Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
In this illustrated lecture, I focus on the so-called Periclean Building Program, which included the Parthenon, probably the best-known building left to us from ancient Greece. Using Social Network Analysis (SNA), which is a fairly new analytical tool that can be applied when one wants to see relationships in a network, and which utilizes data from archaeology, epigraphy, or ancient texts, we examine the social networks of quarrymen, stone-carvers, road-builders, scaffolding-suppliers, sculptors, metal-smiths, importers and more as a complex adaptive system. We follow the birth, rise, and fall of this complex system in the classical period, marveling at the fact that it was greater than the sum of its parts, providing an optimal environment for creativity and innovation. With very light administrative oversight, leaders emerged from the clusters of trades, most likely based on experience, skills or personality. Athens sustained such a system for fully twenty years, building temples, a concert hall, and other infrastructure, putting thousands to work, and creating an unparalleled city of craftsmen and artists.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Cline, Diane H. 2018. “Entanglement, Materiality, and the Social Organization of Construction Workers in Classical Athens,” in Ancient History and Contemporary Social Science, M. Canevaro, A. Erskine, B. Gray and J. Ober, (eds.), Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 512-528.