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Azoria Project 2015 (Duke Archeological Field Practicum in Crete)

Location: Kavousi, Crete, Greece

May 30, 2015 to July 20, 2015

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 2, 2015

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Duke Global Education and Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

Project Director:

Donald C. Haggis

Project Description

Application and registration for this program opens November 1, and space is limited to 40 students. Program total cost TBA.

The Azoria Project is the on-going excavation of an ancient Greek city (7th-6th c.  B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. Excavations planned for 2014 will investigate the transition from the Early Iron Age (1200-700 B.C.) to Archaic periods (700-500 B.C.) at the site, the early development of the city, and the material correlates for emerging social and political institutions.

Students will participate in the primary excavation stage of the project, working principally as assistants to field archaeologists and specialists learning excavation and recording techniques first-hand. The site of Azoria is today a rural environment in the mountains of east Crete, with rocky terrain typical of the Cretan landscape. Cretan summers are dry and hot and students should expect to work long and physically as well as intellectually-demanding days. A usual day of work would involve digging or assisting with sieving and recording on site for most of the morning and early afternoon, followed by the processing of finds in the late afternoon. Regular tours of the site as well as reports by the various senior and specialist staff offer on-going discussion of archaeological methods; the historical and archaeological significance of the excavations, site, and region; and problems in field work.

By registering for this program, students are enrolled in a course entitled Field School in Classical Archaeology, CLST 342A. Students earn two Duke credits, which is equivalent to six or eight semester credits at most other U.S. universities.

While the program will center on the actual excavation, formal presentations are integrated into the work schedule: these would include regular afternoon presentations by the instructor and specialist staff—field archaeologists (e.g., trench supervisors; ceramic specialist; architect; lithics specialist), scientific staff (archaeobotanist; zooarchaeologist; biological anthropologist), and technical staff (registrar and finds manager; conservator; illustrator; and photographer)— reflecting on problems of methodology, interpretation and synthesis. Weekly trench tours given by senior staff and graduate-student trench supervisors provide an overview of the site, methods of interpretation, and the progress of excavation. Occasional visits to other nearby sites offer a broader regional, cultural, and historical perspective.

The Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC), located near the excavation site in Pacheia Ammos, is the base of operations. The INSTAP SCEC is the research center that provides the Azoria Project storage, processing, and work space; library; laboratories; and conservation and computer facilities. Students will be working regularly in the conservation lab and study areas of the INSTAP SCEC during sessions of finds processing; and will have access to the library and computer facilities during operating hours of the facility.

Site preservation is conducted along with excavation and study phases of the project, and participants will work with local villagers, members of regional cultural groups, and researchers, with the goal of preserving and presenting the results of the excavation to the general public. Conservation work on site forms an important service-learning part of the Field School course. The goal is to encourage local ownership of the site as a cultural and educational resource in the region, while establishing sustainable local, national, and international government and private sources of financial support for site upkeep and maintenance, and educational programs.

For detailed information on the schedule of work; details of travel to Crete; suggestions for personal equipment and supplies; and insurance; please see the general information sheet.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Donald C. Haggis, Director, Azoria Project
Department of Classics
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145
Tel. (cell) 919-951-8197

Professor Carla Antonaccio, Chair

Department of Classical Studies
Duke University
Box 90103
Tel: (919) 684-3013, Fax: (919) 681-4262

or contact the Global Education Office directly for application instructions:

Global Education Office for Undergraduates
Smith Warehouse
Bay 6, 2nd Floor
114 S. Buchanan Blvd.
Box 90057
Durham, NC 27708-0057
Tel: 919-684-2174, Fax: 919-684-3083

Period(s) of Occupation: Early Iron Age and Archaic Greece

The Duke Archeological Field Practicum in Crete (Field School in Classical Archaeology) is operated through the Azoria Project, the excavation of an Early Iron Age and Archaic site in eastern Crete. This program introduces students to archaeological excavation in Greece, including the stages of recovery, processing and primary study of contexts. The program serves to increase students’ knowledge of the archaeology of Greece in general and Crete in specific, including the periods and cultures represented at the site. In addition, students are involved in projects aimed at educating the public about the site and at contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Six weeks

Experience required: 
No previous field experience is required.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students reside in local villages of Pacheia Ammos and Kavousi, both located a few kilometers from the excavation site and the research facility (INSTAP Study Center for East Crete). Students will live in prearranged rental rooms (pensions or small hotels). Once the total number of staff members and student participants is determined, the project director will make the rooming reservations in March and April before the start of the excavation season.

The rental rooms are very simple, but clean, comfortable, well kept, and secure establishments; and the owners have some 40 years experience in hosting American archaeologists and students. Linens, towels and toilet paper are provided and changed weekly. Other personal items are to be supplied by students individually. Student room assignments (by gender) are made by the project director. The rooms contain two or three beds, a closet, tables, and bathroom (bathing and toilet facilities). The rooms normally cluster around or connect to a common area with seating, balcony or patio space, refrigerator, and some cooking facilities.

Both villages have small grocery stores with packaged food, drinks, and fresh produce of all kinds; bakeries; tavernas (restaurants) and coffee shops. Furthermore, regular bus service between the villages and nearby towns of Ierapetra and Ayios Nikolaos provides students access to larger super markets, farmers’ markets, and bakeries if needed. While there will be at least one group meal during the excavation season, students are expected, on a daily basis, to feed themselves. On a normal working day, students will stop at a local bakery or grocery store in the morning (or the evening) before going up to the site, to purchase bread, cheese, fruit, vegetables, or local pastries for their breakfast and lunch. For a late lunch or snack after work, and for dinner, students normally patronize one of several local tavernas, which offer complete prepared meals as well as fast food, salads, and sandwiches.

Tuition for two courses: $6,024; plus fee of $1500. $6024 tuition; $1500 Duke-GEO program fee. Total cost: $7704. The fees cover Duke University tuition for two courses (2 Duke credits; or 6-8 credit hours at most US universities); room; institutional fees; and per capita costs of transportation. The fees do not cover round-trip travel to Crete or food.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Duke University (Global Education for Undergraduates); Duke University Department of Classical Studies, and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology.
Number of credits offered Two Duke University credits, which is equivalent to six-eight semester course credits (two courses) at most U.S. universities.
Two courses: $6024 tuition; plus $1500 program fee. Total cost: $7704.


Contact Information
Donald Haggis
Deparment of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill