2004 Interim Report
6 August 2004 (update):
A second short stint at Halai produced a lot of results, mostly due to the diligent teamwork of the CHELP team (John Coleman, Beth Ann Judas, Jennifer Robbins, Lily Bonga, Marilyn Evans and Marlene Estabrook) which has been plugging away all summer long in the heat in the Tragana storerooms. The visitor display boards are now up!
Neolithic and Late Roman basilica display board.
CHELP members and sanctuary display board
Me and the fortifications display board
The site looks fantastic thanks to the team's back-breaking weeding. Some conservation and backfilling has also taken place in order to protect and preserve particularly sensitive features and to increase the strength of fragile scarps.
Conservation of the Archaic altar
17 July 2004:
2004 was supposed to be my year "off" (read: desperately trying to finish her thesis), but I couldn't stay away. Paul and I headed to Halai late in June. The Mitrou Archaeological Project was already up and running, and sharing the campsite at Vivos with CHELP and HAP. I recruited two dear friends, Tina Peterson and Beth Ann Judas, to be the Camp Mistress and Apotheke Maven, respectively. Beth Ann tackled the formidable task of streamlining the databases and confirming the location of everything that has been excavated at Halai by CHELP.
The visitor display boards that Eric Robinson (design), Paul Blomerus (architecture and supports), Andrew Burton (art work), Allyson McDavid (architecture) and I worked on last year are poised to go in the ground (photos are currently stuck on a corrupted disk). The creation of these boards has had a positive effect on the local community. Upon hearing of their completion, the deputy mayor of Malesina promised (and delivered!) to clear (their part of) the site of weeds. At the moment, we are just waiting for the 14th Ephorate to arrange for permission and some assistance to dig the holes, pour the cement and set up the signs. The next step is to write to the Blue Guide, Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, etc. and let them know about our wonderful site which is now fit for tourists!
At the moment I am back in Nottingham, enjoying the gloomy weather since I can't go outside anyway, what with all the corrections I am currently incorporating into my thesis text. I head back to Halai at the end of the month for the close of the season. Maybe I'll get to be involved in the setting up of the display boards on-site after all.
We have small-scale though ambitious plans for next season (2005) including a survey of the Archaic and Hellenistic fortification walls and securing the plans (and limited excavation) for the protective roofing system. Unofficially, we are on the rotation to receive a full excavation permit for 2007. Prior to embarking on new, full-scale excavations, HAP's goal is to account for all the material previously excavated by CHELP and to set up projects which will prepare the material for publication. This takes equipment and money, not to mention the time and sweat of skilled and motivated archaeologists.
Halai Archaeological Project and CHELP Teams in front of Milmoe House 2003
Back L to R: Paul Blomerus, Kerill O'Neill, Alex Lesk, Lia Karamanli, Emily Sprat, Jessica Chilton, Erol Kavantzis, Andrew Burton, Kevin Mills, Joyce Feuille, Emil Nankov, Thierry Logel
Front L to R: John Coleman, Laura Purdy, Lily Bonga, Jennifer Carey, Sara Palaskas, Sara Schrage, Eric Robinson, Allyson McDavid, Yuki Furuya, Margareta HajosMilmoe House (kitchen, shower and toilet complex) is now complete! The plateia is paved and camping is civilized!