Amy Elizabeth Porter

Amy Elizabeth Porter

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

Title of thesis: Cultural Conflict or Cultural Fluidity? An examination of the material culture on the border of South West Arkadia and North Lakonia.

Supervisors: Dr Ken Wardle and Professor Henry Chapman

Qualifications

  • BA Archaeology and Classical Studies (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter)
  • MA Antiquity: Classical Archaeology with Distinction (University of Birmingham)

Biography

I conducted my BA in Archaeology and Classical Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter in 2011, graduating in 2014. My A Level in Classical Civilisation ignited my interest in Greek Temples, with a determination to conduct my thesis on this topic. After organising my own study tour around Greece in June 2013 I became interested in the placement of Greek temples and Landscape Archaeology as a concept which led me to the field I now focus on, with my dissertation on the placement of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, near Phigaleia, Arkadia.

I started my postgraduate studies as a Research Master’s in Amsterdam, with VU Amsterdam and modules at UvA, where my research focused on the placement of Artemis sanctuaries in Arkadia. I later decided that there were more resources available for research and learning at University of Birmingham, due to its strong foundation in both Landscape Archaeology and Greek Archaeology. I completed my MA in Classical Archaeology at University of Birmingham where my research focussed turned from the cult of Artemis to the cult Zeus. My MA thesis: The Birthplace of Zeus: A theoretical and GIS study of the evolution and sacred landscape of the sanctuary of Zeus Lykaios’, examined Sanctuary of Zeus Lykaios on Mount Lykaion, Arkadia, which is near to the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, and focused on the application of GIS to identify the importance of the site in the region and beyond: ‘

After a year as a supply teacher in Secondary Schools, I decided to return to research. As my research focuses on Landscape and Greek Archaeology, the University of Birmingham was an obvious choice as a good environment to continue my studies.

Teaching

  • Greek Art and Archaeology (Lead Seminar Tutor)
  • Mediterranean and European Archaeology (Seminar Tutor)

Doctoral research

Research

The Late Classical and Early Hellenistic period saw rapid changes in the historic record with different powers dictating this turbulent period, including the Spartans, Thebans and Macedonians. This ever-changing period is the backdrop of my research, which examines how historic events in this region and beyond influenced the area of South West Arkadia and North Lakonia. Arkadia and Lakonia have often been considered separately within the Peloponnese, Greece, with focus being on one or the other of these regions. The interaction of these two neighbouring regions has not been often studied in the archaeological record, though it has been more evident in analysis of the literary record. Combining the archaeological, literary and epigraphic sources is an important step in identifying how this region changed during this time period and if there is evidence for ‘cultural conflict’, i.e. is Lakonia (as a Greek super power) pushing their customs onto their neighbour Arkadia.

The aim of my thesis is to establish whether there is a ‘hard’ border between Arkadia and Lakonia by examining differences in their material culture, especially pottery, but also in how they interact with their landscape through the placement of their settlements. The idea of a ‘hard’ border is more of a modern concept which has been tainted by the interdisciplinary field of border studies and a need for us to visualise where one region ends and begins was not something that appeared in the Ancient Greek World. 

Using GIS to compile and analyse these sources, my research focuses on the landscape of South West Arkadia and North Lakonia by examining similarities and differences in their material culture from archaeological surveys, literary evidence and epigraphic evidence from the region. By combining this evidence, my research will create a coherent picture of the Late Classical to Early Hellenistic Peloponnese. 

Other activities

  • CAL PGR Mentor (representing SHaC) 2018-2019
  • IT Officer (2015-present), Specialist Editor (2015-present) and Archaeological Pieces Editor (2017-present) for Rosetta Forum and Journal
  • Postgraduate Lead at CAHA Museum (January-September 2018)
  • Lead Organiser CAHA Colloquium 2018 (December 2017-May 2018)
  • School Outreach for CAHA department including object handling sessions and Greek History Lectures (October 2017-September 2018)

Conference Papers

  • 6-7 December 2018, PeCla 2018. Pólemos – Bellum: Archaeology of Conflict in Antiquity – Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic): ‘Contested or Connected Spaces? The Conflicting Relationship between the sanctuaries on the border of Arkadia and Lakonia in the Classical and Hellenistic periods’.
  • 12-13 March 2018, GAO Annual International Conference 2018 Order and Chaos – University of Oxford, Oxford (UK):‘Order in the Ancient Polis: the use of GIS in the organisation of sites in the asty and chora of Archaic to Hellenistic Lakonia’. Received funding from University of Birmingham for travel and accommodation.
  • 14-16 December 2017, EJI-PATER 1st Young Researchers’ Meeting in Heritage and Territory – University of Minho, Braga (Portugal): ‘Asty and Chora, a hidden heritage: using GIS to define the changing relationship between the Peloponnesian town and countryside from the Archaic to Hellenistic period’.