Life Members co-author book on archaeological excavation finds in Sardis

Professors Andrew and Nancy Ramage, Life Members of Clare Hall, have co-authored a two-volume book offering the first in-depth presentation of pottery and other artefacts found in the houses and workshops of inhabitants of the legendary city of Sardis. R. Gül Gürtekin-Demir was a third co-author.

Entitled Ordinary Lydians at Home: The Lydian Trenches of the House of Bronzes and Pactolus Cliff at Sardis (Harvard University Press, 2021), the book traces continuous occupation from the Late Bronze Age to the middle of the sixth century BC, when the Persians under Cyrus the Great captured the capital city of King Croesus. It presents a synthesis of a vast quantity of everyday material into a vivid picture of daily life in early Sardis, in the period when the Lydians were conquering most of western Turkey.

Published by the Archaeological Excavations in Sardis, Turkey, the dig has been sponsored by Harvard and Cornell Universities since 1958. Nancy and Andrew have been going to Sardis since the mid-1960s, since they were both graduate students at Harvard. Nancy started out as the draftsman, drawing the pottery and other finds that were dug up each season, and later moved on to publish the sculpture and Athenian pottery from the site. Andrew, who had already worked on digs in England and at Knossos, began as an excavator, and worked closely with Lydian material over many years. He not only worked in the Lydian trench of the House of Bronzes, described in this book, but he later also discovered the gold refinery of King Croesus, and the City Wall of Sardis – a feature that had remained unrecognised for decades.

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Andrew Ramage is Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University. Nancy H. Ramage is Charles A. Dana Professor of the Humanities and Arts Emerita at Ithaca College. R. Gül Gürtekin-Demir is Professor of Classical Archaeology at Ege University.

On Clare Hall, they share:
“We’ve been coming annually to Clare Hall since 2007, and have made the College our second home, spending several months here every winter. We do some of our professional writing while at Clare Hall, and very much enjoy the congenial atmosphere and friendships we have made in Cambridge. We also love being near four of our six granddaughters, who live nearby.”

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