Friday, December 30, 2022

A Bioarchaeologist's Life in a Classicist's World

I did not know what to expect moving to Greece for three months to do an internship. I was both excited and terrified as this was going to be the biggest adventure of my life. Being an Archaeology student, I have learned a lot about the fieldwork side of the discipline, but this experience was going to provide me with an opportunity to learn about the behind-the-scenes work involved in Archaeology. My internship at the CIG involved working with catalogues and collections of publications, sorting through boxes of a professor’s life’s work, hosting events, and revamping the social media accounts. I came into this experience wondering if I belonged in Greece and at the Institute because I do not study classics, but rather human remains, and I do not know Greek or much about the history of Greece. I was out of my element, but that is what made this internship that much more rewarding.

I am very fortunate that I had multiple chances to not only explore Athens, but see what else the country had to offer. Weekends provided opportunities to do smaller trips, such as a short ferry ride to the island of Aegina, or a road trip down to Kalamata during olive harvesting season. My greatest expedition while here was hopping on a plane to Santorini for a few days and getting to experience the island culture, take a catamaran cruise, and swim in the volcanic hot spring. During my time in Greece, I got to visit many sites and museums, try traditional Greek food, and make some friends who worked at the local coffee shops. As well, Friday afternoons were spent going to the street market around the corner from the Institute to pick up some local grapes and figs.

Visiting the Acropolis was obviously first on the list of things to do, and it was incredible seeing the structures that I have heard about my entire life. The Ancient Athenian Agora was mesmerizing as it was tucked away within the heart of the city despite its extraordinary size. Seeing how the modern and ancient cities are so interwoven is truly remarkable as you are surrounded with rich history everywhere you step. The archaeological excavations underneath the Acropolis Museum especially highlighted this for me. With so much to see in such proximity, it is impossible to run out of things to do in Greece. It was a busy three months balancing my internship, schoolwork, and experiencing Greece, but I made the most of my time and the opportunities before me.

What I was not expecting about coming to Greece was meeting a large network of people from all over the world that I became so close with. Between darts nights on Tuesdays, events at the CIG and different foreign archaeological schools, and roommates at the CIG apartment, I have made connections in Greece that are going to last long after returning home to Canada. I am thankful to have met so many people who have opened my eyes to the different opportunities that are out there for a young archaeologist finding her way. Between graduate programs, field and lab opportunities, and career paths, I have learned a great deal by taking a chance getting out of the classroom and immersing myself in the professional world. I eventually found my footing and have grown as a person because I was forced out of my comfort zone coming to Greece. I would highly recommend an opportunity like this to anyone who is trying to find their own footing in their academic career. The experience is invaluable and unforgettable, and I will forever be grateful for the Canadian Institute in Greece having me as a part of their team these past three months.

Sarah Bidinosti
Wilfrid Laurier University intern, autumn-winter 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022

Experiences in Athens

Familiar Signs of Athens- of the Institute, the Apartment, and the Red Lion

The last three months have passed quickly, working at the Institute and touring around Greece. As my time in Athens comes to a close, I would like to reflect on the different ventures that I experienced.

Being accepted into the intern position at the CIG, I was extremely excited, yet a little apprehensive. It was my first time travelling internationally, the first time away from my family for an extended period, lots of firsts. Arriving in Athens, it took about a week to settle in. The hustle and bustle of the city and craziness of the streets was both visibly and audibly evident, with mopeds and motor cycles weaving in and out of traffic, and always someone honking their horn! After walking from the apartment to the Institute for the first few days, I became acquainted with the atmosphere.

Drafts of Hellenistic Architecture by Dr. Frederick Winter Sorted by Chapter

At the Institute there was lots of work to be done for the Frederick E. Winter (FEW) Archive. The main task I was assigned included organizing and scanning the various notes and drafts that the Institute received from the Winter family. Organizing the items did not take long- it was the scanning that consumed most of my time. Page by page, I slowly made my way through the papers, keeping myself entertained by listening to music or podcasts. Looking back on all the work that I have completed during my time at the Institute, it is great to see the development of the FEW Archive and how it has taken shape.

View of the Acropolis from the Areopagus

With the open hours of the Institute being from nine until one, and my normal work hours from nine until two, afternoons were free to explore. I often found myself going for walks to the Acropolis and back or hiking up the Lykavitos hill. Having received a free entrance card for museums and archaeological sites from the Institute, many afternoons were filled with touring the local exhibits. My favourite museums that I visited were the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

The Lion Gate at Mycenae

During the weekend when there was more time for touring, I branched out from the city centre. I went out with the other intern and the fellow of the Institute and explored different areas. We went to Aegina for a beach day and floated in the sea. On the “ochi” day long weekend, we made a trip to Kalamata and toured the countryside visiting the Palace of Nestor. I also booked two guided tours, one went to Mycenae, Nafplio, and Epidaurus and the other to Delphi. At the Institute, working hours can be changed to accommodate plans during the week. So, I worked double hours one week, and took the next week off to visit with my parents and relatives in the Netherlands. Needless to say, my time in Greece has been full of travel and seeing new things.

Enjoying the Ambience of a Local Restaurant

One of the best things that goes hand in hand with travelling is the exposure to different food. I have grown to like the family style that most Greek restaurants serve their food in. Some of the best memories here were made in secluded Greek tavernas, enjoying the authentic music and food, just taking everything in. The foods that I thoroughly enjoyed were gyros, paidakia, dolmades, meatballs, and potatoes with tzatziki. Not only was the prepared food delicious, but also the fresh products that were for sale in the street markets. In particular, I appreciated the fresh olive oil, fruits, and vegetables that were grown by the locals.

Darts Night at the Red Lion

Working at the Institute, I became connected with the greater community of archaeologists in Athens. The main way that the different archaeological schools associate is through events. In particular, the Tuesday darts night linked a group of us mostly from the American, British, and Canadian schools. It was nice to meet students working in the field of classics and archaeology in a relaxed atmosphere and interesting to hear about research that they were conducting. Pairing this with some friendly competition in a game of darts, the evenings were enjoyable and great memories were made.

The opportunity to live in Athens and work at the Canadian Institute has been full of new experiences and lasting memories. I am thankful to have been welcomed into this community and for the work that I was able to accomplish during my three months here. Thank you for having me!

