Location: Kissonerga, Cyprus
Experimental Archaeology and Beer Production, Cyprus: 2014 Field School
HARP will be running an Experimental Archaeology Field School in the village of Kissonerga, Cyprus in August 2014. Only 10 places are available for the field school.
Participants in the Field School will learn experimental archaeology techniques in order to recreate a Bronze Age drying kiln, likely used for beer production, learn how to produce beer using Bronze Age techniques, and learn excavation skills by excavating a (now destroyed) kiln originally constructed in 2012.
The Bronze Age Reconstruction
The original structure has been excavated as part of a research excavation run by Dr. Lindy Crewe of the University of Manchester since 2007. The site of Kissonerga-Skalia is a Middle Bronze Age settlement that has revealed a series of domestic dwellings that were superseded by a phase of monumental construction. The village of Kissonerga is incredibly rich in archaeological sites with some of the worlds oldest Neolithic wells at Kissonerga-Mylouthkia, the Chalcolithic settlement of Kissonerga-Mosphillia, as well as the settlement of Skalia.
The original installation was constructed out of mud plaster and would have had a domed roof. The structure contained a series of pot lined pits and a sunken fire pit that would have heated the main chamber of the structure.
During beer production, partially germinated or malted grains are added to water and heated to make a 'mash' and wort, a sticky viscous liquid. Prior to making the 'mash', the germination process of the grains needs to be stopped, this is usually done by drying the grains rapidly. It is believed that the heat generated within the main chamber of the installation at Skalia would be sufficient to dry out the germinated grains before making the 'mash'. Following this stage the fermentation process can begin in order to produce beer.
The aims of the Field School are to build a third installation using slightly different construction techniques than in 2012 and 2013 and to produce beer using methods likely dating back to the Bronze Age. The 2013 kiln will be used to dry malted grains before the grains are crushed using traditional techniques. The crushed malt will then be used to make beer using locally sourced ingredients and traditional brewing techniques.
Alongside this participants will also be provided with practical workshops that will teach them archaeological excavation and recording techniques by excavating the now destroyed kiln from 2012, as well as visiting a number of local sites and seminars that will put their work into the context of the local archaeological record and the archaeology of Cyprus as a whole
The Field School is ideal for all levels of archaeology students, particularly those with an interest in experimental archaeology or the archaeology of the Mediterranean and Near East, as well as anyone with an interest in the subject or looking to become more involved in learning about archaeology, beer enthusiasts and those wanting to learn more about prehistoric brewing techniques.
During the summer temperatures can reach up to 38 degrees and the climate is humid, so be prepared! We are however only a stones throw away from the Mediterranean, a great way to relax with a beer after a day in the sun, heat and mud!
The Field School will be running from Wednesday 30th July to Wednesday 20th August. Participation is required for a minimum of 2 weeks but places are available for the full season (3 weeks)
Accommodation for the Field School will be provided in the Kissonerga Village School and the Lemba Archaeological Research Centre. In Kissonerga the accommodation will be dormitory style and mattresses will be provided, in Lemba the accommodation will be open air sleeping under the stars on the roof of the dig house and mattresses and blankets will be provided. Participants will need to bring their own bedding/sleeping bags and can bring tents if greater privacy is required, however open air sleeping is recommended due to the heat. Food will be provided in the form of on site picnic lunches and evening meals on work days. The school and dig house have full cooking facilities and there is a local supermarket and a number of nearby tavernas for days off. All transport to and from site and on site visits will be provided, airport transfers can be arranged on request.
Costs for the Field School are £200 (GBP) per person per week and a minimum of 2 weeks are required. The cost for attending the entire Field School (3 weeks) is £575 (GBP) per person. Costs include all course fees, transport to and from site and on site visits, accommodation, and food on work days. Transport to and from Cyprus is not included. A non-refundable 50% deposit will be required on acceptance to secure your place. Participants will also need to bring spending money for personal expenses, food and transport/activities on days off. Places are limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis upon receipt of the deposit. Prospective participants will need to complete an application form.
To apply for a place or for more information please contact us or visit our website.
Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze Age
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered: none