Pamela Armstrong (Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK)
The trade of the potter: a socio-economic and cultural comparison between Middle and Late Byzantium
This paper crosses the boundaries of the topics of the conference. It examines not settlement patterns but changes in the constructs of settlements in the transitional period before and after 1204. It traces the development of the village in the late Byzantine period at the expense of larger provincial centres which were the foci of artisanal activity in the middle Byzantine period. This is witnessed through a typo-chronological presentation of ceramics across the period, and changes in ceramic production. It is suggested that the typologies of some of the ceramics point to movements of people and ceramic cultural affinities.
Effie Athanassopoulos (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA)
Landscape perceptions of change from Byzantium to Frangokratia
This paper examines the contribution of landscape archaeology to our understanding of the transition from the Middle to the Late Byzantine period. Landscape or survey archaeology in Greece dates back to the 1950s, starting with the Minnesota Messenia Expedition. However, the impact of this approach came later in the 1980s and 1990s, when large-scale, intensive surveys were undertaken in several areas of the Peloponnesos, (e.g., Southern Argolid, Nemea, Laconia, Berbati-Limnes, Methana, Pylos, Asea, Eastern Corinthia) central Greece (Boeotia), Crete (Vrokastro), and some of the islands (e.g., Melos, Keos, Kythera). Overall, the contribution of landscape archaeology projects to the understanding of the Greek countryside has been substantial. These projects have provided high quality data on rural settlement and land use, subjects that the available written sources do not cover or cover poorly. They have identified periods when the intensity of land use as well as the density and pattern of settlement changed considerably.
The diachronic scope of these projects has opened up new opportunities for the study of the 12th and 13th centuries. Many regional surveys have identified remnants of settlement and ceramics dating to this period; the regional patterns may differ but the emerging picture is clear, there is a proliferation of sites and off-site material which must reflect dense habitation as well as the intense level of agricultural activity during this period. In turn, the intensification of agricultural production may be related to the growth of large estates and the expansion of trade, which increasingly came under the control of the Italian city states. The documentary evidence that exists for some regions of Greece (cadaster of Thebes, Mount Athos archives) provides support for such an interpretation. In addition, the widespread distribution of diagnostic glazed wares in the rural landscape indicates increased availability which may reflect changes in the organization of ceramic production, from centralized to dispersed. The archaeological evidence suggests that glazed pottery in the Middle-Late Byzantine period was produced in regional workshops located in urban as well as rural areas. These developments fit well with the centrifugal economic trends, the territorial shrinking of Byzantium and the growth of urban centers and rural settlement during this period.
The political decentralization and increasing regional conflict in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade does not seem to have altered the pattern of rural habitation or agricultural activity immediately; archaeological finds, especially pottery of the 13th century, are very common in the countryside. In some urban contexts, there is a change in the material culture 50 years later after the Latin conquest. The excavations of Corinth have established that local ceramic production declined in the last quarter of the 13th century, while Italian imports (such as Protomajolica and Veneto ware) increased and eventually dominated the Corinthian market. Along with new styles of decoration there were changes in form, possibly indicating a change in diet and/or dining habits. However, it is unclear how widespread this pattern was in rural areas; for example, in the region of Nemea Italian imports are very few and, typically, associated with sites that were under direct Latin control. What we see in some regions is a shift to a nucleated/fortified pattern of settlement towards the end of the 13th century. In the area of Nemea, archaeological evidence of settlement and agricultural activity becomes scarce at that time. A complex of sites on a precipitous hill, identified in historical sources as Polyphengi, dominates the region. This drastic change can be interpreted as a result of the extreme fragmentation of the social and political structure, as Latin control was consolidated and new regimes of land management were established.
