2017 Dream Team – American Excavations Samothrace

31 Jul 2017
Susan Blevins
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Welcome back to the American Excavations Samothrace! In a time-honored tradition shown above, the excavation season began when the Director of the American Excavations Samothrace, Bonna Wescoat, led the team on a tour of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods noting important features of the site as well as its place in the history of the island.

Although the team is about to begin the final phase of the 2017 excavation season, which began on July 1 and ends on August 9, energy is high and team members continue to make strides on the wide range of research questions that have been the focus of the 2017 season. In accordance with a National Endowment for the Humanities grant the 2017 research program has hinged on the precinct that housed the alluring and enigmatic Nike of Samothrace (in the Louvre Museum) and the areas in the western region of the Sanctuary around the Nike including the Stoa, Theater, Altar Court, and the central ravine that runs between the Theater and Altar Court.

Plan – Sanctuary of the Great Gods

Nike precinct

In addition to archaeological and architectural research of these buildings and monuments, team members have also brought their material context into further focus through examination of sculpture, statue bases, pottery, and plaster. Petrography, the detailed description and classification of stone types, continues to enliven our understanding of building materials and natural resources used in the Sanctuary. In addition, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), aerial photography, and survey teams have worked strategically in areas of the Western Hill identified as crucial to understanding patterns of movement and relationships among major structures. Finally, the conservation team completed necessary interventions not only to repair and preserve finds, but also within the Sanctuary to prevent deterioration and ensure survival of important archaeological remains. Read on below for a list of 2017 team members and stay tuned for additional posts over the next several weeks highlighting these and other exciting projects!

Bonna D. Wescoat, Director of the American Excavations Samothrace and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History at Emory University, leads the impressive 2017 team, which hails from approximately 15 academic and cultural institutions.

Senior Team: Jim McCredie, Director Emeritus; Dimitris Matsas, archaeologist; Michael Page, GIS, survey, and aerial photography team; Steve Koob, conservation; Michael Morris, conservation; Bill Size, geology; Jess Paga, archaeologist; Susan Blevins, archaeologist; and Maggie Popkin, archaeologist. Special guests include Ludovic Laugier, Conservator of Patrimony, Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, Curator of Greek Sculpture at the Musée du Louvre.

Graduate Students: Andrew Ward, archaeologist; Madeleine Glennon, archaeologist; Evan Levine, survey, GIS, and photogrammetry; Caleb Lightfoot, architecture intern; Konrad Holtzmark, architecture intern; An Jiang, archaeologist; Julianne Cheng, archaeologist; Andrew Wolfe, conservation intern; Sam Holzman, archaeologist; Philip Katz, archaeologist; Vincent Baillet, 3D modelling and photogrammetry; Zachary Forstrom, archaeological assistant; Amie Goblirsch, archaeological assistant; Pauline Mounier, archaeological assistant; and Rebecca Levitan, archaeologist.

Undergraduate Students: Leah Neiman, archaeological assistant; Kate Stephens, archaeological assistant, and Josh Buksbaum, archaeological assistant.

Steve Koob, Bonna Wescoat, Jim McCredie

Front row: Kate Stephens, Andrew Wolfe, Leah Neiman, Zachary Forstrom. Back row: Andrew Wolfe, Madeleine Glennon, Bonna Wescoat, Jess Paga.