After Fieldwork on Kea…

…my friend Michael and I took a few days to walk around Athens and visit some familiar places one more time. Here are some of my favourite things from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens:

A bronze statue of the emperor Augustus (29 BC – AD 14)

Statue of Julia Aquila Severa; the face of the statue was damaged due to a building collapse in the 3rd century CE

And this Geometric Period amphora, with a depiction of a funerary procession

We also visited the museum of Cycladic Art and saw lots of folded-arm figurines or FAFs. There have a very distinct look. They are most commonly found in graves, so they may have been funerary figurines accompanying the dead. Some of the FAFs show signs of paint and repair, indicating their high value. They are my favourite!

Folded-arm Figurines from the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens

There at the museum I also found out how my name would be written in Cypro-Syllabic script.


Then Michael and I took a bus to Delphi, famous for being the seat of the oracle Pythia.

On the bus to Delphi!

Delphi is a beautiful sight and I highly recommend you visit. The Delphi museum has the bronze statue of the Charioteer, which survival to our modern times is a fantastic miracle! (Ancient bronze statues are rare, as the metal can be reused.)

Here are some more sights from Delphi:

Theatre at Delphi
Temple of Apollo ❤
Tholos of Delphi at the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

And that was the end of my field trip to Greece. I was a fantastic adventure that solidified my interests in archaeology, gave me invaluable laboratory skills, and showed me Greece like I never knew before! I will forever cherish the memories of this time, and I cannot wait to get back one day!

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)

First Field Experience, pt. 1

My journey as an Archaeologist began in 2016 when I got accepted into the Archaeology program at UNCG. Before that, I finished my library degree, and while I enjoyed my program and gave it everything I got, something felt off. So I decided to try something new and exciting, something I never thought would be possible, and go into archaeology. And I am happy to say it was a perfect fit!

During my freshman year, I didn’t know yet about my deep interest in studying human bones that I would discover later. I just wanted to learn about the Classical World. I took Greek Archaeology, Mythology, Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greek as a second language. That’s how I met Dr. Joanne Murphy. She is a great professor and a director of the Kea Archaeological Research Survey (KARS). Every summer, students could sign up for this project and go to Greece for six weeks to work in the archaeological laboratory, get lab experience, and learn how to work with artifacts. Of course, I had to go. 

The field (lab) school started on June 2 and ended July 17, 2017. The first week was the tour around mainland Greece. We walked around Athens, visited Mycenae, Corinth, Isthmia, Tiryns, Argos, and Nemea.

Here are some of the memories from the first week:

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens
Theatre of Dionysus, Athens
Tower of the Winds, Athens
Parthenon!, Athens

Climbing up to Parthenon was a rather hard endeavor, but once there, a picture with the whole Athens below was a must!

After the Climb

Among the things and places we saw that first week, the Lion Gate of Mycenae deserves special attention. It’s grand, breathtaking, and so much more impressive than any picture in a textbook!

Lion Gate, Mycenae

We were also able to walk into a tholos tomb. A Late Bronze Age house of the dead.

Tholos Tomb, Mycenae

When the first week was over, it was time for us to leave the mainland and go to a small island in the Cyclades that would become our home for the rest of the trip. This is how Kea met us:

Arriving on Kea

(to be continued…)