There are many challenges ahead for medieval landscape archaeology. Current interpretations remain predominantly economic and somewhat generic. This is understandable, since landscape archaeology grew out of processual approaches, such as settlement archaeology and human ecology, which favored broad generalizing themes and undermined the importance of historical context. There is a growing need to develop context specific narratives informed by historical approaches. Earlier presentations of the medieval components of archaeological surveys treated the historical and archaeological records as two separate entities. Political history provided the textual frame while the archaeological data were expected to "fill in" the gaps of the historical record. However, as medieval archaeological research has expanded, it has become clear that material remains are often "silent" about the dramatic events of history. Material history records events and time very differently than textual histories. Thus, one of the goals is the integration of the material and textual records, taking into account their different strengths and weaknesses.
Another goal is to broaden our interpretative gaze. In the last decade, the field of landscape archaeology has expanded its scope to incorporate post-modern approaches, which emphasize the active role of material culture in the construction of social relations, the symbolic role of architecture, the meaning of places, and the human component of space. These underline the limitations of the earlier paradigm, the environmental functionalist settlement pattern studies, focusing on demographic and economic reconstruction. Material culture plays multiple roles in the social, political, and ideational domains. Settlement locations, domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, fortifications, ceramic distributions, and agricultural terraces were all part of the historical landscape, socially constructed and meaningful to the groups that inhabited it. For example, pottery, the most common find of landscape archaeology projects, is an effective dating tool. It is also an important source on many aspects of everyday life, such as food consumption and social display, areas that remain underexplored. The same is the case for site/settlement locations and the built environment, which reflect social and cultural decisions. Thus, medieval landscape archaeology has to meet these challenges, move beyond chronology and economic reconstruction, and incorporate less tangible aspects in its interpretations, such as the role of ideology and worldview.
Adrian J. Boas (Haifa University, IL)
Townscapes and rural space in the Levant
The region of the Levant that came under Frankish control in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries underwent an extensive cultural and economic transformation. This transformation involved almost every aspect of life in the towns and countryside of the Crusader states. With Christianity regaining its dominancy in a largely Muslim-controlled region, and with the consequent renewal of large-scale Christian pilgrimage, a massive programme of religious and pilgrimage-related construction such as churches, monasteries, hospices, hospitals, pilgrim markets and burial places, began and continued throughout the following centuries. Pilgrimage revitalized the economies of those inland towns and villages towards which it was focussed, and the coastal towns which served as points of arrival, departure or stop-over on the way to the Holy Land.
With the secure presence of Christian rule established in the coastal towns, the path was open for the fleets of the Italian maritime cities to revive on a vast scale trade between Europe, the Levant, the Indian Ocean and the Far East. The presence of the Italian communes in the major ports of the Crusader states entirely changed the face of those towns, and the restoration of international trade also effected fundamental change on the countryside, with the establishment of new agricultural activities and industries and the extensive development of traditional rural activities. These changes can best be gauged through the examination of major urban and rural sites where there is a wealth of archaeological evidence and for which there are substantial written sources. In this paper I will present evidence for transformations in urban and rural areas of the region I am best acquainted with – the Kingdom of Jerusalem, specifically with the towns of Jerusalem and Acre and with examples of Frankish villages, rural estate centres and farms.
James Crow (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Townscapes on the Greek mainland
Apart from Bishops' lists, middle Byzantine texts reveal little geographical awareness of the world they inhabited. By contrast there is a long tradition of geographical treatises from the Islamic world, one in particular, Al-Idrisi composed in 1154, presents important insights into the network of flourishing towns across mainland Greece and into the Balkans. This paper reviews the various approaches of scholars towards an understanding of middle Byzantine urbanism in Greece and aims to present an 'urban history' approach to this important period in the history of both Byzantine and the long-term history of Greek urbanism.
During the early medieval period whereas in Anatolia it can be argued that the capital retained control through the new provincial structure than through the cities, in Greece where Byzantine control and influence remained it was often focused at remaining secure places coastal centres such as Monemvasia or Athens. By the 11th to 12th centuries old cities had remerged and in many places new urban centres developed. Rather than serving as simply the focus for elite consumption, new economic models present many of these Greek towns as centres for the agricultural production, but also extensive craft industries such as silk serving both regional and international markets. It can be argued that this new wealth is reflected in the cultural energy principally expressed through the construction of large and small, often richly decorated, churches. These are found both in major rural monastic foundations, but also in the mass of smaller churches known from towns such as Athens and Arta.
