Rodney D. Fitzsimons
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
B.A., M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Cincinnati)
Life & Health Sciences DNA ext.7264, Life & Health Sciences DNA C220, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bronze Age and Iron Age Greece; architectural studies, energetics, monumental architecture; socio-political organisation, early state formation, urbanisation and urbanism; mortuary practices, funerary architecture; cultural identity, acculturation, ethnogenesis, hybridisation
Professor Fitzsimons has been at Trent University since 2004, first as a member of the Department of Ancient History & Classics (2004-2015), and more recently as a member of the Department of Anthropology. He is a prehistoric archaeologist whose research is based in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Aegean and focuses on monumental architecture, funerary practices, socio-political and cultural identity, and early state formation. Since his undergraduate days, he has participated in a number of archaeological projects in Albania and Greece, including excavations at Kommos, Mallia, and Midea. He is currently working on three main archaeological projects: site architect for the Azoria Project excavations at Azoria, Crete (Greece); co-director of the Ayia Irini Northern Sector Archaeological Project, based at Ayia Irini on the island of Kea (Greece); and co-director of the Khavania Hinterland Archaeological Project, based at Aghios Nikolaos on the island of Crete (Greece). Before coming to Trent, he taught at Miami University of Ohio and Iowa State University, and was the Jacob Hirsch Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and since his arrival here, he has taught courses on the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean (the Greek and Roman worlds, the Bronze Age Aegean, Iron Age Greece, Archaic Crete, and ancient Athens), Greek literature, and ancient Greek language, and has also led archaeological field schools at Azoria (2005, 2006, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) and Ayia Irini (2010).
Professor Fitzsimons is looking for students interested in the archaeology of socio-political organisation, early state formation, and cultural identity, particularly as it manifested in the Bronze Age (e.g. emergence of the Minoan palaces, Minoanisation in the islands, early Mycenaean state formation) and Early Iron Age Aegean (e.g. emergence of the polis, urbanisation and urbanism). Listed here are a series of ongoing projects.
- The Khavania Hinterland Archaeological Project (co-director): This project seeks to analyze the dynamic nature of the socio-political and economic landscape of the Middle and Late Bronze Age Aegean at the intra-site and regional levels by exploring the hinterlands of Khavania, a prominent peninsula situated on the little-studied but strategically valuable western shore of Mirabello Bay in eastern Crete. The project’s strategic objectives follow three primary avenues of approach that supplement the work we conducted there last year: a) to document the historical development of the site and its immediate periphery through intensive survey; b) to develop an understanding of the relationship(s) between Khavania and other local, island-wide, and broader Aegean centres; and c) to record for posterity the rapidly-disappearing archaeological landscape of the quickly-developing peri-urban region north of Aghios Nikolaos.
- The Ayia Irini Northern Sector Archaeological Project (co-director): This project pursues three primary, but overlapping, research objectives: (i) to re-assess the nature and significance of the dramatic changes in the archaeological record of the Aegean during the late Middle and early Late Bronze Ages (ca. 1700-1450 BC); (ii) to explore the impact of and reaction to these broader, regional developments on the intra-site level by analysing the social, political and economic changes evident in the archaeological record of a single community; and (iii) to study and publish the previously unpublished deposits from the Northern Sector (Areas M and N) at Ayia Irini, Kea.
- The Azoria Project (site architect): This project seeks to analyse the social, political, economic and cultic factors that governed the processes of state formation and urbanisation in the Early Iron Age and Archaic (ca. 1200-480 BC) Aegean (Greece), and to re-evaluate current interpretive frameworks and develop new models of Archaic urban social organisation by integrating archaeological, historical and environmental data.
- Architecture and Power in the Early Mycenaean State: This project examines the function of monumental architecture as an instrument of conspicuous consumption and evaluates its role as a driving force in the processes of social stratification and state formation as they unfolded on Crete, the Greek mainland, and the Aegean islands during the late Middle and early Late Bronze Ages (ca. 1700-1375 BC).
