I am grateful for the department’s travel funding, which enabled me to travel to Cyprus for an archaeological excavation, and to go to Turkey to observe important archaeological sites in-person. In Cyprus, I helped investigate Kalavasos Vounaritashi, an Iron-Age site in the middle-south of the Island. This rural site is the first of its kind to be investigated in Cyprus. Our five-person team, led and directed by Dr. Catherine Kearns (Chicago) aimed to uncover another section of the site in order to better understand its use. We found a remarkable level of investment in a such a rural site — a structure made entirely from stone, with the floor and walls covered in plaster. This might indicate that the communal processing of agricultural goods such as olives, grapes, wheat, etc. could have happened here. I am delighted that our small team’s efforts have begun to fill in the gaps of our understanding in a very important stage in Cyprus’ history, the study of which has until now focused on state formation and urbanism — both of which would have been predicated on the control of production of food in rural areas.
I am so glad for the opportunity to participate in this type of smaller project, which sets a research question and digs to answer it. I was able to take photos for photogrammetry, and make the resulting 3D model of our trench; I am very grateful to Dr. Ed Triplett for teaching me how to do so. The complex stratigraphy of this season’s 4x4m trench, which was filled with plaster, stone, seven walls, and many different types of soil, made me a better field archaeologist, no doubt thanks to Dr. Kearns’ and other team members’ expertise. However, the chance to embed myself in a new archaeological community, with its unique questions, arguments, and tradition of scholarship, was even more valuable. I am very grateful to not only the Chicago team, but to the University of British Columbia and Cornell teams with whom we stayed for their advice and friendship.
In sum, this summer was one of broadened horizons. I am very thankful for the funds provided by the department for making it happen!