The Kastro Kallithea Archaeological Project (KKAP) is a synergasia of
the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Canadian Institute
in Greece. It is co-directed by Sophia Karapanou (Ephorate of
Antiquities of Larissa) and Margriet Haagsma (University of Alberta
(UofA)) and has been running since 2004. After an extensive
architectural and intensive archaeological survey of this
Classical/Hellenistic urban site, the research focus was moved to a more
detailed study of the public and private buildings at the site. The
2016 season was, once again, dedicated to cataloguing the numerous finds
from our so-called ‘Building 10,’ a domestic structure dating to the
centuries BCE. Laura Surtees
worked on the survey material from the site, collected in 2004-2006 and
in 2009, in preparation for the final publication.
Our team this year numbered 31 people, including staff, volunteers
and field school students and thus things were busy in Narthaki, the
village which we call home for the five weeks in May and June.
Colette Beestman-Kruijshaar, a specialist in Hellenistic pottery from
Thessaly, oversees all work done on the ceramics from the site. She
does this in close consultation with Sophia Karapanou, herself a
specialist in Hellenistic ceramics, who spent considerable time in
One of the goals this year was to finalize the quantification of all
pottery found in Building 10. All sherds (including roof tile fragments)
found in Building 10 have now been checked to see whether any fits
could be found with other vessels. In addition, all ceramics have been
sorted, counted and weighed according to ware, pot form and fragment
type. This laborious process has helped us to obtain better insight into
the formation of stratigraphies in Building 10 and into establishing
the character and extent of the different habitation phases. We
concluded that the distribution of the ceramics clearly supports our
earlier hypothesis, which we initially based on the distribution of
coins and household tool kits and the character and quantity of
rooftiles. In its second phase, Building 10 was only partially reused.
The second occupation and building was thus built within the ruins of
the first whereby a large part of the debris and contents was discarded
in the southern part of the building, most notably in the original
storage area (units K and L).
The artifact assemblage was divided into categories, which were
studied in detail by members of the KKAP team. PhD candidates Gino
Canlas,Tristan Ellenberger and Amber Latimer made great progress with
their studies of the pithoi, stone finds and mould-made wares
respectively. MA students Karey Thomson, Adam Wiznura and Edward
Middleton all finalized their individual studies of the cooking pottery,
unguentaria, and lamps found at Kallithea.
Alex Garcia and Emily Heaton (undergraduate students at the UofA)
worked tirelessly on the metal finds discovered in Building 10. Of the
701 metal objects (excluding coins) 458 were drawn and described.
Katherine Bishop (PhD student in Anthropology at the UofA) took up
the pastoralism project reported on last year. She was able to transport
some samples taken last year back to Edmonton for an analysis of
various Stable Isotopes, including Carbon, Oxygen and Strontium. The
goal of this project, which has now become her fully-fledged PhD project
for which she received a SSHRC grant, is to examine whether these
methods can give us some insight into seasonal mobility and of animals
and people at the Hellenistic sites of Kastro Kallithea and ancient
The 17 field school students, who came from Alberta, Ontario and
Quebec, were trained in sorting, counting, drawing and describing
Hellenistic ceramics in addition to being introduced to the history of
the site and its surroundings. This was done under the guidance of
Colette Beestman-Kruijshaar and Margriet Haagsma. Laura Surtees educated
the students in photographing archaeological objects and Gino Canlas in
drawing them. In addition, the students were taught techniques in
pottery restoration and 3D modelling using photogrammetry, the latter by
John Manderscheid. Katherine Bishop taught the students the merits of
faunal analysis at archaeological sites.
Excursions were made to Almiros, Halos, Volos, Dimini, Paleoskala,
Tserli and Velika (Meliboia). Dr. Roula Sdrolia, Head of the Ephorate of
Antiquities of Larissa, and Dr. Georgos Toufexis, archaeologist at the
same Ephorate, graciously guided us around the last three sites.
