Old Lands: A Chorography of the Eastern Peloponnese, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Old Lands

A Chorography of the Eastern Peloponnese, 1st Edition

By Christopher Witmore


544 pages | 5 Color Illus. | 137 B/W Illus.

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Old Lands takes readers on an epic journey through the legion spaces and times of the Eastern Peloponnese, trailing in the footsteps of a Roman periegete, an Ottoman traveler, antiquarians, and anonymous agrarians.

Following waters in search of rest through the lens of Lucretian poetics, Witmore reconstitutes an untimely mode of ambulatory writing, chorography, mindful of the challenges we all face in these precarious times. Turning on pressing concerns that arise out of object-oriented encounters, Old Lands ponders the disappearance of an agrarian world rooted in the Neolithic, the transition to urban-styles of living, changes in communication, movement, and metabolism, while opening fresh perspectives on long-term inhabitation, changing mobilities, and appropriation through pollution. Carefully composed with those objects encountered along its varied paths, this book offers an original and wonderous account of a region in twenty-seven segments, and fulfills a longstanding ambition within archaeology to generate a polychronic narrative that stands as a complement and alternative to diachronic history.

Old Lands will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and scholars of the Eastern Peloponnese. Those concerned with long-term changes in society, technology and culture in this region and beyond will find this book captivating.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Author’s Note


Prologue: The measure of the Morea?


1. Lines in stone: Roads, canals, walls, faults, and marine terraces

2. Ancient Corinth: Descent into memory, ascent into oblivion

3. Acrocorinth: From gate to summit

4. Along the A7 (Moréas), by car

5. Kleonai to Nemea

6. Nemea: A transect

7. An erstwhile aqueduct: Lucretian flow

8. To Mykenes station, by train

9. About Mycenae, history and archaeology

10. A path to the Heraion

11. Through groves of citrus to Argos

12. Argos, a democratic polis and Plutarch’s Pyrrhus, a synkrisis (comparison)

13. Modern spectacle through an ancient theatre

14. Argos to Anapli on the hoof, with a stop at Tiryns

15. A stroll through Nafplion

16. The road to Epidaurus: Frazer and Pausanias

17. Paleolithic to Bronze Age amid Venetian: A museum

18. To Asine: Legal objects

19. To Vivari, by boat

20. Into the Bedheni Valley

21. Through the Southern Argolid

22. Ermioni/Hermion/Kastri: A topology

23. Looking southwest, to what has become of an ancient oikos

24. Across the Adheres, iterations

25. Troizen, verdant and in ruin

26. To Methana

27. Into the Saronic Gulf

Epilogue: On chorography

Maps (by Caleb Lightfoot)



About the Author

Christopher Witmore is professor of archaeology and classics at Texas Tech University. He is co-author of Archaeology: The Discipline of Things (2012, with B. Olsen, M. Shanks and T. Webmoor). Routledge published his co-edited Archaeology in the Making in 2013 (paperback 2017, with W. Rathje and M. Shanks). He is also co-editor of the Routledge series Archaeological Orientations (with G. Lucas).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology