Christina Mitsopoulou

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 15:00 to 16:00
Swedish Institute at Athens, Mitseon 9
Event Description: 

Christina Mitsopoulou (Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly), "2008-2018: the Kernos-Plemochoe issue reconsidered"

The talk concerns the progress made during the past decade in the study of the cult vases of the Eleusinian Mysteries, used during classical antiquity.

Ten years ago the symposium Current approaches to religion in ancient Greece hosted a paper entitled “The Eleusinian processional cult vessel: iconographic evidence and interpretation”. New observations based on known material, unobserved at the time, had led to the proposal of new conclusions about the name and function of the vessels.

Since then, research on the topic has deepened, due to two factors: firstly, the renewed study of the original Eleusinian material for final publication (following Georgios Bakalakis, who had worked towards this goal until his death in 1991). Secondly, the recent reviewing of decisive iconographic data, formerly used as an argument for interpretative attempts. Following its recent recognition as a modern fake, any conclusions based on these artifacts have to be fundamentally reconsidered. This lecture aims to inform the community of specialists about these changes, to withdraw and correct former conclusions, and to underline the main factors of interest that will provide decisive information for the final publication of the category. This case study highlights the acute problem that forged data may present for research and science.