Preface and Acknowledgements

I was introduced to the study of prehistoric Greece by my tutor Dorothea Gray in 1954-55 for the Diploma in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford. My fieldwork in Greece began in November 1955, as School Student of the British School at Athens. In November and December 1955 I visited the main prehistoric sites in the Peloponnese and Crete. From 1956 to 1958, at the instigation of Alan Wace, I continued the survey of prehistoric Laconia begun by Lady Helen Waterhouse (née Thomas). During this period I received advice and assistance from Sinclair Hood (then Director of the British School at Athens) and from Russell Meiggs, among others.

In summer 1958, together with Dorothea Gray and my wife Jennifer, I visited many sites in central Greece and Thessaly, and in autumn 1958 and in 1959 my wife and I travelled extensively in the Peloponnese. On these and other occasions we collected surface artefacts (subsequently added to the collection of the British School at Athens) from many sites, including several previously unknown.

In spring 1958 and in the summer of 1960 and 1961 John Lazenby and I visited and/or discovered many sites, in the Peloponnese, central Greece and the Dodecanese islands, relevant to the topography of Mycenaean Greece in relation to the Catalogue of the Ships in the Iliad [the subject of my PhD thesis at the University of London in 1962 and of our subsequent book (CSHI) published in 1970]. Our reconnaissance in the Dodecanese was continued and expanded in 1967, 1968 and 1970 (Dodecanese I-III).

In spring 1959, under the terms of the Michael Ventris Memorial Award, I collaborated with Bill McDonald in a preliminary survey of selected areas in the Southwest Peloponnese, with the primary objective of exploring or discovering sites relevant to the Linear B inscriptions found in the Palace of Nestor, and newly transcribed by Ventris and Chadwick. Our survey was continued in 1960 and 1961, and from 1962 to 1958 was expanded to include work by specialists (mostly from the University of Minnesota) in other disciplines (mainly earth sciences). The survey then became the interdisciplinary project known as The University of Minnesota Messenia Expedition (UMME), whose results were published in 1972 (MME).

From 1969 to 1977, at the instigation of Hector Catling, Oliver Dickinson and I collaborated in an archaeological and topographical study of the Bronze Age sites in the Greek mainland and islands (except Crete). For this project in 1970-71 and in the summers of 1974 and 1975 I carried out supplementary fieldwork, examining as many as possible of the relevant prehistoric sites not previously visited. Our study (GAC) was published in 1979 in Paul Åström’s SIMA series. At the invitation of Robert Noyes, I also provided an illustrated account of the topography of Mycenaean Greece (MG, published by Noyes Press in 1981). In this work, with the permission of Oliver Dickinson and Paul Åström, I made use of much of the material we had published in GAC. It also constituted a revision of my Gazetteer and Atlas of Mycenaean Greece (published in 1965 by the University of London, Institute of Classical Studies).

From 1977 to 1991 my fieldwork was mainly in Crete (apart from participation in survey work on Cyprus in 1984 to 1986). Together with Joseph Shaw, in 1977 to 1979, I coordinated the Archaeological Survey of the Kommos Area in southern Crete (published in 1995 in Kommos

vol. I). From 1986 to 1991, with Philip Betancourt, I coordinated the Archaeological Survey of Pseira Island in north Crete (Pseira VIII and IX, 2004 and 2005). After my retirement in 1993 my work has been confined to written contributions (listed in the Bibliography below), including Mycenaean Fortifications, Highways, Dams and Canals (SIMA vol. 133, Savedalen 2006) with D.K. Hagel and Mycenaean Messenia and the Kingdom of Pylos (INSTAP Academic Press, Philadelphia 2014).

I again express my gratitude to the Managing Committee and officials of the British School at Athens, to the University of Birmingham, where I was a Research Fellow in 1960 to 1963, to University College, London, to the Institute of Classical Studies in the University of London, and to Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I gratefully acknowledge the support from the Oxford University Craven Fund during the period 1957 to 1961, from Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Wiegand during the same period, and from the University of Minnesota at various times between 1959 and 1975. I thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada for a Leave Fellowship in 1970-71 and for various subventions for research in Greece, especially for the fieldwork in the Dodecanese in 1967, 1968 and 1970, and for the travels in mainland Greece in 1974 and 1975. I am grateful also for support from the Research Fund of Queen’s University in 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973 and 1977.

I am deeply indebted to Paul Åström for his assistance in our publication in his SIMA series (GAC and MFHDC), to Robert Noyes for publishing my Mycenaean Greece (MG), and to Philip Betancourt and to Susan Ferrence and Sarah Peterson of INSTAP Academic Press for supervising the production of my Mycenaean Messenia and the Kingdom of Pylos. My greatest debt is to my wife Jennifer, to my collaborators, Oliver Dickinson, Dietmar Hagel, John Lazenby, Bill McDonald and Helen Waterhouse, and to my mentors, Dorothea Gray, Sinclair Hood, Martin Robertson and Alan Wace. Among the various other colleagues to whom I am indebted I name especially the following: Professor John Bennet, Miss Sylvia Benton, Professor Carl W. Blegen, Professor John Boardman, Dr. John Chadwick, Professor John F. Cherry, Professor J. Nicholas Coldstream, Professor William D.E Coulson, Professor Jack L. Davis, Dr. Katie Demakopoulou, Professor Christos G. Doumas, Professor John M. Fossey, Dr. David H. French, Dr. Elizabeth B. French (née Wace), Mr. Roger J. Howell, Dr. Helen Hughes-Brock, Professor Richard Janko, Professor Jost Knauss, Professor George S. Korres, Dr. Elizabeth Lazenby, Professor Joseph Maran, Professor Christopher B. Mee, Dr. Penelope A. Mountjoy, Professor Thomas G. Palaima, Professor George R. Rapp, Mr. Hugh L. Sackett, Professor Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, Dr. Graham J. Shipley, Professor Richard A. Tomlinson, Professor Eric Turner, Dr. Kenneth A. Wardle, Professor Peter M. Warren, Professor Berit Wells, Dr. Malcolm H. Wiener, Professor Nancy C. Wilkie, Professor Frederick E. Winter and Dr. Eberhard Zangger. Other acknowledgements are listed in publications of the surveys (Laconia, Messenia, The Dodecanese, Kommos and Pseira) and of the excavations (Knossos, Kythera, Ayios Stephanos in Laconia, and Nichoria in Messenia) in which I have participated.

Special thanks are given to Sharon Mohammed, assistant in the Department of Geography and Planning, for typing the manuscript, to Jennifer Grek Martin of Dalhousie University for drawing the maps and to Gregory McQuat for arranging the plates.


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Mycenaean Greece and Homeric Tradition by Richard Hope Simpson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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