Topic ID #39162 - posted 2/2/2018 3:25 AM

2018 Prastio-Mesorotsos Field School, Cyprus. No experience required.


2018 Field school now open!  27th June - 8th August.

In the summer of 2018, a team of archaeologists, specialists and students will conduct the next fieldwork season of the Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition.  Located inland, nestled in the Dhiarizos valley of western Cyprus, the site is a multi-period settlement spanning much of the island's history, from the Neolithic through to the 1950s AD.  The project will be run as a Field School, and no prior experience is required of participants. Students of any discipline are encouraged to apply, especially those from Archaeology, Classics and History, but also those interested in surveying, geography, ethnology, as well as anyone with an interest in Mediterranean history of any period.

Because a site of this kind, with a long sequence of the unique western-Cypriot material culture, has never been excavated before, there is the potential to define a previously unstudied chronological sequence and material culture. Mesorotsos, along with ongoing excavations at other sites, could be a missing piece to the puzzle of western Cypriot prehistory.

The long lifespan of this settlement provides a never-before-seen opportunity to investigate much of Cyprus’ past in one place, and this project is seeks to understand as much about the history of this location as possible. The main activities this season will be excavation of the Neoilithic and Bronze Age archaeological remains (artefacts and architecture), and continuing our experiments into ancient cooking practices.

The fieldschool aims to familiarize students with the methods and ethics of modern archaeological excavation and analysis. All team members will be expected to excavate in the trenches, but conditions will vary. Participants will take part in all aspects of excavation, and there will be opportunities for students to partake in the recording of excavated features. Furthermore, as excavated materials accumulate, there will be various post-excavation tasks required, and opportunities will be available to become more familiar with particular aspects of post-excavation logging and analysis. 

There will be a programme of lectures, field trips and outings, and hands-on activities, in addition to the archaeological excavation itself. These will include lectures on identification and interpretation of artefacts and lectures on Cypriot history, its landscape and the ancient cultural relations between Cyprus and the Mediterranean world. Trips to museums, archaeological sites, and places of historical interest will also be arranged.

Participants must be reasonably fit and very enthusiastic. Please ensure you have a current Anti-tetanus vaccination and travel insurance. Further information will be supplied upon acceptance to the project. Expedition members should familiarise themselves with the Field Safety Guidelines, available at:

We will be based in Kouklia, a charming village with several small tavernas, shops and cafes, which is situated on the remains of ancient Palaeopaphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site containing the famous sanctuary and temple to Aphrodite. Accommodation will be dormitory style in a typical village house in Kouklia. A packed breakfast and lunch is provided on site and participants will share basic domestic duties. Evening meals will take place Sunday-Thursday in a local taverna (with occasional BBQ or pizza nights). Friday afternoons and all day Saturdays are free. There is a frequent bus service to the beaches and shops of Paphos. Finally, Kouklia now has free wifi throughout the village.

$1500 Fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities and meals on workdays. Airfare, weekend meals and optional excursions are additional.

Project Publications

McCarthy, Blakeman, Collard, Croft, Graham, McCartney and Stork (2010) ‘The Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition: second preliminary report of the 2009 excavations,’ Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus 2010.

McCarthy, Blakeman, Dalton, Hill, Graham and Ritchie (2009) ‘The Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition, 2008: first preliminary report,’ Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus 2009.

McCarthy, A. (2008) ‘Aphrodite’s Ancestors: The Prastion-MesorotsosArchaeological Expedition, Cyprus,’ Past Horizons 5, 32-37. Accessible online at:


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