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Honorable Mention, 2013

Hewn Memories: The Lesser-Known Ruins of Rural Greece

Rebecca Seifried, Anthropology

As an archaeologist, I explore the process of state expansion in the rural parts of Greece – a process that is increasingly relevant to our modern, globalized world. One of the most noticeable effects of urbanization following World War II is the widespread abandonment of historic homesteads throughout the Greek countryside. Thriving villages – once home to fertile groves of olives and flocks of goats – are now filled with the ruins of 18th and 19th century buildings, like the house in this picture. Each region of Greece had its own local architectural tradition, and when villagers left, they took with them the knowledge required to build these skillfully hewn walls without the use of modern concrete. By documenting these structures and studying the historic settlements from an archaeological perspective, I hope to understand this long-lost tradition of rural Greek life and explain how the ebb and flow of the global economy can so dramatically affect the rural parts of our modern world.