Goodbye Zagora from Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas on site in 2014 wearing his wind protection

Hugh Thomas on site in 2014 wearing his wind protection. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Hugh Thomas
Archaeologist

Ivana Vetta, Kristen Mann and I hold a prestigious record for the Zagora Archaeological Project. Although there are numerous people who have been on the project since the beginning, we happen to be the only three who have been to site every single day since the beginning (minus the odd sick day of course). We are the old folks of Zagora.

This fact only dawned on me a week or two ago when I thought about the site and the fact that, in all likelihood, I will not be back here for several years, if at all. This is primarily for two reasons.

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Invitation to public presentation about Zagora on 6 November

Zagora as seen from the path

Zagora as seen from the path. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Irma Havlicek
Web Content Producer

The directors of the Zagora Archaeological Project extend an invitation to all living on or visiting Andros to a public presentation about the project. The presentation about this significant c. 900-700BCE settlement will be held at the Municipal Cinema, Chora, at 7pm on Thursday 6 November 2014.

The session will be presented in Greek by two of the co-directors of the project, Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont (from the University of Sydney) and Dr Stavros Paspalas (Deputy Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens).

The Zagora information session last year was popular and well-attended. We hope even more members of the local Andros community attend this year. All are warmly welcomed. This poster gives the details in Greek.

This presentation follows the popular and successful tour of the site held on Saturday 25 October.

Visit to Zagora of Ambassador John Griffin

Stavros Paspalas, Ambassador John Griffin, Meg Miller and Peter in the Zagora dig hut

From left: Zagora Archaeology Project (ZAP) director, Dr Stavros Paspalas; Australian Ambassador to Greece, His Excellency, MrJohn Griffin; ZAP director, Professor Meg Miller and Mr Pakapat Thipayaprapai in the Zagora dig hut. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Irma Havlicek
Web Content Producer

On Friday 10 October 2014, we had the pleasure of a visit by the Australian Ambassador to Greece, His Excellency, Mr John Griffin, and his partner, Mr Pakapat Thipayaprapai.

John Griffin had only recently taken up the post of Ambassador, so we were particularly privileged that he visited us so early in his term.

After meeting Professor Meg Miller and Dr Stavros Paspalas, two of the three Zagora Archaeological Project directors (Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont was not on site that day) in the Zagora dig hut, Stavros took John and Pakapat for a tour of each of the excavation areas around the site.
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Local Andros community enjoys tour of Zagora

One of the groups about to start their tour, led by Stavros Paspalas in Greek

One of the groups about to start their tour, led by Stavros Paspalas in Greek. © AAIA; photo by Hannah Gwyther

by Irma Havlicek
Web Content Producer

Even though we had wild weather in the few days leading up to our public tour, we were very pleased that this didn’t deter some 50 members of the local Andros community who made the trek down to Zagora yesterday, Saturday 25 October 2014, to learn more about our work there.

The three Zagora Archaeological Project co-directors each led a group to excavation areas around the site and explained what we are learning about this c. 900-700 BCE settlement through the archaeological work being done there. Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont and Dr Stavros Paspalas led their groups in Greek, and Professor Meg Miller led her group in English.

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Wild weather prevents work at Zagora

Choppy waves at Batsi

Choppy waves at Batsi on Thursday 23 October 2014. The team stays at Batsi on Andros while working on the Zagora Archaeological Project (ZAP). © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Irma Havlicek
Online content producer

The Zagora directors check the weather forecasts assiduously to help plan whether or not it is safe to work on site at Zagora. If wind at Beaufort 9 or higher, or heavy, constant rain is forecast, the directors cancel work on site for that day. Although everyone is keen to complete as much work to as high a standard as possible during the season, safety is paramount, and risk is assessed in order to be minimised at every step.

Team members are advised at dinner the night before if work is not to proceed on site the following day. If work on site at Zagora is not possible, all team members are allocated to other important project tasks.

