Department of Classics



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Student Theses and Research Essays - 2016

Ian Longo (Essay)

Three Dimensional Epigraphic Recording at Stobi (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia): Creating a Virtual Lapidarium​    (QSpace)

There is an increased need for 3D recording of archaeological sites and digital preservation of their artifacts. Digital photogrammetry with prosumer DSLR cameras is a suitable tool for recording epigraphy in particular, as it allows for the recording of inscribed surfaces with very high accuracy, often better than 2 mm and with only a short time spent in the field. When photogrammetry is fused with other computational photography techniques like panoramic tours and Reflectance Transformation Imaging, a workflow exists to rival traditional LiDARbased methods. The difficulty however, arises in the presentation of 3D data. It requires an enormous amount of storage and enduser sophistication. The proposed solution is to use gameengine technology and high definition virtual tours to provide not only scholars, but also the general public with an uncomplicated interface to interact with the detailed 3D epigraphic data. The site of Stobi, located near Gradsko, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was used as a case study to demonstrate the effectiveness of RTI, photogrammetry and virtual tour imaging working in combination. A selection of nine sets of inscriptions from the archaeological site were chosen to demonstrate the range of application for the techniques. The chosen marble, sandstone and breccia inscriptions are representative of the varying levels of deterioration and degradation of the epigraphy at Stobi, in which both their rates of decay and resulting legibility is varied. This selection includes those which are treated and untreated stones as well as those in situ and those in storage. The selection consists of both Latin and Greek inscriptions with content ranging from temple dedication inscriptions to statue dedications. This combination of 3D modeling techniques presents a cost and time efficient solution to both increase the legibility of severely damaged stones and to digitally preserve the current state of the inscriptions.


Gregory McMillan (Essay)

Trade relations between the Mycenaean Greeks and the civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age​    (QSpace)

The Mycenaean Greeks are often assumed to have been in contact with the civilizations of the Mediterranean throughout the Late Bronze Age. The extent of this contact however is not as clearly understood, and the archaeological evidence that has survived provides a sample of what must have exchanged hands. This thesis will examine the archaeological, textual and iconographic evidence from a number of sites and sources, from the Anatolian plains to the Kingdom of Egypt and major settlements in-between during the Late Bronze Age to examine what trade may have looked like for the Mycenaeans. Due to the extensive finds in some regions and a lack of evidence in others, this paper will also try to understand the relationship between the Mycenaeans and other cultures to determine whether a trade embargo was enacted on the Mycenaeans by the Central Anatolian Hittites during this period, or whether other factors contributed to the paucity of objects in Central Anatolia.

Fallon Bowman (Thesis)

A Well at Caere: Wells, Cisterns, and Ritual Practices in Etruria and Latium    (QSpace)

After the discovery of a series of vases at the bottom of a well system at Caere in an apparent ritual closing, this study sets out to determine whether or not this practice was widespread across Etruria and Latium, and what the practice could possibly mean. A catalogue of 80 wells were collected from archaeological reports and articles published over the past 100 years of wells and cisterns in Etruria and Latium; some very interesting similarities and differences can be noted between them and the Caere well system. It seems that the practice of ritual deposits in wells was indeed done across the two areas. There seems to be some uniformity of wells during the Roman Republican period: most are equipped with footrests, and there seems to be a deposit of vases in varying degrees of completeness at or near the bottom; also, certain types of materials seem to recur in each well like the presence of lead, knucklebones, and writing styli. It seems that the ritual deposits were in some cases used to close off a well or cistern as it is a conduit that exists between the living and the world below, and leaving it exposed could be dangerous to the living population.

Tim Olinski (Thesis)

The Apophthegmata Lakonika and Greek Perceptions    (QSpace)

There exists within the corpus of extant Greek and Roman literature a work by Plutarch, the Apophthegmata Lakonika that has been looked upon dubiously by scholars. However, the scholarly neglect of the Sayings of the Spartans has created another unnecessary barrier to gaining a better understanding of the Spartans. Although heavily influenced by the Spartan mirage, the Apophthegmata Lakonika represents a valuable source of insight into the mindset and personality of the average Spartan. The intent of this study is to examine key selections of the Sayings and comparing them to historical events that either reflect, or contradict, the values expressed in the Sayings. This study will focus on five fundamental areas: patriotism, nerves, obedience, contempt for wealth, and the Spartan relationship with death. The intended approach is to examine several Sayings that discuss each value, and then compare that evidence with the historical record to confirm or deny their authenticity as Spartan traits. By dissecting the Sayings and examining them in this way, we can begin to dissect features of the Spartan mirage that have developed over the course of thousands of years of scholarship. We can begin to divide the fictitious and fallacious aspects of the Spartan mirage from authentic fact, and in doing so gain a new avenue with which to interact with Spartan culture. The implications of such a study are wide-reaching. By affirming the validity of the Apophthegmata Lakonika we can both open it to further examination as well as reinvigorate an otherwise neglected area of scholarly study. The name “Spartan” has always echoed with authority within the ancient tradition – and such an echo deserves its due within academic scholarship, rather than its status as near anathema for much of the latter half of the 20th century.