For the past several years, the UA College of Arts & Sciences has been developing the Alabama-Greece Initiative. As outlined on the Initiative website, it is an effort to "develop an extensive and formal collaborative relationship with Aristotle University in Thessaloniki (AUTh)." In 2015, archaeologist and chair of our Anthropology Department was selected for the Initiative.
Dr. Brown established a relationship with AUTh faculty developing a museum studies program & is returning this summer with UA students to conduct research at Vergina. Vergina is the site of the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, & a large, extended cemetery for the inhabitants of the city of Pella, which was Phillip's capital & Alexander's birthplace, before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 90 BC.
This year, I was selected to participate in the 2017 Initiative. Along with Luoheng Han, Ana Corbalan, Andrew Dewar, Vaia Touna, Rebecca Salzer, Amir Zaheri, and Arun Gupta, I traveled to Thessaloniki to meet with potential collaborators and develop a proposal for research. I met with George Kitsios and George Athanasopoulos and discussed plans for an exciting study I'll share more about in the future. In the meantime, following are some of the photos from our wonderful visit. Thanks to Dean Olin and our partners at AUTh for making this opportunity possible and for the lovely hospitality!
Arriving over Thessaloniki
Selfie with the Thessaloniki sunset from the balcony where we were having dinner the first night
Night view from our windows of the Electra Palace hotel on Aristotle Square in Thessaloniki
Morning visit to the nearby street market
Dean Olin opening the mini-conference on the first day at AUTh
Spryros Pavlides shows us a replica of the world’s oldest computer, made in Greece, on a tour of AUTh, May 10, 2016
Getting a personal tour of AUThs cast museum May 10, 2016).
The original Petralona skull, from the AUTh vaults! May 10, 2016)
The original Ouranpithecus macedonia skull, which is a hominid /or gorilla ancestor, from the AUTh vaults May 10, 2016).
Mezes for dinner with almost the whole crew! May 10, 2016).
Getting a tour of the Archaeology Museum at Pella, May 11, 2016.
Touring the Pella ruins, May 11, 2016
A household floor mosaic in the ruins of Pella May 11, 2016).
We stopped off at “Meat Palace” for lunch between Pella and Vergina, May 11, 2016.
AUTh invited us to an exhibition by their students doing a traditional dance for the Erasmus Conference being held at AUTh, May 11, 2016.
I enjoyed a humble moment in Aristotle Square, May 12, 2016.
“Postmodern selfie” with Vaia Touna photographing Ana Corbalan on the top of the White Tower, with the Thermaic Gulf in the background, May 12, 2016.
Vaia shares the joy of really good souvlaki with me, May 12, 2016.
Palace Arch next to the Rotunda
My collaborators George Athanasopoulos and George Kitsios showing me the Rotunda of Galerius, May 12, 2016.
One of the surviving frescos in the Rotunda.
The old Roman Agora.
More Roman Agora.
You can still perform or see performances in the Roman Agora amphitheatre!
Amir and Ana discussing contemporary art, May 12, 2016.
Andrew Dewar, Danae Stefanou, and her students performed in the Contemporary Art Museum, May 12, 2016.
Andrew Dewar performing in the Contemporary Art Museum, May 12, 2016.
After the performance, Andrew gave a talk for Danae’s lecture series, May 12, 2016.
Visit to Hagios Demetrios, the main sanctuary of Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki (with a Google Photos filter applied).
This is where Demetrios was martyred (i.e., killed) by his fellow Roman soldiers for being a Christian. It is a former Roman bath, now the catacomb shrine under the Church of Saint Demetrius, May 13, 2016.
George Athanasopoulos in front of his “neighborhood parish,” which just happens to be the early 14th-century Byzantine Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos, May 13, 2016.
Thessaloniki from the grounds of the 14th century Vlatades Monastery, May 13, 2016.
From the old city walls of Thessaloniki, May 13, 2016.
Ruins and archaeology are literally everywhere anyone needs to dig, May 13, 2016.
View of the Thermaic Gulf from our rooms in the Electra Palace Hotel on Aristotle Square during the day, May 14, 2016.
The Greek Agora (with Google Photos filter), May 14, 2016.
Filterless Greek Agora from another angle, May 14, 2016.
The old walls are everywhere, May 14, 2016.
…And under everything, May 14, 2016.
More wall, other side of town! (May 14, 2016)
The old hippodrome site right in the middle of town, May 14, 2016.
…is a great place to live downtown for humans… (May 14, 2016).
…And stray cats (May 14, 2016).
Alexander the Great with Mount Olympus in the background (May 14, 2016).
Mount Olympus at dusk (May 14, 2016).
Thessaloniki’s White Tower from one of the bar boats (May 14, 2016).