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Basic Field School

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Total Station

This course is designed for students who have taken a course in Greek archaeology but have had little or no field experience. The aim of the basic field school is to explore the archaeology of Greece focusing on the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. The main elements of the field school will consist of participation in all parts of the Mitrou excavation in the mornings, afternoon lectures and seminars, and trips to archaeological sites and museums on the weekends. The excavation at Mitrou, a tidal islet on the North Euboean Gulf in central Greece, will answer questions about the development of prehistoric culture and civilization in East Lokris and about the relationship of this area to the rest of Greece and the Aegean.

The members of the field school will play an integral role in the excavation and surface survey of Mitrou and the processing of the material found there. Students will learn to use high-tech equipment, such as the Total Station, which records the exact location and elevation of artefacts, structures and strata.

An instructor pointing as part of a class on the beach with the ocean behind him

By participating fully in these activities, students will learn all facets of the excavation of a site including digging techniques, recording techniques, sediment analysis, stratigraphy, and the creation and study of stratigraphic units. Students will also spend some time in the storeroom and learn to process artifacts. Mitrou staff members will lecture on their areas of specialization in the afternoons, with topics ranging from subdisciplines of archaeology such as pottery analysis, lithic analysis, zooarchaeology, and ethnobotany, to general cultural history of Ancient Greece. Seminar discussions will contextualize the finds from Mitrou and the methods employed in their interpretation within the broad discipline of archaeology. The field trips will focus mainly on Bronze Age sites, including the major prehistoric sites of Mycenae, Tiryns, Lerna, Thebes, and Lefkandi, and will enable the students to understand the cultural importance of Mitrou and East Lokris in Aegean prehistory. We will also include visits to major Greek historic sites such as Athens, Delphi, and the Thermopylai to give students a diachronic view of cultural developments in Greece.

Outdoor photo of three female students


  • At least one course in Greek archaeology
  • Consent of instructor

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will stay in shared hotel rooms in the village of Tragana. Lunch and dinner will be provided at local restaurants and other arrangements will be made for breakfast. Fees include all room and board costs, as well as travel within Greece but do not include travel to Greece. Tragana offers access to a lovely beach, a mini-post office, payphones, cafes, restaurants, bakery, convenience stores, souvlaki place, and very friendly people.