Episode 12: Sightseeing
Episode 12 of Emerging Cypriot is now posted! It looks at sightseeing with students on Cyprus over the course of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project. This aspect of the project is always a challenge. We have three goals when we go to visit sites. First, we try to teach the students how to read an archaeological site just as we would teach students how to read a text (for a longer discussion of this process see here). This doesn’t mean that we show the students the single authoritative meaning of the archaeological text, but rather ask pertinent questions about what they see. Our goal with this is help them become more careful readers of our site while working in the field. Our second goal is to give the students exposure to as many periods and places on the island as possible. Consequently, our visits range from (as the short shows) sites of modern importance — like the Ledra street wall between north and south Nicosia — to the aceramic Neolithic site of Khirokitia with a hodgepodge of monasteries, Classical sites, Roman sites, Late Roman sites, and Frankish sites in between (David Terry, PKAP Alumnus, does a nice job introducing this period on the short) . Finally, the goal is simply to give the students a break from the routine duties of archaeological work. While site tours are exhausting for the PKAP staff (and the students too, I would guess!), they give the students a chance to use a different part of their brain for a day and talk and think about something just a bit different from daily tasks associated with archaeologcial work.
This year, we re-evaluated our regular site visit schedule. While in the past we have generally added or dropped one or two sites from our circuit, we generally do it in a fairly impulsive way (hey! let’s stop at this monastery!). This year we went through our list of places visited and considered each one in turn. So, we now have a list (Included at the end of the post!). It is always a challenge to eliminate sites from our list and come up with at least some kind of informal criteria to determine which sites we will visit.
Finally, in this short Joe Patrow captures the dizzying vacillations and juxtapositions on any project that includes students. One minute you are encouraging the students to follow Christine Kondoleon‘s lead in understanding the social context for Roman period Cypriot mosaics floors. The next moment we are looking away as one student removes splinters from another students feet (because she wore sandals to an ancient site!) or dealing with a case of severe sunburn!
A few technical notes
The video is all in QuickTime which you will need to download to watch it. If you right click and download the video, it is formatted for viewing on your iPod or even iPhone or iPod Touch. When a new installment is made, the image will become a rollover image. We’ll add a short a week. I borrowed the idea for this format from a video series at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The center square in the last row is a link to the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project web page where you can read more about everything that you see in these film shorts.
We have posted a particularly frank interview with the director of Emerging Cypriot and Survey on Cyprus, and you can read the commentaries on the first eleven shorts (with links to those shorts) below.
Here’s our current list
Bolded sites are those that we consider indispensable (and initials afterward represent the votes of the directors)
The big 3 [DKP][RSM]
Monasteries and the History of the Cypriot Church
Ay. Neophytos [RSM]
Churches of the Troodos
Ayios Ioannis Lambadistou [WRC][RSM]
Hala Sultan Tekke [DKP][RSM]
Ay. Lazarus [DKP][RSM]
Ayios Irakleidios Monastery
Comparanda Type Sites:
Ay. Georgios-Peyia [DKP][RSM]
Eastern Cyprus Coastal Sites [WRC]
Famagusta Overlook [DKP]
Pyla Village [DKP]
Green Line in Nicosia [DKP][RSM]
Larnaka District Archaeological Museum [DKP][RSM]
Nicosia Museum [DKP][RSM]
Byzantine Icon Museum
Tombs of the Kings [DKP]
Pyla Tomb [DKP][RSM]
Pyla Tower [DKP][RSM]