Two new publications features data and analysis from the Pyla-Kousopetria Archaeological Project. R. Scott Moore, "A Decade Later: The Chronotype System Revisited," in W. R. Caraher, R. S. Moore, L. J. Hall, Archaeology and History in Roman, Medieval and Post-Medieval Greece. (Aldershot 2008), 137-151 used PKAP data to reconsider some key features of the much-discussed Chronotype system of sampling and pottery identification. In brief, the chronotype system was developed over the course of several intensive survey projects in Greece and Cyprus. It stipulates that each fieldwalker collects one example of every unique type of artifact in their swath or path through the unit. When this pottery comes back to the lab, the ceramicist then batches the artifacts according to their unique chronotype which is a combination of fabric type and function. Thus, the chronotype system provides a comprehensive sample of all unique types of artifacts present in a unit as well as some indicator of their frequency across the surface of the unit (that is to say, if a unit produces several objects of the same chronotype, this should indicate that several walkers saw similar material in their swaths).
While Moore's article includes a nice review of recent publications on the chronotype system, it also features some new analysis. Of particular significance, is Moore's discussion of whether fieldwalkers were able to distinguish individual chronotypes successfully in the field. Proponents of the chronotype systm have long argued that walkers could quickly be trained to distinguish similarity and different in the field and therefore were able to recognize unique types of artifacts in the field as is required by the chronotype system. The tendency for survey pottery to be relatively cleaner than excavated pottery makes this process easier for the fieldwalker. Moreover, most walkers were instructed to collect an artifact if they could not determine whether it was unique or not. Moore's analysis of PKAP data, however, showed that walkers did not seem regularly to collect duplicate chronotypes as is shown in the strong correlation between overall artifact densities and the number of chronotypes in the unit. Furthermore, he was able to argue that fieldwalkers were less selective in units with a larger number of sherds. That is to say that walkers collected a smaller percentage of the sherds from units in which they counted a large number of artifacts. Of course, this could simply reflect a lack of real diversity in the units from Pyla-Koutsopetria with the greatest number of sherds. This, however, might simply be a characteristic of the site itself, where the highest density units tend to have almost overwhelming Late Roman component. Moore finds further support for his observations when he compared the number of chronotypes present in several total collection circles to the number of chronotypes found in the same unit sampled with the chronotype system. In general, there was a much stronger correlation between the number of chronotypes present and the number of sherds in the total collection circles than in typical survey units. It may be that this shows a slight tendency for walkers to under-collect, but it may also simply reveal the difference between carefully scrutinizing the ground in a total collection circle versus walking across a unit using standard survey procedure. Moore's conclusions offer another significant body of quantitative data for the effectiveness and limitations of the chronotype sampling system. More significantly some of his conclusions differ from those reached by another chronotype project -- the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey -- where there is good evidence that fieldwalkers over-collected certain chronotypes (an issue discussed by Pettegrew, Hesperia 76 (2007), 743-784). Despite some variation in quality of data that the chronotype system produces, it is nevertheless produces a body of data that allows us to critique the sampling tendencies of fieldwalkers in a critical way. More importantly, he demonstrated that PKAP fieldwalkers were "remarkably consistent in their artifact collection" (147), which may not tell us much about the artifact types that they missed, but will at least allow us to draw confident conclusions regarding the distribution of artifact types across a unit and throughout the survey area more broadly.
The work of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project is also features in the recent double issue of Near Eastern Archaeology (W. R. Caraher, R. S. Moore, D. K. Pettegew "Surveying Late Antique Cyprus" NEA 71 (2008), 82-89) This issue is devoted to American work in Cyprus and, in part, celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) in Nicosia as well as the important contributions of the late Danielle Parks. CAARI serves as an import source of support for our work on Cyprus so it was particularly gratifying to be represented among the impressive list of American field projects active on the island since the founding of the Institute. It is also exciting to note how many projects featured in this issue focus on "later" periods. Alongside the PKAP contribution, M. Rautman's reviewed upon his important work at the Late Roman village of Kalavassos-Kopetra and Cypriot countryside in Late Antiquity, Annemarie Weyl Carr reflects on Dumbarton Oaks efforts to preserve and document the Byzantine History of the island, and Bethany Walker highlights the role of CAARI in supporting work on Ottoman Cyprus. And, the entire issue is filled with spectacular technicolor photographs!