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Classical archaeologist to discuss women, religion of early Greece

Dr. Joan Connelly gives a lecture, “Portrait of a Priestess: The Hidden History of Women and Religion in Ancient Greece,” Friday, Nov. 16, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Little Theater.

Connelly is an associate professor of fine arts and director of Yeronisos Island excavations in Cyprus for the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in New York City. Her research focuses on Greek sculpture and vase painting, Greek myth and religion, Cypriot archaeology, and the Hellenistic East.

Using images from vase paintings, portrait sculpture, votive reliefs and funerary monuments, Connelly will discuss an ancient Greek landscape where women were more active than previously acknowledged.

In her 2007 book, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Connelly challenges long-held beliefs that women were “invisible” in ancient Greece and supplies archaeological evidence to show women were involved in religious practice. A field archaeologist, Connelly has worked in Corinth , Athens and Nemea in Greece , and in Paphos, Kourion and ancient Marion in Cyprus . Since 1990, she has directed the Yeronisos Island excavations just off western Cyprus , where she discovered a sanctuary of Apollo where boys were brought for rites of passage during the reign of Cleopatra.

Copies of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece will be for sale at the event, and Connelly will sign books. Those who attend may enter a free raffle for a chance to win a book. The free, public lecture is co-sponsored by the Toledo Society, the local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the UT Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and the Toledo Museum of Art.

For more information, contact Dr. James Harrell, UT professor of archaeological geology and president of the Toledo Society, at 419.530.2193 or [email protected].







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