Re-excavating morgantina

Book Section

The Princeton University Archaeological Expedition to Sicily was launched in 1955 as a training excavation for graduate students in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Morgantina was chosen from among widely scattered possibilities in the Mediterranean in part because it met a list of criteria-including the availability of fresh water, ease of access, and the likelihood of significant finds-and not because of an overarching research question or design. The site was excavated in continuous seasons from the first year to 1968, under the direction of two professors in the Department of Art and Archaeology: Erik Sjöqvist, formerly Director of the Swedish Institute at Rome, who had joined Princeton's faculty in 1946; and Richard Stillwell, who also served as the Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Archaeology from 1954 to 1973. Work then continued under the direction of a succession of Princeton PhDs until the present. Though preliminary reports were swiftly published in the American Journal of Archaeology, and many articles written by both faculty and graduate students in a number of scholarly journals, there was never a comprehensive plan for publication, and although some artifact storage was created in the nearby town of Aidone, there was no local museum until 1984, long after Princeton had passed from the scene. The project presents the challenges of re-excavating an old excavation: in effect, of doing salvage archaeology on old data, and integrating it with new research questions and excavation. The quantity of data is large and could not now be easily recovered; nor can it be discarded or ignored. Thus, this paper will consider some questions that can be asked and answered with older data, and how the Morgantina project can be repurposed sixty years after its first season, focusing on the Archaic phase of the site.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Antonaccio, CM

Published Date

  • May 19, 2015

Book Title

  • Classical Archaeology in Context: Theory and Practice in Excavation in the Greek World

Start / End Page

  • 51 - 69

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781934078464

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1515/9781934078471-006

Citation Source

  • Scopus