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The Azoria Project
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Iowa State University
Excavations at Azoria in Eastern Crete

The Azoria Project is the excavation of a Neolithic-Early Minoan I, Late Minoan IIIC, and Early Iron Age-Archaic site on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. Fieldwork is conducted by permission of the Greek Ministry of Culture under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Archaeological Service of Eastern Crete, Ephorate of Antiquities of Lasithi (former 24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities). The main supporting institutions are the Department of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Classical Studies Program at Iowa State University, the Curriculum in Archaeology and the Research Laboratories of Archaeology at UNC-CH, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC), the Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology (CCMA), and the Institute for Field Research.

Azoria aerial 2017
Aerial view of the South Acropolis from southwest (Doug Faulmann, 2017)


The Azoria Project Overview (Research Design)

Azoria Project Bibliography

Summary Field Reports

2002 Summary Report 
2003 Summary Report
2004 Summary Report
2005 Summary Report

2006 Summary Report

2013 Summary Report
2013 Summary Report (in Greek)
2013 Summary Report (zooarchaeology)
2014 Summary Report
2014 Summary Report (in Greek)
2015 Summary Report
2015 Summary Report (in Greek)
2016 Summary Report
2016 Summary Report (in Greek)
2017 Summary Report

Detailed Field Reports and Articles

2002 Detailed Report

2003-2004 Detailed Report Part 1 (Archaic Buildings)
2003-2004 Detailed Report Part 2 (Neolithic-Early Iron Age)
2005-2006 Detailed Report (Archaic Civic Buildings)
2005-2006 Detailed Report (Archaic Houses)

Stratigraphic excavations at Azoria in 2015 (Kentro 18, 2015)
Stratigraphic excavations at Azoria in 2016 (Kentro 19, 2016)

Site Conservation 2017 (technical report)
Site Conservation 2016 (technical report)
Site Conservation 2015 (technical report)
Site Conservation 2014 (technical report)
Site Conservation 2013 (technical report)
Site Conservation 2003-2007 (technical report)

The Conservation of an Archaic Greek City on Crete
Best Practices in Site Preservation
Archaeological Institute of America, Site Preservation Program, 2012

Staff Lists

Staff List 2017
Staff List 2016
Staff List 2015
Staff List 2014
Staff List 2013
Senior Staff
Staff Lists 2002-2012

Advisory Board (2013-2017)
Public Engagement and Programming

Visitor List 2013-2014
Wikipedia article
Interactive Educational Programs in Crete
Maura High, "An Archaeology of Now and Then," The Southern Review 48.2 (2012)
Rob Christensen, “In ancient land, UNC-led teams unearth history,” Raleigh News and Observer, July 26, 2014.
Leonidas Klontzas, "Ολοκληρώθηκαν οι ανασκαφές στον Αζοριά Καβουσίου," Anatoli 19/08/2017.
Ολοκληρώθηκαν οι ανασκαφές στον Αζοριά Καβουσίου – Συνέντευξη με τον αρχαιολόγο Λευτέρη Χατζόπουλο (Από 18 Αυγούστου 2017)
Kim Weaver Spurr, "A Monumental Dig," Carolina Arts and Sciences Magazine (Fall 2017) 14-16

Azoria Project Archive

The Azoria Project Archive,
stored in the Carolina Digital Repository of the University Archives and Records Management Services of Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the permanent archive of the Azoria Project excavations. The Azoria Project Archive is a collection of original documents and publications generated from fieldwork and research of the Azoria Project. The documents in this collection comprise an archive of publications; original field notes; excavation and directors' notebooks; stratigraphic sections; manuscript drafts; artifact catalogs; and illustrations (plans, artifact and architectural drawings, maps, and photographs) produced by this research project.

CDR logo

E100The Azoria Project is the excavation of an Archaic city (7th-6th c. B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. Fieldwork has been conducted in two stages, an initial five years of excavation in 2002-2006, and a second campaign, begun in 2013 (-2017), separated by six seasons of study, publication, and site conservation. The goals are to document the form of an early Greek city, in order to understand the sociopolitical and economic structure of the urban center, and processes of urbanization (Haggis et al. 2004; 2007; 2011). The focus of current work is on the transition from the Early Iron Age (1200-700 B.C.) to Archaic periods, the early development of the city, and material correlates for emerging social and political institutions in the 6th c. B.C. The excavation constitutes the first case study of the political economy of Archaic Crete, while augmenting our knowledge of the agropastoral resource base of Aegean communities in early stages of city-state formation. Our immediate goals are to recover stratigraphic evidence for culture change in the 7th and 6th centuries, and to reevaluate interpretive frameworks and develop new models of nascent urban social organization. The excavation has produced evidence for the structure and organization of households of 6th-c. date; public buildings indicating various levels of communal participation in feasting and sacrifice; and stratigraphic discontinuities suggesting the complex relationships between the Archaic inhabitants and their Early Iron Age cultural and archaeological landscapes.

Funding for the Azoria Project has been provided by the
National Science Foundation (BCS-0438073); the National Geographic Society (7193-02; 7614-04; 9164-12); the National Endowment for the Humanities (RZ-20812; RZ-50334; RZ-51427); the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (Gr 6875; Gr 8644); the Institute for Aegean Prehistory; the Loeb Classical Library Foundation; the American Philosophical Society (Franklin Research Grant program); the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; the Shelby White-Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications; the Stavros Niarchos Foundation; the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the James Penrose Harland Fund of the Department of Classics (UNC-CH); Social Science Seed Grant for Multidisciplinary Research, H. W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science (UNC-CH); the Iowa State University (ISU) Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Fellowship for Scholarship and Creativity; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Small Grants (ISU); and the Azoria Project Fund.

Donate to the Azoria Project


Principal grants and contributions