Home > Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project > Our first day of field work…

Our first day of field work…

After days of shuttling folks from the airport, orienting students, and getting our gear organized, we finally went into the field on Sunday afternoon.  Sunday was to be primarily a training day.  We introduced the students to our method, talked about the need to record field data in an accurate and consistent way, and walked a practice unit.  For the first time this year we left a good bit of the management of the field team to Brandon Olson, a graduate student in History at UND.  Scott Moore and I floated around making sure that things started well and then left the field walkers to Brandon’s supervision.

Scott wandered the ridge of Vigla.  As I mentioned earlier, our geophysical team revealed a good bit of architecture on this prominent coastal rise and we tried to correlate their preliminary findings with some walls that we had observed eroding out of the south face in 2005 and 2006.  While we were unable to correlate the two (at least in an kind of conclusive way), we discovered something far more exciting! 

It would appear that Vigla was almost entirely surrounded by a fortification wall.  In 2005 and 2006 we had traced a short fragment of wall along the southern slope of the hill.  Further erosion had made this wall more visible and exposed a front and back face.  We were also able to find traces of the wall which was faced with relatively regularly cut blocks and a mortar and rubble core on the eastern and northern sides. 

This is an exciting discovering, indeed!!  The only confounding thing about it is that the pottery on the top of the hill seems to date primarily to the Classical and Hellenistic periods (roughly 500-300 BC) and the wall appears to date (in an informal sort of way) to the Late Roman or Early Byzantine period (probably 6th-7th century).

From the excitement of monumental fortification walls yesterday to the mundane scatters of pottery today.  We’ll leave for the field at 7:30 am and be working away by 8. 

More on this and some photos soon!

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