Mini-Alexandrias or Local Continuity? [VIDEO]

Posted in: Annual Meeting, ASOR, ASORTV
Tags: Alexandrias, Architecture, ASORTV, Cyprus, Jody Gordon, Ptolemaic, Wentworth Institute of Technology, WIT
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+21

Architectural Change, Place-Making, and Identity in Ptolemaic Cyprus

Anyone who has ever been to a conference knows how difficult it can be to eat, let alone fit in all the things you want to do. That’s why we at ASOR are so grateful to all of the volunteers who took time during the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting to meet with ASORtv as part of one of our open access projects. We want to share the hard work and research of our members, and give anyone with a passion for the cultures and the history of the Near East, from the earliest times, the ability to watch presentations from the field’s professionals. Now, we are happy to bring you Jody Gordon’s presentation from the Continuity or Change: The Hellenistic Near East on a Local Scale I session, “Mini-Alexandrias or Local Continuity? Architectural Change, Place-Making, and Identity in Ptolemaic Cyprus.” You can watch his full presentation below, as well as read his abstract.

Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel ASORtv! Click the subscribe button below!

Abstract from the 2014 Annual Meeting Program book.

Mini-Alexandrias or Local Continuity? Architectural Change, Place-Making, and Identity in Ptolemaic Cyprus

During the third century BCE, the island of Cyprus was incorporated into the Ptolemaic empire centered in Alexandria, Egypt. The Ptolemies occupied the island militarily, and this imperial intrusion had an immediate effect on Cypriot life according to the archaeological evidence. For example, an imperial coinage replaced long-standing civic ones, while the Greek alphabet superseded the traditional Cypro-Syllabic script in inscriptions. Although it also underwent profound changes, the architecture of Ptolemaic Cyprus perhaps provides a more nuanced insight into the processes by which local culture changed, especially when it is analyzed as the residue of negotiated place making. Examining architectural remains as the products of socially constructed, lived space—as dynamic places that are both the products of and frames for human practices—arguably helps to reveal the varied local and imperial interactions that shaped material culture. The goal of this paper is to explore how people’s sense of identity changed in Ptolemaic Cyprus through the study of a variety of architectural forms as socially constructed places. Through an architectural review of urban, sacred, and funerary environments, I show how an opulent architectural vocabulary characteristic of Alexandria was exported to Cyprus. However, I also illustrate how this vocabulary could be selectively utilized or even ignored depending on the actors involved in constructing social space. Overall, this regional archaeological study suggests that Hellenistic culture was contextually situated and actively constructed. Hellenistic places could be both innovative and conservative and could combine both universal as well as particular elements.

Click here to view more ASOR Annual Meeting presentations!


All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The (ASOR) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any link on this blog. ASOR will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information. ASOR will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. The opinions expressed by Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of ASOR or any employee thereof.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+21
Sign in to view all ASOR Blog content!
If you have not set up a username and password for the ASOR Blog, please close this box by clicking anywhere on the screen then go to the Friends of ASOR option in the menu above. If you have forgotten your password, please click the Forgot Login Password option in the above menu.