Roland R. R. Smith, Director, Excavations at Aphrodisias;
Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art Emeritus,
University of Oxford;
Research Professor, the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Katherine Welch, Deputy Director, Excavations at Aphrodisias;
Associate Professor of Fine Arts, the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Join us to hear Roland R. R. Smith speak about the most recent work carried out by NYU-IFA at Aphrodisias in southwest Turkey, in collaboration with Oxford University. Aphrodisias is one of the most important sites of the Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean, with superbly preserved public buildings and monuments. Marble-carving was a noted Aphrodisian speciality in antiquity, and the excavated remains of the city’s statues, sarcophagi, and architectural reliefs are abundant and of spectacular quality.
The team carried out a rewarding nine-week research season at Aphrodisias last summer, back to near-full pre-COVID strength. Current projects all saw exciting results—the Civil Basilica with its inscribed text of Diocletian’s Prices Edict; the Place of Palms and its 170m-long pool; the Tetrapylon Street and its extraordinary seventh-century Dark Age Complex; and a new project at the late antique House of Kybele and its lively neighborhood. Excavation recovered several important new statuary finds. Most striking is an Antonine portrait of a young priestess wearing a fashionable hairstyle of long plaited braids wound elegantly six times around her head.
Roland Smith is an expert in Greek and Roman art, with a special interest in the visual and urban culture of the eastern Mediterranean in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. He taught at the IFA from 1986 to 1995 and has been director of the NYU Aphrodisias project since 1991. He retired recently from his position at Oxford University and is currently teaching for the academic year at Princeton University as the Stanley Kelley Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching.