A Digital Resource Award for a project to digitise and make available as a research tool 30 archaeological notebooks, letters and images of the Knossos excavations held in the Archives of the British School at Athens.
This work contributes to the research project ‘Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the large Mediterranean Islands‘ under which the exhibition is framed.
Both the exhibition and research project, together with corresponding outreach activities, aim to elucidate what defined island identities in the Mediterranean. They explore how insularity affected and shaped cultural identity using the examples of Crete, Cyprus, and Sardinia, and provide a platform to debate cultural evolution in the islands as opposed to the surrounding mainland. The palace of Knossos in the Heraklion district is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site of Crete, and over a century of archaeological work at this site has contributed significantly to our understanding of the history of this island and more generally to its insular identity.
This set of notebooks, plans and photographs documents archaeology at Knossos from the 1930s to the 1950s undertaken by the then Knossos Curator, Richard Wyatt Hutchinson (‘The Squire’) and later Sinclair Hood during his time as BSA Assistant Director and then Director. Especially important are the rescue excavations undertaken just before and after WWII by Hutchinson whose broad chronological interests made him one of the first to see a long history of Knossos (and, indeed, of the much wider island of Crete) beyond the hitherto more intensively studied prehistoric ‘Minoan’ periods.
- Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou (Assistant Keeper, Fitzwilliam Museum)
- Dr Michael Loy (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Classics)
Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou is the Curator of Greece, Rome and Cyprus at the Department of Antiquities of the Fitzwilliam Museum. She is responsible for research and exhibition projects and permanent displays in the fields of Greek, Cypriot and Roman collections. She is currently leading the 4-year research project ‘Being an Islander’: Art and Identity of the large Mediterranean Islands, (2019-2023) aiming to critically re-examine the concept of island life through material culture. The project will culminate in a large exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum (21/02/202- 05/06/2023) displaying archaeological finds and artworks from the islands of Cyprus, Sardinia and Crete. She has previously curated an interdisciplinary exhibition on the history of codebreaking. Anastasia gained her PhD in Classical Archaeology at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge (2008) and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Topoi Excellence Cluster, Freie Universität Berlin (2009-2010), prior to joining the Fitzwilliam Museum. She has also lectured for the University of London, Birkbeck College and is currently an external collaborator to two interdisciplinary research networks in Cyprus and Germany.
Dr Michael Loy is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Classics. His project, entitled ‘Cargo and conflict: Aegean networks after the Persian Wars’, uses GIS, network analysis and ABM to model economic exchange patterns in the fifth century BC, exploring, in particular, the distribution of transport amphoras in the archaeological record – pottery vessels used to carry grain, olive oil and wine. This builds on the methodology developed in his first monograph, Connecting Communities in Archaic Greece. Exploring economic and political networks through data modelling (Cambridge University Press, 2023).
Over a hundred years of archaeological fieldwork in Greece has generated huge volumes of material data. A large part of Michael’s work concentrates on synthesising big databases of these excavated objects from print publications and from archival resources, assembling old data to look at ancient landscapes in new ways. Michael is particularly interested in the conceptual and methodological challenges of harmonising non-equivalent data: for example, of comparing object distributions from two archaeological sites that have been excavated, studied and published in completely different ways. As co-director of the West Area of Samos Archaeological Project, Michael is responsible for designing and implementing a ‘paperless’ data collection strategy for the British School at Athens’ pedestrian field survey on the island of Samos (2021–2025).
In his previous position as Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, Michael collaborated with CDH on digitisation and digital resource projects run by the Fitzwilliam Museum and by the Archives of the Faculty of Classics and Pembroke College.