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Rediscovering Artemis. A comprehensive re-examination of the Artemis Laphria Sanctuary in Kalydon, Aitolia

Carlsbergfondets internationaliseringsstipendier

What

The research project "Rediscovering Artemis. A comprehensive re-examination of the Artemis Laphria Sanctuary in Kalydon, Aitolia" features study and dissemination of the results of archaeological excavations at Kalydon, comprising both recent results and hitherto unpublished archaeological material from the Danish-Greek excavations in the 1920s. The project investigates the city of Kalydon's community formation until the 8th century BCE, before the development of the polis ("city-state"); constructs a synopsis of the geopolitics of this important ancient Aitolian city in western Greece; and includes a diachronic study of the cult of its goddess Artemis, her role in local myth and a consideration of her worshippers.

Why

"Rediscovering Artemis" is an important research project not only because it continues the very important task of disseminating unpublished archaeological material from archaeological projects within Greece, but also because novel research questions will be explored. The importance of cult and memory in creating civic identity at Kalydon will be examined, which in turn will impact scholarship on ancient history (civic identities and the emergence of the polis), religious studies (myth and rituals, especially those of Artemis) as well as Classical Archaeology (ceramic and votive assemblages, interrelation of sanctuary to city, and combining the results of newer excavations with those of older excavations) and thus provide new ways of looking at the above mentioned themes.

How

The data-collecting relating to the project will be carried out in Athens, Greece, more precisely at the National Archaeological Museum where the assemblage from the Kalydonian Artemis Laphria Sanctuary is stored. The project is also supported by the Danish Institute at Athens. An individual permit to study and publish the material has been granted by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. A pivotal part of the project is the dissemination of the results, which will be achieved through, for instance, delivering lectures at international conferences, articles published in peer-reviewed international journals, and a two-part monograph presenting the archaeological material.

SSR

Archaeological projects often struggle with the publication and communication of big data sets, which is a grand challenge of the 21st century throughout scholarly disciplines. The Artemis Laphria assemblage was never published and this has resulted in limited knowledge of both the city of Kalydon and its cults, and the region of Aitolia in western Greece. This project's results will contribute to the ongoing and increasing activity in the region due to the construction of a new highway and the presently active Kalydon Archaeological Project, and add important new information to a broad variety of topics within ancient city formation, interregional connections and trade, as well as ancient cult and ritual behaviour.