First Field Experience, pt. 2

After our mainland tour, the next five weeks we spend on Kea. Kea is a rather small island, but it has several archaeological sites and interesting places to visit. We lived in Korissia, at Maria’s, and worked at Apotheke.

Apotheke – the lab space

The lab work included measuring the ceramic finds that were picked up during the survey, estimating their color using Munsell charts, weighing and labeling them, and inputting all the data into the project’s database. Closer to the end of the lab work, we also had a photographer come in to take pictures of some of the ceramic sherds, and we, as volunteers, had a chance of assisting him in the process. I saw many sherds in those five weeks, but a certain one of them won my heart!

Big ceramic boy sherd

It was hot. It was fun. And it was very educational, and I greatly appreciate the experience the lab work gave me!

Besides lab work, we had several hikes to the archaeological sites on Kea. The first hike was to the site of Ayia Irini, which is close to the modern Vourkari and about 40 minutes walking from Korissia. There, Dr. Natalie Abell, one of the KARS researchers, who has published a lot on the site, gave us a tour of what remains of the settlement and the history of its excavation.

Ayia Irini, Kea

Our second hike was to the capital of Kea, the town of Iulida. There, we visited the Kea Archaeological Museum and climbed to the very curious monument, the Lion of Kea, which dates to ca. 600 BCE.

Iulida, Kea
Lion of Kea

The third and, I would say, the toughest hike we went on was to the site of Karthea. Karthea was an ancient city founded ca. 12 century BCE. To get to it, you must first hike the hill down to the site, and once you’ve seen it magnificent glory – climb back up. It was quite a challenge, but so worth it!

Hiking down to Karthea
Beach at Karthea
Karthea, view from above

At Karthea, you will find a theatre, a temple of Apollo, and a temple of Athena.

Temple of Athena, Karthea
5-6 century CE graves at the temple of Apollo.
Tired but very happy at Karthea
The view at the blue blue sea from Karthea

Eventually, the field school was over, and we had to go back home. We were sad to leave Kea, but I think the island was sad to see us go too. I still miss it. One day, I’ll visit again.

See – it sings “Come back..!”

But that was still not the end of my 2017 trip to Greece, because after arriving back to the mainland, my friend Michael and I spend an extra couple of days in Athens!

(to be continued)

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