Saturday, January 2, 2010

More Graves of Archaeologists

So, to continue with one of my many half-finished side projects, it's time to document a few more archaeologists' graves in Greece. (Previous entries: 1, 2)

Last time, Bill Caraher informed me that the 'Big O' Oscar Broneer and his wife were buried in Corinth, so I wrote to Guy Sanders* to find out more about late members of the Corinth crew.

Oscar Broneer and his wife Verna are buried at the Church of Agia Anna, on the north side of the village of Old Corinth. Guy snapped some pictures for me and he relates that "the Broneers are in the NE corner in a plot granted in perpetuity in gratitude for the relief work he and Verna did in the community after WWII."

Oscar Broneer. Note that many of the graves of foreigners in Greece list both the place of their birth and the place of their death.

Verna's tombstone with a relief carving of an ancient lamp and an actual lamp in metal. Incidentally, the Broneer's son Jon Winroth became a famous international wine critic, although he first spent time studying fortresses built by Ali Pasha in Greek Epirus.

Broneer is one of those Greek archaeological giants. He was the Professor of Archaeology (i.e. pre-Mellon Professor) and his stint as the excavation director of Corinth and Isthmia has been called one "of the most shining chapters of the American School's excavations... (p.170)." He published the first typology of ancient lamps (see Verna's grave above) and, as all the internet blurbs about him relate, on his very first day of excavating at the site of the Isthmian Games he discovered the Temple of Poseidon. Not bad. Nowadays, Broneer's name will be recognizable to all poor, desperate graduate students, since the Broneer Fellowship is much sought after by those who want to study in Athens or Rome.

The other late Corinthian still residing in the area is Darrell Amyx. Like Broneer, Amyx got his PhD from Berkeley and in fact went on to found the History of Art Department there. He became a big fan of studying vase-painting a la Beazley - Morelli , attempting to identify the hand of specific painters. His ashes, Guy tells me, were spread over Akrocorinth.

Archaeologists having 'buchman' (snack time) beneath Akrocorinth.

As a final note, one of Corinth's finest is also buried in the First Cemetery in Athens. Theodore Woolsey Heermance is about as Old School American School as you can get. The "gruff, red-bearded professor" had already started excavating at Corinth by 1896 and was in the trenches throughout the early Teens.

Heermance's excavation notebook from 1903, Corinth Notebook #19 (courtesy of the digitized notebooks on the ASCSA site!).

Plus, you can buy his 1901 book Greek Art for $175 on Ebay!

*Thanks, Guy!

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