The team gave a successful presentation in the cultural centre at
Pharsala. All of those mentioned above gave a brief report on their
progress to about 150 Pharsalians, who were very appreciative that the
presentation was completely given in modern Greek! Mayor Aris
Karachalios was a graceful host at the dinner that followed.
Prior to the field season Margriet Haagsma, Sophia Karapanou and
Laura Surtees gave successful presentations on the merits of the
micro-historical approach we use in Kastro Kallithea at the University
of Oxford, at the annual meeting of the Canadian Institute in Greece
(CIG), and at the conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of CIG.
KKAP’s project website has been renewed! View the new website at: www.greekarchaeology.org
KKAP would like to thank the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports,
the Canadian Institute in Greece, the Municipality of Pharsala and the
Department of History and Classics of the University of Alberta for
their unwavering support. We are especially grateful to Pharsala’s mayor
Aris Karachalios and to municipal archaeologist Vasso Noula for letting
us use the old school in Narthaki as our work space on a more permanent
basis, and for their friendship and interest. A special thank you goes
to Elias Papadopoulos who always makes our stay in Narthaki
Margriet Haagsma, Sophia Karapanou and Laura Surtees
Why Evans and Not Schliemann as the excavator of Knossos?
The hill called Kephala tou Tselevi on the western bank of
the Krateros river to the south of the city of Candia (modern Herakleio)
on the island of Crete has come to be known world-wide as Knossos. Here
at the beginning of the 20th century Arthur Evans began the
excavations of a massive structure and portions of the surrounding
settlement that we know today as the Palace of Minos. Evans was not the
first to excavate here, however. Minos Kalokairinos (1843-1907), an
olive merchant and antiquities collector from Candia, initiated the
first test trenches on the hill for three weeks in December, 1878. He
uncovered a portion of the West Magazines with their storage jars (pithoi) in situ
and reached as far as the Throne Room. Given the political
sensitivities of the time, as Crete was still under Ottoman rule, the
Christian General Administrator of Crete, Fotiades Pashas, decided in
1879 that the excavations should stop. In 1880 he also refused the
request of the French School in Athens to continue the excavations for
the same reasons. Heinrich Schliemann of Troy and Mycenae fame entered
the picture in 1886 seeking to dig at Knossos as well. Evans did not
arrive on the scene until 1894. What happened to deny Schliemann access
Aimee Michelle Genova (Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History
- Ancient Mediterranean World, University of Chicago; Associate Member,
American School of Classical Studies at Athens) is investigating this
aspect of the history of archaeology on the island of Crete for her
doctoral dissertation. Her lecture for the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaiologikis Yperesias on Monday, September 19th entitled “Knossos Before Arthur Evans: Archival Remnants of Heinrich Schliemann’s Bid for Kephala Hill” will reveal the results of her research.
Knossos is synonymous with the accomplishments of Sir Arthur Evans in
1900, but the site’s history and reputation was a crucial part of the
Cretan social fabric much earlier. Heinrich Schliemann is primarily
regarded for his excavations at Troy, Mycenae, and Tiryns in the late 19th century,
but his failed attempt to secure the site of Crete’s Knossos is perhaps
a lesser known aspect to his archaeological narrative. The
archaeological process for excavating Knossos extends beyond
Schliemann’s firsthand commentary, and this presentation discusses the
context of unpublished documents from Iosif Hatzidakis
to Heinrich Schliemann between June 1886 and May 1889 that were
collected from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens
through the Gennadius Library Archives.
This lecture is the first in the 2016/2017 Lecture Program of the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaiologikis Yperesias. It
should be noted carefully that it will be held at the Library of the
Canadian Institute in Greece (Dionysiou Aiginitou 7, Ilisia) at 19:00.
Both the venue location and the time are new for this lecture series.
The Megaron Mousikis metro station is at the end of Dionysiou Aiginitou
street. The public, as always, is most welcome.