Academic Courses for credit: select four courses for the spring semester from the list of current courses offered (and, with special permission, a fifth course TOUR 101); for the summer session, select one or two courses (maximum load) from the list of current courses offered for summer session. Courses will be offered depending on student enrollment; courses with insufficient enrollment may be cancelled at the discretion of the Center without prior notice.
The A.TR.E.U.S. Comprehensive Fieldwork Certificate in Terrestrial & Maritime Archaeology
A unique dig simulator of unparalleled complexity and unprecedented size (300 m2 or 3,000 sq. feet, 1-1.5 m deep) will be constructed on the lowest terrace of the hillside, south of the ‘Melathron’ (Simulated Excavation Field). This is designed to be an outdoor, monumental version of the Keck Archaeological Laboratory dig simulator at Dickinson College, which has proven highly efficient and pivotal for student training in archaeological fieldwork (cf. http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20093/archaeology/1884/keck_archaeology_lab).
The A.TR.E.U.S. field program (Archaeological Training in Excavation and Underground Survey) and the dig simulator at Mycenae, which finds no parallel in Greece, will facilitate intensive, interdisciplinary ‘hands-on’ education and practical field training for undergraduate and graduate students in real conditions in the controlled environment of a simulated excavation field (aerial, ground, and geophysical survey, excavation, restoration, digital applications). The dig simulator will also be made available to archaeologists of the Greek Archaeological Service so that they may be trained on the latest field methods and use of electronic equipment.
The dig simulator will feature reconstructed architectural ruins and diagnostic archaeological contexts (hearths, kiln, well, houses, shrine, cist and pit graves, a rock-cut chamber tomb, part of a collapsed fortification wall), plotted portable finds and spatial distribution of physical remains, including artifacts (reproduced pieces of pottery, figurines, jewelry, tools and weapons) and ecofacts (casts of human skeletons, animal bones and teeth, carbonized wood, organic remains and other bioarchaeological material), and reproduced stratigraphy filled with different types of sediment (occupation layers, destruction layers, floor levels, burnt deposits).
The students will be trained in:
- aerial reconnaissance (aerial photography with use of octocopter drone);
- archaeological survey methods (with use of compass, Total Station, and Differential GPS);
- geophysical survey techniques (GPR, gradiometer, ERT);
- excavation methods and techniques (digging, recording, measuring -triangulation/depth - and georeferenced plotting with use of Total Station, labeling, drawing plans/sections, filling out forms and writing field notes, photography, sifting, floatation with use of Flote-tech);
- synthesis and interpretation of stratigraphic sequence, spatial distribution of finds, spatial function of rooms/areas, identification of archaeological contexts, patterns of uniformity and variation;
- study of portable finds (construction, typology, function, dating) with brief introduction to the study of ceramics, lithics, metal artifacts, bioarchaeological material, and osteoarchaeology (human/faunal)
- architectural study and 3-D digital reconstruction of the ruins with use of a site scanner;
- application of digital technology in archaeology, creating, maintaining, and using a G.I.S. database
- restoration of building ruins, conservation of portable finds, analysis of storage procedures;
- final excavation report;
- dig simulator activities will be recorded by fixed web-cameras for training purposes, in-depth analysis and evaluation in class.
In addition to the semester-long, intensive field training course in the dig simulator, the students will also participate in a month-long, intensive practical training in underwater archaeology at Kalamata in collaboration with the University of the Peloponnese (organized by Prof. E. Giannouli and the Maritime Archaeology Lab) to earn a comprehensive fieldwork certificate in land/underwater archaeology (A.TR.E.U.S. Fieldwork Certificate) – which is unique in the US, Europe and Greece.
The dig simulator will not only serve for field training, but will also facilitate experimental archaeology: faculty and students will be experimenting with the application of different geophysical survey methods (including pioneer methods, such as drone-mounted gradiometer) and their varying degree of effectiveness with different types of sediment, depths, and diagnostic contexts (melted clay, burnt mud brick, hearths, wells, graves, pressed earth floors, etc.), thus generating gradually a reference index for equipment behavior, which may prove invaluable in fieldwork for recognizing and identifying possible features in geophysical surveys.