Monday, September 18, 2023

Welcome, Justine, Athena and Taryn!

From L-R: Justine Lefebvre, Taryn Rankin and Athena Wakeling

The new academic year has begun at the Institute, and we welcome the Institute’s 2023-2024 Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow, Justine Lefebvre, Georgian College intern, Athena Wakeling, and Wilfrid Laurier University intern, Taryn Rankin.

Justine Lefebvre is a PhD candidate in History at Université de Montréal, under the supervision of the Institute’s Director, Prof. Jacques Perreault. Her research focuses on metal production in Northern Greece during the archaic and classical periods, through the study of the specific case of bronze production at Argilos during these periods.

Located a few kilometers west of the Strymon river in Northern Greece, Argilos is an ideal location for the development of its metal production: an abundance of surrounding metal resources, a prosperous economy, and good relations with the Thracian populations from whose metallurgical expertise it can benefit. In order to thoroughly study this metallurgical production, the thesis relies on a multidisciplinary approach, combining traditional archaeological methods and archaeometry. Indeed, a sampling of bronze artifacts from the vast inventory collected in Argilos since 1992 will be subjected to typological, metallographic, chemical, and isotopic analyses. The results obtained through these analyses will provide a detailed picture of metallurgical production in Northern Greece throughout the Archaic and Classical periods, by identifying the nature and quality of Argilos’ production, and by evaluating how it fits into its regional context, in terms of distribution of raw resources and finished products.

Thanks to the Neda and Franz Leipen Fellowship, Justine hopes to complete the writing of her thesis, to which her nine-month stay in Greece is instrumental. First, a presence in Athens will allow her to benefit from easy access to the valuable resources available in the libraries of the Canadian Institute and other foreign research institutes, as well as in the numerous archaeological museums. Moreover, a stay in Northern Greece will allow her to visit the archaeological museum of Amphipolis, with the aim of completing the study of archaeological material linked to Argilian metallurgical production, as well as to study that which is still in situ at Argilos.

Athena Wakeling is a Wilfrid Laurier University graduate who received her BA in Archaeology and Anthropology in 2021. Athena is currently completing her postgraduate degree at Georgian College, specializing in Museum and Gallery studies, and will be completing her semester internship at the Canadian Institute in Greece.

Throughout her three programs, Athena has gained knowledge and understanding around topics connecting theoretical concepts of culture and history, while applying them into the real function of Museums or Galleries in the 21st century.

Athena is eager to get hands-on experience in the archival documentation field of work and will be applying her skills to the archives at the Institute, continuing the organization and documentation of past site reports and records across Greece. While Athena is in Greece, she intends to travel around the country and educate herself about Greek culture and history since she has direct familial roots to the country.

Taryn Rankin is a fourth-year undergraduate studying at Wilfrid Laurier University with a double major in Ancient Studies and Anthropology. Upon graduating, Taryn is interested in continuing her ancient history and anthropological studies at a graduate level with a focus on ancient and modern ethnobotany.

In her studies, Taryn has learned how to work with and understand multiple forms of media and research which is important in being able to make information approachable to all audiences as well as the importance of easily accessible knowledge through physical and online libraries.

Taryn will use her skills and knowledge gained from her studies to work in the Institute’s library to increase its resources and the knowledge available to its visitors while also using her time in Athens to learn about Greek life and history. By the end of the internship, she hopes to have new-found knowledge and experience that will aid her in completing her studies and future career.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Central Achaia Phthiotis Survey (CAPS) 2023

The third fully fledged field work season of the Central Achaia Phtiotis Survey (CAPS) ran from July 14th to August 20th 2023. All of us were excited to welcome back staff, previous students as volunteers, and new students as part of the field school!

The CAPS 2023 Team. Unfortunately, Sophia Karapanou is missing in this picture

The CAPS project is co-run by Sophia Karapanou from the Ephorate of Antiquities in Larissa (Thessaly) and Margriet Haagsma from the University of Alberta. The project is supported by SSHRC and the Faculty of Arts of the University of Alberta, and we would like to thank the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Canadian Institute in Greece, the Municipality of Pharsala, and the town and people of Narthaki for their support and generosity. Special thanks goes to Pharsala’s mayor, Makis Eskioglou, who supported the renovation of the school where the students are staying and the acquisition of new mattresses and beds. Our project would be nowhere without the help and support of village proedros Thanasis Lelentzis and the ever-charming hospitality of Elias Papadopoulos and his family.

