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James A. Herbst

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Corinth Excavations


 The American School of Classical Studies at Athens initiated excavations in Ancient Corinth in 1896. The earliest excavators were largely concerned with ancient topography and worked quickly to reveal the center of the ancient city. Between about 1925 and 1940 there was continued and more systematic clearance of the site and interest shifted from topographic to taxonomic and chronological concerns. Archaeologists generated a large volume of literature on urban history, buildings, inscriptions, sculpture, ceramics and minor objects. The scholarship of this generation shaped present popular conceptions about Corinth and set many of the standards on which archaeologists in the Eastern Mediterranean still rely. Beginning with the directorship of Charles Williams, in the mid-1960’s, the approach of archaeologists in Corinth has undergone a sustained period of ideological and methodological evolution. During this period of intellectual transformation, the focus has shifted to study the “human” rather than the “monumental” aspects of the ancient world. The work undertaken in the last 35 years has not changed the overall plan of the site but has transformed our understanding of the urban and historical landscape. (See more information about the excavations at Corinth).


The archive from nearly continuous excavation spanning three centuries is vast and this portal provides on-line access to a significant portion of it. Excavation journals, photographs and architectural drawings contained herein document not only the history and archaeology of Ancient Corinth, but reveal much about the modern village, its inhabitants and the excavators. Using day journal diaries, archaeologists began recording finds, monuments and excavation, as well as their daily life in Greece. Often their thoughts and personalities are evident on the pages. More recent notebooks are more ‘objective’ and standardized but offer no less to the interested reader. Photographs, including an extensive collection of glass plate negatives, focused on deep excavation trenches, ancient monuments, and magnificent objects, but also shed light on the workmen and the changing landscape of Ancient Corinth. The collection of drawings includes maps, monuments and archaeological renderings, and provides glimpses into ancient topography, architecture and construction. The scanning and cataloguing of a quarter million digital objects was made possible by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Third Information Society program of the European Union. 


Copyright 2007 The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

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