Votive plaque
Azoria Project 2013-2017

Summer Fieldwork Opportunities

Azoria Project Volunteer Program
Summer 2016

Dates:  May 28-July 18, 2016

For detailed information on the schedule of work; details of travel to Crete; suggestions for personal equipment and supplies; and insurance; please see the general information sheet.

Azoria Project 2016 General Information Sheet

The project is the excavation of the Early Iron Age-Archaic site of Azoria (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean.  The focus is the Archaic-period city (ca. 700-480 B.C.) and the investigation of local dynamics of urbanization and sociopolitical changes in the 8th and 7th c. B.C. Our plan of work for 2013-2017 is to excavate an early Greek temple (ca. 1000-700 B.C.) and several Archaic-period houses (6th and early 5th c. B.C.), and to conduct a number of stratigraphic soundings in the area of the civic buildings in order to refine our understanding of the chronology and history of the site.

The project is conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Iowa State Univeristy, under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. For general information on the site, the excavation, and the overall plan of work, please consult the project webpage, www.azoria.org; the Wikipedia article; and the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient History article. For more detailed readings, see the sample of publications in the Azoria Project Archive of the Carolina Digital Repository.

The Azoria Project Volunteer Program is run directly through the Azoria Project and the Department of Classics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with the support of the UNC Curriculum in Archaeology and the Research Laboratories of Archaeology.

The program trains students in problems, methods, and research practices in Mediterranean and Aegean archaeology by providing them with a fieldwork-and laboratory-based program in Greece. Another goal is to introduce the student to modern, traditional, and ancient cultural and physical landscapes, by providing a culturally-immersive living and working environment, and program of study. Students live in a traditional Greek village, working alongside local workmen, excavators, archaeologists and students, and will be exposed, on a daily basis, to modern and traditional cultural practices; natural and agricultural environments; and through intensive daily interaction with the research and teaching staff, diverse perspectives on diachronic cultural contexts.

General Information:

Students are formally staff members of the Project and participate in primary excavation, data recovery, and processing stages of the fieldwork. Participants in the Volunteer program will have the opportunity to work in the excavation trenches as assistants to field archaeologists and various specialists learning excavation and recording techniques first-hand. The site of Azoria is today a rural environment in the mountains of east Crete, with rocky terrain typical of the Cretan landscape. Cretan summers are dry and hot and students should expect to work long and physically as well as intellectually-demanding days. A usual day of work would involve digging or assisting with sieving and recording on site for most of the morning and early afternoon, followed by the processing of finds in the late afternoon. Regular tours of the site as well as reports and lectures by various senior and specialist staff offer on-going discussion of archaeological methods; the historical and archaeological significance of the excavations, site, and region; and problems in fieldwork.

While the program will center on the actual excavation, formal presentations are integrated into the work schedule: these would include regular afternoon presentations by the instructor and specialist staff—field archaeologists (e.g., trench supervisors; ceramic specialist; architect; lithics specialist), scientific staff (archaeobotanist; zooarchaeologist; biological anthropologist), and technical staff (registrar and finds manager; conservator; illustrator; and photographer)— reflecting on problems of methodology, interpretation and synthesis. Weekly trench tours given by senior staff and graduate-student trench supervisors provide an overview of the site, methods of interpretation, and the progress of excavation. Occasional visits to other nearby sites offer a broader regional, cultural, and historical perspective.

Students will also be working at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC or SCEC) located near the excavation site, in Pacheia Ammos. The INSTAP SCEC is the research center that provides the Azoria Project storage, processing, and work space; library; laboratories; and conservation and computer facilities. Students will be working regularly in the designated labs and study areas of the INSTAP SCEC during sessions of finds processing; and will have access to the library and computer facilities during operating hours of the facility. The project will provide transportation to and from the site and the SCEC facility. At the SCEC students will also be required to attend all regular afternoon presentations and lectures by the instructors and specialist staff, as well as four formal academic lectures given by archaeologists as part of the Summer Seminar Series of the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete.

Program Costs and Payment Information:

The Volunteer Program participation fee is $3000. The fee covers student housing, transportation to and from the site and INSTAP Study Center, instruction, one common meal, and institutional fees. Daily board (food and personal costs) and transportation to and from Greece, Crete, and the village of Kavousi, are not covered in this fee. The Volunteer Program does not offer college course credit, though some archaeology programs may wave one's fieldschool requirement on receipt of evidence of participation in the project.

Payment of the fee is required by April 1 to secure a position in the program. Checks should be made payable to the "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill," with Azoria Project Fund in the memo line of the check; and mailed directly to Donald Haggis at Department of Classics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145.

Housing and Food:

Students reside in local villages of Pacheia Ammos and Kavousi, both located a few kilometers from the excavation site and the research facility (INSTAP Study Center for East Crete). Students will live in prearranged rental rooms (pensions or small hotels). Once the total number of staff members and student participants is determined, the project director will make the rooming reservations in March and April before the start of the excavation season.

The rental rooms are very simple, but clean, comfortable, well kept, and secure establishments; and the owners have some 40 years experience in hosting American archaeologists and students. Linens, towels and toilet paper are provided and changed weekly. Other personal items are to be supplied by students individually. Student room assignments (by gender) are made by the project director. The rooms contain two or three beds, a closet, tables, and bathroom (bathing and toilet facilities). The rooms normally cluster around or connect to a common area with seating, balcony or patio space, refrigerator, and some cooking facilities.

Both villages have small grocery stores with packaged food, drinks, and fresh produce of all kinds; bakeries; tavernas (restaurants) and coffee shops. Furthermore, regular bus service between the villages and nearby towns of Ierapetra and Ayios Nikolaos provides students access to larger super markets, farmers’ markets, and bakeries if needed. While there will be at least one group meal during the excavation season, students are expected, on a daily basis, to feed themselves. On a normal working day, students will stop at a local bakery or grocery store in the morning (or the evening) before going up to the site, to purchase bread, cheese, fruit, vegetables, or local pastries for their breakfast and lunch. For a late lunch or snack after work, and for dinner, students normally patronize one of several local tavernas, which offer complete prepared meals as well as fast food, salads, and sandwiches.


Applications should be sent by email, directly to Donald Haggis, the project director (dchaggis@email.unc.edu). This consists of a concise letter or email, summarizing your academic training, major or primary relevant field of study, your previous fieldwork experience, and explaining why you want to participate in the project, and the relationship to your academic or professional development. One should append to the letter a list of relevant college-level courses taken in archaeology, classical archeology, ancient art, history, anthropology, or related fields. Space is limited and preference will be given to classics, anthropology, archaeology, or classical archaeology majors with a serious interest in field archaeology and conducting graduate study in classics or archaeology. Also please list the names (email, address and phone number) of two academic references (that is professors or excavation directors) who may be contacted in reviewing your application.

Applications and payments should be received no later than April 1, 2016 for consideration, though early applications will receive consideration on receipt, and space in the program is limited.
Excavation at Azoria
For more information about the dates, excavation, participation costs, requirements, and the application process, please contact directly--preferably by email:

Professor Donald C. Haggis
Director, Azoria Project
Department of Classics
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145
Tel. 919-962-7191; 919-265-7515