The outward appearance of these Greek medieval towns differed radically from the Classical and Roman past. Yet the historical texts reveal elites, both lay and ecclesiastical, and potentially the emergence of 'progressive' elements, comparable to the nascent Italian communes we associate with the early Renaissance. It may be a challenge for archaeological interpretation both from the reinterpretation and publication of past works and for future excavations to trace these themes and create a richer urban history of the Byzantine town before the Franks.
Smadar Gabrieli (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL)
Ceramic economies in 12th-13th-century Cyprus and the Levantine coast
Toward the end of the 12th century, Cyprus was annexed to the Levant, transferred from Byzantine rule to Frankish domination. Throughout the following century, Cyprus and the Levantine coast were intertwined, politically and economically, yet remained distinct entities. At the same time, from diverse origins, the two areas developed ceramic landscapes that can be described similarly, yet are in reality distinct: on the Island and in the Mainland centralised production of glazed table wares, much of it for export, co-existed with specialised production of handmade utility wares. The aim of this paper is to examine the relations between the wheel-thrown and handmade production on each coast, sketch the distinct character of the industries in each area, and suggest some implications for ties between these ceramic landscapes and cultural identities.
Maria Georgopoulou (The Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, GR)
Continuities and changes in artistic trends on Crete
My paper focuses on the art and architecture produced on the island of Crete during the Venetian period (1211-1669) with an emphasis on the three first centuries. Recent research has questioned and modified paradigms of encounters between East and West within a Mediterranean setting. Braudelian paradigms of the longue durée and (superficial or not) similarities between artistic phenomena in other Latin-ruled territories of the eastern Mediterranean have advanced our understanding of the broader issues. The contribution of the last two decades has been the careful analysis of specific cases on the micro level, both in the rereading of Braudel in Horden and Purcell's The Corrupting Sea and in numerous dissertations. The issue now is to appreciate the connections between the global and the local and to wed material remains with historically specific events.
The rich archival material from Venetian Crete offers glimpses into a world of ethnically mixed families, bilingual linguistic borrowings, religious skirmishes, and cultural compromises under the umbrella of a well-defined but somewhat malleable Venetian administration over a colonial territory. Major architectural projects funded by the Venetian administration, the Mendicant religious orders and the Venetian feudal lords dotted the landscape with structures that seem to have brought to Crete the art of stone-carving whereas local, traditional building practices (vernacular) continued strong. In painting the traditional Byzantine style followed its predictable course accommodating the new political and social realities with the inclusion of few iconographic borrowings from Latin religious art. At about mid-fifteenth century a new trend in painting had been already accomplished: numerous religious panel paintings (icons) were produced for the market in Candia. Following commercial demand new sophisticated themes and styles were used to appeal to an international clientele.
My paper explores a few specific cases that showcase the ways in which imported artistic forms and practices were fused with local elements as signs of allegiance with the ruling elite, as ways to climb the social ladder or capture the needs of foreign patrons or as illustrations of following local fashion. Probing the intentions of patrons, users or artists the query becomes wedded to local concerns that enrich the global Mediterranean perspective.
Olga Gratziou (University of Crete, GR)
The landscapes of Crete
My paper will initially discuss the primary sources available. Problems of dating the archaeological finds before and after 1211 will be first discussed. The rich written evidence of 13th century will be then considered. The abundant information provided by Venetian documents may be of use regarding the topics under consideration in this conference only in their correlation to existing archaeological evidence. Otherwise it may be ambiguous and misleading.
