Episode 4 of Emerging Cypriot is now posted. This episode best reflects Joe Patrow's efforts to bring the student and volunteer voice into the project's narration. He interviewed a bunch of the students who worked on the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in the past and asked them to give advice to future participants on the project. The next three shorts will move a bit away from the methodological concerns of a field project to the experience of the project's participants. Their experiences reflect both their own background and our efforts as directors to construct a meaningful experience for the students. The latter is something that we talk about constantly as we think about what we need to do to ensure not only a positive interpersonal atmosphere for the students, but also a rewarding intellectual environment.
Without spoiling the movie, one thing that came out clearly in the interviews was the intense experience of living and working together. This has resonated with a conversation that I have had about 20 times over the last two weeks. As the American School's Regular Program is coming to an end, the Regular Members seem increasingly tired of the routine, tired of site reports, and perhaps most predictably tired of the bus, the lunch table, the dinner table. The tensions created by living in close quarters are as fundamental to the archaeological experience as the repetitive tasks of field walking, excavating, or artifact analysis. As I have noted before, living in Loring Hall is an intense experience, especially for the students who are sometimes together for over 12 hours a day. While most intense academic discourse carries with it a personal tone as scholars attack one another arguments and assumptions, I continue to wonder how the Loring Hall Experience has shaped the discipline of Classics and Greek Archaeology by forcing a sub-set of the discipline to have the particularly unusual experience of knowing a large number of the individuals in the field personally.
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 three shorts (with links to those shorts) below.