After three years of excavation, the Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro (PALAP) Project on the Greek island of Crete is now in the middle of an important study season. So while the PALAP team wasn’t out in the trenches for this year’s Day of Archaeology, we were doing something just as important: analyzing, interpreting, and making sense of three years’ worth of archaeological material brought in from the field. From pottery analysis to bioarchaeological study, preserving finds with conservation to cataloguing objects, each and every step of the process is vital in gaining a full understanding of the four-thousand year old site of Palaikastro, and its Minoan inhabitants.
Last year, the Palaikastro team celebrated Day of Archaeology by sharing why we “archaeology.” This year we thought we would look a little more specifically at how some of us archaeology; we want to give a full picture of what a study season means for each of us and the many forms that the study of prehistory can take. There is so much that we can learn from a wide variety of sources. “My prehistory looks like…” is our way of showcasing these sources and sharing some of our study season experiences. Each PALAP team member is interested in a specific aspect of the archaeological process, and each aspect assists in assembling a comprehensive picture of the Minoan past. Check out how PALAP explores these ancient remains, and join us in celebrating prehistoric archaeology!
Patricia Tabascio and Angela Baer help to strew and study thousands of pottery sherds, looking for joins, and recording the details of each deposit.
By analyzing the stratigraphy of Palaikastro through the pottery, Paula Gheorghiade makes sense of the complex layers and multiple time periods of the site.
Efi Anaplioti, Sevastos Giannikidis, Vasiliki Anevlavi and Jack Fuller ensure that archaeological material is preserved for the future by conserving hundreds of artifacts and ceramic vessels.
Once the objects have been studied and conserved, Christos Tsoumplekas meticulously draws them to scale so that a visual record is also maintained.
Rachel Dewan helps to research and catalogue many of the objects that will be included in the final publication of the site.
In order to understand the spatial features of the site and its wider context, Christine Spencer uses GIS to map the architecture and finds.
Dr. Alexandra Livarda directs PALAP’s environmental studies, investigating Palaikastro’s archaeobotanical remains.
Rena Veropoulidou studies thousands of shells found during excavation in order to learn more about Palaikastro’s environment and the diets of its ancient inhabitants.
Rachel Kulick’s geomorphological analysis investigates Palaikastro’s landscape through the science of soil analysis.
And these are only some of the members of the PALAP team! It takes countless hours of work by dozens of dedicated people to make sense of it all, but when the puzzle pieces fit together (or the pottery sherds!), that’s when the real archaeological magic happens…