Lenia Kouneni publishes '“By Scottish Munificence”: The Walker Trust Excavations of the Great Palace in Istanbul, 1935-55.’

23 November 2022

“By Scottish Munificence”: The Walker Trust Excavations of the Great Palace in Istanbul, 1935-55.’ In Oliver Delouis and Brigitte Pitarakis (eds), Discovering Byzantium in Istanbul: Scholars, Institutions, and Challenges, 1800-1955 (Istanbul: Istanbul Research Institute, 2022), 237-74.

The paper is an investigation of material kept in the Special Collections, University of St. Andrews, regarding the excavations of the Byzantine Great Palace in Istanbul, which took place between 1935 and 1938 and continued into the 1950s, under the auspices of the university’s Walker Trust. Papers and photographs related to the dig tell the fascinating story of an unexpected discovery that remains one of the most important excavations in Byzantine archaeology.

Link to publication https://www.zerobooksonline.com/en/product/url/discovering-byzantium-in-istanbul 

Dr Kouneni also contributed with a Commentary on a plate for a new digital edition of Vetusta Monumenta (Ancient Monuments), an eighteenth-century print series. Plate 3.28 depicts a late-fifteenth century chimneypiece erected by Bishop Peter Courtenay (1478-1487) in the Bishop’s Palace, Exeter. It is a late Gothic heraldic fireplace that became a trendsetter for many grand chimneypieces installed in the houses of Exeter’s clergy. Standing at four meters high and two and a half meters wide, the chimneypiece is made from creamy-grey local limestone quarried from Beer in East Devon. It was originally placed in Bishop Grandisson’s parlour in the west wing of the Bishop’s Palace, but it was repositioned to the east wing during eighteenth-century renovations for Bishop Frederick Keppel (1762-77) and finally moved to the drawing room in 1952. The chimneypiece is still preserved in excellent condition in the Bishop’s Palace.