Skartsi, Stefania

Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Directorate of Byzantine & Post-Byzantine Antiquities

Research Topic: Connections between Imperial Capital and provincial centre: material culture of the Ottoman 'House of Bailo' in Chalcis, Greece (16th-19th century)

Dr. Skartsi received her PhD from University of Birmingham in 2009. Her research at ANAMED focuses on the study of the Ottoman period material coming from the so-called ‘House of Bailo’, an important monumental complex at the historic centre of Chalcis (then known as Eğriboz) in Central Greece. The archaeological study proved that the medieval palace of the Venetian period that existed in this area was inhabited continuously during the four centuries of the Ottoman rule by people who were constantly in contact with the Imperial court. The study of the stratigraphy and excavation finds gave new evidence for the everyday life and the identity of those living in the complex throughout the period in question (16th – early 19th c.). The finds included various classes of pottery and small finds, as well as a unique hoard concealed before 1688 and containing the equipment of an Ottoman pharmacy. These objects can only be studied in conjunction with information about the practice of medicine and the preparation of remedies, for which the primary center was Istanbul. She is expecting that the study of this material, combined with the evidence from the architectural restoration, will throw light on various cultural, social and economic aspects of a typical provincial Ottoman city. It will reveal how Eğriboz was integrated to and participated in the socio-economic structures of the Empire, retaining close commercial relations with Istanbul and other major centres both in Eastern and Western Mediterranean. It will also prove the complexity of the socioeconomic patterns that prevailed during the Ottoman period.