1st Edition

Beyond Icons Theories and Methods in Byzantine Archaeology in North America

    312 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is a collective reflection on the relationship between theory and methods, as practiced by American archaeologists of the Byzantine period in Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, and Egypt between the 1990s and 2020s. The eleven authors represent a generational voice that employed theory to redirect the established narratives of the golden age of Byzantine archaeology (1960s-1980s) that privileged art and religion.

    Beyond Icons: Theories and Methods in Byzantine Archaeology in North America originated in three conferences (2010, 2012, and 2013) organized by the Program of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. Acknowledging the role that Dumbarton Oaks played in the golden age of Byzantine archaeology, Program director Margaret Mullett designed these conferences as exercises in conceptualizing the field’s future. The essays consider theories of fragments, methodologies in regional surface survey, stratigraphy, habitus, phenomenology, gender theory, craft, dreams, and sound. In doing so, they capture a moment in an ongoing pivot in the study of Byzantine archaeology and material culture and chart out future directions for the field.

    This book will appeal to scholars and students alike, as well as all those interested in Byzantine Studies, medieval archaeology (particularly of the eastern Mediterranean), and Byzantine material culture. It will also be of interest to anyone seeking to understand the emerging narrative of a global Middle Ages. The essays reflect the ways in which the study of Byzantine archaeology was shaped by the scholarship of those working in the United States and Canada.


    Assembling the Fragments of Byzantine Archaeology

    Kostis Kourelis

    Chapter 1

    High-Resolution Survey and the New Quest for the Byzantine Landscape: A Case Study from the Corinthia, Greece

    David K. Pettegrew and William R. Caraher

    Chapter 2

    Settlement Patterns, Regional Diversity and a Long-Lived Landscape: Exploring Byzantium through Regional Survey

    Fotini Kondyli

    Chapter 3

    Constructing Relationships from Destruction:  Perspectives on Stratigraphic Context in Byzantine Archaeology

    Adam Rabinowitz

    Chapter 4

    Dream Archaeology

    William R. Caraher & Kostis Kourelis

    Chapter 5

    Archaeological Indicators for a Monastic Habitus

    Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom

    Chapter 6

    Space and Place: Experiencing Sinai's Monastic Landscape

    Ann Marie Yasin

    Chapter 7

    An Archaeology of Sound and Space in the Byzantine World

    Amy Papalexandrou

    Chapter 8

    Public Space, Private Space: Gender Theory and Feminism in Byzantine Archaeology

    Marica Cassis

    Chapter 9

    Millstones and Household Economy in the Byzantine Dark Age: A Case Study from Isthmia, Greece

    Nick Kardulias

    Chapter 10

    Reflections on Context: Byzantine Archaeology in North America and the Golden Age of Dumbarton Oaks

    Margaret Mullett


    William Caraher is an archaeologist and historian who teaches in the Department of History and American Indian Studies at the University of North Dakota. He has worked in Greece, Cyprus, and North America and studies the archaeology of Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, and the contemporary world.

    Kostis Kourelis is an architectural historian who teaches in the Department of Visual Arts at Franklin & Marshall College. His research focuses on the buildings and landscapes of forced migration in the medieval and modern periods. He explores the history of humanitarianism and the relationship between radical art practices and archaeology. Current fieldwork centers on refugee camps in Greece, Japanese incarceration camps in the American West, ethnic neighborhoods in the U.S., underground music venues, and deserted villages.

    Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom is the Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University in the departments of Classical and Early Mediterranean Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Brooks Hedstrom is an archaeologist and historian of ancient and medieval Christianity of the eastern Mediterranean world. She examines the history of monastic makers of late antique objects and spaces and is the author of The Monastic Landscape in Late Antique Egypt: An Archaeological Reconstruction and Desert Ascetics in Egypt (2017). Brooks Hedstrom is the Senior Archaeological Consultant for the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project–North.