Aaron Westrik
University of Waterloo intern, autumn-winter 2022

Friday, October 7, 2022

A New Endowment: The Arnopoulos/CIG Lecture and Public Engagement Fund

Dr. Paris Arnopoulos

[ακολουθεί κείμενο στα ελληνικά]

The Canadian Institute in Greece is proud to announce that it has received a gift of CAD $ 70,000 from Dr. Paris Arnopoulos, Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.  This gift will establish an endowment named The Arnopoulos/CIG Lecture and Public Engagement Fund to be administered by the Canadian Institute in Greece.

The purpose of this endowment will be to support a series of lectures, symposia and exhibitions related to partnerships between Canadian and Greek institutions, with guest speakers from Canada or Greece. The lecture series will include an annual signature lecture in honour of Dr. Arnopoulos. In addition, the endowment will also support the organization of cross-Canada speaking engagements with the purpose of highlighting the CIG’s important archaeological fieldwork and scholarly research in Greece.  

“The Arnopoulos/CIG Lecture and Public Engagement Fund endowment will serve as an important catalyst for the interaction between Canadian and Greek academics. The Canadian Institute in Greece is grateful to Dr. Paris Arnopoulos for his generous support”, said Dr. Jacques Perreault, Director of the CIG.

"As a Canadian of Greek heritage I am very proud to support the important work of the Canadian Institute in Greece as Canada and Greece this year celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations," said Dr. Paris Arnopoulos.

Dr. Paris Arnopoulos is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Political Science at Concordia University where he taught World Politics and Diplomacy for 33 years. Born in Greece, he immigrated to Canada in 1948 completing studies in Physics, Mathematics & Philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal, International Affairs and Multilateral Diplomacy at New York University and Classics & Political Theory at Columbia University. Dr. Arnopoulos has served as a Scholar in Residence at numerous international organizations including the United Nations, UNESCO and UNITAR. He has served as Montreal President of the United Nations Association, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, National President of Canadian Peace Research & Education Association and Director of Hellenic Studies Center & GAMMA Research Institute in Montreal. Dr. Arnopoulos has published several books on the theory of sociophysics, using the metaphors of physics to describe societal movements and tensions. Among these are Sociophysics; Sociopolitics; Cosmopolitics; Exopolitics and Mediterranean 2000. He has been the editor of Prospects for Peace, a publication dedicated to the UN Year of Peace.

The CIG auditorium in Athens

Το Καναδικό Ινστιτούτο στην Ελλάδα (ΚΙΕ) είναι στην ευχάριστη θέση να ανακοινώσει ότι έλαβε δωρεά $70.000CAD από τον Δρ. Πάρι Αρνόπουλο, Ομότιμο Καθηγητή στο Πανεπιστήμιο Concordia στο Μόντρεαλ του Καναδά. Η δωρεά αυτή θα δημιουργήσει  ένα κληροδότημα με την ονομασία The Arnopoulos/CIG Lecture and Public Engagement Fund που θα διαχειρίζεται το Καναδικό Ινστιτούτο στην Ελλάδα.

Σκοπός αυτού του κληροδοτήματος θα είναι η υποστήριξη μιας σειράς διαλέξεων, συμποσίων και εκθέσεων που σχετίζονται με συνεργασίες μεταξύ καναδικών και ελληνικών ιδρυμάτων, με προσκεκλημένους ομιλητές από τον Καναδά και την Ελλάδα.  Η σειρά διαλέξεων θα περιλαμβάνει μια ετήσια διάλεξη προς τιμήν του Δρ Αρνόπουλου. Επιπλέον, το κληροδότημα θα υποστηρίξει τη διοργάνωση διαλέξεων σε όλο τον Καναδά με σκοπό την ανάδειξη των σημαντικών αρχαιολογικών ανασκαφών και επιστημονικής έρευνας του ΚΙΕ στην Ελλάδα.  

"Το κληροδότημα Arnopoulos/CIG Lecture and Public Engagement Fund θα λειτουργήσει ως σημαντικός καταλύτης για την αλληλεπίδραση μεταξύ Καναδών και Ελλήνων ακαδημαϊκών. Το Καναδικό Ινστιτούτο Ελλάδος είναι ευγνώμον στον Δρ Πάρι Αρνόπουλο για τη γενναιόδωρη υποστήριξή του", δήλωσε ο Δρ Jacques Perreault, Διευθυντής του ΚΙΕ.

"Ως Καναδός ελληνικής καταγωγής, είμαι πολύ περήφανος που υποστηρίζω το σημαντικό έργο του Καναδικού Ινστιτούτου στην Ελλάδα, καθώς ο Καναδάς και η Ελλάδα γιορτάζουν φέτος τα 80 χρόνια διπλωματικών σχέσεων", δήλωσε ο Δρ Πάρις Αρνόπουλος.

Ο Δρ Πάρις Αρνόπουλος είναι Ομότιμος Καθηγητής στο Τμήμα Πολιτικών Επιστημών του Πανεπιστημίου Concordia, όπου δίδαξε Παγκόσμια Πολιτική και Διπλωματία επί 33 χρόνια. Γεννήθηκε στην Ελλάδα και μετανάστευσε στον Καναδά το 1948, ολοκληρώνοντας τις σπουδές του στη Φυσική, τα Μαθηματικά και τη Φιλοσοφία στο Πανεπιστήμιο Concordia του Μόντρεαλ, στις Διεθνείς Υποθέσεις και την Πολυμερή Διπλωματία στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Νέας Υόρκης και στις Κλασικές Σπουδές και την Πολιτική Θεωρία στο Πανεπιστήμιο Κολούμπια. Ο Δρ Αρνόπουλος έχει διατελέσει υπότροφος σε πολλούς διεθνείς οργανισμούς, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των Ηνωμένων Εθνών, της UNESCO και του UNITAR. Έχει διατελέσει Πρόεδρος του Μόντρεαλ της Ένωσης Ηνωμένων Εθνών, του Καναδικού Ινστιτούτου Διεθνών Υποθέσεων, Εθνικός Πρόεδρος της Καναδικής Ένωσης Έρευνας & Εκπαίδευσης για την Ειρήνη και Διευθυντής του Κέντρου Ελληνικών Σπουδών & του Ερευνητικού Ινστιτούτου GAMMA στο Μόντρεαλ. Ο Δρ Αρνόπουλος έχει δημοσιεύσει πολλά βιβλία σχετικά με τη θεωρία της κοινωνιοφυσικής, χρησιμοποιώντας τις μεταφορές της φυσικής για να περιγράψει τις κοινωνικές κινήσεις και εντάσεις. Μεταξύ αυτών είναι τα εξής: Sociophysics- Sociopolitics- Cosmopolitics- Exopolitics και Mediterranean 2000. Έχει διατελέσει συντάκτης του Prospects for Peace, μιας έκδοσης αφιερωμένης στο Έτος Ειρήνης του ΟΗΕ.

