The summer is at it mid-point and that means that the Institute is going to close for its annual August Recess today Monday, July 31st. We reopen for an active fall on Friday, September 1st. Cana has just returned to Canada after 3 months with us. Jonathan and Amelie are vacationing in northern Greece and in England. And Metaxia and I will be in Crete and in the Cyclades.

My summer in the trenches

For the past month I have been digging once again at my wife’s ongoing excavation of the Pre- and Proto-Palatial house tomb cemetery at Petras immediately to the east of Siteia in eastern Crete. As the excavation of the cemetery is nearing completion I have been tackling problems relating to the use of the plateau over its long time span. Thus, so far I have excavated an Early Bronze Age II primary burial under a later house tomb, attempted to date more accurately an area in between several house tombs, determined the lowest course of an external platform bordering on Ceremonial Area 2, and excavated a space to reveal the nature of the use of a room dating to the LM III period. No doubt more assignments will come in the final week. The finds and the importance of the results have varied from area to area as is always the case in field archaeology. Frequently more digging generates more questions, rather than providing information for the sought-after answers.

The weather has ranged from cloudy, fall-like to very hot and windless. For the most part the northern winds have blown and the temperatures have been bearable for digging 8 hours in the sun, five days a week. As I did last year I’ve recorded the daily life, activities and personalities of the excavation via posts on my Instagram account (grubbyminoan) with the hashtag #petras2017 (for last year it was #petras2016). I welcome your visits and likes!

The hardworking crew this year included Greek and Spanish graduate students as well as a Ph.D. candidate from Ireland. For part of the season five undergraduate students from Rhodes College in Tennessee dug with us under the supervision of Prof. Miriam Clinton. Among the many visitors to the site were two Canadians, Lucia Nixon (Oxford University) and Matt Buell (Concordia University). Otherwise, I was the extent of the “Canadian Content” at Petras for the summer, alas.

I wish you all a warm kalo kalokairi! Jonathan and I look forward to reconnecting with you all in September.

David Rupp