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Global Consortium: Mycenae

The American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae (ACAM) program is a new study abroad opportunity for undergraduate students.

Program Description

The program will take place at the legendary site of ancient Mycenae and the beautiful town of Nafplion, Greece during summer 2018. Although the focus is on archaeology, interdisciplinary academic courses about art, architecture, cultural heritage, and more are offered. There is a state-of-the-art outdoor simulator and an open-air theatrical area where some classes may be held. Classes will be taught in English by American and Greek professors. 

Location

Mycenae and Nafplion, Greece

Dates

May 20, 2018 - June 29, 2018

Cost

$5,100*

*cost breakdown below

Courses & Credit

One course is included in cost. A second course can be added for an additional fee.

Field Archaeology

This course focuses on archaeological field and laboratory methods through readings, lectures, and hands-on experiences and the data these practices generate. It will cover the essential field methods employed in archaeological survey (ground, aerial, geophysical) and excavation. This will include the fundamentals of documentation including note taking, drawing, photography, and map-making. It will also introduce how archaeologists organize and analyze the large quantities and wide range of data recovered in these processes with particular attention to the use of computer databases, especially Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It will provide a general overview of different types of laboratory analysis including lithics, ceramics, metals, plant and animal remains, and discuss the available dating methods. Students will have the opportunity to practice many of the field and lab methods in the Simulated Excavation Field (SEF), and, when available, archaeological sites. Through these experiences and interactions with a range of archaeological datasets, students will learn how the archaeological record is formed and what its patterns can teach us about ancient human livelihoods. Finally, students will learn to synthesize and present the results of field and laboratory research in reports, a critical genre of writing in the discipline.

Mycenaean Art and Archaeology

A general introduction to the art and archaeology of Mycenaean Greece, with consideration of both the Aegean sites and the Mycenaean trade-posts and colonies in Asia Minor, Cyprus, the Levant, Palestine and Egypt. A survey of architecture (palatial, secular, temple and funerary), pottery, sculpture, frescoes, seal-stones, metalwork (metallic vases, weapons, jewelry), stone- and ivory-carving in class and museum field trips; comparative study of typological, iconographical, stylistic, and technical aspects and developments. Cultural contextualization and consideration of the historical framework, socio-economic, political and administrative context, writing and religion. Major interpretative issues and problems in Mycenaean archaeology, including relative and absolute chronology, emergence and formation process, collapse and fall of the Mycenaean citadels, spatial definition and multiple function of the palatial networks, military power and expansionism, international dynamics and contacts. Evaluation of the Mycenaean legacy and its contribution to ancient Greek and modern western civilization.

Introduction to Archeometry

Archaeometry/Archaeological Science makes use of available laboratory and portable instrumentations for the characterisation and analyses of artefacts and materials associated with past human activities and cultures, to tackle questions related with their chronology, use, trade-routs and provenance arguments. Main aims are the non-invasive (not destructive) approaches and the preference for portability in order to overcome issues related with the integrity of the artefacts and time consuming applications for granting the necessary permits from the respective public and private authorities (museums, archaeological institutions, collectors). In nowadays, there are available a series of microscopy and X-ray operated facilities that combines fast, non-invasive and in situ measurements providing highly accurate analytical information for the study of archaeological pottery, mortars, soil, metals, glass and glazed material. Absolute Dating in contrast to relative approaches (stylistic, typological dating) is an acknowledged field par-excellence, since the appearance of the archaeometry field (since early ‘60s): in recent years the use of Luminescence Techniques (Thermoluminescense/TL and Optically Stimulated Luminescence/OSL) provide absolute chronological information that refers to the time elapsed since the initial firing/production of the pottery/bricks (TL) or since the last exposure to sun-light of aeolian, fluvial, colluvial sediments and historical, archaeological mortars (OSL).

