Research Mentor(s): Natalie Abell, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Classical Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 1
A chronic issue in the study of history is the underrepresentation of ordinary people. Primary sources, the documents that traditionally serve as the basis of the historical record, are typically written by the elites of a society, who were often out of touch with the lives and experiences of their less-influential counterparts. Archaeology fills this gap in perspective, as the physical traces of these everyday people remain in the objects and structures they leave behind. This study examines data from Ayia Irini, a Bronze Age settlement on the Greek island of Kea, in order to come to new conclusions about everyday life for the site’s inhabitants. Through the transcription of field notebooks from excavations in the 1960s and 70s under Jack Caskey of the University of Cincinnati, the locations of artifacts and structures in relation to one another can be identified and collected. Of particular interest in this study is the analysis of metal artifacts, as there is sufficient evidence to suggest that metallurgy was an important industry at the site. The overarching goal of this stage of the research is to be able to generate phase plans of the site, showing where artifacts were deposited over the course of Ayia Irini’s history. Organizing the data in this manner contributes to our understanding of the economy and social structure of the site, as it can help us determine who was involved in production, shifting our focus onto the everyday people instead of the elites who dominate the historical record.