Thursday, January 10th
Free with Museum admission
In his lecture, “Hellenic Treasures of the Middle East”, Dr. Konstantinos Politis will present the archaeological evidence of Hellenism in the Middle East, particularly Jordan, and also recent events in Asia Minor (such as Smyrna 1920s). Dr. Politis will also present information about his recently published report on the Sanctuary of Aghios Lot at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata, Jordan. The Sanctuary of Aghios Lot has been the subject of over ten years of excavations and research. The site, located near the biblical city of Zoara/Ghor es-Safi, was active during the early Byzantine period (c. 5th-7th century AD).
Dr. Politis is an archaeologist educated in Greece, the United States, Belgium and Britain. His early fieldwork was in Greece and Liechtenstein. From 1988 until 2011 he was based at the British Museum which was the principal sponsor of his excavations in Jordan and Oman. He specializes in the early Byzantine and early Islamic periods.
Mr. Peter Maris of Resource Financial Group LTD.
About the Speaker
Konstantinos D. Politis is an archaeologist educated in Greece, the United States, Belgium and Britain. His early fieldwork was in Greece and Liechtenstein. From 1988 until 2011 he was based at the British Museum which was the principal sponsor of his excavations in Jordan and Oman. He specializes in the early Byzantine and early Islamic periods.
Dr Politis’ most important work was the discovery and subsequent excavation of the Sanctuary of Lot on the south-eastern shore of the Dead Sea, followed by the publication of a major report on that project with the British Museum (2012). He has also published Holy Footprints across the Jordan: A Journey to the Ancient and Religious Sites on the Eastern Side of the Jordan Rift Valley (2010), The World of the Nabataeans (2007) and many scholarly articles. Currently Politis is preparing Archaeological Landscapes of the Ghor es-Safi to be published by the Palestine Exploration Fund (London) and Excavations of the Nabataean Cemetery at Khirbet Qazone. He is now conducting seminal research on ‘The Origins of the Sugar Industry’ funded by the European Union which will result in a comprehensive book, website and exhibition on that theme.
Recently, Dr Politis completed two projects for the Syrian and Greek governments: co-ordinating the documentation of all the mosaics of Syria, and an exhibition on ‘Hellenistic Syria’ in the new Hama Museum. He is also working with the Jordanian and Greek governments to conserve and shelter the mosaics and buildings of the Monastery of St Lot, and was the originator of the newly-opened Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth which he set-up below the site.
Dr Politis is chairperson of the Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies and an active member of the Palestine Exploration Fund. He leads continuing excavations of Zoara, modern Safi in Jordan, and at Ra’s al-Hadd in Oman.
Over the past 25 years, Dr Politis has presented many scholarly and popular lectures in Europe, the Near East, Australia and North America. He regularly leads academic tour groups to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Oman and Greece.