Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sifting the Soil of Greece

David W.J. Gill, Sifting the Soil of Greece: the Early Years of the British School at Athens (1886-1919). Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, suppl. 111. London: Institute of Classical Studies, 2011. ISBN 978-1-905670-32-1. £38. xiv + 474 pp.

The British School at Athens opened in 1886 “to promote all researches and studies” which could “advance the knowledge of Hellenic history, literature, and art from the earliest age to the present day”. Over the next thirty years the School initiated a major programme of excavations, initially on Cyprus, then at Megalopolis, on Melos, and at Sparta. School students took part in the work of the Cretan Exploration Fund and in the major regional surveys of the Asia Minor Exploration Fund.

Most of the students who were admitted to the School in this period had been educated at either Cambridge or Oxford. Women, mostly from Cambridge, took part in the School’s activities including the excavations at Phylakopi. The students’ research interests included Greek pottery, Aegean prehistory, and epigraphy. The experience of Greece prepared the students for later work in British universities and in other professions. Many extended their archaeological experience in Greece to fieldwork in Britain, Egypt, and India.

During the First World War former students were involved in intelligence work in the eastern Mediterranean through the activities of the Arab Bureau in Cairo.

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Daniel Dragomirescu said...

Congratulations from all editorial team of CHMagazine, dear David Gill!!...
Daniel Dragomirescu

David Gill said...

Thank you for your kind message!