Another interesting day for the field school participants, as two amphorae saw the light of day for the first time in about 2500 years

The day started bright an early and I was lucky to be on the second rib trip that takes us to the boat, so I only had to be at the Office at 6:40am in the morning. The time for the different groups to be taken to the boat is posted on the Office door the evening before. As can be seen from the photo below the food that is to be consumed for the day is also brought with us on the day.

Nick trying to run off with some of the food for the day

There were multiple tasks that were to be completed today, and the most exciting was of course the lifting of the amphorae. So the three teams had various tasks. My team named, Poseidon, was tasked with continuing in the work in Trench A. The work of the day was the following:

–        Move some of the amphorae from the trench to the staging area (‘apothiki’ area in Greek)

–        Tag any new significant finds and photograph them

–        Try the air lift and clean some of the sand at the edge of the trench

–        Lift one of the amphorae which is ready to be removed

I was part of the 2nd dive team of our group, so the first group (Spyros and Yiorgos) had the honour to be the ones that lifted the first amphorae for this year’s field work. The picture below shows the amphorae being loaded onto the boat.

All aboard – the first amphora up!

Once the find was loaded aboard the team got to work on it. It was very interesting to view and also to be allowed to get one’s hands dirty in assisting the staff and students from the University in their work. The tasks performed were to empty the contents of the amphorae, which was then investigated. The first picture below shows two of the field school’s students Ray & Christopher (who also happen to be my roommates at the hotel we are staying in) helping empty the amphorae. The emptied contents then need to be carefully investigated, in case there are some small pieces of pottery or organic material (like wood) amongst sediment. The last photo for this post is of Dominic assisting a UCY student in the cleaning of the material.

Ray and Christopher helping empty the amphora

I also learned today about the conflict of those that are doing research in underwater archaeology and those that are doing research in marine biology. As basically the archaeology work that is being performed on the Mazotos wreck is basically destroying the marine biology that is thriving on the wreck site. Therefore, three marine biologists joined the expedition for the day as they wanted to investigate what kind of marine life was growing on the amphorae.

For the dive that I was involved in we moved some more amphorae to the staging area. This revealed some new amphora and we got to label one of them that was then photographed with a scale and a North arrow to indicate direction. We also got to see how the airlift was operated, which will be used on a subsequent dive during this field school.

Dominic working to help with sieving the contents

I am really looking forward to using the air lift more and I hope that we will be able to find more of the wooden structure which I am very excited to see.

Written by Harald Gjermundrod


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