AIA Lecturer/Host: Cynthia W. Shelmerdine
Archaeological Institute of America lecturer and host Cynthia W. Shelmerdine is Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor, emerita, in the Classics Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Her specialty is the Aegean Bronze Age, particularly Mycenaean Greece. An expert on both archaeological material and the written evidence of the Linear B documents, Professor Shelmerdine has published extensively on the history and cultures of prehistoric Greece and Crete. Her recent publications include The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge 2008, editor and contributor). Professor Shelmerdine is a ceramic and historical expert for the Iklaina Archaeological Project (University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Greek Archaeological Society). She has also participated in the excavation of Nichoria by the Minnesota Messenia Expedition, and in the Pylos Regional Archaeological Project. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College (A.B. 1970), the University of Cambridge (B.A. 1972, M.A. 1980), and Harvard University (Ph.D. in Classical Philology 1977). Professor Shelmerdine is widely traveled in Greece and has lectured on several AIA-sponsored voyages in the region in the last decade. On this trip we will explore the interplay between Greek legend and the Bronze Age realities that inspired it. Sites like Mycenae, Pylos, and Knossos are associated with great mythical heroes, but they were also the homes of actual Mycenaeans and Minoans. Come explore the stories and look behind them to the real world of the Bronze Age Aegean.