Friday, July 27, 2012

A New Resource for the Institute as well as Canada, Brock University Practicum in Crete, and the Summer Recess

Eduardo Moura, H.E. Robert Peck and David Rupp
Online Resource of 40 Years of Canadian Archaeological Research in Greece
A number of my Book of the Blog mini-reviews have featured edited volumes that focused on various aspects of what are referred to as “digital archaeology” and “digital heritage”. Besides harnessing the power and potential of computers to aid in the analysis and the interpretation of archaeological remains the archaeological and cultural heritage management communities are using various digital approaches and portals to organize and to share widely archaeological data sets and imagery by means of the internet. The European Union has a number of these portals. Europeana ( is the digital library for European museums, libraries and archives. Archaeological sites, isolated monuments and architectural complexes such as historic cities are accessed through Carare ( Collections of objects in museums and in archives are available at Michael ( In Greece the Directorate of the National Archive of Monuments of the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for contributing content to these portals. Some of the foreign archaeological institutes and schools have done this as well with their collections, notably the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the British School at Athens and the German Archaeological Institute.

Eduardo Moura, David Rupp and H.E. Robert Peck
The Institute this year started to move toward the organization, the digitization and dissemination of the contents of its Archives from the fieldwork conducted since 1980 under our aegis as well as the research materials donated to the Institute. A substantial financial donation to support this ongoing initiative was made to the Institute last Friday by Mr. Eduardo Moura, Vice President, Corporate Development of Eldorado Gold Corporation ( on behalf of its Greek subsidiary, Thracian Gold Mining S.A. The Ambassador of Canada to the Hellenic Republic, Robert Peck, was instrumental in arranging for this timely intervention. A central goal of this generous donation will be the creation of a portal that will serve as a virtual photography exhibition to celebrate the achievements of 40 years of Canadian archaeological work throughout Greece. This will serve as an educational tool to promote the knowledge in Canada of Greece’s rich and varied cultural heritage from the prehistoric period through the Byzantine period and later. In the process of doing this the Institute will also be able to link its digital archival collections to such portals as Europeana, Carare and Michael.

The Brock University Field School
Brock University Practicum at Gournia in Crete
Formal field schools or practica are a common feature of many archaeological projects doing fieldwork in Greece, especially of those operating under the aegis of the Institute. These field schools provide the requisite first hand experiences for Canadian undergraduate and graduate students to learn what it means to do fieldwork. This year there were field schools at the excavations at Eleon, Kastro Kallithea and Argilos. While I taught at Brock University I organized and led many such in situ learning experiences in Greece (including Crete), Cyprus and Israel which were called Practica. My colleague at Brock (and member of the Institute's Board of Directors), Prof. Angus Smith has continued this tradition with Practica at his excavations at Ayia Sotira and in Crete at Priniatikos Pyrgos (a project of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens) and this year at Gournia (a project of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, led by Vance Watrous, SUNY Buffalo). Aided by three teaching assistants the thirteen students have been introduced to the techniques and art of excavation. Two of these students, Christina Muxlow and Steph Radchenko, I am proud to report, are the first recipients of the Practicum Travel Scholarships (nicknamed the “Ruppies”) that were created in my name by my colleagues, former students and friends. To celebrate their achievements this summer my wife and I invited them to dinner at our house in Kavousi. It was an enjoyable mingling of generations.

David Rupp and the Ruppies
The Field Director of the Gournia excavations, Matt Buell (Ph.D. candidate at SUNY Buffalo), graduated from Brock and is a Practicum alumnus. Also working at Gournia was a field school from Wilfrid Laurier University led by Professors Scott Gallimore and Gerry Schaus (the President of the Institute's Board of Directors). Canadians and CIG members are everywhere, eh!!!

Summer Closure
In case you hadn't noticed, here in Greece summer is full swing for some time now. Therefore, it is time for the Institute’s annual summer recess. We will close on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 31st and reopen on Monday, September 3rd. Jonathan will be in Turkey visiting archaeological sites and museums and then in the UK with his family and I will be in Crete working on various articles. Our fall and winter programs are rapidly taking shaping. Those who read this blog will be the first to learn what intellectual treats we’ve arranged.

Kalo Kalokairi!!!
David Rupp

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