Conference: Naxos and the Byzantine Aegean

Conference: Naxos and the Byzantine Aegean

Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th April 2014, The Ursuline School, Naxos Chora.


The Norwegian Institute at Athens has carried out field work on Naxos at the 7th century Byzantine urban fortress of Kastro Apalirou in collaboration with The 2nd Ephoria of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities (EBA) since 2010. The project has recently been widened to include the Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle. The conference aims to bring together scholars working on Naxos and other Byzantine sites in the Aegean and will focus on Byzantine research on Naxos, though some aspects of Late Antique settlement will be included. The following research themes will be covered: Archaeology, History, Landscape History, Ecclesiastical History, and Iconographic and Architectural development.


SATURDAY 12th April

08.45–09.00 Arrival and conference registration

09.00 Opening of the Conference by His Eminence Kallinikos (Demenopoulos) of Paronaxia, Bishop of the Metropolis of Paronaxia.

09.10 Welcome Speech, Mayor of Naxos and Small Cyclades, Mr. Manolis Margaritis.

09.20 Iakovos Nafpliotis, President of the Board of Directors, Municipal Organization for Culture, Education, Sports and the Environment.

09.35 Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, University of Athens: Naxos in Imperial and Early Christian times.

10.00 Knut Ødegård & Håkon Ingvaldsen, University of Oslo, The Norwegian Survey of Kastro Apalirou, 2010-2013.

10.25 Paul Magdalino, Koç University, Istanbul: Naxos and the Aegean World in the 7th and 8th Centuries.

10.45–11.15 Coffee

11.15 Jim Crow, University of Edinburgh: Why Naxos? The early medieval archaeology and culture in context.

11.35 Athanasios Vionis, University of Cyprus: Island responses in the Byzantine Aegean: Naxos under the lens of current archaeological research.

12.00 Stavros Baltogiannis, former Head Restorer, Byzantine Museum, Athens: Conservation and restoration of the dome of the Panaghia Protothronos Naxos.

12.20 Visit to the Byzantine museum to see the dome and restoration work by Stavros Baltogiannis.

12.45–14.00 Lunch

14.00 Vasiliki Penna, University of the Peloponnese: Monetary circulation in Cyclades during the Dark Ages: an update approach.

14.30 Georgios Deligiannakis, Open University, Cyprus: The Dodecanese in the Seventh Century.

15.00 Haralampos Pennas, Former Ephor (Naxos), EBA: The archaeology of the Cyclades during the Dark Ages: a reassessment.

15.30–16.00 Coffee

16.00 Agathoniki Tsilipakou, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki: The Veneration of Saint Mamas in the Mediterranean: a traveler, border defender, Saint.

16.30 Natalia Poulou-Papadimitriou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: The Aegean during the transitional period: the archeological evidence.

17.00 Michael Nelson, Queens College, New York: Leukos and Sokastro, Karpathos: the Results of Four Seasons of Exploration.

17.30–18.00 Katerina. P. Dellaporta, Charikleia Diamanti, Marina Vogli, Chryssanthi Sakellacou, Stavroula Tseva, 2nd EBA: Keros during the Byzantine period; Preliminary report of 2012-2013 Keros Project.

20.00 Conference dinner at The Faneromeni Monastery for speakers and invited guests.

SUNDAY 13th April

8.30 Maria Z. Sigala, 2nd EBA: The use of the corbelling technique in the Aegean Islands during the Middle Ages. Examples from the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.

09.00 Klimis Aslanidis, PhD Candidate, University of Patras: The evolution from Early-Christian to Middle-Byzantine church architecture on Naxos.

09.30 Themistoklis Bilis–Maria Magnisali, Architects: St. Stephen in Agidia, Naxos in the course of time.

10.00 George Mastoropoulos former Ephor (Chios), EBA: The art and architecture of the Churches of Naxos.

10.30 Maria Panayotidi-Kessisoglou and Theodora Konstantellou, University of Athens: Byzantine wall paintings of Protothronos at Chalki, Naxos. Images, messages and historical context.

11.00–11.30 Coffee

11.30 Xenaki Maria, Scientific Member, Ecole française d’Athènes: Aniconic church decorations in Asia Minor: Traces of Iconoclasm?

12.00 Alexandra Kostarelli, Ministry of Culture Chalkis, Euboea: The iconographic theme of Deesis in monumental painting of the 14th century on the island of Naxos.

12.30 Amalia Koumpouras, University of Athens: Illness as a female demon through oral tradition and medieval literary sources.

13.00-14.15 Lunch

14.15 Konstantinos Roussos, University of Leiden: Early Byzantine sculpture from the basilica at Voutako: Paros in its Cycladic context.

14.40 Elli Tzavella, University of Leiden, Keros, Dhaskalio: An unknown Byzantine chapel and its finds.

15.00 Dimitris Chatzilazarou, archaeologist 2nd EBA: An Aegean coastal Settlement in the End of Late Antiquity: The case of Schoinoussa near Naxos.

15.30–16.00 Coffee

16.00 Sam Turner, Newcastle University: Characterizing the historic landscape of Naxos.

16.30 Stelios Lekakis, Athens, Managing the Byzantine tradition in the island of Naxos; problems and potentials.

17.00–18.00 Concluding remarks

Monday 14th April

Excursion to Kastro Apalirou, and presentation of the site and preliminary results of the recent fieldwork.

Guides at Apalirou: David Hill, Håkon Ingvaldsen, Knut Ødegård.

Departure from Chora at 09.00.

The walk to Kastro Apalirou is physically challenging, and will cross areas of loose rock and 45 % inclines. We do not recommend anyone to undertake the climb, without adequate footwear and clothing, and no-one should attempt the walk if they do not feel that they are in good physical condition. We estimate to begin the climb at 9.40 and the presentation of the site from 11.00. We expect to use 3 hours on top of the mountain, before beginning the descent at 14.00. We aim to be down from the mountain by 15.00.

Those who are taking the evening ferry to Athens will be driven back to Chora in time. For those with extra energy left, a selection of Byzantine churches and monuments will be visited, time and weather permitting.

Practical information

Participation in the conference is free. The organizers would like those wishing to attend to mail their interest so that we have an idea of how many we should expect.

For those participants who need hotel accommodation the conference has arranged special rates with the Hoteliers Association of Naxos. If you require a room please mail Sophia Karavias.


The Conference has been funded by the Norwegian Institute at Athens with the generous support of the Demos of Naxos and the Small Cyclades and the Hoteliers Association of Naxos.


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