Hannah Osborne-O’Donnell

Hannah Osborne-O’Donnell

Documenting Daily Life in Ancient Greece

Hannah Osborne-O'Donnell

As a life-long history lover and avid consumer of historical documentaries, choosing her major in History and Global Studies came easy for Hannah. Upon hearing about an opportunity to visit an archeological excavation site in Ancient Corinth from Dr. Lana Radloff, Hannah was quick to sign on for a chance to put theory into practice.

Though the 2019 season was not a traditional ‘dig’ season at the Lechaion Harbour and Settlement Land Project, it offered the field school students plenty of hands-on experience in research methods, database management and collections management, as the project organizers worked to prepare their recent findings for publication.

“Lechaion is fascinating from a historical and archeological point of view, because it has been settled for so long,” Hannah explains. “It is one of two harbours in Ancient Corinth, which was critical to ancient maritime trade routes, and it was a social hub for merchants and sailors. Its settlements span the Neolithic, Greek and Roman periods.”

“The research focus at Lechaion is on ancient environmental and societal reactions to changes in the climate, settlement patterns and the role of the harbours in the city, and the influence of trade on the overall region,” continues Hannah. “We had the chance to meet, learn from and work with experts, in the classroom through lectures and as we practiced new skills under their guidance.”

Hannah studied the basics of excavation along with information gathering and conservation techniques, and got to see some cutting-edge archeological tools in action, such as total station technology, which combines the ability to measure a position horizontally and vertically at the same time – critical for mapping ancient sites. She also formed connections with professionals whose careers are inspiring for a student of history, including a numismatist, a botanical archeologist, a conservator and a museum collections manager.

For Hannah, who is most interested in the domestic and personal elements of ancient life, her B.E.S.T. project has helped frame the next steps on her journey to a career in museum curation or conservation – she’s planning to pursue a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto.