December 20, 2018 - Catch up on the latest news from CAARI!

Dear : 
From all of us at CAARI, good wishes to you for a joyous holiday season. And warm thanks, too, for all that you've done to make this 40th Birthday year such a festive one for us. Our winter solicitation letter is on the way to you. Join with us in building toward an ever fuller, more productive future! Below, you'll see some vivid pictures of CAARI's stimulating life. The conviviality they convey, and the venturesome, very new research, show so well why CAARI deserves your support in the new year ahead.
Then Professor Ann-Marie Knoblauch shares insights from her newest scholarly quest: how curious New Yorkers responded to the Cypriot antiquities that the Metropolitan Museum acquired in the 1870s from the scandalous and irrepressible Luigi Palma di Cesnola.

Early in the new year, will have a brand new design, and it will include a link to this fall's standing-room-only lecture by Dr. Nicholas Stanley-Price on Alessandro Palma di Cesnola, brother to the flamboyant Luigi whom Prof. Knoblauch writes about.

Don't forget CAARI's new address in the US:

3682 King Street
P.O. Box 16072
Alexandria, VA  22302-9998


Message From the Director

Dear friends and supporters of CAARI,
We are now immersed in the holiday season and CAARI is fully decorated for the occasion. Here in the photo you see the CAARI staff upstairs with the residents and one of our Christmas trees, sustainably sourced from the Department of Forests.

Decorating the Christmas tree at CAARI with Dr. David Roessell, Jinelle Nevoso, Megan Coates,Julio Sanchez, Vathoulla Moustoukki, Katerina Mavromichalou, Dr. Lindy Crewe, Ashley Cody, and Elijah Jacobs.

The students in the photo are Jinelle Nevoso, Julio Sanchez, Megan Coates, Ashley Cody, and Elijah Jacobs. They are part of a Diversity Scholarship program at Richard Stockton University sponsored by the Onassis Foundation USA and are on a study tour of Cyprus and Greece, led by David Roessell (second from left), Professor of Greek Language and Literature. They only stayed with us for a short visit but had a great time getting to know Cyprus. Megan (standing to the left of Vathoulla in the photo) will also be returning to CAARI for a longer stint in the spring to spend some time researching Cypriot archaeology.

I've had a very busy few months since my last message in September. I was excited to participate in the CAORC Directors' meeting in Tunisia in October, where Directors of Overseas Research Centers were able to meet to share our work and learn from our colleagues. My trip to the US in November was also excellent. I very much enjoyed Washington and I felt spoilt by the way I was looked after by CAARI trustees and friends. The annual ASOR Meeting in Denver was a whirlwind, with a big reception honoring CAARI's 40th and ACOR's 50th birthdays. There were some great papers in the Cyprus archaeology session, and I managed to even sneak in to some other papers around the CAARI and ASOR meetings!

Our autumn program of lectures was excellent. We began in September with Dr Nicholas Stanley-Price presenting on The other Cesnola: the arrest and trial of Alessandro Palma di Cesnola for illicit excavation. In October, Dr Joanne Clarke shared her research (conducted in collaboration with Dr Alex Wasse) on  The Curious Case of Kalavasos-Tenta: Re-dating the 36/17/14 Communal Building Sequence and its Regional Implications. Our final lecture in November was by  Prof. Albert Ammerman, who gave us Rethinking Palaeolithic Voyaging to the Offshore Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

It has been a very good season for publications on the Cypriot Bronze Age, with new volumes launched in Nicosia. The first out was the new Hala Sultan Tekke report by Peter Fisher and Terese Bürge, launched at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador, and the second was the Alassa volume by Sophocles Hadjisavvas, presented at the Archaeology Research Unit. But we were the third! We held an event at CAARI on Thanksgiving Day to present a special Festschrift: Structures of Inequality on Bronze Age Cyprus: Studies in Honour of Alison K. South . Alison has been a long time trustee and friend of CAARI and the honor is well deserved. The volume was edited by Linda Hulin, Jennifer Webb and myself; its publication was supported by generous donations by the CAARI trustees. Even if we do say so ourselves, this is an exciting contribution to studies of the Cypriot Bronze Age! We will continue this run by kicking off the CAARI spring program series on the 24th January with a launch for the new book of Professor Bernard Knapp, entitled Seafaring and Seafarers in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean .
I wish you all happy holidays and the best for a prosperous New Year in 2019.

Lindy Crewe, PhD
Director, CAARI

Research Reports
Dr. Hanan Charaf, Senior Scholar in Residence
Beirut, Lebanese University

Dr. Hanan Charaf with Darcey,
Dr. Lindy Crewe's dog

I was fortunate to  hold the 2018 CAARI Senior Scholar in Residence Fellowship. I spent one month (September 15-October 15) at CAARI to do research on Cypriot Bronze Age pottery from two important Lebanese sites, Tell Arqa in the north and Sidon in the south. These two sites have yielded hundreds of Cypriot ceramics from different styles in funeral, cultic, and residential contexts, attesting to a robust and diversified trade between the island and mainland. The research conducted at CAARI will help finalize the articles I am writing on these imports, which will be published in the near future. Indeed, preparations for the final publication on the Late Bronze Age levels at levels at Tell Arqa are actively underway, while the Middle Bronze Age levels of Sidon are slated to appear in the next two years. At CAARI, I benefitted from the rich and newly remodelled library that offered me access to hundreds of publications dealing with Cyprus' archaeology, all in one location. This helped save precious time looking for manuscripts and articles in many scattered locations.

The ideal location of CAARI close to all museums and universities allowed me to visit Nicosia's museums and examine de visu Bronze Age Cypriot pottery similar to the ones I study in Lebanon. Seeing complete examples of vase types usually found in sherd form on ancient Levantine sites is an effective way to appreciate the clay and methods of finishing used for their manufacture, as well as to visualize the shape to which a body sherd belonged. Assessing the complete form of a vase can determine the function for which it was produced, and can thus sometimes efficiently shed light on the context in which it was found.

A major part of being a Senior Scholar in Residence is to be available for advice or help to all residents of the CAARI hostel. I enjoyed interacting with the four Fulbright teaching assistants waiting to get to their placements, the intern at the US embassy, the Italian pre-doctoral or doctoral students, and the scholars who stayed at CAARI during this month. Our daily conversations at meal times and during our several outings helped me learn about new scholarly ventures, broaden my interest scope, and forge new friendships.

CAARI residents enjoying a mezze at Tzanettos

While there, I also had the chance to listen to two exhilarating CAARI lectures given by Nicholas Stanley-Price and Joanne Clarke. I was also able to meet with Dr. Vassos Karageorghis who graciously invited me to his house to discuss my work and his new publications. I had also the pleasure to meet for the first time Christina Ionanou who, like me, graduated from University of Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Hanan Charaf, center, with Director Lindy Crewe, Vathoulla, Katerina and CAARI residents at Nicholas Stanley-Price's lecture.

Vathoulla celebrating her birthday at CAARI.
My time at CAARI was, thus, extremely profitable on many levels. My deepest thanks go to the entire staff of CAARI, the director Lindy Crewe, the administrative assistant and dear friend Vathoulla, the librarian Katerina Mavromichalou, and the efficient and always smiling Photoulla for their constant help, advice, and availability. I would also like to acknowledge again everyone at the CAARI hostel where I resided for the duration of my fellowship for making my stay in this lovely residential community a time to remember.

CAARI/CAORC Fellow Dr. Henry Shapiro
Princeton University
Armenian Pilgrims in Ottoman Cyprus

Dr. Henry Shapiro
Cyprus is currently divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and most research on its modern and early modern history (post-1571) focuses on these two cultures.  But Cyprus also had a significant Armenian population during the Ottoman centuries, and it was an important way-station for Armenians traveling from Istanbul to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrimage.  Cyprus hosted a large Armenian monastery-the St. Makar Monastery-and it was a center for Armenian manuscript copying.  My project uses primary sources in Armenian, Greek, and Ottoman Turkish to describe Cyprus' importance for Armenian religious and intellectual life in the seventeenth-century Ottoman Empire.  During my month on Cyprus, I achieved four primary goals which required residence overseas. 