Zoe Delibasis
Cultural Program Manager, CIG

Friday, September 30, 2022

Welcome, Shannon, Sarah and Aaron!

The new academic year has begun at the Institute, and we welcome the Institute’s 2022-2023 Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellow, Shannon Crewson, Wilfrid Laurier University intern, Sarah Bidinosti, and University of Waterloo intern, Aaron Westrik.

Shannon Crewson is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at McMaster University, under the supervision of Prof. Tristan Carter. Her thesis, “The Challenges of Representing Long-Term Histories: A Pleistocene to Anthropocene Case Study at Stelida, Naxos” focuses on narrative approaches to writing prehistory for public audiences and incorporates archaeology, anthropology, history, and earth sciences to examine how we can meaningfully represent long-term cultural histories.

Shannon is using the case study of a single site, Stelida, whose history of human engagement with the hill spans from at least 200,000 years ago. Her thesis consists of two components: first, the development of a historical narrative of Stelida, examining themes including climate and subsistence, raw material extraction and vantage point/communication, rather than periods, through which we might represent deep-time human experience at the site. Secondly, she will be creating an accessible museological narrative, culminating with an exhibition on Naxos and an associated bilingual (English and Greek) website.

With the support of the Canadian Institute in Greece and the Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellowship, Shannon wishes to complete her collection of primary research data – including site visits to several archaeological museums to understand how archaeology is being interpreted in these spaces and to examine how museums are presenting different periods (from the Palaeolithic to present day). Secondly, she plans to travel to Naxos to continue collecting local histories at Stelida. This project aims to place Stelida amongst the grander historical narratives globally. Moreover, it aims to engage the public in these narratives, and while situated locally and pitched at Stelida’s various stakeholder communities, the project’s intellectual foundations and representational methods will have pertinence and utility for archaeologists and museums globally.

Sarah Bidinosti is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in Archaeology and Heritage Studies, with a minor in Criminology. Through her current studies, Sarah has developed an interest in working with human remains. She particularly enjoys analyzing the health of individuals as influenced by societal structures. Upon graduation, she intends to continue her education by pursuing bioarchaeology at a graduate level.

With the opportunity to work as an intern at the Canadian Institute in Greece, Sarah hopes to gain a first-hand experience working in the field of archaeology, beyond the preliminary research and excavation stages, in order to be well versed in the discipline. This placement will allow her to immerse herself in Greek culture, while learning about the history of Greek civilization and its people.

Aaron Westrik is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Classics at the University of Waterloo. His plan is to continue studying linguistics at the graduate level either continuing in the path of Classics or shifting his focus into Theological Studies.

His main interest in Classics comes from a fascination in linguistics, particularly Latin and Ancient Greek. In addition to these two he has also studied Hebrew for a year taking a couple of courses with McMaster University. His favourite texts thus far are from Hellenistic Poetry. With each poem having so much meaning and alluding to so many other classical works, they have such depth which makes them particularly enjoyable. Moreover, he appreciates that some of these texts are quoted in the New Testament connecting the Classical and Biblical worlds together.

Serving as an intern at the Institute is a great opportunity for Aaron to take in the sights and sounds of Greek culture. He plans to expand his knowledge of the Greek language connecting some of the Ancient Greek that he has already knows with the Modern Greek so visibly present all around Athens.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Central Achaia Phthiotis Survey (CAPS) 2022: Making strides through space and time

Fig. 1. 'Kampos' and 'Gogou', the landscape that is the focus of CAPS.  In the background, towards SE: the Kastro at Kallithea, and the Othrys Mountains

The Central Achaia Phthiotis Survey began in 2019 with a 6-week pilot season. But due to the COVID pandemic the team had to wait until the Fall of 2021 before we could get back into the field again. This year we were excited to start a season with a full team, working from July 4-August 14. Lots of work was done, and many new things saw the light!

CAPS is a synergasia of the Ephorate of Antiquities in Larissa (Thessaly), and the University of Alberta, with Sophia Karapanou and Margriet Haagsma as co-directors. The project is supported by a SSHRC grant, and we thank the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Canadian Institute in Greece, and the Municipality of Pharsala for their unwavering support in our research endeavours.

CAPS focuses on a landscape in Thessaly that can be characterized as a ‘marginal’. Betwixt and between sea and inland, mountains and plains, and encircled by the river Enipeus, it is not easy to reach this rural area by modern transport. Once arrived, one is immediately struck by a 600-meter high hill that dominates the landscape; the 4th-2nd-century BCE city of ‘Kastro’, probably ancient Peuma, which our team has mapped and excavated since 2004.

An archaeological survey of a large area surrounding this city is the focus of CAPS, and our five-year plan has been approved by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. We ask how this landscape, tucked into the utmost southern corner of the province Larissa, and currently viewed as an area of ‘low agricultural production’ far away from anything else, held communities that viewed this area as their homeland over the long-term.

Fig. 2. CAPS 2022: Map with survey tracts covered in 2019-2022. Map: C. Myles Chykerda

Our work terrain consists of almost 1800 hectares of rolling hills, cut into elongated strokes of land by torrents and brooks running down from Kastro to the river. Part of the land is cultivated, but a large area is covered with prickly shrub; pournari! Almost all of us find slivers of this prickly stone oak in our suitcases once we are back home. The uncultivated area is mostly a no-go, but that does not mean that it holds no archaeological remains, or that we cannot research it by other means. In 2020, we hired a company that flew a plane with a LiDAR sensor over ca. 1000 hectares, and the results are phenomenal! The Early Iron Age tombs we plotted in 2019, can easily be seen in the data, and we can now also see other features under the tree canopy that warrant further groundtruthing in upcoming seasons.

