One of the final tasks of the season, after the final report is completed, is to prepare a press release for the Department of Antiquities and for our home institutions. Each year the press release, along with other documents produced by the PKAP team serve to communicate the goals, methods, and discoveries to our students and local communities. The goal of these little documents is to capture some of the romance of archaeology as well as some of the more systematic (scientific?) flavor of our work. I am never sure that I strike the right balance, but here it is in any case:
The 2008 Season of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project
The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project (PKAP) under the direction of Professor William Caraher (University of North Dakota), Professor R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Professor David K. Pettegrew (Messiah College), and Dr Maria Hadjicosti (Cyprus Department of Antiquities) recently completed its sixth season of fieldwork at the site of Pyla-Koutsopetria on Cyprus. The project conducted its field season between 15 May and 25 June 2008 with the help of a team of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members from universities in the U.S. and Europe.
For the past 5 years, PKAP concerned itself primarily with the archaeological remains present on the surface of the ground. The goals of this kind of fieldwork is the collect data without disturbing the archaeological remains protected beneath the surface. The results of this work include the discovery of what may be a previously unknown shrine from the Archaic to Classical periods (600-300 B.C.) and an extensive Roman to Late Roman (100 B.C.-700 A.D.) settlement at the site.
In 2008, PKAP conducted limited excavations for the first time in large part to confirm and expand the results of the surface survey. A series of small trenches brought to light the remains of a fortified settlement on a prominent coastal ridge called Vigla. This settlement appears to have been occupied from the Cypro-Archaic to the Hellenistic period (600-100 B.C.). The most dramatic feature of this settlement was a fortification wall that ringed the entire plateau. It seems probable the shrine of the same date served this small community. Nearby, the PKAP team excavated three small soundings near the known site of Kokkinokremos. This work expanded the extent of this Late Bronze Age site (ca. 1200 B.C.) We based this conclusion on the discovery of a section of wall datable to the Late Bronze Age that was located considerably outside the area of use proposed by earlier studies. The 6 seasons of fieldwork in the region of Pyla-Koutsopetria revealed a dynamic and wealthy Mediterranean landscape filled complete with towns, fortifications, and religious centers. The careful documentation of this material is particularly important as more and more of the Cypriot coastline succumbs to development.
As in previous seasons, PKAP has sought to document the our work in various digital media allowing for instantaneous distribution via the internet. It was possible to track our progress during the 2008 fieldseason through a series of regularly updated weblogs written by graduate students (http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_graduate/ ), undergraduates (http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_undergra/ ), and senior staff (http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_season_s/ ). In addition to texts, photographs, and illustrations, we also included a number of podcasts done from the field. The blogs and podcasts continue the tone of our documentary films from the 2005 and 2007 seasons by capturing both the serious and frivolous side of life on an archaeological project.
The project enjoyed the generous assistance of the Estate Manager of the British Sovereign Area - Dhekelia Garrison, the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, and the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute. The 2008 season’s fieldwork was funded by grants from the University of North Dakota, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Messiah College, American Schools of Oriental Research, Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the Brennan Foundation, the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust, and generous private donors. All field work was completed with the permission and cooperation of Director Pavlos Flourentzos of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.