Harvard University – Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship
Notion Archaeological Survey: Final Publication of the Results of Surface Collection
Project Director: Angela Commito, lecturer in classical archaeology
The Loeb Classical Library Foundation fellowships are awarded to qualified scholars to support research, publication, and other projects in the area of classical studies. This prestigious fellowship will provide Commito with the dedicated time required to complete her contributions to Notion Archaeological Survey: The Biography of an Ancient Greek Urban Community, the final publication of the results of the Notion Archaeological Survey. This research project was carried out between 2014 and 2019 by the University of Michigan and Brown University and was directed by Christopher Ratté, with Felipe Rojas serving as Assistant Director and Commito as Senior Archaeologist.
Notion, an ancient harbor town on the Aegean coast of Turkey, is located 15 km to the northwest of Ephesus, one of the most famous Greco-Roman cities in the eastern Mediterranean. At one point in time, Notion and Ephesus were both thriving urban centers, but the trajectory of the life of Notion diverged from that of Ephesus. Notion was occupied intensively for only a few centuries while Ephesus survived into the medieval period. This project explores questions such as: Why did Ephesus survive as an urban center while Notion did not? Why are long-lived cities as Ephesus considered emblematic of typical patterns of Greco-Roman urbanism when shorter-lived cities such as Notion must have been much more common? What do we fail to understand when we use “successful” cities as exemplars of the norm, and what do we gain by considering the biography of a “failed” city in enough detail to understand the circumstances of its founding and abandonment?
Commito’s contributions to the final publication will include presenting their program of collection of surface artifacts, co-authoring the introduction and concluding chapters on historical interpretation, and authoring a chapter discussing water-related urban infrastructure. The multi-authored volume will be co-edited by Commito, Ratté, and Rojas and will be published in the Kelsey Museum Studies Series, a scholarly monograph series published by University of Michigan Press.