Lesvos, Mitylene: Threshing in the ditch of the upper kastro

Department Archive
Collection SPHS BSA Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/1096.2914
Level Item
Description Film negative, approximately quarter plate size, an original negative.
Dimensions 11 x 8.5 cm
Place Mytilene
Dates 1908
Creator Hasluck, Dr Frederick William
Collection event Aegean, N.: Monuments of the Gattelusi (Hasluck) 1908
Scope and Content Part of a set of images taken by F.W. Hasluck in 1908 when he visited Aenos, Phocaea, Lemnos and Mytilene to document Frankish monuments. The original description in the SPHS register reads:"Mytilene: ditch of upper castle".
Notes Date of image based on Hasluck's visit to Aenos, Phocaea, Lemnos, Mytilene in 1908 to document the Frankish monuments (see Hasluck, F.W. 1908/1909, 'Monuments of the Gattelusi', The Annual of the British School at Athens 15:248-269).
Further information Scenes from Modern Greek Life
Historic images often show scenes from modern life. These are not modern in the current sense, but reflect a time they were taken. Some were captured unintentionally, recording an aspect of contemporary activity while composing scenes of other interest such as ancient or historical monuments. However, many were taken with the express purpose of recording folk life, part of a trend in the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The process of categorizing these ethnographic scenes of everyday life in image collections reflected contemporary folklore categories: material life (eg. domestic architecture, dress, craft and agricultural production), social life (eg. games, festivals) and spiritual life (eg. superstitions, religious activities).

However, a significant idea encapsulated in these ethnographic images was the 19th-century concept of continuity - relics or survivals - of ancient social life and practices in the present. In Greece, this concept of continuity was notably promoted by the scholar of folklore (laographia), Nikolaos Politis, and held by many British classicists and archaeologists of the time. In fact, the Irish classical scholar, J.P. Mahaffy encapsulated this idea in his 1876 travel book, Rambles and Studies in Greece: "Everywhere the modern Greek town is a mere survival of the old". These survivals were often linked to classical literature, cult and myth by scholars of the Greek world.


It is clear that these images are not simply quaint historical scenes, but they embody principles inherent in the discipline of Hellenic Studies in the recent past.

Related records [BRF/02/01/16/020], Mytilene Fortress, before 1913