Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Houses of Mystras

One of the things I'm currently working on is a paper on the Houses of Mystras. I am arguing that Anastasios Orlandos, the grandfather of Byzantine archaeology in Greece, fabricated the urban scenery of Mystras as a heterotopia. The paper examines the ideological and cultural motivations for the physical reconstruction of Mystras' houses and the role that the site played in the mythopoetic processes of the nation. I will be submitting this manuscript for publication in June, so any feedback is greatly appreciated. The paper has generated a bit of criticism because it demystifies a myth still venerated by many Byzantinists. It offers no "better" "truer" version of the houses of Mystras, since the physical evidence has been greatly altered by Orlandos heavy handed restorations and since the nation-state fiercely guards its heterotopia. For all we know, much of the domestic fabric of Mystras is not Byzantine (but this may only be resolved by the spade).

My draft is located here. Enjoy.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States