by Irma Havlicek
Powerhouse Museum Web Producer
Finally, after all the planning and coordinating, yesterday arrived: 23 September 2013, and the first day of the 2013 Zagora archaeological fieldwork season.
The old hands (ie those who had been part of Zagora 2012) headed out to the site after breakfast while those who were new Zagora participants stayed back for an induction session at the Kantouni Cafe.
Meg Miller and Lesley Beaumont provided a briefing about the five excavation areas, and explained about some of the specialists we have on the team, such as Stavros Paspalas (pictured at right), a renowned expert in fine ware ceramics of the Geometric period.
They reminded us of the importance of representing the project well and always behaving with courtesy in this community which so warmly welcomes us into its midst.
After reminding us who the first aid officers are (Lesley Beaumont, Meg Miller, Ivana Vetta, Archondia Thanos, Annette Dukes and Elaine Lin), they introduced the work to be done on site on the first day:
– a tour of the site and planned excavation areas;
– instruction on safe use of tools;
– preparation for the field season, including backfill removal, trench clearing and vegetation removal;
– where possible, start excavating.
Our schedule during on-site days will be:
5.45am Breakfast (with packs loaded and ready for departure)
6.15am Depart for the site
10.15am First break
12.45pm Second break
2.15pm Fieldwork stop; carry finds to vehicles to take to the museum
2.45pm Depart from site
The times above are earlier than last year, when we were here a month later than this year. This is so we start as soon as there is enough light to work safely, thus spending less time working in the heat of the day.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm there will be Greek lessons (Elementary on Tuesdays for those with little or no Greek, and Beginners on Thursdays for those who completed the course Archondia provided last year). Archondia Thanos will provide the Elementary classes, and Lea Alexopoulos will provide the Beginners classes.
On Sundays we will have a team briefing at 6pm to recap what was achieved the previous week and to present the plans for the week to come.
It was really noticeable in reviewing photos for this post how very expressive are the hands and arms of our archaeologists. I guess that’s because what they are talking about tends to be physical objects located in space, and hand gestures help to describe what they are explaining. But another thing is that they are all very enthusiastic about their work on this project, and I think it shows.
All photos by Irma Havlicek; © Powerhouse Museum