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Paul Donnelly does an ABC-Radio interview from Andros

Paul Donnelly doing a radio interview from Stavropeda

Paul Donnelly doing an interview with Simon Marnie from ABC-Radio, early in the morning (Greek time) yesterday from Stavropeda, up the long steep path from Zagora. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Irma Havlicek
Web content producer

Yesterday morning at Stavropeda, before walking down the steep rocky path to Zagora, Paul Donnelly (archaeologist and also decorative arts curator at the Powerhouse Museum which is a partner in the Zagora project), was interviewed by Simon Marnie from ABC-Radio about the Zagora Archaeological Project.

This was the second interview Paul has done with Simon about the project, and a third is planned to take place after the excavations finish in a week.

The 12-minute interview is scheduled to be aired some time between 10am and 11.15am, on Sunday 26 October 2014 (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time).

Residue analysis – another technique to help understand the Zagora settlement

Specialist Work – Dr Maria Roumpou – Residue Analyst

Dr Maria Roumpou, archaeological residue analysis specialist

Dr Maria Roumpou, archaeological residue analysis specialist. © AAIA; photo by Annette Dukes

by Hannah Gwyther, Archaeologist
and Maria Roumpou, Archaeological Residue Analyst

Residue analysis focuses on the extraction and interpretation of organic remnants found within artefacts at a molecular level. Chemical analysis of organic residues has greatly expanded in the last three decades and widespread evidence for the survival of organic residues associated mainly with pottery vessels has been demonstrated, although advances are shown in the analysis and recovery of organic molecules from several categories of archaeological finds. Careful processing of any remaining residue either visible (infrequent) or absorbed can provide an understanding of the usage and function of artefacts.
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Public invitation to tour the Zagora archaeological site – 25 October 2014 

Zagora as seen from the path

Zagora as seen from the path

by Irma Havlicek
Web Content Producer

The directors of the Zagora Archaeological Project extend an invitation to all people living in or staying on Andros to a tour of this significant c. 900-700BCE settlement site on Saturday 25 October 2014. 

The tour will be led by the directors of the project, Professor Meg Miller and Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont (both from the University of Sydney) and Dr Stavros Paspalas (Deputy Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens). 

Someone from Andros Routes will meet you at the small church at the top of the path at Stavropeda at 10am for the walk down to the site. The path to the site is marked by a red and white sign with a ’7′ on it. Information about the path is on the Andros Routes website.

The tour will commence at 11am from the ‘dig hut’ – the stone building near the entrance to the site, just over the field wall. 

Here is a poster in Greek about the tour.

There will also be an evening information about Zagora at the Municipal Cinema, Chora, at 7pm on Thursday 6 November, also presented by the Zagora Archaeological Project directors. More information about that soon.

Researching Zagora textile tools

The work of Dr Joanne Cutler, archaeological textile tools specialist

Dr Jo Cutler holding the discoid loom weight

Dr Jo Cutler holding the discoid loom weight. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

This week, Jo Cutler has been with us, working in the Andros Archaeological Museum, researching tools used in making textiles, in the case of Zagora, loom weights and spindle whorls.

Her work on Iron Age textile tools is part of a European Research Council (ERC) funded project, Production and Consumption: Textile Economy and Urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000-500BCE (PROCON). The project is based at the University of Cambridge. Other members of the project team are Margarita Gleba (Principal Investigator) and Susanna Harris.
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Induction of ZAP team 2

Briefing session for those beginning participation in ZAP 2014 in the second half of the season

Meg Miller giving the briefing session on Monday morning 13 October in the Kantouni dining room to those participating in the Zagora 2014 excavations for the first time. © AAIA; photo by Irma Havlicek

by Irma Havlicek
Web content producer

As you probably know by now, some excavators work on the six-week Zagora Archaeological Project (ZAP) for the entire six weeks, some for weeks 1-3 and some for weeks 4-6.

Those working only the second half generally arrived last weekend, and received a briefing from ZAP project director, Meg Miller, in the Kantouni dining room on the morning of Monday 13 October.

This was followed by the usual daily drive to Stavropeda, some 20 minutes from our accommodation in Batsi, and then the half-hour or so walk down to Zagora.

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