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Exploring the Harbors of Old Knidos

Harbors and ancient shopping spaces

(guest post by Molly McMeekin)

I was recently asked how our work here at Burgaz connects to my research. This question made me realize that my interest in Greek coastal cities is not just connected to Burgaz, but in fact where it all began. During the three seasons I have spent at Burgaz, my fascination with how goods moved between and within Greek cities has grown and developed, helping me to establish my current research questions for my thesis.

An inspirational view of L1.

An inspirational view of L1.

My research primarily focuses on the topography of shopping in the Athenian Agora. I am interested in understanding the use of space in antiquity and how individuals manipulated the space and structures around them to facilitate commerce and shopping. Trying to understand how the coastal areas at Burgaz were used–whether for military, economic or commercial purposes–has helped me to realize my interest in how societies engineered and interacted with the open space and built structures surrounding them.

For me, the excavations at Burgaz also raise interesting questions related to the larger-scale experience of space throughout the ancient world. What factors contribute to individuals abandoning a seemingly established space such as Burgaz? Did the space and/or location no longer provide the specific needs of that particular society? How did Burgaz use its space most efficiently, and how do ancient coastal cities allocate space for these needs? The excavations at Burgaz have helped me to solidify my interests in the use of space and topography in the ancient world. And while my current research focuses on Athens, I hope it will allow me to better understand what we see happening at Burgaz.