by Irma Havlicek
I thought it may be useful to 2014 Zagora Archaeological Project (ZAP) team members who have not yet been to Zagora to get a picture of the site and how the day’s work generally commences. (This year’s excavation season starts next Monday, so many team members will be travelling to Andros this week.)
Breakfast is usually at 5.30am in the Kantouni pensione dining room, with departure for the site in the various Zagora vehicles at 6am. Start times can change according to sunrise time. The aim is to get to Stavropeda, where the vehicles are parked for the day, as the sun is rising, so that team members have enough light to safely walk down the rocky path to Zagora. Safety is ALWAYS the primary consideration. Stavropeda is about a 20-minute drive from the Kantouni at Batsi.
Meg and Lesley compile a list each day which determines which vehicles people will travel in that day. Factors affecting who will travel in which vehicle include what work is required on site and what equipment needs to be transported in the vehicles. One of the vehicles has to go to the Archaeological Museum in Chora at the end of each working day, to take any excavated material there for cleaning, sorting and storing. There are a number of approved drivers assigned to each hire vehicle; Meg and Lesley also decide who will drive each vehicle for the day. There will be a number of vehicles hired during the project, including three mini-vans/people-movers, a 4-wheel-drive vehicle for use on the rougher tracks and two smaller vehicles.
Because Meg and Lesley are so meticulous in organising the travel arrangements, we can all rest assured (even those of us who may take a little longer getting up the hill at the end of the day) that the car will still be waiting for us at Stavropeda when we get there.
Here are some photographs which show you how work days tend to begin: