Nearly two years ago, I was preparing to move to Athens to start a new research project ‘Writing at Pylos’ (acronym: WRAP), funded by the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, at the British School at Athens. It’s hard to believe that I’m now in the final stages of wrapping up the project (pun very much intended) before starting a new job in just a couple of days’ time: from September 1st I will officially be an Assistant Professor (Teaching) in the Department of Classics & Ancient History at Durham, teaching mostly classical Greek and Latin language, with a bit of epigraphy too (and yes, even some Linear B!).
2020 was a pretty strange year to be moving to a new country, for the obvious reasons, and things didn’t always quite go according to plan – but I’m thrilled to have been able to spend nearly two years getting to know Athens and Greece better, vastly improving my Greek, visiting many wonderful places, and of course carrying out my research into the Linear B tablets from Pylos at the BSA and in the National Archaeological Museum. A few highlights have been finally publishing an article on Linear B spelling and how writers may have learned to spell, which I started work on back in my previous postdoctoral position in Cambridge; carrying out an experimental archaeology project to learn more about how the clay tablets were made before being written on, which was something entirely new to me, and which you can learn more about – and try yourself! – via my video and activity sheet about making tablets (in English and Greek); and, just before leaving, spending a fantastic two weeks teaching ten students about Linear B, the Mycenaean Greek language, and Mycenaean archaeology on the BSA’s Postgradute Linear B course – a lovely way to round off my time in Athens!
You can read more about all my activities in Athens – from visiting archaeological sites to Wikipedia editing and, of course, baking epigraphy cake – in my archive of project posts. Of course, I’ll keep updating here as the various other publications I have in progress appear, including an article on my experimental tablet-making which I hope will be out in 2023, as well as sharing news about my teaching and other activities in Durham. But for now, to everyone in Athens, ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ και ελπίζω να τα ξαναπούμε σύντομα – thank you so much and hope to see you again soon!