The Archaeology of Daphne

The Archaeology of Daphne will be the first stand-alone study of Daphne (modern Harbiye, Turkey), the southern suburb of Antioch on the Orontes. Its springs and cypress groves intersected with temples, synagogues, and churches. Parades, festivals, and rifts unfolded for centuries on this plateau. Between 1932 and 1939, a consortium of American and French archaeologists brought to light a host of public buildings, amenities, and houses. A collection of hundreds of mosaics of the highest craftsmanship was thus hastily assembled and shipped to the US and France, later to be sold and parceled out to various institutions. Yet the story of these mosaics’ recovery and cultural significance remains to be told, for the Daphne enterprise remains largely undocumented. This study will, first, illustrate Daphne’s topography and evolution from its Hellenistic heyday to the Middle Ages, and, second, discuss its material record harnessing the datasets of the 1932-1939 excavations now at Princeton University.

The lead researcher on the publication project is Dr. Andrea De Giorgi.

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Daphne: Road in sector DH 25 M-N. Courtesy of the Antioch Expedition Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.
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Daphne: the excavation of the Byzantine Church in 1932. Courtesy of the Antioch Expedition Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.
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Daphne, Byzantine Church: object card of reused Corinthian capital. Courtesy of the Antioch Expedition Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.