Prof. Miriam Clinton Finds New Archaeological Sites

A closeup of a middle-aged female professor with a short, red haircut
Prof. Miriam G. Clinton of the Department of Art and Art History

Prof. Miriam G. Clinton of the Department of Art and Art History, along with her colleague Andrew Koh of Brandeis University, has just located three potential new archaeological sites on the island of Crete, Greece, dating to the end of the Bronze Age, the period of Homer.

The work was published in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies in October 2015. Clinton and her colleague, both Bronze Age archaeologists, used the presence of tombs with elaborate warrior burials to hypothesize that previously unknown settlements must have existed. They then used terrain models in GIS to predict the most likely locations for these settlements. Finally, the two archaeologists confirmed the presence of notable structures at one of the sites using Google Earth.

The article shows that the tombs were part of a bustling landscape, one that adapted the preexisting settlement pattern of the region during a period of both continuity and change when the entire Mediterranean world was in flux, as documented in Homer′s Odyssey. This has important implications for current narratives of collapse and shows that life, though undoubtedly altered, did not end abruptly with the Bronze Age. The article can be found on JSTOR here.