Hello again, loyal (and new!) followers. I realized that for some reason I have been accruing more and more followers over the weeks, and decided that it was quite possibly time for an update and perhaps an updated introduction.
My name is Nadhira and I am currently a third year in the Classical Archaeology PhD program at Michigan. It has truly been the wildest, trying-est, most fulfilling past two years of my life, and I look forward to all of the new opportunities for growth in the next five. I am a self-proclaimed sherd nerd – although I have loved every minute (well, maybe not every minute) of the past three dig seasons I have participated in at the Athenian Agora and the Olynthos Project, I recently discovered my love of ceramic production in the Late Classical period of Greece, and am following my heart down a twisty rabbit hole full of black glaze pottery, petrographic analysis, stamped and incised decoration, and capacity calculations (which the side of me that has hated math for 24 years isn’t exactly excited about). I’m also (relatedly?) interested in drinking practices, both public and private, in ancient Greece, and how they, like ceramic production, vary between regions.
Maybe the highlight of my research this summer has been finding little remnants of fingerprints on one of my pots that (seemingly) no one else had noticed before!
Although I came into this project (which may or may not form the foundation of my future/quickly impending dissertation) with some pretty solid questions, I look forward to the many and varied questions that can and will arise when considering production techniques. Black glaze may not be the most interesting style, but when you look at dozens of pots in a week you start to notice some patterns, or start to ask questions about “why are there weird splotches of red?”
I only have one more week here in Athens before heading off up north to Olynthos, but I feel much more knowledgeable about what I have been working with, and have had some promising meetings with others who work on similar materials and ideas. When I go up to Olynthos I will be trying my hand more with macroscopic fabric analysis after just one week (!!) of coursework in petrography, but I hope (maybe) to be able to land a studentship at the Fitch Laboratory at the British School in Athens (heh, can’t keep me away from this place) in Fall 2019. But we’ll see. But it’s gotta happen. It’s kind of my job now. Yay, being a specialist!
(No, seriously, how did I get so many research interests in the subjects I hated through most of my schooling? Math and science? Really???)
For the remainder of my time in Athens, I have some goals:
- Finish up pottery analysis by Tuesday
- Go to the Blegen to read about the excavations at Pistiros (a super cool Greek EMPORION in 4TH CENTURY Thrace) (still peeved that the lib doesn’t have the Olynthos pubs but…w/e)
- Hike the Philopappos Hill and see the Philopappos Monument
- Visit the Piraeus Archaeological Museum
- Eat some gelato (it’s hot, gelato is cold…ya feel me?)
As for updates, there aren’t many…I passed my qualifying exams in May and then took a week-long intensive course on ceramic petrography at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I spent two weeks in Connecticut sitting on my butt and watching mostly movies but also Westworld (10/10 would recommend). Aaaand then I came to Greece!
And went to see all the things I’ve seen before!
And took pictures of them!
But from different angles (and with a better camera)!