Students and faculty from A&A and Classics joined their counterparts from Greek Universities at the Princeton Athens Center in May 2023 to launch the Seeger Center’s new PITHOS (Princeton-Ioannina-Thessaly On-Site Seminars) initiative.
Current PITHOS Coordinator, A&A’s Professor Nathan Arrington, joined A&A graduate student William Pedrick along with Chiara Battisti and Sarah Norvell, both graduate students in the Classics Department, for a week-long seminar together with three graduate students each from the University of Ioannina and the University of Thessaly in Greece.
“The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies created PITHOS in response to the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dimitri Gondicas, Director of the Seeger Center. "We are delighted to collaborate with our Greek colleagues at the Universities of Thessaly and Ioannina on PITHOS. This innovative new program brings together scholars from Princeton and Greece, building on the Seeger Center’s unique network of Greek institutions and scholars, former Seeger fellows, and alums in Greece.”
The group met in Athens and proceeded to Mount Pelion; from there, they visited archaeological sites and museums in the morning, and in the evening the graduate students delivered papers on the topic of regionalism. "It was very interesting to see the wide-ranging topics that the Greek graduate fellows are working on," said Pedrick. "I received a lot of great feedback on my own project and dissertation from professors at the University of Thessaly and the University of Ioannina."
Sites visited included the Vale of Tempe gorge, the beehive-shaped tholos tomb at Dimini, and St. Nicholas Monastery of Paou, which serves as the University of Thessaly’s Conference and Cultural Center. "A particular highlight for me was seeing the painted funerary monuments in the Volos Archaeological Museum -- I have been looking forward to seeing these since I was accepted to be a 2023 PITHOS graduate fellow!" said Pedrick.
In September 2023, Princeton will host the Greek delegation in Princeton for the second meeting. Pedrick commented "I'm looking forward to seeing the fellows and professors again in Princeton in September and hearing how our projects have developed over the summer."
The Seeger Center established PITHOS in order to strengthen ties and foster intellectual collaboration among scholars of Greek art and archaeology. Every academic year, the program will select three graduate students from each participating university to engage in faculty-led seminars, workshops, and trips in the United States and Greece organized around a yearly theme. The theme for 2023 is “Regionalism.”
“PITHOS will provide ample opportunities to Princeton students and faculty for intellectual exchange with our Greek partners at Princeton and on-site in Greece. As such, it serves the core mission of the Seeger Center to promote teaching and research on Hellenic culture, from antiquity to the present," said Gondicas. "Our goal for PITHOS is to help strengthen Princeton’s flourishing archaeology program founded on the University’s long and distinguished tradition in this academic field.”
"Our goal for PITHOS is to help strengthen Princeton’s flourishing archaeology program founded on the University’s long and distinguished tradition in this academic field.” – Dimitri Gondicas, Director of the Seeger Center