CAPS is focused on landscape use over time and we ask how different groups of people have interacted with this region, and how the human presence has resulted in anthropogenic change in the landscape. In addition to our own research questions, our work has now seen the added challenge that many agricultural fields have been designated for the construction of solar panels, in many cases in areas of archaeological significance. This has resulted in a complex situation, where we are just one stakeholder in the relationship between local landowners, energy companies, and the Greek archaeological service. Over the past years, and thanks to our work, various fields have been excluded from solar panel construction, as our role has been to prioritise and record the presence of archaeologically significant material in these areas.  Yet, throughout the season we saw evidence of construction beginning in many areas we were working in.

The areas surveyed by intensive survey up until 2023

As part of the project, CAPS has focused on scanning the shrub covered areas using LiDAR technology. Yet, the majority of our time is spent on pedestrian survey. Prior to this year, our team had covered around 430 hectares of cultivated and uncultivated land. This year, our team consisted of six staff, five volunteers, and 15 field school students from the University of Alberta. Over the course of the five weeks, we were able to survey approximately 150 hectares, and documented a looted tholos tomb (tholos 14), an ottoman fountain house, and a Hellenistic structure all located east of the Kastro.

While many fields (and their subdivided “tracts”) yielded little to no material, the team did discover areas where the increased density of finds point to areas of human activity. The majority of these areas could be dated to the Classical/Hellenistic, Late Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods, and most finds indicate activities of an agrarian character, such as storage jars and grinding stones. Of particular interest is an area called Paleochori, which staff and students spend the better part of two weeks surveying. While most of the region did not result in a lot of material, a large field contained a significant amount of Byzantine material. At the northern end of this field, the remains of a small walled citadel were found with material of Archaic/Classical date.

 Ed Middleton giving instruction to the pedestrian survey team

A second area of interest is a fortified so-called ‘magoula’ in the area known as Arabises, near Aghios Antonios which was identified in our 2019 survey. From the magoula alone, 52 kg of material was recovered, mostly of Classical/Hellenistic, but also EIA and Ottoman dates. The remains of a village of Ottoman date were found in the last week of the survey. From the data collected during the 2023 season (including the regions with little material), we are able to get closer to answering our overarching research questions.

In addition to the systematic survey, our team also ground truthed areas of interest. This team cleaned the architecture for documentation. Of special note is a structure of Hellenistic date located on the eastern side of the hill of Kastro Kallithea.

 Aerial photograph of the structure of Hellenistic date east of the Kastro

However, interpretations are currently varied as the structure does not appear defensive in nature and other interpretations suggest a monument serving a different purpose. Other activities in 2023 included flying our drone over a number of areas of human activity with architecture (including those cleaned by the ground truthing team!), allowing us to make detailed digital surface models of the areas.

Our field school students were extremely lucky to have an excellent team of instructors (if we do say so ourselves). Myles Chykerda was responsible for the GIS and setting out tracts with the GNSS and also provided a module for the students on GIS. The intensive survey was run by Ed Middleton and Magie Aiken who taught the basics of field walking and documentation. The apothiki was run by Adam Wiznura who taught students how to classify and date the finds and ran discussion groups. Margriet Haagsma orchestrated the entire project and still found time to teach the students modules on artefact drawing and LiDAR. In addition to the field school, Gino Canlas ran a ground truthing team composed of volunteers.

Beyond our archaeological work, staff, students, and volunteers had the opportunity to visit archaeological sites and museums (including the Kastro Kallithea exhibit in Farsala!), visit the local winery in Narthaki, attend the annual pazari, and enjoy the summer in Greece.

On site in Pharsala: grad students Josh Passey and Matthew Spinks presenting on the battles of Kynoskephalai (197 BCE) and Pharsalos (48 BCE)

Magie Aiken, Margriet Haagsma & Ed Middleton, CAPS

Friday, September 1, 2023

Mission archéologique d’Argilos 2023

Quelques semaines se sont déjà écoulées depuis l’achèvement de la 31e mission archéologique gréco-canadienne à Argilos en Grèce du Nord, qui fut couronnée de succès.

Argilos, vue aérienne du site

À la fin du mois de mai dernier, un peu plus dune soixantaine d’étudiants, recrutés dans les universités québécoises, canadiennes et américaines, mais aussi dans certains cégeps, se sont réunis dans le village dAsprovalta avec un objectif commun : apprendre l’archéologie, cest-à-dire les techniques de fouille sur le terrain, le catalogage, lanalyse et le traitement du mobilier archéologique découvert.

