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Azoria Project 2017 (Field Conservation Program)

Location: Kavousi, Ierapetra, Crete, Greece

May 27, 2017 to July 17, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Deadline Type: 

Program Type


RPA certified



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Research Laboratories of Archaeology (UNC-CH).

Project Director:

Donald C. Haggis

Project Description

The goal of excavations at Azoria, in eastern Crete (2002-present), have been to recover and document the remains of an early Greek city, reconstructing the sociopolitical and economic organization of the urban center, and studying the earliest phases of urbanization in the classical Aegean.  An important aim of the project is to introduce students to diverse aspects of archaeological excavation in Greece, including stages of recovery, processing and study. A secondary aim, and the goal of the Azoria Project Field Conservation Program (FCP), is to allow students to participate in on-site conservation.

Students will work along side architectural conservators and various field staff, conducting wall and floor consolidation; slope stablization; emergent wall conservation; and beginning in 2017, the stabilization and consolidation of the Hellenistic towers, originally excavated by Harriet Boyd in 1900. Particpants will do the actual conservation field work--wall cleaning and preparation; mixing and application of mortars; and floor consolidation--learning the latest techniques of conservation and preservation of stone and mud-mortar construction, now common in the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, and Classical Aegean. For details of current work and perspectives on the site conservation program at Azoria, see the article, “Some thoughts on the Conservation of an Archaic Greek City on Crete,” in the AIA's publication Heritage, Conservation & Archaeology (Archaeological Institute of America, Site Preservation Program, November 2013) 1-7.

Site preservation and field conservation are conducted along with excavation, and students work along side local field staff and researchers. The purpose of the FCP is to give students the opportunity to conduct actual architectural conservation. The goal of this component of the Project is to preserve and to present the site and the results of excavation to the scholarly world and general public. Students may rotate on a regular basis between excavation and site conservation, if they so choose. The main focus of work is to complete conservation of Archaic-period buildings exposed in 2013-2017.

Period(s) of Occupation: Early Iron Age-Archaic Greek (ca. 1200-500 B.C.)

The Azoria Project excavations--an Early Iron Age and Archaic Greek site in eastern Crete-- include an integrated program of site preservation and wall consolidation, engaging students with an interest in methods, theory, and current practices of site conservation in the Aegean today.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Six weeks

Experience required: 
The Azoria Project Field Conservation Program does not require background or experience in site conservation or cultural resource management, but a specific interest in site preservation, and background in archaeological/architectural conservation, historical preservation, site preservation, archaeology, CRM, or related field is desirable. Furthermore, students should demonstrate a willingness to work in difficult conditions--the site is rural, the landscape rugged, and the work physically taxing.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students reside in local villages of Pacheia Ammos and Kavousi, both located near the excavation site of Azoria and the research facility (Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete). Students live in prearranged rental rooms (pensions or small hotels). The rental rooms are simple, but clean, comfortable, well kept, and secure establishments; and the owners have some 40 years experience in hosting 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 areas 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. Finally, all of the student rooms are equipped with refrigerators--and some rooms have simple cooking facilities.

The participation fee is $3000. The fee covers housing, transportation to and from the site and INSTAP Study Center, instruction, occasional common meals, and institutional fees. Daily board (food and personal costs) and transportation to and from Greece, Crete, and the village of Kavousi, are not covered in this fee. The Program does not offer college course credit. Payment of the fee is required by April 1 to secure a position in the program. Checks should be made payable to the "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill," with Azoria Project Fund in the memo line of the check; and mailed directly to Donald Haggis at Department of Classics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145. 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 at

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered No academic credit is offered for this program.
A participation fee is required of all student-staff members of the project.


Contact Information
Donald Haggis
Department of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
North Carolina
Recommended Bibliography: 

D.C. Haggis, “Some thoughts on the Conservation of an Archaic Greek City on Crete,” Heritage, Conservation & Archaeology (Archaeological Institute of America, Site Preservation Program, November 2013) 1-7 (

Also see articles in the Azoria Project Archive of the Carolina Digital Repository.