The four hubs we were divided in were: people, objects, ideas, and styles – all of us working around the Faun from Pompeii and then each group selecting independently an object from Isthmia or from Corinth.
In the afternoon, it was time to present the work of the hubs. The ‘Objects’ sub-team was the first to share its reflections and questions, starting with an overview of object metadata, which could be used to research objects’ itineraries, and a discussion of perspectives that could be adopted in visualising these itineraries. This discussion raised some interesting questions, such as whether to consider the object as central in the network of encounters and events surrounding its itinerary or as a starting point to explore this same network. They delved into the complexities emerging from researching objects, by drawing on the example of a Late Roman inscription which was found at the Sanctuary of Poseidon in Isthmia. This inscription was once part of a frieze block, which was subsequently re-cut and inscribed. The inscription is in Ancient Greek, dating to the Late Roman period, and presenting a Christian text; still, the carver used the plural ‘Gods’ instead of the monotheistic ‘God’ of Christianity. As if this ancient itinerary was not enough complicate, the journey of the inscription after its discovery, in Isthmia in 1883, was equally perilous. It got lost and forgotten, until it was found again in a new location, New Corinth, in 1928, from where it returned to Isthmia, in the museum, in 2005. The archaeologists’ notebooks add layers of complexity to this history. But – and this was the crucial point raised by the hub – all these histories are presented in a simplified version in the online metadata available for this object.