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About usHow to find usdr. C.G. (Christina) Williamson

dr. C.G. Williamson

senior lecturer
dr. C.G. Williamson
Secretary History:

Commanding Views
Monumental landscapes and the territorial formation of Pergamon, 3rd to 2nd centuries BC

NWO Rubicon Postdoctoral Research Grant - 2014-2015
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World Brown University, RI (USA)

Visibility in landscapes is seldom taken into account in studies on state formation in antiquity. While territorial studies tend to be about borders, this research instead focuses on the internal mechanisms of political change through the lens of monumental visibility in the landscape.
This project investigates landmark sites and their commanding views as organizing principles, using as case study the renowned city of Pergamon, in Asia Minor (Western Turkey). The working hypothesis is that as it developed into a kingdom in the Hellenistic period, Pergamon became the centripetal focus of a visual network of power constructed from local sacred, heroic, and military landscapes.
By integrating recent discoveries from archaeological surveys with theory in perception and GIS-based visibility analyses, this research bridges several disciplinary divides and will impact historical and archaeological discourses on landscape and state formation.
City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor. Constructing civic identity in the sacred landscapes of Mylasa and Stratonikeia in Karia
[PhD research 2007-2011]
In this research, Christina Williamson studies the phenomenon of major outlying sanctuaries which accompanied the second rise of the Greek polis in Asia Minor in the Hellenistic period. While such ‘extra-urban’ sanctuaries in the Archaic world are typically interpreted as frontier shrines marking critical borders of civic territory, Williamson argues that the situation in Hellenistic Asia Minor is much more complex, as the Greek polis model took hold in landscapes that were already highly socially articulated. Drawing on a wide range of archaeological and historical sources, she examines in detail the processes of transformation that took place at the shrines of Zeus Labraundos and Sinuri in the landscape of Mylasa, and Hekate at Lagina and Zeus at Panamara in the outer limits of Stratonikeia in Karia, as they were turned into major civic centers. Using theories taken from the cognitive, social and spatial sciences, Williamson contextualizes these transformations in light of their effect on society and interprets them with regard to polis formation. In doing so she shows that instead of their proximity to borders, it was their capacity to foster social cohesion, territorial integrity, and civic identity among hybrid and dispersed communities that made them so vital to rising poleis.


Last modified:01 March 2017 12.44 p.m.

Contact information

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands

Senior Lecturer Ancient History

Job title:
Senior Lecturer
Working hours:
on research leave Fall 2019
Secretary History: