The Archaeological Process

(Crossposted at The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project)

It is amazing what we accomplished in all our trenches in the first three days of field work. One trench came down on walls of the Hellenistic habitation, another on what appears to be a floor, a third on a foundation trench for a fortification wall, and a fourth on a premodern looting pit on the slopes. We’ve uncovered enormous quantities of Archaic-Hellenistic pottery, weapons of the Hellenistic era, an inscription, and several figurines. What a start!

The Messiah College students have posted some nice summaries with photos here, and Aaron Barth, a graduate student at North Dakota State University, created two orientation videos to our excavations.

Modern excavation is interesting in that it relies on tools and methods both traditional and scientific.  Here are some of my best photos of our team of faculty and students in action this last weekend.

Picks and dust pans – our main instruments

5501_7 (working)

And sometimes we need the bigger pick.


Trowels and brushes and buckets for cleaning floors


And sifters to collect artifacts


Paper forms and munsell soil books for recording

5301_3 (working)

A total station for angles, grids, and elevations


The prism for reflecting the total station


And iPads, our newest tool in PKAP this year.  More on this soon.


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