Sunday, June 27, 2010

End of Week One

The main goal of this field season is to try and clarify the stratigraphy of the Neolithic layers found in the East Chamber in the cave. Thanks to last season's efforts, we now have a clearer picture of the nature of EBA (mortuary) deposits in the same location. We have continued the excavation of Trenches 8 and 9, which have been temporarily closed after the removal of EB layers. To connect the situation in the different small trenches we have excavated so far, we decided to excavate 2 previously untouched areas to create one large and, hopefully, more telling profile.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The 2010 Season

Our excavations in the Ay. Triadha cave are about to commence on Monday, June 21. A combined international team lead by the Ephorate of Speleology and SEEP will spend another season in the field trying to collect data on the prehistoric use of this important cave. Our 2010 dig is fully funded by Indiana University through the Edward A. Schrader Endowment Fund for Classical Archaeology. We are grateful to the Schrader Committee for giving us their trust and money. More to follow soon...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Works in 2009

Thanks to the generous financial support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation the joint Ephorate for Paleoanthropology-Speleology (hereafter EPSNE) and Southern Euboea Exploration Project (SEEP) archaeological team was able to conduct another field season of excavations in the Ay. Triadha Cave in the vicinity of Karystos, southern Euboea.

The 2009 season was of crucial significance for understanding and reconstructing the past use of the cave. During the previous 2008 season we encountered important Early Bronze Age (EBA) burials in one of the chambers inside the cave (East Chamber). Due to the nature of archaeological deposits that include human remains and with them associated artifacts and other evidence we were forced to proceed with the excavation using extreme caution.

The work in the field during the 2009 season lasted from Monday, June 29 until Friday, August 4. The excavation was carried out successively Monday through Friday while Saturdays were reserved for lab work only. The 2009 field team consisted of the following members: Fanis Mavridis, Zarko Tankosic (project directors), Daisuke Yamaguchi (field/IT director), Lilian Dogiama (lithics specialist/lab director), Giota Ghioni (conservator), Aca Djordjevic (illustrator), Georgia Kotzamani (microbotanist), Eleni-Anna Prevedorou (bioanthropologist), Areti Pendedeka (petrographic analysis), Katerina Triantalidou (zooarchaeology), Thodoris Chatzitheodorou (topographer), Irini Spyropoulou, Varvara Spyropoulou, Davor Cakanic, Renate Storli, Alexandra Edwards, Jonas Smidth Pedersen, and Christina Papoulia (archaeologists). Other specialists (e.g. geologist and speleologist) were present in the field when the situation required it. The team included archaeologists and other specialists from seven different countries from three continents.

During the 2009 excavation season we opened three new trenches (Trenches 9, 10, and 11) in two different areas of the Ay. Triadha cave system and we continued the excavation of one trench (Trench 4) that we began in 2008.

Together with the 2008 trenches we were able to excavate the EBA deposits in approximately 50% of the total extent of the East Chamber. We were able to acquire important data to help us reconstruct the EBA burial ritual, which is significant because very little is known about burial practices from this time period. We have uncovered more osteological material to help us complete the skeletons retrieved during 2008. This is important because it will allow us to say more on the population inhabiting the Karystia during the EBA period. Moreover, strontium isotope, ancient DNA, and other bioanthropological analyses that are in progress will help us determine the origin of people buried at Ay. Triadha and possibly even their social status as it is obvious that their burials differed from the ones reserved for the rest of population.
(Excerpts from the seasonal report submitted to the S. Niarchos Foundation)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cave sketches...

This year's excavation is nearing the end and the lovely international team we have been honored with is slowly dispersing... but not without some thoughts on the project and the work in the cave (get your dictionaries ready though):

... μ’ένα μάλλον στενό κίτρινο κράνος, γάντια και φακό γλίστρησα σ’ένα χαμηλό άνοιγμα, σχεδόν ξαπλωμένη, με τις πέτρες να πιέζουν και να σπρώχνουν κάτω από την πλάτη μου... βρέθικα στην Τομή 4, όπον υποθίτεται σύντομα θα φτάναμε στον φυσικό βράχο... Τα ευρήματα όμως, κάτω από την κρούστα, μας δισύψεβσαν... Ο Dylan και ο νεκρόδη τραγούδουσαν «κάτω από τον κόκκινο ουρανό» και εμείς ψηλαφούσαμε το παρελθόν μέσα στο χώμα. Τα πιο όμορφα πράγματα βρίσκονται στο βάθος, στη σιωπή και στο σκοτάδι.

Eirini and Varvara








Grčka. Iskopavanje u hladu pećine. Stratigrafija od kasnog i finalnog neolitika, brončanog do klasičnog doba. Internacionalna ekipa. Kupanje u moru poslije rada. Večera u taverni. Zvuči idealno? Tako je i bilo...

Bez ikakvog pretjerivanja, mogu reći da sam uživao od početka do kraja. Budući da nikad nisam radio na ovakvom tipu terena (i nisam znao što točno očekivati) mislim da mi je ovo iskustvo veoma koristilo za daljnji rad. Također veoma korisno iskustvo bilo je raditi na sortiranju i općoj analizi iskopane keramike, za što se zahvaljujem gospodi šefovima Žarku i Fanisu.

Naravno, ugodnom iskustvu je veoma pridonijela i vesela te uvijek dobro raspoložena ekipa. Sve u tonu dobre glazbe (uvijek ćemo imati Billy Elliota..) i šale.

Na kraju tri veoma brzo protekla tjedna, ostaju ugodna sjećanja, sklopljena prijateljstva, nova iskustva i okus slastne Kyriakosove hrane na nepcu.. i iščekivanje nadolazeće sezone – Žarko, fala ti k'o bratu! (slobodno editiraj, ali morao sam i ovo staviti).


"Som senere ankomne i Aiya Triadha Cave udgravningen er vi blevet

moedt af et velfungerende team, som har udvist interesse for os som

studerende, og som har vist sig villige til at laere fra sig. Det har

vaeret spaendende og laererigt at foelge processerne omkring

udgravningen i den smukke og imponerende drypstensgrotte, og ligeledes

har moedet med flere forskellige nationaliteter og kulturer vaeret et

positivt pust."

Rie Larsen & Mia Toftdal

Међународне екипе су најбоље, поготово ако иду уз овако лепо море и добру храну... Спој различитих култура, вредности, погледа на свет у оваквом амбијенту може да произведе само позитивне ефекте на послу и ван њега.