Fig. 3. DEM of the Kastro at Kallithea based on the LiDAR data. Image: Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

Over the past year, systematic survey based on fieldwalking was conducted in the Fall of 2021 and in Summer 2022, and during that time our team covered almost 300 hectares of cultivated fields, in addition to the 130 hectares already covered in 2019. In Fall 2021, we spent three weeks in the field with a team of 10 people. In 2022, our team consisted of 6 staff and no less than 19 field school students from the University of Alberta. With such a big team we were able to make a lot of progress. Myles Chykerda was responsible for the GIS, and setting out tracts with the GNSS unit. Students worked in in three alternating modules: two field survey teams, led by Magie Aiken, Gino Canlas and Ed Middleton, and an apothiki team led by Adam Wiznura and Margriet Haagsma.

Fig. 4. CAPS 2022: Magie Aiken giving instruction on how to survey the next tract (with Keenan Walker, Janan Assaly, Anna Smythe, Matt Spinks, Rebecca Plouffe, and Megan Campbell). Photo: Margriet Haagsma

Fig. 5. CAPS 2022: Surveying early in the morning. Photo: Gino Canlas

Fig. 6. Group picture of Gino Canlas’ team (Jaden Villatoro, Gino Canlas, Cheyenne Widdecke, Gina Malaba, Ava Laville, Christie Allarie, Dylan Vadnais.).

Fieldwalkers spaced c.10m apart made two passes along the length of the tract, collecting all artefacts to 1m on either side. At the end of the first pass, they changed positions before beginning walking back. While many fields yielded little to no material, the team also discovered 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. In the Fall of 2021, the team discovered a prehistoric site in the form of a low magoula, in an area with the toponym Gogou. Over an area of 1.5 hectares more than 1000 pieces of ceramic, including pieces of figurines, were found, weighing over 20 kgs. Our ceramic specialists Giorgos Toufexis and Mies Wijnen presumed that the majority of finds date to the late phase of the Early Neolithic (6000-5800 BCE) and that the site was abandoned at the beginning of the Middle Neolithic.

Fig. 7 Ed Middleton giving instruction to the fieldschool students in the apothiki in Narthaki. Photo: Adam Wiznura

Fig. 8. Adam Wiznura giving instruction on processing ceramics. (with Keenan Walker, Jaden Villatoro, Amilia Hildahl, Jasper Dilts, Cheyenne Widdecke, Adam Wiznura, Alex Schirru, Matt Spinks) (NB. brooms have more than one function!) Photo: Margriet Haagsma

The apothiki team kept pace with the fieldwalkers. Students were taught how to wash, sort and date pottery and other finds, and how to populate the database with numbers, weights and dates of finds. Magie Aiken worked with students in the afternoon flotting the soil kept from the excavation of Tholos 7 in 2019, recovering animal and human remains, and a sliver of bronze in the heavy residue, indicating that this looted tomb likely held one or more bronze artefacts. Gino Canlas worked on drawing and documenting a number of vessels belonging to two Mycenaean tombs in the survey area, excavated by Dimitris Theocharis in 1963.

Other activities in 2022 included flying our drone over a number of areas of human activity with architecture, allowing us to make detailed DSM’s. We also documented a hitherto unknown fortified hillside north of the area known as Arabises, near Aghios Antonios. We are excited that in Fall 2022 Nelson Mattie of the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences of the UofA will arrive who will document a number of identified areas of human activity, including the Neolithic magoula, with a drone carrying a LiDAR sensor and multispectral camera. This will allow us to learn more about the layout, size and morphology of these areas.

Fig. 9. Dinner with the mayor of Farsala, Makis Eskioglou (L.). To the right: Margriet Haagsma, and Thanasis Lelentzis, proedros of Narthaki. Photo: Magie Aiken

On August 4th, the mayor of Farsala, Mr. Makis Eskioglou, treated us to a fantastic dinner at taverna ‘H Drosia,’ run by our always gracious host, Elias Papadopoulos and his family. We thank them, all who participated in our 2021 and 2021 seasons, and those who aided this project, and we are looking forward to our future seasons!

Fig. 10. The CAPS 2022 team, minus Link Amyot, Sophia Karapanou and Giorgos Toufexis. (Gino Canlas, Rebecca Plouffe, Jessica Hewitt, Dylan Vadnais, Amilia Hildahl, Keenan Walker, Gina Malaba, Anna Smythe, Ed Middleton, Matt Spinks, Ashlee Thompson, Janan Assaly, Alex Schirru, Cheyenne Widdecke, Christie Allarie, Jaden Villatoro, Magie Aiken, Adam Wiznura, Ava Laville, Megan Campbell, Jasper Dilts, Myles Chykerda, Alexander Dowsey, Margriet Haagsma) Photo: Margriet Haagsma

Margriet Haagsma (Co-Director, Central Achaia Phthiotis Survey, CAPS)

Friday, September 16, 2022

De retour à Kerdylion

Photo aérienne de la fin des fouilles

Pour un deuxième été consécutif, un groupe d’étudiants a pris part aux fouilles de l’ancienne Kerdylion. Fondée au 6e siècle avant notre ère par Argilos, c’est sans surprise que l’histoire de cet établissement, tout comme la recherche qui y est menée, soient étroitement liées à celles d’Argilos.

On dégage le mur !

Les travaux se concentrant sur la fortification de l’établissement, les objectifs principaux de cette saison de fouille étaient de dégager certaines sections du rempart, de confirmer l’orientation du tracé au Nord de la porte de la ville et d’effectuer des fouilles à l’intérieur des défenses afin de mieux comprendre la chronologie.

Dessin stratigraphique avec Elena, Jan et Ashley

Les nombreuses découvertes, dont deux monnaies frappées lors du règne d’Alexandre le Grand, se sont révélées significatives. Alors que la majorité du matériel mis au jour date du 4e siècle avant notre ère, notre hypothèse selon laquelle les Macédoniens seraient à l’origine de la construction de la fortification de Kerdylion demeure plausible.

