Nemea Night 2021 is a wrap!
Thank you to our donors, colleagues, and friends for joining us on Monday, December 6th 2021 for the second virtual Nemea Night!
The evening began with a lovely tribute to Director Emeritus of the Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology and long-time DAGRS faculty member, Dr. Stephen G. Miller. Dr. Miller’s students and colleagues shared their own memories and anecdotes from their experiences at Nemea or in the classroom. Dr. Shelton also reminded the audience that Dr. Miller’s foundational work at Nemea, beginning in the 1970s, was inspired by and methodologically based on the excavations of the Athenian Agora by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens with an important update – the inclusion of women! Dr. Miller was also instrumental in finding a collection of plaster casts of important Greek and Roman sculptures that had been brought to UC Berkeley, preserving them, and integrating them into teaching and museum studies on campus. His memory remains very much alive both in ancient Nemea and on campus.
For the second time, ancient Nemea served as dramatic backdrop in a high-profile photo shoot for Cruise 2022 Women’s Campaign by Dior. The Temple of Zeus, for its part, performed spectacularly and played its part in the artistic homage to an iconic shoot that took place at the Acropolis in Athens seventy years ago, featuring haute couture looks by Monsieur Dior. The images celebrated the eternal beauty of Greece, its landscapes, and its powerful inspirations through the personalities, artists, and images captured in Nemea, Athens, and Sounion.
Dr. Shelton then moved on to sharing images and updates about the past 2 virtual field seasons which involved data entry, artifact drawing, and data processing from each of the three field projects: Nemea, Aidonia, and Mycenae. In tandem with the virtual fieldwork, team members who remained in Greece during the pandemic continued to conserve artifacts, digitize them, and conduct research as possible under lockdown restrictions. The abbreviated field season that took place in July 2021 actualized the final season of excavation at the Mycenaean cemetery of Aidonia and, although short, dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s of the team’s previous work in the middle and lower cemeteries. Historic-era graves were also discovered and excavated during the 2021 season. Team members lived in a social bubble at UC Berkeley’s Bowker House complex and made the most they could out of the opportunities available to them despite the uncertain health circumstances in Greece and in the U.S. We’re happy to report that no COVID cases were reported among our team during the season!
Opportunities for support were highlighted as well. In particular, the engineering and construction of a roofing system for the incredible Tomb 104 at Aidonia and the repair of the roof over the bath complex at Nemea are ongoing, high-budget projects that are in need of your financial support. This led into a preview of the next project at the site of ancient Nemea – the re-excavation of the early Christian Basilica and Hellenistic Xenon. The multi-year project will also require the financial support of our generous donors and aims to make the area more accessible to visitors. In a similar vein, the Nemea Center is working with Greek authorities on updates to the exhibition halls at the Peterson Museum (as well as some structural repairs) in the hopes of revamping the presentation of the artifacts as well as their interpretations and the visitor’s experience.
Dr. Shelton concluded the evening by sharing some of the incredible images of the Temple of Zeus taken against the night sky taken by Ilias Karatzoulis for the Nemea Center this past summer. We still cannot thank him enough for sharing his talent with us and for allowing us to use his beautiful photographs.
We very much look forward to reuniting with you all in-person some time soon, but, in the meantime, thank you for joining us in this virtual space! Stay healthy, Happy Holidays, and more to come in 2022!