Greece - Excavating in the Aegean: The Case of Despotiko, Paros


Location: Despotiko, Paros, Greece

Season: 
May 25, 2015 to June 20, 2015

Program Type

Field school

Affiliation:

COLLEGE YEAR IN ATHENS/DIKEMES

Project Director:

Yannos Kourayos, Director of Excavation at Despotiko, Greek Ministry of Culture

Project Description

This summer course will students to archaeological fieldwork methods and theory through active participation in the systematic excavation of the sanctuary of Apollo situated on the uninhabited islet of Despotiko, west of Antiparos, in the center of the Cyclades in the Aegean.

The course will provide the opportunity to the students to unveil the history and the different phases of ritual activity at the most important Cycladic sanctuary after Delos.  In particular, the excavation will focus on the further exploration of a number of archaic sacred edifices, detected the previous years not only within the sacred precinct but also outside of it. More importantly, the earliest construction of the site up to date  will be fully excavated. Its character and function needs to be revealed since it will provide important information concerning the early cult practices at the sanctuary. Moreover, the investigation will be extended on the uninhabited islet of Tsimintiri, which used to be united with Despotiko during antiquity, on which a number of archaic buildings had been detected during the excavation season of 2011.

The first week of the course will be spent on the island of Paros, where the students will work at the storage rooms of the Archaeological Museum of Paros with the discovered material from the site. The students will be trained at the detailed processing of the finds, mostly of pottery, figurines and other minor objects.  They will therefore become acquainted with the process which enables the detailed study, interpretation and publication of the excavated material.

The morning work at the museum will be combined with afternoon classes focusing on pottery and various clay finds. The students will be provided with supplementary information on the main Greek pottery production centers, the clay, the shapes, uses and dissemination of Greek ceramics. The discussions will be adapted to the nature of the finds processed at the museum.

At the end of the first week students will be transported to the village of Agios Georgios on Antiparos.  During the following three weeks at the excavation site on Despotiko (a short daily boat ride from Agios Georgios), the students will familiarize themselves with the entire excavation procedure. They will be taught the basic methods of stratigraphical excavation, the onsite documentation, the recording and processing of the finds. The work at the site will be combined with a number of activities in the afternoons at Agios Georgios, including the detailed documentation of the activities at the site, the preparation of architectural plans and, more importantly, of the excavation diary.

Afternoon lectures will cover the theoretical issues concerning archaeological theory and methods, the various types of archaeological evidence with a focus on the material from Despotiko, ancient religious practices and rituals, the birth and development of Greek sanctuaries and in particular of those in the Cyclades. The aim of these lectures is to enable the students to fully comprehend the purposes of a systematic excavation and to place into its theoretical context the sanctuary and its material culture.

Enrollment and Credit
Currently registered undergraduates majoring in relevant subjects will receive priority, as will applicants with a B+ average or above. The nature of the course is primarily introductory, but students with a stronger background in archaeology will have the opportunity to do more advanced work.

Recommended credit: 6
Students are responsible for arranging academic credit with their colleges or universities. Most colleges and universities accept College Year in Athens courses for transfer credit; students whose home institutions do not grant credit on the basis of the College Year in Athens transcript should contact the CYA North American Office (617/868-8200; info@cyathens.org) to discuss available alternatives.

Period(s) of Occupation: Archaic - Classical

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 
18

Experience required: 
No, but but students with a stronger background in archaeology will have the opportunity to do more advanced work.

Room and Board Arrangements

During the first week of the program students will be accommodated in the Aegean Village Hotel in Paroikia. For the rest three weeks of the program on Antiparos students will be housed in the Zombos Rooms to Let, on the beach of Agios Georgios, in double- or triple-occupancy, air-conditioned rooms.  Lunch is included Monday through Friday at Paroikia and at Agios Georgios.

 

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered Recommended Credit: 6 Students are responsible for arranging academic credit with their colleges or universities. Most colleges and universities accept College Year in Athens courses for transfer credit; students whose home institutions do not grant credit on the basis of the College Year in Athens transcript should contact the CYA North American Office (617/868-8200; info@cyathens.org) to discuss available alternatives.
Tuition: 
$2990 including hotel accommodation, and lunch midweek (Monday-Friday). Round trip ransportation from Paroikia (Paros) to Antiparos, and daily boat transportation to the excavation site is included.

Location

Contact Information
College Year in Athens
PO Box 390890
Cambridge
MA
USA
02139
Telephone: 
617 868 8200
Fax: 
617 868 8207
Recommended Bibliography: 

Despotiko

Kourayos, Y., 2004. Paros Antiparos: history, monuments, museums, Athens.
Kourayos, Y., 2012. Despotiko. The Sanctuary of Apollo, Athens.

Archaeology & Methods

Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P., 2004. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice,4 London.

Sanctuaries
 
Pedley, J.G., 2005. Sanctuaries and the sacred in the ancient Greek world, Cambridge.

Greek Pottery

Boardman, J., 2001. The history of Greek vases, London.