Report of Manolis Stavrakakis July 2012 as Short Term Scholar in the Classics Department, University of Texas – Austin Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP)
‘The treasures of PASP’
The title I am giving to this short report, ‘The treasures of PASP’, has a literal and a metaphorical meaning.
Its literal meaning stems from the variety, importance and number of the materials of the PASP Collection and Archives.
Its metaphorical meaning refers to the person who has created it, Professor Tom Palaima, as he is himself one of the ‘treasures’ of PASP and the ‘soul’ of the Program.
There are two themes with which I will refer in my experience as a short-term visiting scholar at the University of Texas in Austin. One is my studying at PASP and the other is the life in Austin.
As a Ph.D. student at the Architectural Association, under Mark Cousins’ supervision – to whom I am indebted for his support to work on this topic, his contribution, as well as his encouragement to go to Austin – I started exploring the connection between Michael Ventris’ architectural education and his decipherment. I received the ‘Michael Ventris Extraordinary Award in Architecture’ in July, 2011 so that I could travel for one week to Austin and work at PASP on the correspondence of Michael Ventris and Emmett Bennett.
It was there that I had the chance to meet for the first time with Professor Tom Palaima and discuss my Thesis with him. Had it not been for Tom Palaima’s enthusiasm and generosity I would not have been able to return to the PASP for a whole month, in July 2012, and I would not have been able to continue with my research. Up to today Tom Palaima’s invitation to work with him has been the most generous gift that this Ph.D. has offered to me.
My studying in PASP can be described within three different themes. Continue reading