CONF: “Panhellenes at Methone: graphê in Late Geometric and Protoarchaic Methone, Macedonia (ca 700 BCE)”

Seen on various lists:

Centre for the Greek Language International Conference:

"Panhellenes at Methone: graphê in Late Geometric and Protoarchaic Methone, Macedonia (ca 700 BCE)"

Thessaloniki, June 8-10, 2012

Pavlos Zannas Hall, Olympion Theatre, 10 Aristotelous Square

Organizing Committee:
Jenny Strauss Clay, University of Virginia
Antonios Rengakos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Yannis Tzifopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Recent excavations, ongoing since 2003-04, have begun to bring to light ancient Methone in the southern tip of the Haliacmon River Delta, immediately north of modern-day Agathoupolis, ca 35 kilometers south of Thessaloniki. Methone was established, according to the ancient sources, by colonists from Eretria in Euboea during the second colonization (800-500 BCE) and is the oldest colony of the southern Greeks on the northern shores of the Aegean. By the end of the 8th century, with the safest harbor in the Thermaic Gulf, Methone became a chief commercial and industrial centre.

Methone occupies two hills, which were located by the sea before sedimentations of the rivers Axios, Loudias, and especially nearby Haliacmon pushed the coastline ca 500 meters away from the site. On the eastern, lower hill habitation starts already by the late Neolithic (5200 BCE) and continues throughout the Bronze Age (3000-1050 BCE), while a Late Bronze Age (1400-1050 BCE) cemetery has been located on the western, higher hill. During the Early Iron Age (1050-700 BCE) habitation extends on both hills, and the finds from the eastern hill confirm that colonists from Eretria settled in Methone around 733 BCE.

Unique and so far unprecedented for Macedonia are the pots and potsherds unearthed from a rectangular pit of 3.50×4.50 meters in plan and 10.50 meters in depth, apparently used as an apothetes. The greatest majority of these sherds dates to ca 700 BCE, and 191 of them, recently pieced together, bear inscriptions, graffiti, and (trade)marks inscribed, incised, scratched and rarely painted, which are published by Matthaios Bessios, Yannis Tzifopoulos, and Antonis Kotsonas ( The Conference will be devoted to the significance of these finds for archaeology, ancient history, literature, and the study of the Greek dialects.

For further information please contact: Yannis Tzifopoulos (tzif AT; Maria Chriti (glossologia AT


Friday, June 8

9.30-10.00 Registration
10.00-11.00 Welcome, John Kazazis, Jenny Strauss Clay, Antonios Rengakos, Yannis Tzifopoulos

Morning session Chair Michalis Tiverios & Nota Kourou

11.00-11.20 Alan Johnston, “Amphoras have mouths; do they speak?”

11.20-12.00 break

12.00-12.20 E. Kiriatzi, X. Charalambidou, M. Roumpou, A. Kotsonas, “Inscribed transport amporae at Methoni: provenance and content”

12.20-12.40 A. Mazarakis-Ainian, Kefala at Skiathos: en route to the Thermaic Gulf

12.40-13.40 Discussion

Afternoon session Chair Anna Panagiotou & Miltiadis Hatzopoulos

17.00-17.20 R. D. Woodard, “Alphabet and Dialect at Methone”

17.20-17.40 Francesca dell’Oro, “Alphabets and Dialects in the Euboean Colonies of Sicily and Magna Graecia”

17.40-18.30 Discussion

18.30-19.00 break

19.00-19.20 Niki Oikonomaki, “Local ‘Literacies’ in the making”

19.20-19.40 Christina Skelton, “Thoughts on the initial aspiration of ΑΚΕΣΑΝΔΡΟ”

19.40-20.30 Discussion

Saturday, June 9

Morning session Chair Alan Johnston & Irene Lemos

10.00-10.20 Nota Kourou, “The earliest graffiti from Methoni and their archaeological/epigraphical context: sources, questions and prospects”

10.20-10.40 Samuel Verdan, “Counting on Pots: a few thoughts about numerical notation systems”

10.40-11.10 break

11.10-11.30 John Papadopoulos, “To Write and to Paint: More Early Iron Age Potters Marks in the Aegean”

11.30-11.50 Alexandra Pappas, “Form Follows Function? Toward an Aesthetics of Early Greek Inscriptions at Methone”

11.50-13.30 Discussion

Afternoon session Chair Jenny Strauss Clay & Richard Hunter

17.00-17.20 Węcowski Marek, “Hakesandros, Tataie, and the "Cup of Nestor". Sympotic workings of some early first-person poetic vase-inscriptions”

17.20-17.40 Richard Janko, “From Gordion and Gabii to Eretria and Methone: the rise of the Greek alphabet”

17.40-18.30 Discussion

18.40-19.00 break

19.00-20.30 Conclusion


Matthaios (Manthos) Bessios, 27th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
Ewen Bowie, University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College
Albio Cesare Cassio, University of Rome “La Sapienza”
Jenny Strauss Clay, University of Virginia
Georg Danek, University of Vienna
François de Polignac, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
Francesca dell’Oro, University of Zurich
Julián-Victor Mendez Dosuna, University of Salamanca
Miltiadis Hatzopoulos, Institute of Greek and Roman Antiquity, Hellenic Research Foundation
Richard Hunter, University of Cambridge
Richard Janko, University of Michigan
Alan Johnston, University College London, Institute of Archaeology
John Kazazis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Centre for the Greek Language
Anne Kenzelmann Pfyffer, Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
Evangelia Kiriatzi, University of Crete and British School at Athens
Antonis Kotsonas, University of Amsterdam
Nota Kourou, University of Athens
Barbara Kowalzig, New York University
Irene Lemos, University of Oxford
Irad Malkin, Tel Aviv University
Węcowski Marek,University of Warsaw
Angelos Matthaiou, Greek Epigraphic Society
Alexandros Mazarakis Ainian, University of Thessaly
Franco Montanari, University of Genova
Niki Oikonomaki, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Anna Panagiotou, University of Cyprus
John Papadopoulos, University of California at Los Angeles
Alexandra Pappas, Center for Hellenic Studies and University of Arkansas
Antonios Rengakos, Academy of Athens and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Katerina Rhomiopoulou, Ministry of Culture
Maria Roumpou, University of Reading
Suzanne Said, Columbia University
Christina Skelton, University of California at Los Angeles and Center for Hellenic Studies
Nikolas Stampolidis, University of Crete
Petros Themelis, Society of Messenian Archaeological Studies
Thierry Theurillat, Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
Rosalind Thomas, Oxford University
Michalis Tiverios, Academy of Athens and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Kyriakos Tsantsanoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Yannis Tzifopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Samuel Verdan, Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
Manolis Voutiras, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Rudolph Wachter, University of Basel and Lausanne
Roger Woodard, The State University of New York at Buffalo

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