Upcoming lecture on Iklaina in Chicago

“Under the Sceptre of Nestor: excavations at the Mycenaean capital city of Iklaina”

by Professor Michael B. Cosmopoulos
Thursday, April 6, 2017, 6:00pm
National Hellenic Museum, Chicago

Part of the “Gold and Power in the Peloponnese” event

For more information please click here

The Iklaina Archaeological Project

The transition from a world without states to a world dominated by states is one of the most fascinating chapters in human history. The purpose of the Iklaina Archaeological Project (IKAP)   is to investigate  how this transition happened in ancient Greece.

IKAP is an interdisciplinary research project in the area of Pylos, Greece, carried out under the auspices of the Athens Archaeological Society and the direction of Professor Michael Cosmopoulos of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Situated at a strategic location overlooking the Ionian Sea, Iklaina appears to have been an important district capital of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600-1100 BC).  This is the period also known as “Mycenaean” and famous for such mythical sagas as the Trojan War.

The general objective of the project is to provide a detailed and thorough understanding of the relationship between center and periphery in the Greek world and shed new light on the localized developments that shaped the birth and operation of early Greek states.   The project has already produced unexpected finds in the form of monumental buildings that may belong to a Mycenaean palace,  frescoes, pottery, metal finds, as well as an inscribed tablet.  These surprising discoveries challenge the current model  of  chiefdom-to-state evolution and suggest that until now we had been missing an important piece of the puzzle: the new evidence suggests that  bureaucracy and literacy appeared earlier than what was previously thought and that they were not restricted to the major palatial centers.   Our long term goal is to develop general models applicable to state formation in later periods of Greek history and in other parts of the world.