A further point to be discussed is whether social transformation left any traces on the built environment of late medieval Crete. Indications of a changing townscape have to be interpreted in comparison to existing information of the rural landscape; the great number of rural churches and chapels provide first-hand testimony on the social profile of their founders but also on imported construction technology; they also offer eloquent evidence of the diffusion of a Mediterranean version of the Gothic style. The archaeological evidence regarding material culture is yet sparse and has to be detected. Nonetheless the network of settlements as well as their oldest standing buildings allows some observations on rural economy as well as on various aspects of everyday life. Although the late medieval townscape has been totally transformed through the ages there are enough vestiges to testify the deep divergence between town and rural life.
The struggle between the two main religious denominations is well attested through written sources and can also be traced in the archaeological evidence. A plenty of written information side by side to church architecture and painting indicates controversies, testifies the impact of the Friars on religious life, and allows us to assume that symbiosis of the different cultural groups was a difficult process. In general, based mainly on material evidence, we can outline an increasing cultural gap between town and countryside.
Heather E. Grossman (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
Mixing and Methexis: architecture and interaction in the thirteenth-century Morea
In this paper, I consider ecclesiastic monuments built in the Greek Peloponnesos during the thirteenth-century Frankokratia in order to explore the mechanisms of exchange among patrons, architects, masons and viewers within the practice of architecture in the medieval Morea. While remaining textual evidence points to both conflict and confluence among the Latin and Greek communities of the Morea (with recent scholarship suggesting more of the latter than the former), the thirteenth-century churches of the region, looked at as an inclusive group (rather than divided amongst "Western and "Byzantine" categories) reveal that the mixed community of the post-conquest Morea came together in various ways through their architectural endeavors. I demonstrate that the negotiations and procedures involved in the design and construction of Moreote churches, including the active contributions of mobile chantiers of masons and other artisans, as well as shifting fashions and artistic tastes contributed to a fluid and changing sense of group/cultural identity that played out in changing architectural aesthetics over time. These are demonstrated through a close archaeological reading of extant architectural remains, including several larger monastic and smaller parochial churches found throughout the Frankish-controlled territory in the thirteenth century. Finally, this paper investigates and reframes scholarly conceptualizations of cultural interaction that help explain such artistic exchange as we find in the thirteenth-century Morea, and offers a new reading of the ancient Greek term methexis, meaning "communion" or "participation," to elucidate the architectural history of complex societies characterized by shifting cultural encounters.
Lucy-Anne Hunt (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
Cross-cultural interactions in Egypt and the Levant
Taking a long view of the 12th-13th centuries in relation to artistic developments does, I suggest, confront us with a picture of both speedy transition and slow gestation at the same time. Taking examples of imagery, stylistic trends and differing artistic techniques and materials this paper will seek to raise a number of questions, including: what happens when imagery intersects boundaries of faith, geography and politics? How does trade affect iconographical developments and to what extent is art commodified? With reference to various art forms including painting and icons and other media, the connections between Egypt, Byzantium, the Latin world, and Greater Syria in the Mediterranean will be discussed.
'Local' is arguably international in material culture and visual culture in response to this period of transition. The art of indigenous Christians living under Islam saw a flowering in the 13th century affected by Byzantine norms, if not direct political influence. Hybrid forms of art challenge our accepted art historical norms and require us to redefine our preconceptions and approaches. For example, we are used to conventional comparisons in art history for dating purposes, but what if there is a time-lag? What is the role of patrons in artistic innovations and transfers?
Savvas Neocleous (Trinity College Dublin, IE)
Imaging the Latins in 12th-century Byzantine texts
The twelfth century saw an unprecedented influx of Latins into the Byzantine Empire. Latins from every corner of the Latin world flocked to the empire on the Bosporus where they were hired as mercenaries, traded as merchants, and held posts at the imperial court, serving as interpreters and advisers. Others journeyed through the empire's territories as pilgrims or crusaders. The Byzantine Empire also experienced Latin aggression in the form of military attacks by the Normans of Sicily, only to be eventually conquered by the Franco-Venetian armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The twelfth century clearly brought Greeks and Latins into closer contact than ever before. Through an examination of the evidence provided by contemporary Byzantine texts this study aims to build a comprehensive picture of the diverse perceptions and attitudes of the Byzantines toward the Latins that this dramatic contact naturally generated.
