Archie Dunn, of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham, in now in the third year of a multiyear project exploring the City of Thisvi in southwestern Boeotia.
Thisvi is best know as one of the myriad of Classical and Hellenistic Boeotian cities, and there exist to this day the extensive remains well-made ashlar masonry walls on both the upper and lower acropolises.
His project aims particularly at documenting the Late Roman/Byzantine remains in the area which he argues was an area with economic significance including a harbor and a center from the production purple-dyed silk. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that this is where Os. Loukas first began his monastic life. Os. Loukas is famous for his substantial vita (life) and his impressive monastic complex at Steiri to the east of the ancient site of Delphi.
I am involved in this project through my graduate school advisor, Timothy Gregory, who conducted an intensive archaeological survey in the area of Thisvi in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Ohio Boeotia Expedition (OBE) was a very early systematic intensive survey in Greece and produced some indication of the economic engagement of this area through time (but with special attention to Late Antiquity). Dunn's project seeks to expand Gregory's data with information collected through an intensive survey of the urban area including standing walls on both the upper and lower acropolis and other fragments in the modern village which stretches between the two hills.
What I am going to try to do is to integrate the two data sets. Most of this will be done in GIS, but it will require some ground truthing and interpretation. The notebooks from the OBE are good and provide lots of relatively precise information on methods and procedures used by the survey and the location of sites, some of which have not yet been fully published. The hope is that by going through the information in the notebooks again, revisiting the ceramics collected by the project (Gregory has agreed to review the collected by the OBE and currently stored in the Thebes Museum), integrating Dunn's analysis of the urban area, and reviewing work done in Boeotia over the last 30 years, we'll be able to create much fuller picture of this interesting corner of the ancient world.
I will visit Dunn's team in the field on Monday and Tuesday and will report back!