Visualizing an Ancient City

 An exhibition at Rutherford Library South, University of Alberta

September 9th – September 28th 2010

The Hellenistic period in Greece (323-146 BCE), an era of radical political, social and economic change, is poorly understood from a regional point of view. Written sources are often fragmentary, and from an archaeological perspective the Hellenistic age has been overshadowed by Greece’s Archaic and Classical periods.

Nonetheless, this is a period of significant interest as it saw the demise of the independent Greek city states and their absorption into the large, multicultural empires that came to characterize the Eastern Mediterranean for the next two millennia.

The Archaeological Project at the Kastro of Kallithea, a joint venture of the University of Alberta and the 15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Studies at Larissa in Greece, takes a regional perspective in order to study this period of major social and economic change. The focus of study is a heavily fortified Hellenistic city in the area of Achaia Phthiotis in Thessaly, Greece and its environmental and political setting. Known only by its modern name, the Kastro (castle) of Kallithea, we study the city’s plan, its private and public architecture, its economic context and its occupation history. The project’s wider aim is to research social and economic change in the region by exploring the interactions between household, city, surrounding landscape and other cities in the area over time.

The University of Alberta, represented by Margriet J. Haagsma and the 15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Larissa, Greece, represented by Sophia Karapanou started this research project in 2004. Every year a team of Greek and Canadian archaeologists join forces and carry out archaeological fieldwork at the site.

The exhibition presents some of the most important fieldwork results thus far with visualizations of the city in the form of maps, 3D models and photographs.