Ioanna Rapti (King's College London, UK)
Cultural interactions in Armenian Cilicia
From the late 12th century the former Roman province of Cilicia came progressively under Armenian control and from 1198 to 1375, the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia has been one of the most important Christian states of the Levant. This Mediterranean Armenia is widely acknowledged as a cosmopolitan place, a melting pot of people, languages, religions and traditions not much different from the neighbor Crusader states and the kingdom of Cyprus. In this framework, interactions — a concept better suitable for the long-lived "influences" —, are all but surprising, exemplified by translations, intermarriages, commercial and military exchanges. The whole development of the Armenian Cilician state seems in fact to be a complex process of interactions: not only between clearly distinguished ethnic or religious groups, but also between families, which act as social groups, between powerful individuals who hold lands and people, between secular and religious poles of power. This paper will attempt to investigate how and to what point cross-cultural encounters contributed to shape the arts and imagery of Cilician Armenia and its distinctive visual identity. It will examine the balance between various cultural components and actors and explore the changing dynamics in the reception, interpretation and creation of visual languages and stylistic trends. Rather than providing a model applicable to the entire area and period, the evidence from objects and monuments will showcase different patterns of cultural and artistic interaction and the variety of their effects through time, space and social strands.
Scott Redford (Koç University, TR)
Townscapes and rural space in Asia Minor: the Seljuks, their subjects, and their neighbours
The stabilization of Seljuk rule in central Anatolia, Seljuk subjugation of its Turco-Islamic neighbors to the east, and the establishment of the Laskarid state in western Anatolia roughly coincide: occurring in the late 12th-early 13th centuries. The building boom that started at this time furnishes us with precious evidence of social and economic orders in Seljuk towns and the countryside alike in the form of waqfiyyas or endowment deeds. Also at this time, Seljuk caravanserai networks brought urban and rural orders together to an extent previously unprecedented. Stability and prosperity also led to the growth of Seljuk hunting gardens and reserves in suburban, lacustral, and mountainous topographies. This paper, while concentrating on these developments at the level of the state, will also attempt to address the place of the ruled, and of neighboring states in this order.
Scott Redford (Koç University, TR)
Ceramic economies in 12th-13th century Asia Minor: coast and interior
This paper will try to map relations between the well-known late 12th-13th c. phenomenon of mass-produced glazed earthenware bowls made for the maritime trade, and less-well understood, decentralized production of similar glazed ceramics in the interior of Anatolia, including villages. It will also investigate thorny questions like of the lack of correspondence between ceramic production and polities, the relationship of glazed to unglazed ceramic forms, and ceramics and vessels in other media like metal and wood.
Guy Sanders (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, GR)
Living together before marriage: continuity and change in the medieval pottery assemblage at Corinth, ca. 1175-1325
Previous generations of scholars have tended to interpret the archaeology of Corinth through the lens of history. Thus, for the Late Roman period we hear of the earthquakes and the "material dilapidation, artistic decline and civic hopelessness" in the aftermath of a Gothic sack in the later fourth century followed by more earthquakes plague and the Slavic invasion in the sixth century. The later archaeology of Medieval Corinth has also been cast in a similar if slightly less violent light. These are the return of the Byzantines at the end of the Dark Ages, the sack of Roger of Sicily in the mid-12th century, then coming of the Franks and finally of destruction and virtual abandonment with an earthquake and the Catalans in the early 14th century.
These events have acted as constraints and have produced an episodic narrative of the archaeology. For instance, it was believed that no Orthodox churches were built during the Frankish Catholic domination of the region. Millet studied the post-Frankish "Greek School" churches of Mistra and Megaw published a relative chronology and stylistic development of those that had to belong to the pre-Frankish period. We now know that this was an error and that a great many of the "pre-Frankish" churches were built during the 13th century and that style may be an indicator of regional variation rather than chronology.