Étudiants au travail sur le chantier du secteur commercial

Cet été, le travail sur le terrain sest concentré dans deux secteurs. Dabord, a été poursuivie la fouille dans le secteur commercial, atteignant des proportions toujours plus impressionnantes ! Dans les bâtiments préexistants, les étudiants ont été occupés par la fouille de 4 unités dhabitation du bâtiment Q, ainsi que de 3 boutiques du bâtiment P. Lobjectif : révéler la dernière phase doccupation, datant de l’époque de la prise de la cité par Philippe II de Macédoine en 357. On se rappellera très certainement cette saison de fouille pour labondance et la richesse – presque inégalées! – du mobilier archéologique qui a été découvert dans ce secteur.

Prof. Jacques Perreault dégageant un cratère à figure rouge avec les étudiants

Naomi, étudiante, montrant une tête de figurine

Shelby Vieira dégageant un squelette de chien

Équipe P10 devant leur découverte

Afin de préciser notre compréhension de lurbanisme du secteur, quelques étudiants ont, quant à eux, attaqué la fouille dune zone directement à louest du bâtiment P. De plus, la fouille du bâtiment S, tout nouvellement dégagé, a également été amorcée. Bien qu’une seule de ses pièces nait été fouillée, celle-ci a déjà permis de mettre au jour non seulement des vestiges architecturaux dune construction remarquable, mais aussi un matériel particulièrement abondant, ce qui sannonce très prometteur pour les années à venir. Il faut remercier Keven Ouellet, Justine Lefebvre, Shelby Vieira et Chloe Morris qui ont encadré les étudiants et partagé leurs connaissances tout au long du programme. 

Équipe S2 au travail

Dautre part, nous avons également poursuivi la fouille dans le secteur dun plateau situé à mi-hauteur de la colline amorcée en 2022. Alors que les sondages effectués lannée dernière ont permis de révéler une rue reliant potentiellement lacropole au secteur commercial au pied de la colline, cette année a permis den dégager un impressionnant segment sur plusieurs dizaines de mètres.  Avec sa largeur de plus de 4 mètres, tout nous permet de supposer qu’il sagit bel et bien de l’artère principale de la cité! Merci à Marie Clermont-Mignault et à Ariane Poulin qui ont supervisé les opérations dans ce secteur.

L’équipe conjointe CEGEP-Université dégage un nouveau tronçon de rue

Avec un si abondant matériel mis au jour sur le site, le travail au musée fut dautant plus stimulant! Notre équipe, constituée de Saskia Deluy, Frédéric Lemyre-Corbeil, Daphné Sauvé et Laure Sarah Ethier Boutet, a travaillé darrache-pied afin dencadrer les étudiants et de leur transmettre toutes leurs précieuses connaissances nécessaires au lavage et au catalogage du mobilier qu’ils ont eux-mêmes découvert. Notre conservatrice, Vasileia Liakakou, et notre dessinatrice Laurie De Serre ont également grandement contribué au traitement de tout ce matériel! Merci également au personnel du musée, notamment Dimitra Malamidou, directrice, et Giorgos Galios, gardien chef, pour leur disponibilité et leur gentillesse habituelles.

Les étudiants au musée

Frédéric Lemyre-Corbeil au travail, assisté de la petite mascotte du musée

Nous avons aussi eu la chance de côtoyer Angelos Gkotzinas et Rudy Alagich, membres de notre équipe scientifique, qui ont été de passage notamment en prévision de plusieurs projets (très prometteurs!) à venir. François Gignac, dessinateur, a également profité dun séjour dans la région pour travailler sur le plan du site qui ne cesse de grandir.

Le stage archéologique dArgilos a également été complémenté par les visites de sites et musées archéologiques habituels, comme Vergina, Pella, Stageira, Philippes et Thasos, et par de nouvelles additions au programme, dont la célèbre tombe de Kasta. Ces visites ont permis aux étudiants de profiter de leur présence dans la région afin de voir tout ce qu’elle a à offrir, en plus den gagner une connaissance plus approfondie.

Visite du musée archéologique de Pella

Keven Ouellet et étudiants devant la fortification de Stageira

Forts de nouvelles connaissances archéologiques, de découvertes et de souvenirs inoubliables, cest avec un sentiment de devoir accompli que les étudiants et l’équipe se rappelleront cette très réussie saison de fouille 2023. Merci à toute l’équipe et à tous les participants pour une 31e saison mémorable!

