The commencement of the activities of the A.G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences, awarded to Professor Thilo Rehren, took place at a ceremony at The Cyprus Institute (CyI) premises on Wednesday, 19 September 2018. The ceremony was attended by politicians and state officials, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, and members of the scientific community of Cyprus and abroad. Brief greetings at the event were given by Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas, President of The Cyprus Institute, Prof. Thilo Rehren, the A.G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences, Prof. Vasos Karageorghis, Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, Director of the Department of Antiquities, Dr. Anastasios P. Leventis, Chairman of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and Ms. Vassiliki Anastasiadou, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works.
The A.G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences was created with the generous support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and aims to support research activities in the fields of science and technology in archeology and culture for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. The establishment of the Chair will benefit the entire archaeological and historical scholarly community in Cyprus, by offering state-of-the-art scientific expertise, modern laboratory infrastructures, and a thoroughly collaborative approach to facilitate the cross-disciplinary research that is required for advancing today’s knowledge. All speakers at the ceremony praised the A.G. Leventis Foundation's contributions and support to science, archeology and culture and the importance of this particular sponsorship.
In his address, Prof. Rehren highlighted the value added by archaeological science to a country rich in cultural and archaeological heritage, such as Cyprus, and stressed that the creation of this Chair will provide the necessary tools for the support of initiatives with other institutions in Cyprus and the wider East Mediterranean region, and enhance CyI’s cooperation and leadership. The A.G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences will expand and enrich the capacity of CyI’s Science and Technology in Archeology and Culture Research Center’s (STARC) strength in archaeological materials science, including the study of the production and distribution of metals, ceramics and glass, with the overall aim to further establish CyI as the leading centre for research in Cypriot Archaeology within the Eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern context.
The Chairman of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, Dr. Anastasios P. Leventis, pointed out the long and continuous support of the Foundation to various activities of the scientific community in Cyprus over the years, and specifically referred to the successful cooperation of the Foundation with The Cyprus Institute, which is long-lasting and dates back to the founding of CyI.
The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mrs. Vassiliki Anastasiadou, praised Professor Rehren's leadership and scientific work, and referred to the close ties that her Ministry, and in particular the Department of Antiquities, enjoy with The Cyprus Institute, pointing out the excellent cooperation in various joint research projects that contribute to the creation of a knowledge economy for Cyprus.
The ceremony concluded with a public lecture by Prof. Marcos Martinón-Torres, Professor of Archeology at the University of Cambridge, entitled "Superpowered Archeology: Archaeological Questions and Scientific Revelations". Prof. Torres praised Prof. Rehren as a world-class archaeologist, and applauded the excellent quality of the Institute's infrastructures and important research output, and specifically referred to the continuously expanding and evolving collaboration between STARC/CyI and the University of Cambridge.