Travel, Tourism, and Archaeology

The course focuses on the relation between tourism and archaeology in modern Greece. It offers both an overview of the historical development of this relation, and an introduction to the contemporary cultural tourism industry as this is exemplified in Greece, with particular reference to archaeology. Greece offers an extraordinarily rich perspective on cultural tourism because, unlike many countries where this is a recent trend, archaeology and culture have been the principal interests of travelers to Greek lands since the 15th century AD. The course explores how archaeology, travel and tourism are linked and the specific characteristics these connections acquired in distinct historical periods: the period before the formation of the modern Greek state (15th – 19th c. AD), the period before World War II (19th – mid 20th c.), the period after World War II (1950s – 1980s) and the period from the 1990s to present.

Emphasis is placed on the current trends characterizing the interplay of travel/tourism and archaeology, as this is expressed in the areas of economy, education, entertainment and heritage management. The cities of Athens and Nafplio are examined as case studies of urban
tourism and class participants will experience first hand current developments in cultural tourism, heritage management and archaeology through on-site lectures and fieldwork.

Mediterranean Interconnections: the Aegean, Egypt, and the Near East
This is a unique course taught on-site during faculty-led weekend field trips to various archaeological sites, historical landscapes and museums in Greece. This course aims to familiarize the students with key ancient cities, monuments, masterpieces of art, and the history of ancient Greece. One-day field trips will include locations in the region of the Peloponnese (Olympia, Pylos, Corinth, Tiryns, Nafplio, Argos, Epidaurus, Sparta-Mystras, Monemvasia, Mani-Methoni-Koroni, Aegina, Hydra-Spetses), and Sterea (Delphi, Thebes, Orchomenos/Glas, Euboea). Extended weekend excursions (3-4 days) may include Athens, Crete (Knossos, Archanes, Malia, Phaistos, Idaion Cave, Spinalonga, Hiraklio, Rethymno, Hagios Nikolaos), Cyclades (Santorini-Mykonos/Delos or Melos), Central Greece (Volos, Mt Pelion, Meteora) or Western Greece (Dodona, Ioannina, Zagoria, Lefkada), and Northern Greece (Thessaloniki, Veria, Edessa, Vergina, Pella). Students have the option to audit the course or to receive full academic credit by completing successfully all relevant coursework (site presentations and papers).
Archaeological Theory and Interpretation

This introductory course provides students with a comprehensive and solid understanding of the major theoretical paradigms that defined Archaeology as a discipline and continue to ‘shape’ its diverse approaches to the study of the Past. Moreover, as it will 'unfold', students will become accustomed with a wide range of cutting-edge excavation methodologies and modern scientific practices which archaeologists and archaeological scientists alike employ in order to assign meaning/-s onto the different categories of the ancient material culture. The purpose of this is to arrive at interpretations touching upon the socio-economic, ideological and political lives of ancient people and how these lives relate to ours.
Apart from participating in the lectures, students, working in groups, will have to approach and examine important archaeological monuments/sites/on-going excavations of Greece, dated from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine times. After taking interviews from inhabitants, tourists and passers-by moving around and interacting with the aforementioned landmarks, students are expected to offer their own interpretation of the public’s perception of the Past.

Digital Documentation of Archaeological Monuments and Sites

This lab course will introduce the students to the principles of descriptive geometry, the historical and theoretical background of applied technology in architecture, as well as hands-on training in direct and indirect surveying techniques (instruments, techniques, field applications), digital technologies in cultural heritage (digitization theory, 3D Digitization of objects, monuments, sites by using digital photogrammetry, specialized software, and laser techniques), and use of cultural databases, metadata schemas and international standards (technologies for cultural heritage presentation, dissemination, interactive and immersive experience).