Équipe de Kerdylion 2022

Un grand merci aux étudiants qui ont participé à la saison de fouille 2022 et qui ont contribué à sa réussite!

Keven Ouellet, Université de Montréal (responsable pour la partie canadienne)

Friday, September 9, 2022

The Khavania Archaeological Project, 2022

Fig. 1. Map of the Mirabello Bay area, East Crete, with ancient sites plotted (Rendered by D.M. Buell).

This season’s iteration of the Khavania Archaeological Project ran as a study season, conducted from June 8th through August 3rd. Located in East Crete, Khavania is situated on the western shores of the Mirabello Bay, along the coastal road leading from Ayios Nikolaos to Elounda (Fig. 1). The seaward side of the road is being rapidly developed today, with numerous hotels, luxury resorts, coffee stands, and peripteros appearing, not to mention lobster-backed tourists zooming along on quads. The coastal road, which follows a natural contour against a slightly elevated plain to the west, was probably always the major north–south course along the western side of the Bay of Mirabello. Khavania is also well-connected to the broader seascape in that it possesses good, natural harbors immediately on either side of the promontory (Fig. 2). Natural land routes, created by seasonal rivers or revmata running from the Dikti massif, provide an ease of communication, leading westward to the interior of the island and the Lasithi plateau. The site is, therefore, well-positioned to take advantage of both land and sea routes, which could connect the settlement to other areas of Crete. Indeed, we believe that in antiquity Khavania was a major node in the local Mirabello interaction network, which was itself linked to the broader Cretan and Aegean one. The site, therefore, provides a good opportunity to study both intra- and inter-island connectivity and exchange.

Curiously, outside of periodic rescue excavations, the western shores of the Mirabello Bay have received little archaeological attention. This is in direct opposition to the eastern and southern shores of the Mirabello, which have been the subject of intensive archaeological research since the turn of the 20th century (Fig. 1). This work has included excavations at sites such as Kavousi Vronda and Kastro, Azoria, Pseira, Vasiliki, Gournia, Priniatikos Pyrgos, and many others, large and small. Three contiguous survey projects (Kavousi, Gournia, and Vrokastro) have also yielded invaluable information concerning local settlement histories, patterns, and systems of land-use. The result of all this archaeological work is that we have a detailed settlement history of the southern and eastern Mirabello region, one which spans the Neolithic to Modern periods. The same, however, cannot be said for the Mirabello’s western shores. As a result, in 2018, operating on the advice of the local ephor, Ms. Sophianou, Drs. D. Matthew Buell (Concordia University) and Rodney D. Fitzsimons (Trent University) established the Khavania Archaeological project.

Fig. 2. Orthophoto of Khavania (Created by R. Bieńkowski).

The Khavania Archaeological Project’s overall research goals have been to study the development of the site, especially in terms of its local, East Cretan, and broader, island-wide, socio-political, economic, and ideological relationships. In short, we have endeavored to provide context to an important settlement in a little investigated area of East Crete. To date, we have conducted two seasons of fieldwork at the site, one in 2019 and another 2021. Over the course of these seasons we identified, recorded, and studied some 77 extant architectural features, as well as a quarry (Figs. 2, 3). Indeed, partial outlines of at least three independent buildings have been identified on the Khavania peninsula, with the largest possessing a measurable extant area of about 100m2. All-in-all, the architectural remains identified during these seasons and from test excavations conducted by the Ephoreia in 2016 testify to the presence of several monumental buildings, perhaps official buildings, which advertised the power and authority of prominent members of the community (Figs. 4, 5). Additionally, the dimensions and orientation of some walls suggest that they also served as retaining walls. Their presence may be indicative of substantial efforts to modify the local landscape. In other words, their presence may be taken to be indicative of some degree of civic planning.

Fig. 3. Plot of architectural features documented at Khavania in 2019 and 2021 (Created by D.M. Buell)

One component of both our 2019 and 2021 seasons was the systematic retrieval of artifacts from across the site through a program of intensive survey. We endeavored to study these objects during this season’s program of study. This summer, we were joined by two colleagues, Dr. Jane Francis (Concordia University), who studied the post-Bronze Age pottery, and Dr. R. Angus K. Smith (Brock University), who was concerned with the prehistoric pottery. In addition, Francis and Buell brought five undergraduate students from the Department of Classics, Modern Languages, and Linguistics (CMLL) at Concordia University, while Smith was accompanied by six from the Department of Classics and Archaeology Brock University. Students from both the Concordia and Brock field schools split their time working in the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos on Khavania materials and at the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete on objects recovered from the 2010-2014 excavations of the Minoan town of Gournia, one of the aforementioned sites on the southern shores of the Mirabello Bay (Fig. 6). Both Smith and Buell are senior members of the Gournia Excavation Project, which was established in 2010.

Fig. 4. Plot of walls identified on the northern side of the peninsula. Wall 17 is a particularly impressive, monumental construction, complete with a projecting plinth (Created by D.M. Buell)

In working on materials from both sites, our field school students were provided with the opportunity to actively process and study different classes of objects, including pottery, stone tools, and architecture (Fig. 7). Students were taught to identify material remains, sort and classify them, document/record them (photography, drawing, detailed notes/cataloguing), and, most importantly, help to seek some understanding as to what these artifacts can tell us about the society which produced them. In addition, they received a series of workshops and one-on-one sessions, including ones on the study of floral and faunal remains, human osteology, petrographic analysis, and conservation, from several scholars at the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete. In short, students were introduced to the various, up-to-date methods that archaeologists employ to study the materials that they collect, from the smallest stone tools to the largest, most impressive buildings, and they were presented with the opportunity to work with a multinational team of scholars from diverse academic fields. To supplement and contextualize our studies, the Concordia and Brock field schools also visited a few archaeological sites, both local and across the island (Fig. 8). And, finally, each of the Concordia students was assigned an object from either the Khavania or Gournia research projects, which they will present on at an October 2022 conference at Concordia University, entitled Minoan to Roman Seafarers and Traders: Concordia University’s Archaeological Explorations in the Mirabello Bay Region, East Crete, Summer 2022. We hope to publish the proceedings from this event.

Fig. 5. Photograph of Wall 17 from the northwest (Photo by R.D. Fitzsimons).

Our immediate project goals for the 2022 study season were to wash, clean, process, and study all objects that were collected at Khavania during the 2019 and 2021 field seasons. We undertook these tasks to 1) create a refined site history; 2) establish a ceramic profile for the site during various phases of occupation, one which is based on general morphology and fabric composition; 3) provide a ceramic template for future studies in this part of Crete, especially; 4) understand how local resources were used; 5) example possible activities conducted at the site over time; and 6) develop an understanding of both inter- and extra-island contact and exchange. All objects were cleaned and studied in the comforts of the Agios Nikolaos Museum. The air-conditioned study area was especially appreciated, since it was a hot, hot, hot summer. As a side note, the Museum will open soon after a period of renovation. This is a must-visit destination when on Crete!

Prior to studying the materials, all objects collected during the 2019 and 2021 seasons were washed and cleaned. Various classes of objects were taken out of larger collection bags and placed within their own bags. For the terracotta objects, each bag was laid and separated first into prehistoric and historic (i.e., post-Bronze Age) phases for study by Smith and Francis (Fig. 9). The usual issues concerned with survey pottery were present. Despite washing, for example, many fragments remained encrusted with dirt and lichens. Moreover, the state of preservation was overall poor for the pottery since surfaces were frequently broken away or worn. Preserved decoration was limited. In addition, diagnostic pieces were few and it was sometimes difficult to assign even broad dates. Finally, study was also hindered by abundant post-deposition burning on objects. Indeed, it seems as though the site suffered extensive fire damage in the past. Nevertheless, we endeavored to persevere!

Fig. 6. Concordia field school students at the Minoan site of Gournia. From left to right: Sophia Graham, Paige Foley, Aiko Byrne, Luna Nikolic, and Raphaëlle Berberyan (Photo by D.M. Buell).

All pottery was sorted according to identifiable parts and general size (coarse and large, such as pithoi and tile, or small and fine, such as table ware). Team members wrote descriptions of all fragments in notebooks, including general observations on fabric, color, hardness, shape, and decoration. During this process, individual sherds considered to be diagnostic for either shape or fabric were set aside for cataloguing and given a unique identifying number. Sherds were then catalogued using paper forms developed in part for the Sphakia Survey Project in west Crete and following the recording system described in Moody et al. 2003. This approach combines the recording of the general morphological characteristics of each sherd (e.g., part, shape, dimensions, color, condition, surface/interior treatment, hardness) with macroscopic analysis that identifies inclusions with a 40X magnification handheld lens and describes their composition within the matrix of the fabric. Study photographs were taken of each catalogued fragment for shape, while photographs of the fabric were also taken with a Dino-Lite microscope. Finally, these forms were then entered into the project database for further research.

In all more than 2,000 pottery sherds were examined, and 231 were selected for cataloguing. Prehistoric pottery ranges in date from the Prepalatial (Early Minoan III-Middle Minoan IA) to the Postpalatial period (Late Minoan IIIA2-Late Minoan IIIB). The Neopalatial period (especially Late Minoan IA) and Postpalatial periods are especially well-represented, suggesting that the site was particularly active during these periods. A wide range of wares (fine, coarse, and cooking) and vessel shapes (cups, bowls, jugs/juglets, pithoi, and cookpots) were identified. Fabric analysis revealed a coarse ware fabric, tentatively called “Khavania Ware,” which was, perhaps, locally produced. Phyllitic and granodioritic fabrics also appeared, though in low quantities, especially the latter. Since these fabrics are common in ceramic assemblages from sites on the southern and eastern shores of the Mirabello, they stand as evidence for interaction between Khavania and these other sites.

Fig. 7. Brock students, Sukhmeet Dhur (working hard) and Kaylee Janzen (smiling for the camera), catalogue pottery in the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos (Photo by R.A.K. Smith).

By far, most of the pottery for the historic era can be dated to the Roman period. Other probable historic periods that may be represented include the Archaic and Classical eras, while Hellenistic and Byzantine are represented. Oddly, very few fine ware vessels were identified for Roman period. Plain, coarse, and cooking wares are more common. Vessel types represented included jugs, jars, bowls/basins, table and transport amphoras, lamps, bins/dolia, pithoi, tiles, and beehives. The latter was an especially welcome finding, given one of our team member’s obsession with apiary. Importantly, several Roman transport amphoras, which stand as evidence for interaction with a number of other sites on the island, were identified. Fabric analysis of the historic era pottery revealed fairly homogenous fabric data, similar to that identified in the Prehistoric assemblage.

All stone tools were registered and provided with a unique identifying number. Standardized forms, with fields for dimensions, material, weight, shape, color, type, subtype, use/activity type, and other specialized fields, pertaining to the particular class of object (i.e., groundstone or chipped stone), were completed. Twelve groundstone objects were identified, equally divided into querns and hammerstones. All seem to have been constructed from local materials. Interestingly, the querns were rather small in size (average length = 13.05cm), suggesting that these objects were not utilized for large-scale domestic tasks, such as grinding grain. Rather, it seems they were used to grind small quantities of materials, perhaps, herbs, spices, nuts, or seeds. In other words, they may have served as supplementary kitchen implements. It is also, of course, possible that these small querns were used for non-food production related tasks, such as mixing pigments or medicines. Fourteen chipped stone objects were identified, consisting of nine pieces of debitage and five tools (all prismatic blades). All the chipped stone objects, with the exception of one flake of local chert, were of Melian obsidian.

 Fig. 8. Matt giving the Brock students a tour of Khavania. From left to right: Matt Buell, Jessica Kroeze, Desiree Southern, Kaylee Janzen, Sukhmeet Dhur, Samuel Kelly, and Alexandra Farrow (Photo by R.A.K. Smith).

Finally, a green jasper sealstone which was recovered during the 2019 survey, was studied. This seal is a biconvex amygdaloid of green jasper of the talismanic variety. The seal was studied at both the macroscopic level, using a 40x hand-lens, and at the microscopic level using a Dino-Lite. A proper catalogue form, which recorded all relevant data was created, filled out, and entered into the project database. Both an impression and plaster cast of the seal were taken for purposes of documentation and future study. The well-preserved talismanic sealstone, which is pierced along its central axis, bears decoration consisting of three rows of alternating lunettes (numbering three, three, and two) above a circular depression. This is a motif that is usually identified as a stylized octopus, with the lunettes representing tentacles and the depression, the body. Similar motifs appear on seven different green jasper seals dated to the Late Minoan IA period. Given the similarity in material and motif, it may be possible that green jasper “stylized octopi” seals, were products of a single workshop. Unfortunately, however, the location of the hypothetical workshop is unknown, since only two, now three with Khavania, have a known provenience.

In terms of future plans, team members will continue to work with and interpret the data that they collected during the 2022 study season. Selected catalogued objects will be drawn and photographed over the winter months. In addition, a selection of catalogued pottery will be sampled for petrographic analysis. Here, it is hoped that the results from both the macroscopic and microscopic investigations will establish a template for the site’s ceramic fabrics but will also allow comparative analysis with samples in the INSTAP petrography database that will enrich knowledge about production centers, clay sources, chronologies, and inter-island contact and exchange. And, finally, it is our hope to return to Khavania next summer to conduct further investigations of this fascinating site.

Fig. 9. Pottery laid out and ready to be sorted by Jane (Photo by Raphaëlle Berberyan).

We would like to conclude this blog post with a note of gratitude to the various individuals who have helped us along the way. These include:

Chryssa Sophianou and Klio Zervaki (ΚΔ’ Ephorate of East Crete), Jacques Perrault, Brendan Burke, and Jonathan Tomlinson (The Canadian Institute in Greece), Tom Brogan, Kathy Hall, Eleanor Huffman, Eleni Nodarou (INSTAP, Study Center for East Crete), Raphaëlle Berberyan, Aiko Byrne, Sukhmeet Dhur, Alexandra Farrow, Paige Foley, Sophia Graham, Kaylee Janzen, Samuel Kelly, Jessica Kroeze, Luna Nikolic, and Desiree Southern (our absolutely fantastic field school students from Concordia and Brock), Rafał Bieńkowski, Lily Bonga, Miriam Clinton, Alice Crowe, Sophiana Drakaki, Carly Henkel, Sarah Hilker, Kapua Iao, Konstantina Kokolaki, Tina McGeorge, Dimitra Mylona, and Charles Sturge.

Generous financial support has been provided by the Bagnani Trust, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

D. Matthew Buell, Rodney D. Fitzsimons, Jane Francis, and R. Angus K. Smith

Friday, September 2, 2022

Mission archéologique d'Argilos 2022

Vue des ensembles architecturaux du secteur Koutloudis

La 30ème mission archéologique à Argilos en Grèce du Nord a remporté un vif succès. Près d’une soixantaine d’étudiants de CÉGEPS et d’universités québécoises, mais aussi canadiennes et américaines, ont participé à un stage d’initiation ou de perfectionnement aux techniques de fouille et au catalogage et à l’analyse du mobilier archéologique.

Des opérations de terrain ont eu lieu dans deux secteurs. D’abord celui de la zone commerciale de la ville, où sont rassemblés deux complexes de boutiques, un regroupement d’ateliers et un grand complexe divisé en habitations.

Unité Q5, étudiants au travail

Les recherches se sont concentrées sur deux boutiques du complexe « P » et cinq unités d’habitation du complexe « Q ». Si la fouille des deux boutiques n’a pas permis, pour le moment, d’éclaircir la nature des marchandises proposées, la fouille des unités du complexe Q montre une étonnante diversité dans la forme et les divisions internes des habitations, ce qui pourrait témoigner de la diversité culturelle des habitants de la ville. Avec un total de 47 boutiques, ateliers ou résidences, ces bâtiments constituent un ensemble architectural et urbanistique unique, notamment par son étendue et qui remonte, dans sa première phase, jusqu’au au milieu du VIème siècle av. n.è. Il s’agit en effet d’un des très rares exemples d’urbanisme colonial grec de la période archaïque dans un tel état de conservation. Et ce n’est pas terminé, car d’importants travaux de terrassement nous ont permis de dégager cinq autres habitations appartenant à un cinquième groupement, érigé au nord de « Q ». Il faut féliciter et remercier Justine Lefebvre et Shelby Vieira, qui ont encadré les stagiaires, sans oublier Laure Sarah Éthier Boutet qui est venue prêter main forte à l’occasion.

Visite des étudiants sur le plateau "Angelopoulos"

Un des objectifs de notre plan quinquennal est de relier le secteur de fouille de l’acropole avec les secteurs au bas de la colline par un chemin qui emprunterait, idéalement, une des rues originales de la ville, dans le but d’ouvrir le site au public. C’est dans cette perspective que nous avons pratiqué cette année deux sondages sur un plateau à mi-hauteur de la colline, dans l’espoir de trouver une des rues antiques dans cette zone.  Il faut croire que Tyché veillait sur nous car l’un des deux sondages a effectivement révélé une de ces rues ! Elle est étonnamment bien conservée et il ne nous reste plus, comme pour aller à Oz, qu’à la suivre jusqu’à l’acropole ! Un grand merci à Marie Clermont-Mignault qui a dirigé les étudiants dans ce secteur.

Nettoyage et catalogage de la céramique au musée d’Amphipolis

Au musée, les stagiaires ont procédé au lavage et au catalogage du matériel trouvé dans leurs sondages, sous l’œil et les conseils avertis de Laure Sarah Éthier Boutet et Saskia Deluy, assistées cette année par Cayle Diefenbach. Ces séances au musée sont l’occasion de s’initier aux formes, à la fonction et à la chronologie de la céramique grecque, mais les étudiants ont également profité de la présence de certains de nos chercheurs associés au projet Argilos, de passage au musée. Angelos Gkotsinas, zooarchéologue, a initié les étudiants à cette spécialité et parlé de l’économie pastorale et de l’exploitation animale à Argilos. Le Professeur émérite Gerry Schaus de l’Université Wilfrid laurier, responsable de l’étude et de la publication de la céramique de la Grèce de l’Est trouvée sur le site, a pour sa part fait une présentation de ce matériel abondant provenant de plusieurs régions de la côte de l’Asie Mineure.

