Zagora team reunion at the Kantouni Restaurant

by Irma Havlicek
Powerhouse Museum web producer

The Kantouni Pensione and Restaurant at Batsi, Andros, is once again alive with the sounds of archaeologists, now planning the 2013 season of the Zagora Archaeological Project. The first of us to have arrived on Thursday and Friday 19 and 20 September, had dinner outside in the balmy night air of the Kantouni courtyard last night (Friday 20 September), just as we had done in the early days of the season last year, when it was warm enough to do so.

Our first dinner at the Kantouni Restaurant, 2013
Dinner at the Kantouni Restaurant on Friday 20 September 2013 was like being reunited with old friends. Clockwise, from left: Steven Vasilakis, Andrew Wilson, Jane McMahon, Sami Beaumont-Cankaya, Hugh Thomas, Matthew Miller-Csapo, Meg Miller, Lea Alexopoulos, Aleksandra Moustakas, Beatrice McLoughlin, Lesley Beaumont, Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya, Kristen Mann, Paul Donnelly, Ivana Vetta and Mel Melnyczek.

Plans for the first days of work were discussed, and we passed a mobile phone around, reading the story which appeared in Thursday’s ‘Australian’ newspaper, about the project: Australian archaeologists seek to solve the mystery of the lost city of Zagora.

It was wonderful to be back in the familiar and friendly home-away-from-home of the Kantouni.

All those who had worked on the project last year, including our Kantouni hosts, Giorgos and Aleksandra Moustakas, as well as those we’ve met in recent months in preparations for this season, greeted each other like old friends. There is a sense of warm and supportive camaraderie on this project which is pretty rare in a work situation. We’re lucky to be starting out again on this adventure of learning and discovery together.

More team members will arrive over the weekend, to start working at the site from Monday 23 September. Some will stay for the full period of the season till 1 November; others are doing shorter stints, with comings and goings scheduled over the next several weeks. There will be about 50 of us working on the project this year. It’s a huge logistics exercise for the team leaders, Meg Miller, Lesley Beaumont and Stavros Paspalas, who have had to prepare and arrange everything.

(I’d have posted this last night – but, after 36 hours of travel and a good deal of jet lag, as soon as I got to my room, I crashed and slept soundly for about seven hours – surprisingly, enough to feel quite steady today.)

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4 thoughts on “Zagora team reunion at the Kantouni Restaurant”

  1. Fantastic to see you all there at Batsi, and have a wonderful season – I miss the dinners and the chatter around the table already. I will look on from here to keep up to date with your progress, so with you all in spirit even if I can’t be there this season. 🙂 Bob Miller

    • Hi there Bob – we miss you and wish you could be here with us. But we know you have big photography events happing this year, and we wish you well with that. Feel free to give me photography tips if I could be done something better with the photography on the blog!

  2. Good to see you back on Andros – when we stayed at the Kantouni this June George and Alex both said how much they’d enjoyed having you there last year, so I’m sure they’re made up to see you all again! And isn’t the food there wonderful!!

    • Hi there Malcolm – great to hear from you again. Yes, it’s been great being back – like being back with old friends to see George and Alexandra again, as well as the old team. And within a day or two, it was like being with good friends even with the people who hadn’t been here before. That’s what dig life appears to do. And, yes, the food sure is fabulous. And so welcome (with a drink for some) after a hard day’s work.

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