Nancy Klein: Professor pieces ancient history together

Source: The Battalion Online, 4-11-11

The age and amount of research conducted at the Athenian Acropolis might leave many under the impression that archaeologists have uncovered all there is to be known about the marveled structure. One Texas A&M professor and architectural historian, Nancy Klein, received a $10,000 research grant from the University’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies to effectively counteract this idea.

“We can always take another look. The greater the depths of research, the more questions arise,” Klein said. “The focus of my project is to provide information beyond the technical history and simply reconstructing what the structures originally looked like. If more research is done, we can figure out how the buildings were actually built — how the blocks were cut, designed and fit together.”

Klein said further research also means providing an archeological component, a life history of the building. Her investigation will seek to determine architectural developments on the Acropolis during the fifth and sixth century B.C.

“I intend to get a good idea of what the Acropolis looked like before the Persians stormed it and before the Parthenon was built. Much of the art and architecture was destroyed in the sacking and was consequently rebuilt and recreated when the Greeks defeated the Persians later on. My study is going to put these buildings in that historical framework to understand how important they were in the early part of the sanctuary to Athena and what happened to them afterward,” Klein said.

Klein’s associate, colleague and husband, Kevin Glowacki, is also a professor of architecture at Texas A&M. Glowacki specializes in the study of classical and Near Eastern art and archaeology, and has worked alongside Klein in previous excavations.

“It’s comparable to looking at war memorials of today such as the 9/11 memorial or Vietnam memorials. Klein’s research not only involves the study of these buildings, but also relating the structures to larger issues of culture and memory. It answers the question of how we create memories, memorials and a cultural identity through the reuse of architecture and display of these remains. In some cases it might even be how we might be trying to forget these memories or events by hiding them away; the research essentially explores two sides of the coin: memory and forgetfulness,” Glowacki said.

Glowacki said the two had attended the same graduate school at Bryn Mawr College outside of Philadelphia.

“Nancy is an outstanding teacher. She was named a 2009-10 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence scholar. You can just tell that she is very enthusiastic about what she is doing,” Glowacki said….READ MORE

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