Friday, August 11, 2017

Sherds, Stones and Bones: tales of KKAP 2017

The Kastro Kallithea Archaeological Project’s 2017 season focused once more on the study of the artefacts uncovered in the excavation seasons of 2007 to 2013. The team, consisting of staff, TA’s volunteers and students, made excellent progress this year with documenting, drawing pottery, metal and stone finds found in Building 10, a domestic structure dating to the 3rd and 2nd century BCE. Of course, the ceramic finds make up the largest part of the work.; if one wants to do justice to material found in a domestic context, all sherds need to be laid out in relation to the architectural space where they have been found. They need to be quantified and carefully studied to find fits which sheds light on the stratigraphy. This particular kind of work had already been finalized during previous seasons and in the 2017 season the team studied particular material artefact categories. Adam Wiznura was responsible for documenting the transport amphorae, September Gering for the table amphorae, Amber Latimer for the mould made wares, and Colette Kruijshaar and the undersigned made a good start with the numerous pouring vessels found in Building 10. Gino Canlas was able to finalize the final documentation of the 23 pithoi found in Building 10, a heroic task given their quantity and size!

The database in which we document all ‘complete’ vessels of the excavations now contains more than 400 vessels from Building 10 alone, an unprecedentedly high number.
Steven Hijmans and Phoebe Hijmans joined the team to finalize the documentation of the ca. 700 metal finds found in Building 10, work they did together with Xavier Kolodnicky. Laura Surtees worked on the coarse ware finds in preparation for the publication of the urban survey at Kallithea and Tristan Ellenberger finalized the documentation of the more than 100 stone finds.

This year our field school was divided up between a ceramics group and a group of young anthropologists who dedicated their time to the research of Katherine Bishop, a PhD student at the University of Alberta who is studying the faunal remains of both Kallithea and Pharsala. In addition, Katherine works together with Sophia Karapanou and UofA’s MA student Kristen Millions on the study and publication of the ca. 30 Archaic graves found near Pharsala, excavated by Sophia Karapanou in the 1990s. The human remains found in these graves provided an excellent opportunity to dedicate part of the field school to human osteology, which Katherine took to heart.

At the invitation of the Mayor of Pharsala, Aris Karachalios, our group organized a mini exhibition on June 6th (in preparation for the large exhibit, see below) for the citizens of Pharsala and Narthaki. More than 100 people came to admire the display. Drinks and local delicacies were prepared by the women’s society of Narthaki, whom we thank heartily for their contribution.

Last, but not least, the undersigned spent a lot of time on the preparations for an exhibition dedicated to the Kastro Kallithea Archaeological Project in the Diachronic Museum in Larisa, which is scheduled to open in November 2017. We hope to report on this event in the coming academic year!

Margriet Haagsma
Associate Professor, University of Alberta; co-director Kastro Kallithea Archaeological Project

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