Sharon Stocker '81 breathes life into Ancient Greece
Smithsonian Magazine recently focused its cover article on the work of classics and history major Sharon Stocker ‘81 and her husband, Jack Davis, both archaeologists and professors at the university of Cincinnati.
They have uncovered the 3,500 year-old tomb of a warrior, which has been a literal treasure trove of artifacts and has raised questions about what we thought we knew about the basis of Western Civilization.
The magazine notes, “The spectacular find of priceless treasures made headlines around the globe, but what really intrigues scholars, says Stocker, is the ‘bigger world picture.’
“The very first organized Greek society belonged to the Mycenaeans, whose kingdoms exploded out of nowhere on the Greek mainland around 1600 B.C. Although they disappeared equally dramatically a few hundred years later, giving way to several centuries known as the Greek Dark Ages, before the rise of ‘classical’ Greece, the Mycenaeans sowed the seeds of our common traditions, including art and architecture, language, philosophy and literature, even democracy and religion.
“’This was a crucial time in the development of what would become Western civilization,’ Stocker says.
“Yet remarkably little is known of the beginnings of Mycenaean culture. The Pylos grave, with its wealth of undisturbed burial objects and, at its bottom, a largely intact skeleton, offers a nearly unprecedented window into this time—and what it reveals is calling into question our most basic ideas about the roots of Western civilization.”
Sharon Stocker has offered internships to Denison students who are interested in working on this project.
An update in the fall of 2017: ‘A Grecian Artifact Evokes Tales From the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’