new opportunity for fellowships at CAARI.  I am proud to present it here and delighted that we can play a part in maintaining Eddie Peltenburg's legacy of mentoring and fostering junior scholars.

The Edgar J. Peltenburg Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Cypriot Prehistory

CAARI is very pleased to announce the establishment of a new postdoctoral research fellowship in honor of the late Professor Eddie Peltenburg, which has been initiated with donations of more than $100,000 each by his widow, Dr. Diane Bolger (University of Edinburgh), and Dr. Carole McCartney (University of Cyprus).

Professor Eddie Peltenburg at the Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Koukila (Palaepaphos)

Appointed as a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in 1978, Eddie was promoted to Professor in 1994 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the prehistory of Cyprus and the Near East. Although Eddie retired from the University of Edinburgh in 2007, he continued to pursue an active programme of fieldwork and publication up until the time of his death in 2016. Eddie excavated in many places during his lifetime, including Scotland, Iraq and Syria, but his greatest attachment was to his fieldwork and research in Cyprus. Hundreds of students participated in his excavations over the years, and many of them (including Carole McCartney and Lindy Crewe, the current director of CAARI) went on to do their PhD research under his supervision and have established themselves as leading academics in the field. Eddie's devotion to his students was remarkable, and despite his very busy schedule he always had time to discuss their work and engage in a lively exchange of ideas. We are sure he would be very happy to know that this fellowship will enable some of the best young scholars working in Cyprus to continue their academic careers beyond the achievement of their doctoral degrees.

Although the Peltenburg Fellowship will be open to prehistorians of all ages and nationalities, priority will be given to outstanding young scholars who are within five years of receiving a PhD and who aim to produce a significant piece(s) of archaeological research on some aspect of prehistoric Cyprus (Neolithic - Late Bronze Age) during the term of the fellowship; the first round of applications will be announced in the coming months for an award in 2019. The term of the fellowship will be one academic year (nine months), with the possibility of renewal for an additional nine months in exceptional cases. Further details will be posted shortly on the CAARI webpages.

In order to make this fellowship sustainable, we will be asking members of the CAARI community, as well as archaeologists working in other regions of the ancient Near East and non-archaeologists who knew Eddie, to make generous donations. By raising an additional $50,000, we can ensure the existence of the fellowship for the next 25 years. Instructions for making donations will be provided soon on the CAARI web, Facebook pages, a solicitation letter or from admin@caari.org.cy.

Lindy Crewe, PhD
Director, CAARI

Proto-Aeolic Capitals and the Queen of Heaven
by Professor and CAARI Trustee Pamela Gaber

Dr. Gaber presents a shorter version of an article that will be published in
Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of P. Kyle McCarter, Jr
SBL Press, expected late 2018.

The enigma of volutes on column capitals has interested scholars of the ancient Near East since the nineteenth century. Already then, it was known that the volute capitals "are holy trees and Asherat" derived from the date palm (e. g. Perrot and Chipiez 1885; Ohnefalsch-Richter 1893: 190f). Many scholars have written on the subject since then, usually when a new example of so-called "Proto-Aeolic" capitals was uncovered in archaeological investigations. But none of them has looked back far enough for evidence.

Since the nineteenth century, no one has looked farther away than Assyria, or earlier than the 9th century BCE. In fact, evidence suggests that the volute goes back to the bound reed bundles (or possibly sheaves of grain, as suggested in conversation by Thorkild Jacobsen, since the "A Song of Inanna and Dumuzi" calls the goddess "...a shock of two-row barley"). These are uniformly recognized as symbols of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of fecundity. The classic examples are the Warka Vase and the Warka Trough.

The Warka Vasa. Baghdad, Iraq Museum

The Warka Trough. London, British Museum

The Warka Trough, end view

The bundles, symbols of Inanna, are central to the décor and to the narrative on both of these works from late fourth-millennium BCE Uruk. Interestingly, the "bundles" could be single (as in the Warka trough), face each other, both face the same way, or be placed "back to back."

ca. 2112-2004 BCE. London, British Museum

These volute and vegetation references continue without a break in Mesopotamia , most importantly on cylinder seals, like that at the right. 
Kassite period, 1595-1200 BCE. Paris, Louvre

The second millennium BCE saw the Semitic goddess, Ishtar, firmly syncretized with Inanna. The two shared much iconography, including the lion on which each often stands, the 8-pointed star, or rosette, symbolizing their dominion over the realms of heaven, and the date palm, which was often depicted alongside, or in place of the human representation of the goddess. It appears to have been in this mid-second millennium period when the date palm imagery became ubiquitous, as seen in the seal at the Louvre.

Cypriot seal: Mistress of animals flanked by rampant horned animals. Late  Cypriot II, ca. 14th century BCE. 
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
At this juncture it is important to note tha t by 2000 BCE there was a thriving international trade in copper, emanating from Cyprus, and traveling to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and throughout the Mediterranean (See e. g. Gaber 2018). It is not surprising, therefore, that Cypriot cylinder seals of the  second millennium BCE exhibit some of the characteristics of Mesopotamian seals of the period. In particular, the principal deity of Cyprus was a "Great Goddess" (whose name remains unknown), so that it would be natural to borrow some of the iconography used for the Queen(s) of Heaven in Mesopotamia. This borrowing demonstrates that the imagery of the trees with volutes was common throughout the Levant in the Bronze Age.

Bronze stands, 13th century BCE from Kition and Kourion.  London, British Museum, in the Cyprus room

Similarly, there is evidence that these paired volutes continued to be revered as symbols of one Great Goddess or another in the form of stylized trees. On Cyprus, for instance, the figure whom Jacqueline Karageorghis so correctly called "La Grande Déesse de Chypre," was the recipient of the gifts of devotees on bronze stands dated to the 12th century BCE. Because the worshippers in these bronze stands are bearing what are presumably the fruits of their labors-textiles, copper ingots, and music-it seems clear that they are meant to be offering them to the Great Goddess, and not simply to a tree. A simplified version of these bronze stands occurs in a number of plainer stands, like the one from the Cesnola collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cypriot bronze tripod stand. 1250-1050 BCE. Cesnola Collection, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession no. 74.51.5684

Taanah stand. 10th century BCE. 
In simpler Late Bronze Age tripods like this one, each leg is clearly meant to represent a symbol of the Great Goddess, her special "tree"-or at any rate, vegetal motif with a volute at the top of each. It is significant that in all of these examples the top of each leg shows a pair of clear volutes that, if they were found in Greece six hundred years later, would be called, "Ionic."

There is no doubt that the Tree of Life motif became increasingly elaborate and varied during the first millennium BCE. One of the main reasons for that elaboration and variation was the artistic exuberance of the Phoenicians, particularly in ivories. "The three main Levantine groups or 'traditions' [of ivory carving] are,  therefore, the 'Phoenician', the 'Syrian-Intermediate' and the 'North Syrian'. Each of these 'traditions'  consists of a series of defined groups, such as the easily recognizable 'Egyptianizing' ivories of the Phoenician  tradition" (Herrmann and Laidlaw 2013). The ivories from Aslan Tash, provide a case in point. There are other vegetal motifs, especially on ivory furniture panels like this one that include the volutes with a triangle, which is the basic formula for the proto-aeolic, or "volute" capital.

There are instances, however, where the original form of the original emblems of the Great Goddess, Inanna, remain recognizable-and perhaps intentionally so-into the first millennium BCE in the Levant. Witness the Taanach stand on which the Inanna bundles can be seen plainly in the topmost register. It seems likely that the "Great Goddess" bundles on the Taanach stand refer to the Queen of Heaven mentioned in the Tanakh by Jeremiah (e. g. 7: 18; 44: 19, 25), most probably Asherah. It is doubtless the veneration of a native (or at least local) Great Goddess in the Levant that led to the conscious use of Inanna/Ishtar's original symbol.

Similarly, in Cyprus there was a venerated Lady (of Heaven), the Cypriots' own "Great Goddess." This might account for the fact that the Inanna/Ishtar bundles persist in Cypriot art. These representations continued without a break, even into the Hellenistic period. Examples from Palaepaphos and Idalion are shown here.

Column capital from "Hadji Abdoullah" near Paphos; Kouklia Museum.

Column capital from "Hadji Abdoullah" near Paphos; Kouklia Museum.

Limestone plaque from Idalion, found in Hellenistic layers (Gaber 1999). (Photos P. Gaber.)

What we are witnessing here, is the fact that through the millennia, cultures that came into contact with the beliefs and symbols of the Great Goddesses picked and chose the motifs that seemed to suit their local religious practices and beliefs. In regions where there was a local supreme goddess, as perhaps Asherah in ancient Israel and Judah, and the Queen of Heaven venerated in Cyprus, it appears that the original bundle emblems of the Great Goddess (Inanna of the Sumerians) were employed along with the more common "Tree of Life" motifs. There is no doubt that, some 700 years after the "volutes" appeared in Cyprus, the Ionic capital made its appearance in Greece, probably a successor to the volutes we've traced here.

New Decade, New Goals, New Opportunities for Giving 

Over the past 40 years, CAARI has been blessed by the generosity of so many supportive friends .  CAARI's flourishing condition is the testimony to this loyalty. Our thanks go out to every one of you. Soon a new solicitation letter will arrive in your mailbox, outlining new ways you can participate in CAARI's ambitions for the coming decade. We look forward to your gifts. We hope you'll think of the brand new  Peltenburg Fellowship . We hope you'll order a copy of  CAARI and the Archaeology of Cyprus: The First 40 Years too. Know that your gifts will continue to be used fully and thoughtfully to sustain ever deeper understanding of the immensely rich cultural nexus that is Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. We are committed to continuing this work! Thank you for being committed, too.

With thanks to all,

Annemarie Carr

Annemarie Weyl Carr
Vice President, CAARI Board