Pottery studies have followed a similar pattern. Protomaiolica was thought to be late twelfth century northeast Peloponnesian innovation and new forms of cooking pot reflected western rather than Byzantine cookery and diet. A more thorough examination of the pottery and its chronology shows that Byzantine styles of fine and cooking wares continued to be used well into the 13th century and only changed when Charles of Anjou, King of the Two Sicilies, became suzerain lord of Achaia. Political and economic developments rather than invasion were responsible for the adoption of a new ceramic assemblage.
This paper considers the material culture of the excavated portion of Corinth before and after the fall of Constantinople. The part of Corinth that overlies the forum consists of a mass of rooms but represent only about a score of residences. Each covers a considerable area and seem to be the homes of well off families rather than the large majority who lived at or close to subsistence. These are courtyard complexes that belong to a style of housing common in southern Greece from antiquity on. The pottery found is the material culture of an echelon of society who could afford to buy fragile and relatively expensive artefacts. Although decorative styles change, the fabrics indicate that the places of origin do not until the late 13th century. We are thus still unable to determine from the houses, pottery or other artefacts between Jewish households, Orthodox Christians or Catholics let alone how they interacted. Transformations in the archaeological record at Corinth are scarcely visible.
If this understanding of Wealthy Corinth in the Medieval period is correct, it has serious implications. We are yet able to see the huge majority of the population in the archaeological record of either the urban or rural landscape. Similarly, we cannot yet use the archaeological record to recognize assimilation or resistance or social, religious and cultural groups before and after 1204.
Cristina Stancioiu (College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, USA)
"It" figures: artistic and sartorial trends in Cyprus between Byzantium and the West
The cultural geography of Cyprus, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, oscillates between the main cities punctuated by imposing Latin cathedrals, and the numerous inland villages with their small, Orthodox churches that dot the mountainous countryside. As Cyprus transitioned from Byzantine to Frankish rule, the image of lay individuals were added to the decoration of churches large and small. These commemorative portraits quickly grew from a novel concept into a persistent artistic trend.
Next to traditional representations of saints, such realistic portraits were visually distinct: they introduced a human aspect into Orthodox churches, where they were elevated to iconic status. In this paper, I focus on such figures, as I investigate novel artistic trends in Medieval Cypriot churches. These portraits show the endurance of traditional, Byzantine clothing styles and imperial insignia that recalled both Byzantium 's former political authority and the leadership of local Greek nobility. At the same time, they stand in stark contrast—though sometimes in an unsettling close physical proximity—to figures clad in decidedly Western attire. Within the overall decorative program of these monuments, one notes a similar mingling of traditionally Byzantine and imported artistic styles and motifs.
In looking at Cypriot art, I address the broader issues of cultural identity and cohabitation during periods of political transitions. I aim to overcome the traditional East/West—or Byzantine/Western cultural dichotomy by proposing a more nuanced understanding of the effects of interaction upon the artistic landscape of the island. The degrees of interaction between the indigenous population and the foreign ruling class varied from the cities where anyone who could afford foreign fashions flaunted imported garments, to the countryside, where a traditional lifestyle prevailed alongside the Orthodox religion and Greek language. I see the Orthodox response to portraiture as an extraordinarily sophisticated manipulation of visual clues, a subtle way of turning a fashionable motif familiar to the Latins—the human figure—into a subversive political and religious tool.
This artistic development demonstrates that art was carefully employed to construct, express, and negotiate identity. At first, Orthodox Cypriots borrowed the imported genre of the portrait in order to proclaim a distinctive cultural and religious affiliation. Later, they realized that by erasing the distinctions between indigenous and foreign, they could erase the implicit superiority assumed by foreign settlers, and overcome class hierarchies. As we have learnt from postcolonial studies, this subtle and sophisticated power game was played by many people living in multiethnic areas across the world.