L’équipe Argilos 2023

Friday, August 25, 2023

Renewed Excavations at Ancient Eleon in Boeotia (EBAP 2023)

Team members arriving at sunrise, June 2023

A new phase for the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP) began this summer when excavations at ancient Eleon resumed after five years of study and survey. Our project started as a regional survey from 2007-2009, followed by an initial campaign of excavations from 2012-2018. This year, our project ran for six weeks, from May 21 to June 30, 2023. We went from spring-like weather, verdant and rainy, to the peak of Greek summer, dry and hot. Our team was large, reaching 42 undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and other professionals. As always, we were based at the seaside community of Dilesi and made our daily commute to the town of Arma, located midway between Schimatari and Thebes. This was our 15th full season of research in eastern Boeotia, and we continue to be enormously grateful to our colleagues at the Thebes Museum and in the Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia, and to the Canadian Institute in Greece.

Our long-time collaborator, Professor Nicholas Herrmann from Texas State University, with a small team, conducted geomagnetometry and resistivity survey in 2021 and 2022. At the same time, Trevor Van Damme led a group focused on the finds from 2007-2009 survey. The results from both projects revealed that the Archaic and Classical settlement of ancient Eleon was considerably larger than previously known and that there was a lower town extending to the north and west of the acropolis. With these results, we applied for and received approval to renew our excavation work in hopes of learning more about the historical phases of occupation that have been so far underrepresented on the acropolis.

Before and after site cleaning

Before we could start digging, however, two things had to happen: our site needed to be cleared of overgrowth from the wet spring and we needed to upgrade our record keeping system. Clearing the site was challenging but fairly straightforward, and our team of workers was excellent. Within days a lush meadow of waist-high green grass punctuated by cheerful red poppies was immaculately mowed and the tarps protecting the trenches from winter rains were lifted.

iDig training. From L-R: Krysten Cruz, Nicholas Herrmann, Bruce Hartzler, Bryan Burns, Brendan Burke, photo by Georgios Verigakis

While the site was being prepared for the new season of excavations, our senior staff were hard at work upgrading our recording system. After over a decade of keeping traditional records on paper, we decided to transition to fully digital recording in the field. This is accomplished using an open-source digital application, iDig, which has been widely adopted by other projects across the Mediterranean region.

iDig is an archaeological record keeping system originally developed by Bruce Hartzler for the Athenian Agora excavations. Bruce, Brian Martens, and Georgios Verigakis, also from the Athenian Agora, collaborated with us during the first week of the project to tailor fit our Eleon recording system to iDig. It was a big adjustment, but the convenience, standardization, and efficiency of iDig is a vast improvement. We are extremely grateful to Bruce, Brian, and Georgios for their patience, technical expertise, and generous support. Each of our five trench supervisors received an iPad loaded with iDig and all the excavation data (photographs, descriptions, find records, drawings, survey information) was recorded on it. Each iPad was synced daily through a server computer, so that every iPad had a current record of all the trenches. The conservators and ceramic processors also had their own iPads where they entered information relevant to each trench allowing data to be shared in real time between all team members. It’s an excellent system!

EBAP Team photo June 2023

Our team of field workers was made up of undergraduate students from Brown University, Skidmore College, the University of Victoria, and Wellesley College: Katharine Barrett, Camille Blanco, Skyler Buchfink, Maya Christensen, Ruth Engelman, Hunter Faminow, Megan Farrokhi, Max Harris, Riley Kernohan, Sally Martin-Damman, Elysia Nitsch, Minah Park, Kallie Schildge, Sophie Shobeiri, Kristen Smit, plus graduate students Audrey Ballarin (not pictured), Kaitlyn McKenna, Luke Montgomery, Lori Zhang. Our trench supervisors were graduate students Haley Bertram, University of Cincinnati; Antigone Paschaki, University of Athens; Hana Sugioka, University of Texas at Austin; Ben Watts-Wooldridge, University of Victoria; Savhanna Long, University of Arizona. Senior staff and researchers included Jeremy Beller (not pictured), Joe Bellows, Annika Berendt, Giuliana Bianco (not pictured), Brendan Burke, Bryan Burns, Krysten Cruz, Allie Davis, Adam DiBattista (not pictured), Scott Evans, Amanda Gaggioli, Nick Herrmann, Vicky Karas, Tina Ross, Janelle Sadarananda, Nepheli Theocharou, Trevor Van Damme, Zoe Wieler. Our success is due to the tireless efforts, keen observations, and good cheer every day of the entire team.