Cours de zooarchéologie avec Angelos Gkotsinas - Présentation de la céramique de la l'Est avec le Prof. Gerry Schaus

Enfin, les visites de sites archéologiques et de musées de la région d’Argilos font partie intégrante de la formation offerte aux étudiants. Ceux-ci ont ainsi pu visiter Stageira, Pella, Vergina, Thessalonique, Philippe et Thasos.

Étudiants devant le lion d'Amphipolis

 Une belle expérience pour les étudiants et une trentième campagne de fouille tout à fait réussie pour l’équipe de la mission gréco-canadienne d’Argilos !

Visite à Stageira

 Prof. Jacques Perreault, Université de Montréal

Friday, August 26, 2022

Field School at Ancient Eleon resumes in 2022

Photo 1. The EBAP 2022 team gathered in our home garden in Dilesi

One of the priorities of the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project, (EBAP) since our work began in 2007, is to give students, especially ones from Canada, the opportunity to learn about Greece’s past through archaeological fieldwork. Many of our students begin their undergraduate degrees saying they 'love mythology', and that they are fascinated by the ancient world in film, television, and video games. Students come to see that our area of study is multi-disciplinary, the questions we ask are relevant today, and that our methods have wide applicability in the modern world.

One of the best ways to engage students in the ancient world is to offer experiential learning opportunities. Beginning in 2007, the Field-School Program (GRS 495) has been offered through the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria as a key element of the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP). This is a synergasia (collaboration) project of the Canadian Institute in Greece, co-directed by Brendan Burke and Bryan Burns (Wellesley College) under the directorship of Alexandra Charami (Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia). In 2022, we were a team of 25 students and scholars focused on survey and study, based in the town of Arma (photo 1).

Photo 2. Van Damme orients students in the settlement zone of ancient Eleon

The team included our largest group of undergraduates in several years, most enrolled in GRS 495 taught by Dr. Trevor Van Damme, also from the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria (photo 2)

Photo 3. It’s an early start to the day in Dilesi

As usual, our team assembled in Dilesi, on the Euboean Gulf, at the end of May. (photo 3) After orientation and a group dinner by the sea, we began in earnest on-site Monday morning May 30, 2022. There are many parts to a successful field school but probably the most important factor is communication and organization, so that everyone knows when to show up and what they are expected to do. Our team of student volunteers and graduate student leaders were effective, and everyone got a chance to participate in all the various aspects of the project. As they engage with the scientific questions that inform our research and reflect on their own contributions, students write blog posts on our project website that explain aspects of life on the EBAP team and place the site of Eleon within its wider Boeotian context.

Photo 4. Cleaning a wall already exposed at surface levels

Our project this year had several components – the cataloging, photography, and study of previously excavated finds in our apothiki, cleaning work at the excavation site which had been covered since 2018 in preparation for further documentation by the Digital Eleon team led by Jordan Tynes, geophysical survey on the acropolis and in the lower town, and architectural cleaning and survey around the acropolis (photo 4).

Photo 5. Schoolchildren of Arma gathered below ancient Eleon

Our work in the fields surrounding the established archaeological site was welcomed and assisted by numerous land-owners and the village of Arma. We’re grateful to the support we’ve received from the community over the many years of our work. This year we were delighted to receive an invitation to speak to the village schoolchildren near the site in June (photo 5).

Photo 6. Introduction to Boeotian ceramics in the apothiki
In the apothiki, ceramics and osteological material collected from the survey in 2007-2009 and excavations from 2011-2018 were the primary focus of study (photo 6). Our conservator, Nefeli Theocharous was also based there and taught the students some aspects of archaeological conservation.
Photo 7. Lifting the protective coverings from the excavated areas

At the excavation site, we lifted the protective tarps for the first time in two years, swept and cleaned the surfaces and walls in preparation for the creation of a new, more detailed, 3-D site model (photo 7). Students had the opportunity to wash and record ceramic finds that had eroded from the excavation scarps over the last two years and learn how to identify various categories of ceramic finds. Students learned how important it was to properly record where something is found and how to care for it. Once the site was cleaned with careful sweeping and the removal of weeds, (photo 8) a project of photogrammetry took place so that all the architectural features could be recorded fully for a new, forthcoming digital model. Our technology has improved over the last several years, with better drones, cameras, and software (not to mention our own expertise!).

Photo 8. Eleon’s NW complex, after 10 years of excavation and maintenance

Exploration below the acropolis of ancient Eleon was a return to work begun in our first year of the EBAP survey, in 2007. Back then, open fields and olive orchards were systematically walked, and the material found on the surface was collected. We wanted to return to the area because during the field walking, cut stone blocks, sometimes adjoining one another, forming wall fragments, were recorded. The overgrowth and centuries of agricultural work had obscured what we revealed this year to be a large stretch of fortification wall interspersed with at least four towers (photo 9). By the end of the season, we were able to trace the course of this wall through geophysical prospection and surface survey along the west and south of the ancient acropolis. Our students were excellent workers, clearing the tall grass and accumulated soil fill to record the structures for the first time. In parallel, our team of ceramic experts including Charlie Kocurek, a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati, restudied ceramic finds from the lower town defined by this wall in the EBAP survey in preparation for their final publication.

Photo 9. Significant architecture was uncovered beneath the tall grass

In tandem with the architectural survey, our geophysical team, led by Dr. Nicholas Herrmann of Texas State University, conducted GPR (ground penetrating radar) and geomagnetometry survey above the plowed fields and over the course of the fortification walls. This work is non-intrusive and provides a good picture of subsurface remains.

Photo 10. The most impressive section of ancient Eleon’s polygonal walls

Our excavation work on the elevated plateau of Eleon has revealed fascinating evidence for the history of the site from the early through late Mycenaean periods (1700-1100 BCE). The large polygonal wall which has been an iconic feature of the site has been dated by us to the late Archaic period, (photo 10) but it always stood somewhat in isolation since we did not find other stretches of this well-made masonry. Now, with the geophysical survey and the architectural study of the walls down below the acropolis, we suggest that ancient Eleon during the Archaic-Classical periods has an interesting story to tell, one that we hope to continue to reveal next year and beyond.

Brendan Burke, University of Victoria, co-director, EBAP