Haggis, D.C. and R.D. FITZSIMONS. 2020. “Civic Architecture and the Social Dimensions of the Built Environment in Archaic Crete. The Case of Azoria in the 6th Century B.C.” Pelargos 1: 25-51.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2020. “Crossing Thresholds and Building States: Labor Investment, Tomb Construction, and Early State Formation in the Bronze Age Argolid.” In Reconstructing Scales of Production in the Ancient Greek World: Producers, Processes, Products, People. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology Cologne/Bonn, 22 – 26 May 2018, Vol. 8. Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World, edited by E. Hasaki and M. Bendt, 17-38. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Library.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2019. “The Minoans, Mycenaeans and Bronze-Age Greece.” In Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture, 110-134. 21st ed. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2018. “The Architecture.” In Halasmenos: Building A:2, edited by M. Eaby, 43-56. Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2017. “Architectural Energetics and Archaic Cretan Urbanisation.” From Maple to Olive: A Colloquium to Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Institute in Greece, Athens, 10-11 June 2016, edited by D.W. Rupp and J. Tomlinson, 345-383. Publications of the Canadian Institute in Greece no. 10. Toronto: Canadian Institute in Greece.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. and E. Gorogianni. 2017. “Dining on the Fringe? A Possible Minoan-Style Banquet Hall at Ayia Irini, Kea.” In Minoan Architecture and Urbanism: New Perspectives on an Ancient Built Environment, edited by Q. Letesson and C. Knappett, 334-360. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gorogianni, E. and R.D. FITZSIMONS. 2016. “Social Complexity in MBA and LBA Cyclades: A View from Ayia Irini.” In Explaining Change in Aegean Prehistory, edited by C. Wiersma and S. Voutsaki, 124-158. Oxford: Oxbow.
Gorogianni, E., J. Cutler, and R.D. FITZSIMONS. 2015. “Something Old, Something New: Non-Local Brides as Catalysts for Cultural Exchange at Ayia Irini, Kea?” In Nostoi: Indigenous Cultures, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. Proceedings of an International Conference Held at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey, March 31-April 3, 2011, edited by N. Stampolidis, Ç. Maner, and K. Kopanias, 853-886. Istanbul: Koç University Press.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2014. “An Energetic(s) Approach to Late Helladic Tomb Construction: Funerary Architecture and State Formation at Bronze Age Mycenae.” In Meditations on the Diversity of the Built Environment in the Aegean Basin and Beyond. Proceedings of a Colloquium in Memory of Frederick E. Winter, Athens 22-23 June 2012, edited by D.W. Rupp and J. Tomlinson, 83-120. Publications of the Canadian Institute in Greece 8. Athens: Canadian Institute in Greece.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2014. “Urbanization and the Emergence of the Greek Polis: The Case of Azoria, Crete.” In Making Ancient Cities: Studies of the Production of Space in Early Urban Environments, edited by A. Creekmore and K.D. Fisher, 288-338. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2011. “Monumental Architecture and the Construction of the Mycenaean State.” In State Formation in Italy and Greece: Questioning the Neoevolutionist Paradigm, edited by N. Terrenato and D.C. Haggis, 75-118. Oxford: Oxbow.
Haggis, D.C., M.S. Mook, R.D. FITZSIMONS, C.M. Scarry and L.M.Snyder. 2011. “The Excavation of Archaic Houses at Azoria in 2005-2006.” Hesperia 80: 431-489.
Haggis, D.C., M.S. Mook, R.D. FITZSIMONS, C.M. Scarry, L.M.Snyder and W.C. West. 2011. “Excavations in the Archaic Civic Buildings at Azoria in 2005-2006.” Hesperia 80: 1-70.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2007. “Architecture and Power in the Bronze Age Argolid.” In Power and Architecture: Monumental Public Architecture in the Bronze Age Near East and Aegean. Proceedings of the international conference “Power and Architecture” organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Université Catholique de Louvain and the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster on the 21st and 22nd of November 2002, edited by J. Bretschneider, J.M. Driessen and K. Van Lergerghe, 93-116. Leuven: Peeters Publishers.
Haggis, D.C., M.S. Mook, C.M. Scarry, L.M. Snyder, R.D. FITZSIMONS, E. Stephanakis and W.C. West. 2007. “Excavations at Azoria in 2003 and 2004, Part 1: The Archaic Civic Complex.” Hesperia 76: 243-321.