Trench tours, ancient Eleon June 17, 2023

For the excavations, we wanted to explore areas to the west and south of our previous trenches, so several new units were opened. Contrary to our initial expectations, in every new trench we opened in 2023, we found significant stratified levels dating to the Mycenaean period just below surface levels. Our work in 2023 demonstrated that the acropolis of Eleon was an exceptionally large settlement throughout most of the Late Bronze Age (1700-1100 BCE) and revealed an important LH IIIA1 deposit, a phase that was previously underrepresented due to the density of LH IIIC architecture on the acropolis. In another trench, a well-preserved floor deposit was documented dating to early in the 12th century BCE, including a complete Mycenaean roof tile (photo below).

Excavating Mycenaean roof tile, ancient Eleon

As we have in other years previously, we wanted to share our work with our community in Arma and the Tanagraia area. We were very happy to work with the Σύλλογος Γυναικών Άρματος  and Eugenia Triantafillou to host an ‘Open House’ for interested community members on June 24, 2023. We welcomed over 50 community members, young and old, to the site to see and hear what we have been finding and to view some of the recently restored finds up close. We look forward to sharing our work again in 2024!

Open House’ with the Σύλλογος Γυναικών Άρματος on June 24, 2023

We look forward to continuing our work in 2024, when we plan to test new areas of the settlement in hopes of learning more about the Archaic and Classical settlement!

Brendan Burke, Bryan Burns & Trevor Van Damme, EBAP

Friday, August 11, 2023

The Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) 2023 Season: Putting Pieces Together

Dom Pollard maps a feature on the BEARS survey study season

In 2023 the BEARS survey, an archaeological investigation of surface remains around the bay of Porto Rafti in eastern Attica, entered a new phase of study and publication following three seasons of fieldwork. As those who have kept an eye on the CIG blog over these last few summers will know, we’ve found quite a lot of material during our brief campaign in this unassuming coastal resort town. Given to the bounteous archaeological record that has accumulated in our intellectual cupboards since we began the project in 2019, getting everything studied and written up for publication is going to be a big task! We made a lot of progress in the 2023 study season, however, and everyone on the team is excited to start putting the pieces together and synthesizing our results. Over the coming year, we will be collectively writing what we hope will be a major contribution to the archaeology of coastal Attica, presenting lots of new material ranging from early prehistory to early modernity.

During archaeological study seasons, the primary theatre of battle usually shifts from the field to the lab, and the story was no different in the BEARS 2023 study season. From May 15 to July 1, our core team of dedicated pottery experts (Grace Erny, Joseph Frankl, and Melanie Godsey) worked diligently alongside co-director Catherine Pratt in the Brauron museum to finish cataloguing and start making sense of the material collected during the three field seasons. We also welcomed back Katerina Psoma and Phil Sapirstein to wrap up their analyses of the chipped stone lithics and tiles, respectively. Sometimes the material assemblages from survey projects are largely limited to those three categories of artifact: pottery, chipped stone, and tile. Our surface assemblage from BEARS is, on the other hand, quite expansive, including many additional categories of finds and types of materials – figurines, metal and waste from metal production, glass, textile tools, coins, etc. As a result, the BEARS study season lab saw a constantly rotating menagerie of different characters popping in and out for a day or three at a time. I hope the Brauron site dog and cat didn’t find it too confusing.

In addition to work in the museum, we had two main documentation goals in the field: to complete documentation of groundstone objects on Raftis island and to finish mapping architectural features on both Raftis and the Koroni peninsula. Thanks to the superlative top-quality work we’ve come to expect from our ace BEARS team, we largely crushed both of these field goals

The Koroni architecture team ponders a feature on the slopes

Speaking of crushing, the quantity of objects in our Raftis groundstone catalog multiplied as quickly as the rabbits that inhabit the island during the 2023 season. While surveying on Raftis in 2022, we had noted that there was quite a lot of groundstone material scattered liberally around the site, including a wide range of types: grinders, pounders, hammerstones, choppers, polishers, tripod mortars: you name it, Raftis has collected ‘em all, like the winner of an archaeologically-themed Pokemon-type game. For a variety of reasons, we opted to conduct our study of these objects in the field, rather than take them into the lab for permanent storage. Since we did not get through everything in 2022, Eleni Chreiazomenou and Grace Erny returned to finish the job, working alongside the architectural documentation team, in 2023. In the final summation, the catalog weighs in at 528 artifacts, up from a mere 207 at the end of the 2022 season.

