|Author||W. G. Cavanagh|
|Publisher||British School at Athens|
|Publication Date||March 15, 2009|
This conference celebrated 100 years since the beginning of work in Laconia by the British School at Athens. It aimed to carry forward from that original work a broad spirit of enquiry - the research of those early scholars ranged over every aspect of the archaeology, epigraphy, history, architecture and art history of the region. What has changed over the century since is the even greater internationalisation of the scholarly enterprise, and the great contribution made today by the members of the Greek Archaeological Service. Their energetic contribution to the archaeology of the region is underlined by the number of papers in this volume written them. The papers published here have been arranged chronologically, and they cover an immense span from the Palaeolithic to recent times. But there are other disciplinary and thematic connections, which form junctures across the chronological order: material culture, religion and belief, cultural identity, epigraphy, topography, architectural studies, iconography, historiography, anthropology, the economy and the history of Laconia. The very variety of these themes is a tribute to the broad tradition of enquiry which those pioneering scholars of the early 20th century - British, Greek and other nationalities - brought to the study of Sparta and Laconia. As Paul Cartledge stresses in his introduction to the volume, the different images of Sparta have deeply influenced the European tradition. Sparta lives in the mind's eye and is constantly redrawn in the light of new discoveries and new insights. The papers presented here provide both.