Charles Anthony Stewart (University of St. Thomas, USA)
The fortification of Cyprus within the Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire (965-1185)
While several studies on Byzantine fortification have been published, the subject is still poorly misunderstood. In several cases, archaeologists and architectural historians have misidentified Byzantine remains as Roman or Gothic, and vice versa. This underscores both the similar technologies used throughout these periods and subtle changes in military practices. Scholars have established the basic chronology of fortification in Western Europe, such as the development of Carolingian to Norman castles. A similar scheme is has yet to be formulated for the eastern Mediterranean.
The monuments of Cyprus have the potential to contribute much towards this architectural history. Beginning in 965 the Byzantine Empire integrated the island in its "Grand Strategy" for the reconquest of the Holy Land. Kyrenia's harbor fortress and St. Hilarion Castle were the earliest to be constructed, perhaps by the beginning of the eleventh century. The majority of Kantara and Buffavento Castle, when compared with other structures in Syria and the Anatolian coast, clearly belong to the late eleventh century. These fortresses have a close relationship with the nearby domed-octagon katholicons, as well as the blossoming of rural domed-hall churches. This close connection between the military and monasticism indicates how the imperial administration invested in Cyprus' countryside to form a stronger network between the arable land, city and ports, for the sake of trade and supporting the war effort. Therefore, it is important to recognize how Cyprus' local infrastructure contributed to regional developments, especially in regards to imperial fortification along the southern coast of Anatolia, as well as the formation of the Crusader architecture.
A.H.S. Megaw provided the only systematic study of Byzantine castles on Cyprus printed as "Le Fortificazioni Bizantine a Cipro" in 1985. His observations are still relevant today; however, his vast overview needs further explanation, especially regarding his dating scheme. For example he wrote "Benché ognuna di esse comprendano ricostruzioni o aggiunte apportate dai Franchi, l'impianto bizantino è conservato ovunque ed è facile riconoscere la muratura originale..." (pg. 217); such a statement actually begs the question regarding the dating of masonry construction. After 27 years the time is ripe to reassess Megaw's architectural theories in light of current research.
Tolga B. Uyar (UMR 8167, Orient & Méditerranée, Paris, FR)
Thirteenth-century monumental painting in Cappadocia between Byzantium, Seljuk Rûm and Eastern Mediterranean World
The cultural residue of the Greek communities of Cappadocia living under Seljuk rule offers perhaps the fullest and most detailed evidence for the multicultural artistic and social landscapes of Late Byzantine Asia Minor. Although art historians have examined many of the thirteenth-century painted programmes of the region, there has been little attempt to place them into a broader cultural context.
The corpus of thirteenth-century monuments in Cappadocia, which includes the wall paintings of some thirty churches, contains significant new iconographical formulae and epigraphical data – for example, some programmes include dated inscriptions, providing the names of painters and donors, as well as other evidence that helps to contextualize the paintings.
This paper will discuss to what extend the profound spiritual attachment of the Cappadocian Greeks to the Byzantine Empire formed a significant part of their identity and how it is expressed in their artistic production.
My research indicates that the 'Byzantine element' in thirteenth-century Cappadocian painting is marked by two important characteristics: First, a general conservatism is evident, by which the painters demonstrate their respect for the local, Byzantine heritage through their choice of stylistic formulae, iconographic themes, and the programmatic arrangement of images within the church space. Second, new tendencies appear, which had multiple origins and which indicate the painters' connections with artistic currents outside the region. The emergence of new visual and scriptural formulae combined with the prevalence of certain traditional images (such as holy riders) are common features of the Christian and Muslim-dominated communities of the East, as in the Caucasus, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine/Latin East, Cyprus, the Aegean Islands, and Greece.
All the same, I argue that the multicultural fusion evident in Cappadocian Christian art should hold a significant position in our developing picture of thirteenth-century Eastern Mediterranean Art. Thirteenth-century Cappadocian art was neither monolithic nor isolated. In addition to its various connections with other Christian communities, it needs to be set against the complex political and administrative history of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Anatolia, as Cappadocia came under Danishmend control, followed by Seljuk and subsequently Seljuk-Mongolian rule. Taking thirteenth-century Christian Art in Cappadocia as a historical source, reflecting nuances of social change, can demonstrate how the 'Byzantine element' was fused in Anatolian land and society, becoming part of the institutions, language, and mentalities of the Seljuk State.
