Courses

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE CORFIOT LANDSCAPE (WITH PRACTICAL INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS)


Teaching Staff: Sbonias Konstantinos, Kapetanios Andreas
Course Code: ΑΚΛ603
Course Type: Seminar
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 5th΄
ECTS: 5

Short Description:

Τhe seminar aims to train participant students in the methods of landscape archeology, employing the historical landscape of the island of Corfu as case study.  It is orientated towards both primary application of this methodological framework (as in archaeological fieldwork and archival research) and the ability to understand secondary (published) relevant studies.


Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

The seminar’s objectives are pursued within the specific context provided by employing the island of Corfu as the scope for the implementation of small- scale projects by the students, building up to a comprehensive diachronic narrative of the dynamic relationship between spatial attributes and the Corfiot societies in time.

Consequently, teaching and students’ work are structured towards three main objectives: 

  • the understanding of the concept of historical landscape, and its consideration as a historical source,
  • formulation of appropriate questions addressing this source,
  • the understanding and practical application of techniques for recording, analysing and interpreting spatial data related to material remains of ancient societies.

Upon successful completion of the  seminar course, the student should be able to:

  • understand the methodological tools of historical landscape research
  • understand and apply basic techniques for recording and analysing material culture in space
  • understand how to approach historical landscape as a source

and

  • will have acquired substantial knowledge of the ancient topography of Corfu.

Syllabus:

Week 1: Introduction: Seminar’s objectives; content and structure of participatory work; instructions on technical issues for the composition of oral presentations and written essays, in the context of the projects to be assigned.

Week 2Basic Spatial Concepts: space - place - landscape; geographical / referential space; topography - perceptions of space - mental maps; the landscape - natural and anthropogenic features of the landscape; spatial attributes of human societies (space, time and history).

Week 3: The archaeological method in space: the principle οf nested scales of spatial reference.

Week 4: Basic concepts and principles of Geographic Information Systems. Practical lesson in mapping given archaeological sites.

Week 5: Τhe geography of Corfu: geographical position - relation to the Epirus coast  (the Korkyraean Peraea), land and maritime communication networks, the corfiot cluster of islands (Corfu, Diapontii islands, Paxoi, Antipaxoi).

Week 6: The evolution of the Corfiot geography, from the Paleolithic to the present: geomorphology (relief, mountains, valleys, the importance of wetlands); paleo-environments; research methods and current results. 

Week 7: Prehistoric sites. Overview: from the Paleolithic to the Mycenaean Period (site spatial distribution, material culture-technology, primary economy, contacts across the sea, ideology -funerary-rituals). A. Sordina’s research. Sidhari and other prehistoric  sites in N Corfu. Prehistoric sites by the Lake Korissia. Ermones and other sites of the Bronze Age.

Week 8: Historical Sites: Introduction: periodisation from the Geometric Period to Late Antiquity; early colonisaton;  Polis, Asty, Chora.  Early Colonies: material and historiographical sources; before and after colonisation; constructing identities. Material evidence: sites, their spatial distribution and typology.

Week 9: The topography of the Ancient City (Asty): Sanctuaries,  the Agora, the city walls, harbours, cemeteries. Economy - trade - the Korkyrean power. Ideology: Ritual practices (sanctuaries and tombs).

Week 10: Topography of Chora (rural Korkyra):  Sites and material evidence (distribution and relevance of archaeological finds: stray findings - results of systematic research). The Peraea: sites in the land across and Butrint.

Week 11: The evolution of the Korkyra Polis spatial organisation, during Roman times.

Week 12: Synthesis examples: Findings and sites: Interpretations of sites in the Ancient City based on the findings

Week 13: Topography in the relevant ancient literature: Homeric Epics; Historiography; the Archeology of Violence (wars, uprisings, civil wars, raids).


Suggested Bibliography:

Αρβανίτου-Μεταλληνού, Γαρυφαλιά (επιμ.), 2007, Η προϊστορική Κέρκυρα και ο ευρύτερος περίγυρός της. Προβλήματα – προοπτικές. Πρακτικά ημερίδας τιμητικής στον Αύγουστο Σορδίνα. Κέρκυρα 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2004, Κέρκυρα, Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού. Καλπαξής, Θανάσης, 1993, Αρχαιολογία και Πολιτική ΙΙ. Η ανασκαφή του ναού της Αρτέμιδος, Κέρκυρα 1911, Αθήνα. Πρέκα – Αλεξανδρή, Καλλιόπη,  2010, Οι Αρχαιότητες της Κέρκυρας, Αθήνα, Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού. Ταμείο Αρχαιολογικών Πόρων και Απαλλοτριώσεων. Κουρούκλη Μαρία, 21008,  Έργα και ημέρες στην Κέρκυρα: Ιστορική ανθρωπολογία μιας τοπικής κοινωνίας, ΑθήναΑλεξάνδρεια. Mousson Albert, Κέρκυρα και Κεφαλλονιά: Μια περιήγηση το 1858 [Ein Besuch αuf Korfu und Cefalonien im September 1858] Κάτοπτρο- Ιστορητής, Αθήνα [1995].


Teaching Methods:

Teaching combines lectures, discussion-debate and presentation of the students’ projects. Participation in the seminar meetings is compulsory.  Students undertake projects on a topic chosen, among the course’s thematic sections, in collaboration with the teaching staff. Choosing the respective topic and formulating the project’s title constitute part of the teaching process and take place within the first four weeks, both collectively and individually in tutoring meetings. Each project is presented orally in the seminar. Emphasis is set in participatory critical discussion-debate on the projects’ presentations.  Constructive criticism contributes to the  composition of the student’s final written project report, to be submitted by the end of semester. Teaching and presentations are also held at the Corfu Museums and archaeological sites.


Evaluation Methods:

Students’ evaluation and assignment of grades (1-10 scale) is based on the assessment of the final written project report (60%), on oral presentation (25%) and on active participation in lesson discussion and in the seminar activities (15%).


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