First and foremost, I made many visits to the St. Makar Monastery, where I studied the terrain and made extensive photographs of the monastery's ruins. Here's a photograph of an old, framed photo:

St. Makar Monastery, an old photograph located in the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus in Nicosia

Cyprus Administration of Pious Foundations, Northern Cyprus
Second, I made several visits to the Cyprus Administration of Pious Foundations building in Northern Cyprus, seen at right.  There I made contact with the custodian of Cyprus' Ottoman Turkish court records, who has made large database of historical documents.  He kindly agreed to conduct searches for me on his database about the St. 
Makar Monastery and Ottoman-Armenians in Cyprus. Moreover, he gave me copies of his team's most recent publications, including a full transcription of the oldest Ottoman Turkish court record notebook extant in Cyprus.
Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, Nicosia
Third, I made contact with the Armenian community in Nicosia, including the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus, seen at left.  The Armenian prelate and his associates were kind enough to show me the church vessels which were preserved from the St. Makar Monastery, seen below.  They also agreed to make fa csimiles of the Ottoman Turkish documentation currently in their possession relating to Armenian Church life in Cyprus.  Ruth Keshishian of the Moufflon Bookstore kindly and generously shared her recollections of pre-partition Cyprus with me, and she lent me her Armenian-language books on Cypriot history.

Church treasure preserved from St. Makar Monastery, now in the Armenian Prelature, Nicosia

Finally, I used my time on Cyprus to make contact with local academics who could advise me on my project.  Professors Christopher Schabel, Nicholas Coureas, Angel Nicolaou-Konnari, and Thomas Sinclair all shared with me helpful and generous insights on the Armenian presence in Cyprus. 
I am extremely grateful to CAARI for its support of my research, which will help me elucidate the importance of Cyprus as a way-station for not only pilgrims, but also manuscripts, letters, and ideas between Jerusalem and Istanbul throughout early modern Ottoman history.

The Mainstream Media and the "Worthless" Cypriot Antiquities: 1870s New York Reacts to the Cesnola Collections
Ann-Marie Knoblauch, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech

When the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the doors of its Fifth Avenue building for the first time on March 30 1880, the majority of the exhibition space was occupied by Cypriot art, purchased from Luigi Palma di Cesnola by the Met's trustees in two lots, one in 1872 and another in 1876. The collection amounted to around 20,000 objects, all finds Cesnola had acquired while serving as US Consul on the island from 1865-1876. New Yorkers visiting the collection found most intriguing the works of limestone sculptures found at the sanctuary at Golgoi. In the 1880s these objects would become embroiled in a scandal because of the claim that Cesnola had performed intentionally misleading restorations, but for about eight years in the 1870s, New Yorkers were rather suddenly in possession of an enormous collection of Cypriot antiquities. My research asks, what did they think of all this?

By reviewing published articles in contemporary daily, weekly and monthly popular periodicals-that is, the mainstream media of the 1870s-we see remarkable consistency in the way that New York publications present Cesnola and his antiquities in the 1870s. We learn from multiple sources that New Yorkers believed the objects were important from a historical perspective, but also, quite bluntly, they found the sculpture unattractive and the exhibition confusing in organization and overwhelming in quantity. A New York Times article from May 25, 1876 sums it up: "For the statues, artistically, are worthless, but archaeologically they have a high value."

Cypriot Limestone Male Figure, early 6th century B.C.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, 74.51.2479, public domain
By 1876, the Met in New York had acquired nearly 20,000 Cypriot objects, including statues such as this one of a youthful male said by Cesnola to have been found at Golgoi.