Athanasios Vionis (University of Cyprus, CY)
'Rural' space on the Greek Mainland and the Aegean islands
Archaeological and limited textual evidence confirm a significant growth in most of Mainland Greece and the Aegean islands during the Middle Byzantine period, mainly in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is true that evidence for intense settlement activity is revealed through large ceramic concentrations mainly around churches. The surface finds from such sites are very repetitive and reflect a dense network of settlement-sites almost at kilometre intervals across an open fertile rural countryside today. Although available written sources reveal that some of these sites functioned as 'bishoprics' during the 12th century, archaeology suggests that in most cases their size alone would render them as no more than tiny settlements. It becomes evident that archaeology and text can now confirm a slightly different Middle Byzantine settlement hierarchy, comprising of major towns and micro-towns or mega-villages. The range of other minor establishments, such as small villages or χωρία, hamlets or αγρίδια, estates or προάστεια, and farms or στάσεις, should be regarded as an integral part of one single community in each micro-region, rather than as separate dispersed settlement entities.
In the succeeding Late Byzantine or 'Frankish' period starting in the early 13th century, members of the imported Frankish elite and minor feudal lords established themselves in castles and towers in or near the long-established settlements of the Middle Byzantine period (e.g. Achaia, Boeotia, Naxos, Paros). The Frankish conquest adjusted in most cases its feudal control points to the existing Byzantine settlement network. In other cases (e.g. Boeotia), churches were transformed into feudal towers, housing a group of minor lords, while associated settlements continued to exist in their vicinity.
This is –more or less– the story of settlement evolution and/or organisation during the Middle and Late Byzantine periods. By drawing examples from the province of Achaia in the Peloponnese and Boeotia in central Greece, Paros and Naxos in the Cyclades island group, and Chios in the eastern Aegean, this paper attempts to show that the fragmented histories of the wider Aegean region can only be understood when inserted into their longue durée. As it will be further illustrated, it is through the intensive study of micro-regions and individual local histories that we can reconstruct a more detailed picture of the varied realities of the Middle-Late Byzantine world, in a time-period when major changes and/or continuities in politics, economy and society were reflected on or shaped the 'rural' landscape accordingly. Processual approaches, such as 'community area theory' and other parameters, such as the 'symmetry' or 'geometry' of rural space, 'memory' and 'symbolism' are taken into account in order to understand the transition to the High Middle Ages within the context of the 'Byzantine' longue durée.
Anastasia Yangaki (National Hellenic Research Foundation, GR)
Local and imported pottery in Crete during a period of transition: the evidence of the 12th-13th centuries
While recent decades have witnessed an increasing interest in the study of early Byzantine pottery found on the island of Crete, studies regarding the pottery of the middle Byzantine era and the early period of Venetian domination are still limited in number. However, from this later period on, the role of Crete as an important hub in the transit and re-exportation of products along East-West Mediterranean routes was reinforced and the study of the pottery found on the island should shed light on various aspects of its history.
Particularly with regard to the 12th and 13th centuries, a period in which— specifically after the first years of the 13th century—the island was under the dominion of the Republic of St. Marc, related studies deriving either from survey finds or excavations are quite restricted. Some of them reveal a particular interest in providing information on the fine pottery of the site being studied, while evidence on common and coarse wares is quite limited in comparison. Nevertheless, taking into consideration representative material published from sites in western, central and eastern Crete, and based on the study of the fine as well as common and coarse wares found on the island dating from between the 12th and the first half of the 13th century, a review of the evidence will seek to assess our current knowledge on this aspect of the island's material culture. The aim is to explore whether differences noted in the types and preferences of imported and locally produced pottery from the 12th until the end of the 13th century, as well as differences in vessel shapes and sizes, can provide us with information on changes in trade routes and on possible cultural interactions on the island.