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Archaeologist Spies: the Truth behind the Myth – A lecture by Dr. Susan Heuck Allen

March 29, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Description: Dr. Susan Heuck Allen offers a unique perspective on an untold story, the first insiders’ account of the American intelligence service in WWII Greece. Archaeologists in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean drew on their personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain to set up spy networks in Nazi-occupied Greece. While many might think Indiana Jones is just a fantasy character, American archaeologists with code-names like Thrush and Chickadee took part in events where Indy would feel at home: burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to establish spies, and organizing parachute drops into Greece. These remarkable men and women, often mistaken for mild-mannered professors and scholars, hailed from America’s top universities and premier digs, such as Troy and the Athenian Agora, and later rose to the top of their profession as AIA gold medalists and presidents. Relying on interviews with individuals sharing their stories for the first time, previously unpublished secret documents, diaries, letters, and personal photographs, I share an exciting new angle on archaeology and World War II.

Dr. Susan Heuck Allen is Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classics at Brown University. She received her Ph.D. in Classics and Classical Archaeology from Brown University, after earning degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Smith College. Her areas of expertise – Troy and the history of archaeology – were combined in her book, Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik (University of California Press — Berkley, 1999). She is also the author of Excavating Our Past: Perspectives on the History of the Archaeological Institute of America, which is a part of the 2002 AIA Monograph Series, and recently published Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Dr. Allen has held positions at Smith College, and Clark and Yale Universities, and has done fieldwork in Cyprus, Israel, and Knossos. She was named a Mellon Fellow in 2008, and has held a number of other fellowships.

General Information:
All lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Sabin Hall Room G90 on the UWM Campus (3413 North Downer, corner of Newport and Downer Avenues). On Sundays, parking is available in the Klotsche Center surface lot directly north of Sabin or on nearby streets.

All lectures are free and open to the public and followed by refreshments. They are co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages and Literature-Classics, and Art History at UW-Milwaukee.


March 29, 2015
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm