It's now nearly 6 months (!!) since the end of the PKAP field season in June. The entire PKAP team has been particularly focused this "off season" preparing for a major season of field work next summer that will not only complete the first phase of fieldwork in coastal hinterland of Pyla village, but also establish a sound foundation for a larger regional study. To summarize our off season work:
1. Grant Applications. We've completed 3 major external grant applications for funding in the 2008 field season and have received one already. We'll hear from the other two in late winter or early spring.
2. Conference Papers. We presented at the Byzantine Studies Conference in October at a panel that I organized dedicated to the archaeology of Medieval and Byzantine Cyprus. The paper is here and it is a fair good representation of where our research is right now. We are presently planning our poster for the AIA in Chicago. We're scheduled for Friday, January 4, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.
3. Publications. We just completed editing the page proofs for our article in the 2007 Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. This article provides a nice summary of our survey at Pyla-Koutsopetria. We have completed the "red line" proofs for a more popular offering to appear in Near Eastern Archaeology (in a two-issue volume on American Archaeology in Cyprus). Finally and perhaps most importantly, we have a tentative title and table of contents for the monograph and have about 150 pages of text. It's all subject to change, of course, but we've at least put words on paper. This spring we plan to complete the first draft of the catalogue of survey pottery.
4. PKAP in cyberspace. We've revamped the PKAP website and updated it with our most recent GIS data and papers. Scott has added some new multimedia aspects including a growing list of podcasts. He has also developed a PKAP presence in Second Life which by next spring will include a mock up of the site and allow us to conduct a virtual orientation for our students. Scott is chronicling his ongoing work on archaeology and pedagogy in SL at his weblog Ancient History Ramblings. Katie Pettegrew has kindly organized a PKAP Facebook page that allows us to communicate quickly with the PKAP community.
5. Data analysis. Michael Brown has been working on the resistivity data that he, John Hunt and Mat Dalton collected from Vigla last year. Soon we will be able to integrate our low altitude aerial photography (courtesy of the RAF) (1), our geophysical data (2), and our GIS map of the Late Roman fortification walls (3) with our intensive survey data to provide a comprehensive, non-destructive analysis of the site. If we get permission to excavate this summer, we will be able to ground truth this remote data and minimize the exposure and damage to the site.
6. Graduate research. Brandon Olson (M.A. UND 2007), a two year PKAP veteran, is using the published lead sling pellets from Vigla in his dissertation research on literacy in the Greek and Roman military at Penn State. He has presented some of the early stages of his research on this topic at several graduate conferences and will present more of his work at the 2008 CAMWS meeting in Tucson, Arizona. David Terry (B.A. UND 2006), a 2007 PKAP Alumnus and a current M.A. student in the Department of History at UND, used his time in Cyprus to develop his M.A. Thesis topic. He is working on Frankish-Greek/Catholic-Orthodox relations in the Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus (1191-1489). His research has featured on the main UND webpage.
7. Joe Patrow has produced a remarkable group of documentary shorts which should be made available soon!
8. Fundraising. A whole range of institutional and private sponsors have supported the hardworking PKAP staff over the last five years. Particular thanks goes to the University of North Dakota and Indiana University of Pennsylvania who have funded parts of the project continuously since its inception. Messiah College and the Ohio State Excavations at Isthmia have also been valued collaborators. We've also been lucky enough to have a small and loyal group of private donors. Institutional support and private donors give projects like ours the opportunity to develop future plans and create both the practical and intellectual infrastructure for efficient and effective research. Just this year, we were able to secure a significant research grant because we could match their grant with private donor money. If you'd like to contribute to our ongoing research, contact either me or Mike Meyer at the University of North Dakota's College of Arts and Sciences.