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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - Greece - Azoria Project (Volunteer Program) - 2014

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2014-05-31
End Date 2014-07-21

Archaeology Field School Location

Azoria, Kavousi, Ierapetra, Crete, Greece

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the American School of Classical Studies at Athens; the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP- SCEC); the UNC Research Laboratories of Archaeology and Curriculum in Archaeology; and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology.

Academic Credit

Credit is not offered for this program.

Archaeology Field School Tuition

The Volunteer Program participation fee is $3000. The fee covers student housing, transportation to and from the site and INSTAP Study Center, instruction, one common meal, 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 Volunteer Program does not offer college course credit.

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Room, institutional fees, and daily local transportation to excavation site are covered by the participation fee. Food costs are additional and assumed individually, and are not covered by the fee.

Archaeology Field School Travel
Travel from US to Crete: ca. $1200-1800.
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

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 "The Azoria Project Excavations" 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.

Archaeology Field School Description

Application and registration for this program opens November 2, 2013, and space is limited to 40 students.

The Azoria Project is the excavation of the Early Iron Age-Archaic site of Azoria (ca. 1200-480 B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean (, conducted under the auspices of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, by permission of the Greek Ministry of Culture, and with the support of the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP- SCEC), the UNC Research Laboratories of Archaeology, and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology.

The primary purpose of the program is to introduce students to diverse aspects of archaeological excavation in Greece, including stages of recovery, processing and study. A secondary aim is to explore the archaeology of Crete, and the periods and cultures represented by the site of Azoria itself. Students will have the opportunity to work as assistants to field archaeologists and various specialists, learning excavation, recording, and conservation techniques first-hand.

The project seeks undergraduate student volunteers to participate in the excavation. Preference will be given to applicants majoring in classics, classical archaeology, anthropology, archaeology, or related fields, with specific interests in classical archaeology or Aegean prehistory. Previous fieldwork experience is useful but not required.

The project also has a limited number of positions for trench supervisors. Applicants should be M.A. or Ph.D. students in classical archaeology with relevant field experience and some working knowledge of modern Greek.

The aims of fieldwork at Azoria 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. Excavations over the course of the next decade investigate the transition from the Early Iron Age to the Archaic periods (1200-500 B.C.), the early development of the city, and emerging social and political institutions. The project constitutes the first study of changing land use, social and political structure, and economic organization in the Archaic Aegean, by means of an integrated framework derived from excavation—a dialectic between faunal, botanical, environmental, archaeological, and historical data and interpretive frameworks.

There are two primary locations of work. The first is the excavation site of Azoria, where students participate in the primary excavation and data recovery and processing stage of the project. The second location is the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC) in Pacheia Ammos, which is the research center that provides the Azoria Project storage, processing, and work space; library; laboratories; and conservation and computer facilities. Students in the program will be working regularly in the study areas of the INSTAP SCEC during sessions of finds processing and analysis; and will have access to the library and computer facilities during operating hours of the facility. The project will provide transportation to and from the site and the SCEC facility.

An important aspect of fieldwork at Azoria is local and international public engagement and education by conserving, fencing, and creating permanent signage, and access paths on the site. Site preservation and field conservation are conducted along with excavation, and students will work along side local villagers, members of local and regional cultural groups, and researchers, with the goal of preserving and presenting the site and the results of excavation to the scholarly world and general public. Students will rotate on a regular basis between excavation and site conservation.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Prehistoric; historical.

Time Period

Early Iron Age-Archaic Greece (1200-500 B.C.)

Field School Setting/Conditions

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 and 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.

How is the project area accessed each day

Students are delivered daily to and from the site by truck or off-road vehicle.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Monday-Friday, fieldwork on site, 6:30 AM-3:00 PM; some afternoon lab work may be required (3:00-5:30 PM)
Saturday (alternating), trench tours, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM
Sunday, free day

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
6 years (2002-2006; 2013)
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Donald C. Haggis, Project Director, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Margaret S. Mook, Field Director and Pottery Specialist; Associate Professor of Classics, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Iowa State University.

C. Margaret Scarry, Paleoethnobotanist, Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rodney D. Fitzsimons, Architect, Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classics, Trent University.

Flint Dibble, Zooarchaeologist, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Cincinnati (UC), Department of Classics.

Dr. Christina Tsoraki, Ground stone specialist, Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellow, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University.

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

The primary goal of the program is to introduce students to problems, methods, and research practices in Mediterranean and Aegean archaeology. Students learn excavation and conservation methods, and ways of recovering, documenting, and interpreting material culture.

On rain days will there be lab work?

It does not normally rain in Crete in the summer months.

Will there be additional organized activities?

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.

Will there be additional organized activities?

At the INSTAP SCEC students will be required to attend all regular afternoon presentations and lectures by the instructors and specialist staff, as well as four formal academic lectures given by archaeologists as part of the evening Summer Lecture Series of the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete.

Is travel restriced during free time?


Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

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

Field School Contact E-mail:
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