2017 marked the 25th anniversary of our research in Argilos and several events were organized to celebrate this occasion, including a colloquium held at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki which was a great success.

We estimate that close to 250 participants attended the presentations at one time or another. The colloquium included 34 papers on topics related to Greek colonization in the northern Aegean, of which 16 were directly related to the results of our work at Argilos. The Canadian Institute is now one of the leading players in archaeological research in northern Greece, and the Argilos excavations are continually increasing our knowledge of Greek settlements in this vast region. Several political figures were present, as attested by the photo below. In addition to the Canadian Institute, we would like to thank the Canadian Embassy, the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Serres Ephoria and the Municipality of Amphipolis, as well as Eldorado Gold, for their support.

The opening night was devoted to a keynote lecture on Argilos, preceded by short speeches from our guests of honor.

The evening ended with a reception in front of the entrance to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

The 25th anniversary of our excavations was also honored at the 19th Amphipolis Festival where the organizers decided to highlight the event. A general public lecture was given on 14 July.

We are also working on the preparation of an exhibition that will bring together the most significant objects brought to light at Argilos. Finally, this anniversary will have echoes as far as Japan, since a series of lectures and seminars will be held there during the month of November.

In the field, 2017 was a study campaign and therefore an opportunity to revisit the material discovered in the various excavation areas of the site. We concentrated on pottery and small objects from some of the large buildings in the South-East sector as well as on the particularly rich and diversified discoveries from our excavations of house “ Q1” in the Koutloudis sector. Students helped to rebuild the vases, which were then passed on to our conservator.

On the excavation, students helped us to draw stratigraphic sections and to clean several rooms of buildings that had been excavated in the early 1990s.

We also took the opportunity to complete the installation of our new premises behind the Amphipolis Museum. The increase in the number of specialists who come to work on our finds, and the somewhat cramped working and storage space in the museum have forced us to look for extra space. Thanks to the purchase of a container for the storage of some of our finds and the donation of a container/office, we now have space, if not for the next 25 years, at least for the next ten!

A final note: last year, I told you about the existence of the Argilos hotel in Asprovalta, this year I discovered the “Argilos” real estate agency. What shall we discover in 2018?

I guess one must learn to live with celebrity!

Jacques Perreault
Professor, Université de Montréal; co-director, Argilos excavations