F31 Astypalaia Bioarchaeology Field School 2017
For all queries in reagrds to this Field Trip please contact the following:
Prof. Simon Hillson
UCL Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square
020 7679 4784
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The field school takes place on Astypalaia, a small, beautiful island in the Aegean Sea and part of the Dodecanese island group in Greece. It is based on a unique archaeological site – the largest ancient children’s cemetery in the world, with at least 3400 children’s burials. In the field laboratory overlooking the sea, students learn the specialist skills required to excavate, record, identify, conserve, measure and catalogue the tiny bones and teeth of young children. This is one of the few sites in the world where children’s remains are abundant enough to provide such experience. Everyone carries out all the tasks required for each burial.
The children’s cemetery is just below the modern town, which is on the site of the ancient Classical city of Astypalaia. Almost all the burials are in pots, mostly large amphorae previously used to transport the goods traded by the city. Their form suggests that they came from all over the Aegean between around 750 B.C. and A.D. 100. The Field School is taught within a long-term bioarchaeology project involving collaboration between the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Dodecanese (part of the Ministry of Culture of Greece) and Prof. Simon Hillson of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.
The 2017 field school begins on Saturday July 1 and we will work six days per week until Thursday August 3. All teaching takes place in the laboratory. The first week will be spent on intensive training in the methods required. For the remainder of the time, students build their experience through supervised work in the laboratory and learn to place the project in its wider context through discussions and lectures.