Selected Conference Papers
FITZSIMONS, R.D. and D.M. Buell. 2021. “Minoans at Aghios Nikolaos? A Bronze Age Harbour Site at Khavania, Lasithi,” 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, April 15-18, 2021.
Buell, D.M. and R.D. FITZSIMONS. 2021. “Minoans at Aghios Nikolaos: Preliminary Results of the Khavania Topographic and Architectural Mapping Project, Summer 2019.” 122nd Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Virtual, January 5-10, 2021.
Haggis, D.C. and R.D. FITZSIMONS. 2020. “Civic Architecture and the Social Dimensions of the Built Environment in Archaic Crete. The Case of Azoria in the 6th Century B.C.” Σχήματα. La città oltre la forma. Per una nuova definizione dei paesaggi urbani e delle loro funzioni: urbanizzazione e società nel Mediterraneo pre-classico, Syracuse, Italy, February 26-28, 2020.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. and D.M. Buell. 2019. “Minoans at Aghios Nikolaos? A Bronze Age Harbour Site at Khavania, Lasithi,” Ε’ Παγκρήτιας Συνάντησης για το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στην Κρήτη, Rethymnon, Crete, November 21-14, 2019.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2018. “Laying the Foundations for the Mycenaean State: Labour Investment, Tomb Construction, and Early State Formation in the Bronze Age Argolid,” Reconstructing Scales of Economy in Archaeology: Products, People, Producers, Processes, 19th Annual Congress of Classical Archaeology: Archaeology and Economy of the Classical World, Cologne/Bonn, Germany, May 22-26, 2018.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2018. “Constructing a Legendary Past: Possible Archaizing Elements in the Funerary Landscape of Late Bronze Age Mycenae,” Mneme: Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age, 17th International Aegaeum Conference, Udine/Venice, Italy, April 17-21, 2018.
Scarry, C.M., D.C. Haggis, M.S. Mook, R.D. FITZSIMONS, W.F. Dibble, and C. Tsoraki. 2017. “Commensal Politics and Identity Performance at Azoria, an Archaic City on Crete,” Ancient Foodways: Integrative Approaches to Understanding Subsistence and Society in the Past, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, March 4, 2017.
Haggis, D.C., M.S. Mook, R.D. FITZSIMONS, C.M. Scarry, and W.F. Dibble. 2017. “Excavations at Azoria, East Crete, 2016-2017,” 118th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Boston, Massachussetts, January 4-7, 2017.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2016. “Monuments for the Living, Monuments for the Dead: A Stone-by-Stone Guide to Mycenaean State Formation,” Architectural Energetics, 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida, April 6-10, 2016.
Haggis, D.C., M.S. Mook, R.D. FITZSIMONS, C.M. Scarry, and W.F. Dibble. 2016. “Excavations at Azoria, East Crete, 2013-2015,” 117th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco, California, January 6-9.
Selected Invited Lectures
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2021. “Case Studies in the Anthropology of Feasting: Commensal Politics and Identity Creation in Ancient Greece,” Guest Lecture for ANTH 1001H: General Anthropology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 2021.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2019. “Crete of the Hundred Cities: Architecture, State Formation, and Urbanisation on Archaic Crete,” Department of Archaeology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy, May 22, 2019.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2019. “Crete of the Hundred Cities: Architecture, State Formation, and Urbanisation on Archaic Crete,” Department of Classics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, February 26, 2019.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2017. “Taking a Seat at the Minoan Banquet: An Architectural Approach to the Minoanisation of the Aegean Islands,” Canadian Institute in Greece, Athens, Greece, December 6, 2017.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2017. “There Are Stones in Them Thar Walls!: A Stone-by-Stone Guide to Architecture at Azoria,” Azoria Project, Pacheia Ammos, Crete, Greece, June 23, 2017.
FITZSIMONS, R.D. 2017. “It Takes More Than a Village to Raise a House: Building Practices, Labour Investment, and Urbanisation in Archaic Crete,” Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Institute in Greece, Athens, Greece, May 17, 2017.