Dimitri Nakassis to present next AIA Lecture Jan. 30

Dimitri Nakassis to present next AIA Lecture Jan. 30

calendar icon13 Jan 2017    

Dimitri Nakassis. Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Dimitri Nakassis. Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Lincoln, Neb.—Dimitri Nakassis, Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a MacArthur Fellow, will present a lecture titled “Digitizing Prehistory:  Aegean Script in the 21st Century” on Monday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Love Library Rm. 102.

Part of the Archaeological Institute of America Lincoln-Omaha Chapter’s lecture series, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Nakassis discusses a new project to digitally document the Linear B tablets from the “Palace of Nestor” at Pylos in southwestern Greece. The Mycenaean palaces of the Greek Late Bronze Age made use of a sophisticated writing system called Linear B, which they inscribed on clay tablets and sealings. These documents are crucial to our understanding of these complex societies and shed light on everything from economy to religion.

A new project, co-directed by Nakassis, is making use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and three-dimensional scanning, among other technologies, to create a comprehensive digital publication of these administrative documents that will be useful for scholars and the interested public alike.

Nakassis specializes in Greek archaeology, especially the Late Bronze Age, Linear B and early writing systems and survey archaeology. He is co-director (with Sarah James and Scott Gallimore) of the Western Argolid Regional Project and was named a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellow for his work on transforming our understanding of prehistoric Greek Societies.

Nakassis studies the material and textual production of early Greek communities, especially of the Mycenaean societies of Late Bronze Age Greece. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

His book, Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos (Brill 2013), developed new methods for investigating individuals named in the administrative Linear B texts and argued from this evidence that Mycenaean society was far less hierarchical and much more dynamic than it had been considered in the past. He has published articles and book chapters on Homer and Hesiod, Greek religion and history, archaeological survey, Linear A, and the economy, society and prosopography of the Mycenaean world.

He is currently writing a second book on political authority in Mycenaean Greece. He is co-director (with Kevin Pluta) of the "Digital Nestor" project, which involves the digital documentation of all the administrative documents from the "Palace of Nestor" at Pylos.

Nakassis’ lecture is co-sponsored by the UNL Faculty Senate, the Archaeological Institute of America Lincoln-Omaha Chapter and the UNL School of Art, Art History & Design.