Introduction to Archaeological Science and Environmental Archaeology

This course introduces the students to Archaeological Science, focused on Environmental Archaeology. It is designed to provide a broad theoretical and practical understanding of specialist approaches to the interactions between people and their environment in the past and of a wide range of modern scientific methods applied in archaeology. The course focuses particularly on the analysis of organic remains of humans, animals and plants (Bioarchaeology, Zooarchaeology and Archaeobotany), as well as on the study of ancient landscapes and palaeoenvironment (Geoarchaeology). Through lectures, seminars, and laboratory based hands-on training, the course will familiarise the students with the major scientific fields in Environmental Archaeology and equip them with a critical understanding of the inter-disciplinary tools currently available to the study of the human past. The module will offer: 1) A general presentation of the major study fields, methods and techniques of archaeological science and environmental archaeology; 2) introduction to geoarchaeology and soil micromorphology (taphonomy, site formation processes, stratigraphy); 3) introduction to bioarchaeology, theory and methods (human osteology, sex and age estimations, palaeodemography, diet, paleopathology, ancient mobility); 4) introduction to zooarchaoelogy (categories of faunal assemblages, identification techniques, interpretive methodology); 5) introduction to archaeobotany and the analysis of macro- and micro-botanical remains (seeds, carbon, pollen, phytoliths, starch grains); 6) introduction to micro-archaeology (chemical and biomolecular techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, histology, a-DNA analysis etc); 7) discussion of major global themes through integrative inter-disciplinary approaches (e.g. animal and plant domestication, human migration, diet). On completing the course, the students will be familiar with a wide range of science-based techniques applied in archaeology, will be able to read and evaluate the contribution of relevant research, and will be prepared to delve deeper into specific areas of interest.

The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens

This seminar will focus on ancient Athens, the most renowned ancient city in the world: the cradle of democracy and birthplace of rhetoric, philosophy, historiography, drama and theater, classical art and architecture (5th/4th centuries BC), and home of the first modern Olympic Games (AD 1896). The course aims to familiarize the students with the long history and complex archaeology of Athens. Topics include in-depth analysis of major architectural complexes and public monuments, with special emphasis on the Acropolis and the Parthenon, the Athenian Agora, Areopagus, and Pnyx; Athenian temple architecture and important Attic sanctuaries; public works and buildings; domestic architecture; cemeteries and funerary architecture. Athenian sculpture, ceramics, and painting will be also examined (materials and techniques, iconography and styles, Athenian masters and their schools). The seminar will produce a reconstruction of public, civic, and private everyday life, religious festivals, function of public buildings and democratic institutions, art and politics, historical contextualization of the Athenian miracle and its golden age with special consideration of ancient literary sources (including inscriptions and translated readings from Pausanias, Thucydides, Aristotle, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plutarch).

Archaeological Field Trips

This is a unique course taught on-site during faculty-led weekend field trips to various archaeological sites, historical landscapes and museums in Greece. This course aims to familiarize the students with key ancient cities, monuments, masterpieces of art, and the history of ancient Greece. One-day field trips will include locations in the region of the Peloponnese (Olympia, Pylos, Corinth, Tiryns, Nafplio, Argos, Epidaurus, Sparta-Mystras, Monemvasia, Mani-Methoni-Koroni, Aegina, Hydra-Spetses), and Sterea (Delphi, Thebes, Orchomenos/Glas, Euboea). Extended weekend excursions (3-4 days) may include Athens, Crete (Knossos, Archanes, Malia, Phaistos, Idaion Cave, Spinalonga, Hiraklio, Rethymno, Hagios Nikolaos), Cyclades (Santorini-Mykonos/Delos or Melos), Central Greece (Volos, Mt Pelion, Meteora) or Western Greece (Dodona, Ioannina, Zagoria, Lefkada), and Northern Greece (Thessaloniki, Veria, Edessa, Vergina, Pella). Students have the option to audit the course or to receive full academic credit by completing successfully all relevant coursework (site presentations and papers).

Cost Breakdown

The program cost of $5,100 includes: 

  • Tuition for 1 course
  • Lodging
  • Local transportation
  • Educational excursions
  • Advising
  • Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
  • Insurance
  • Administrative fees

The program fee does not include:

  • Study abroad application fee
  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals

Additional fees (Optional):

  • Second academic course: $3,250
  • Main meal package (Monday - Friday): $348

Application Information

To apply for the program, please fill out an Interest Survey, https://uscips.wufoo.com/forms/rzrs8gf12pnpc1/ and further instructions will be emailed to you. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.

For More Information

Contact Molly Joyce at joycemk2@mailbox.sc.edu.

Visit http://acamycenae.org/ for more information on The American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae.