KLEOS Issue 5, 2022 has been released!

The fifth Kleos issue is out! As always we are proud to present the work of starting scholars of (r)MA or PhD-level.

The papers included in the issue cover a wide range of subjects. Below, we present you the authors and their papers one by one. All the papers are accessible here as well through the links in the title of each paper. This will bring you to the Kleos Academia page.

The entire issue can be found HERE.

Previous Issues of Kleos can be found on our Previous Issues page.

Dr. Cagla Umsu-Seifert

This article discusses the philosophical approach of the Neoplatonic commentator Olympiodorus from a narratological perspective. In this commentary, Olympiodorus emphasizes the superiority of philosophical knowledge. Umsu shows that a narratological approach provides an understanding of Olympiodorus exegetical method: he interacts with his narratees through the Platonic dialogue, in which an important role is reserved for stories dealing with Plato himself.

Cagla Umsu-Seifert has studied Classics in Istanbul, Berlin and Munich. She completed her PhD in Greek Philology at LMU Munich in 2021 with a thesis on Olympiodorus’ Commentary on Alcibiades. She researches on late-antique philosophy and literature, with a focus on the reception of Plato and literary strategies in Neoplatonic commentaries. She currently works as a lecturer at the Department of Greek Philology at LMU Munich.

Sara Mura

In her paper, entitled Ethical Considerations in Narratives of Death: The Case of the Tophet, Sara Mura dives into the ethics of archaeological mortuary narratives. Though the topics of ethics has been a main focus in mortuary archaeology, the ethics involved in the creation of archaeological mortuary narratives have gotten lesser attention. Taking its cue from Pluciennik’s ethical assumptions regarding the narrative means of archaeological communication and applying them to a case study of how archaeologist have interpreted the archaeological mortuary data on child deaths in so-called Phoenician Tophet sanctuaries, she shows how archaeologist are active agents who have the power to shape mortuary narratives. By doing this, Mura wants to raise questions surrounding our responsibilities as archaeologists and start a discussion on best practices for sensitive archaeological mortuary narratives.

Sara Mura is a PhD candidate (self-funded) at the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA) at the University of Amsterdam. She holds Master’s degrees in Archaeology and History of Arts (Cagliari) and Near Eastern and Mediterranean Archaeology (Leiden). Her main research interests lie in mortuary rituals and sensory archaeology in the Classic Mediterranean.

Suzanne den Boef

The review is about the ARCHON Day 2021, which took place in October 2021. With this year’s theme ‘Decolonising Archaeology’, this event aimed to unite Research Master and PhD students with researchers and professors to spark debates about this current issue in archaeology. The review starts off with a summary of the keynote lecture, workshop, and panel discussion during the event. In the second part of the paper, the author points out some of the central themes shared during the event and provides a synthesis of its main conclusions.

Suzanne den Boef is currently a Research Master student at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. When she was a bachelor’s student in Archaeology, she discovered that she is very fond of ancient Greek sanctuaries. At present, she is writing her RMa thesis on the cult of Demeter in Greek apoikiai (‘home’, ‘away from home’).

Brodhie Molloy

In her paper, entitled Trailing behind or taking strides? An investigation into the decolonization of archaeological material in the museum: Holding claim to “[…] two million years of human history and culture.”, the British Museum, UK, is an archetypal example of how powerful a museum can be in sharing stories. The museum’s origins, however, are steeped in the complicity of British colonialism – noted as one of the three powerful enlightenment institutions, the museum’s collecting and display of archaeological material from colonized nations ultimately served imperialistic narratives. How can the museum and, more generally, those who are involved in the display of archaeological objects now begin to engage with this past? This paper uses the ‘Collecting and empire trail’ at the British Museum to critically discuss the benefits of a decolonial approach – rooted in an evolving, self-reflexive practice – to the display of archaeological materials. It reflects on the updated stories told to the public regarding the objects and how these can begin to appropriately address the colonial pasts of the museum’s collections.
Brodhie Molloy is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. She recently completed her Research Master’s in Heritage, Memory and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam where she wrote her thesis on communicating traditional academia to the public. Her main interests lie in accessible heritages and utilizing archaeology as a storytelling tool.

Anna Poulsen and dr. Csilla E. Ariese

In their paper ‘Recreating an excavation in Minecraft Education Edition’, Anna Poulsen focuses on the application of the game Minecraft as an educational outreach tool within the field of archaeology, and how it can be enhanced by adding a narrative. Firstly, an outline will be provided of the game Minecraft and its usage in archaeological research. Secondly, the Virtual field school map created in Minecraft Education Edition will be presented. Thirdly, the methods and theoretical approaches applied in the creation of the map and its virtual world, and how the map can be used for teaching will be discussed. Finally, the results will be contextualised in a discussion section related to a wider debate of interactive pasts and education and videogames. Dr. Csilla E. Ariese will respond on this paper, and finally, Poulsen will reflect on the two main challenges raised in the response paper in a final short paper.
Anna Poulsen is a recent master graduate of Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the University of Copenhagen. They hold a BA in Near Eastern archaeology from the University of Copenhagen. They wrote their MA thesis on polychromy on Neo-Assyrian reliefs, which included a reflexive approach of the subjectivity of creating polychrome reconstructions. Their main research interests are in outreach, intersections between art and archaeology, and archaeology and storytelling.
Dr. Csilla E. Ariese is a museologist specializing in community engagement and practicing decoloniality. She has worked as postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam in the BRASILIAE, ECHOES, and NEXUS1492 projects. Her PhD was titled The Social Museum in the Caribbean (2018). She is co-founder of the VALUE Foundation and editor of the books The Interactive Past (2017) and Return to the Interactive Past (2021).

Iris Korver, Sam J. Miske and Morgan Schelvis

This review of the 2021 NASTA Conference, written by Iris Korver, Sam Miske and Morgan Schelvis, discusses the various contributions of the 2021 NASTA Conference which centred on storytelling in archaeology. The conference focussed on four different aspects through which storytelling in archaeology can be understood: share, play, feel and think. By addressing these themes they convincingly pose why humans feel the intrinsic need to tell stories.
Iris Korver obtained her MA in Heritage, Memory, and Archaeology from the University of Amsterdam in 2021 and specialises in Mediterranean (pre-)historic archaeology. She is currently working as a Dutch archaeologist at a commercial company. At some point she would like to return to Mediterranean archaeology, whether that is while doing a PhD or in the commercial field.

Sam J. Miske obtained his MA degree in archaeology and heritage studies from the University of Amsterdam in 2022. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on the topic of land dispossession under the Dutch East India Company in the early modern period.

Morgan Schelvis obtained her MA in Heritage, Memory, and Archaeology from the University of Amsterdam in 2021 and specialises in Dutch historical archaeology. She is currently working as an assistant programme coordinator for Bèta-gamma at the UvA. She aims to return to archaeology within the next few years to pursue a (part-time) PhD.