Visually, New Yorkers didn't know what to make of such statues, which blended familiar Greek stylistic features with completely unfamiliar elements of proportion, style and iconography.
As a result, popular press coverage focused on the cunning and quick-witted business sense of the trustees who made the purchase.

These unfavorable aspects are consistently downplayed, however, and instead the New York press focused on Italian-born Cesnola, a veteran of the US Civil War with an excellent military record who later became a US citizen. Cesnola's success in battle and his commitment to his adopted country were linked to his achievements in unearthing the antiquities of Cyprus. The New York Herald, January 29, 1873, as an example, blurs the lines between what makes a good military leader and antiquarian explorer: "Physical courage and prowess were not the only qualities necessary to success in General di Cesnola's Cyprus excavations. Practical shrewdness, the kind of acumen known as "mother wit" and a strong infusion of antiquarian genius were among the first essentials."
Jacob D. Blondel [1817-1877] Luigi Palma di Cesnola oil on canvas,1865, collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67.29, public domain
New Yorkers in the 1870s were not necessarily impressed with the Cypriot objects at the Met, but they greatly admired the man who found them because he was perceived as possessing exemplary American values. Images of Cesnola in military dress helped promote his image as brave, loyal and disciplined. The New York press linked these traits to his success in finding ancient artifacts on Cyprus.

Even more prevalent in the papers was the claim that New York had acquired something that Europe wanted. As examples, in December 1872, local papers boast about the jealousy and disappointment in Europe over the American acquisition of the collection. "The English Papers express their chagrin at the fact that the archaeological treasures discovered by...Cesnola in Cyprus have been secured by a transatlantic museum." (The New York Times, Dec 23, 1872) and "Archaeologists and students of the history of art look on the departure of this rare collection from London with undisguised chagrin, and the management of the British Museum is assailed with unmeasured recrimination for having... permitted London to lose the treasures." (The New York Herald Dec 15, 1872).

Finally, New York publications also point out that the Met, in purchasing Cesnola's collections, had gotten a bargain. Publications are inconsistent with the exact price paid (most put it in the neighborhood of $50,000-$60,000 for each lot) yet all agree that the collection is worth much more than what was paid for it. The New York Times, when first reporting the sale on November 19, 1872, attributes the good deal to the museum's willingness to purchase the whole collection: "The collection has been valued at $200,000, if disposed of in parcels, but in view of the fact that it would be taken as a whole and brought to the United States, Gen Di Cesnola parted with it at a much less sum." Two months later, The New York Herald (Jan 29, 1873) gives a similar assessment of the value of the objects. "...having purchased them for $50,000, there is little doubt they are worth absolutely four times that sum."

A close reading of these articles, I believe, reveals a motive. By downplaying the "artistically worthless" aesthetics of the Cypriot objects and focusing instead on the brave, enterprising spirit of Cesnola and the astute business sense of the Met's trustees who made the purchase, New York papers shift attention to those positive qualities that were perceived to be uniquely American and giving New Yorkers reason to boast about the enormous antiquities collection intended to put New York on a cultural stage with centers like London and Paris.

In April 2000, spacious new galleries were opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to display the Cesnola Collection.

The galleries exhibiting the Cesnola collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Help CAARI Support Great Research

Every one of these reports is a "thank you!" to friends who have made CAARI's work possible. They show the wide range of the research there, reaching into many different eras, disciplines, languages, and ethnic and religious traditions. They show how CAARI brings people together from around the world to share insights and incubate new ideas.
A new year is beginning: help us to keep CAARI thriving! Help maintain our excellent library. Help us keep our scientific equipment cutting-edge. And maybe most of all, help support our fellowships: the graduate student fellowships and wonderful new Edgar Peltenburg Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship. They are vital to the life and work at CAARI.

Please consider helping CAARI with a year end gift:

Sincere thanks from all of us at CAARI. We appreciate so much your enthusiasm and support!

Annemarie Weyl Carr

Annemarie Weyl Carr
Vice President, CAARI Board