A lovely grinding stone with a carefully made raised handle from Raftis

A rather comical dynamic emerged as the architecture team was working on Raftis to try to find and map walls while the groundstone team conducted their analysis. As we mappers stared intently at the rock piles all over the surface of the island, squinting in an attempt to identify possible foundation lines or decide whether three stones in a row really did make a wall, we more often noticed additional groundstone objects in and amongst the collapsed architecture, which we flagged for Grace and Eleni to return and document. As a result, their goal of completing groundstone documentation receded ever farther into the horizon, rather than moving closer to hand, as the architecture team progressed towards completion of its task. For a while, we all had the feeling that we could have stayed there discovering, flagging, measuring, weighing, and photographing groundstone in an endless cycle, until the sun grew into a red giant, swallowing the earth and all its remaining tripod mortar fragments into its gaping, fiery maw. However, eventually we completed architectural documentation, stopped staring rocks for 8-hours a day, and called it a representative sample.

A sundry pile of “fresh” groundstone objects discovered by the architectural documentation flagged up and ready for analysis by the groundstone team (Photo by S. Murray)

Another Raftis stone find that is worth mentioning falls into a slightly different category of evidence. The islet of Raftis and the bay of Porto Rafti are thus named because of the monumental Roman-Imperial-era (ca. 100–200 CE) marble statue that sits enshrined on a large limestone plinth at the peak of Raftis islet. The statue is badly worn and damaged, with all of its limbs and head missing. According to local lore, it is intended to depict a tailor (or raftis / ράφτης in Greek) who once held aloft a giant pair of golden scissors. More likely is that the statue is a depiction of a Roman deity that was installed at the peak of the island sometime between the 7th and 14th centuries CE

The Raftis statue, here getting ready for its photogrammetric close-up (Photo by P. Sapirstein)

Taken in cumulative terms, the Raftis statue has attracted more attention than any other archaeological object in or from Porto Rafti. Travelers with antiquarian leanings have been visiting and commenting on the Raftis since the 14th century at least, though mostly from an amateur and/or dilettantish perspective. On the more serious scholarly front, there was a rather heated debate about the identity of the statue during the 1960s and 1970s. While those on either side held strong opinions about issues such as what the statue was supposed to represent and how/when it had been placed on the islet, it was clear to any neutral observer that the question could not really be resolved unless some additional evidence came to light.

Enter the heroic survey archaeologist! During the 2022 gridded collection, about 25 meters north of the statue, sharp-eyed team member Melanie Godsey spotted a rather suspiciously oblong white stone object in and amongst the limestone rubble. This worked marble block turned out to be none other than…..a statue fragment from good old Mr. or Mrs. Raftis! Apparently it had been sitting there unnoticed for the past thousand years or so

One of these stones is not like the other…. (Photo by S. Murray)

This year, with Phil Sapirstein, we decided to make a photogrammetric 3D model of the arm and the statue, to see if we could determine where it was originally positioned. Manipulating it together with a 3D model of the statue makes clear that it would have joined the right arm socket. This probably proves, at long last, what the statue was supposed to represent, and reveals several interesting new conclusions about how, when, and why the statue ended up on the peak of this little abandoned islet in a bay with nothing whatsoever dated to the Roman imperial period, and how it came to lose most of its limbs. But I won’t spoil the surprise here….keep an eye out for further BEARS publications to get the full story.

A 3D rendering of the Raftis statue with the phantom limb digitally re-attached (Rendering by Phil Sapirstein)

For now, after a fun and productive study season, everyone is focused on collectively pushing forward in writing such matters up. We will also return to Porto Rafti one more time in May/June 2024 to finish up a little bit more architectural documentation at Koroni, conduct some geological investigations, and (naturally) enjoy a final few weeks of morning swimming in the bright blue Aegean. Thanks to all who take an interest in the project, and, as ever, to all of the people and institutions that make BEARS possible!

The very hardworking Koroni architecture crew celebrates successfully completing their work on the fortification wall surrounding the site

Sarah Murray, University of Toronto, co-director, BEARS