Judson recounts summer among the ruins
Classical Archaeology Graduate Student
A new campaign of excavation began at the site of Azoria on Crete this past summer, directed by Donald Haggis and Peggy Mook. Undergraduate and graduate students participated as volunteers or as participants in the UNC-Duke field school. These students came from many different institutions in the US and abroad, including UNC, Duke, and Iowa State University. Nine undergraduate and graduate students from UNC, Duke, and the University of Sydney acted as trench masters, supervising and teaching students in the field.
The excavation lasted for seven weeks. Students alternated excavating on site and processing finds at the INSTAP Study Center in Pacheia Ammos. On site, students learned proper excavation techniques, including digging, screening, and recording material. In the lab, they learned how to deal with a large variety of different archaeological material, such as pottery, animal bones, and archaeobotanical remains. Trenches opened this summer revealed strata from all periods of the site’s occupation, as well as different types of functional areas (domestic, civic, and possibly religious). Major discoveries included a kiln, a large storeroom filled with pithoi, and a possible marble perirrhanterion.
Most of the excavation team lived in the small traditional village of Kavousi, directly below the site of Azoria. Students were able to explore the village and experience the traditional Cretan lifestyle. There are also a number of hiking trails in the area, which students could use to explore the immediate area and to visit the other archaeological sites in the vicinity of Kavousi. On the weekends, students and staff took the opportunity to travel to other archaeological sites and modern cities around Crete, as well as to nearby islands such as Santorini. The trench masters took one weekend to visit far East Crete. We explored the Minoan palace at Kato Zakros and hiked the nearby Gorge of the Dead. We also visited the sites of Palaikastro and Praisos, among others.
All in all, it was a successful season and an entertaining summer. We look forward to the next season in summer 2014.