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Loyola University New Orleans Hosts “A Tale of Two Sunken Harbor Cities”

Loyola press release - January 31, 2017

AIA lecture examines the archaeology and history of two very different ancient harbors

Over the centuries the Mediterranean Sea has served to connect cultures with a wider world through trade, colonization, and military conquest—and perhaps nowhere was it used more effectively than in the ancient Greek world. In the mountainous, peninsular and island-strewn regions of Greece, the vast majority of trade, communication and exchange of knowledge took place on the water, in anchorages and in harbor areas. In his lecture, A Tale of Two Sunken Harbor Cities – The Harbors of Ancient Athens and Corinth, Professor Bjørn Lovén will explore how ancient harbor settlements evolved into focal points of human interaction and served as main gateways to the mainland, and how their use (commercial, military, or both) determined their design. The lecture will examine the archaeology and history of two very different ancient harbor types, focusing on the commercial areas of Lechaion harbor of ancient Corinth, and the Zea and Mounichia harbors which housed the Athenian navy.

Professor Bjørn Lovén is a Research Associate with the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and is an expert in the archaeology of ancient harbors and submerged sites; he is the Director of the Zea Harbor Project at ancient Piraeus in Greece, Co-Director of the Lechaion Harbor Project in Corinth, Greece, and has done extensive fieldwork at underwater and harbor sites around the Mediterranean. The Lechaion Harbor Project and the Zea Harbor Project are both collaborations between the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities under the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Saxo Institute, the University of Copenhagen, and the Danish Institute at Athens under the Danish Ministry of Education.

The lecture will take place at 8 p.m. in the Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall at Loyola University, on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. The event is sponsored by Loyola’s Department of Classical Studies and is free and open to the public. It is part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s National Lecture Program, and funding for it has been provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in New York, which strives to support the work of scholars in the fields of ancient art.