MYNEKO Archaeology Lab Development

$1,810 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 17 months
THE MYNEKO PROJECT (Mycenaean Northeastern Kopais): An Appeal for a Small Contribution toward the Future of our Remarkable Archaeological Adventure

PLEASE HELP US DEVELOP OUR LAB AND STOREROOMS IN GREECE.


Introduction

The AROURA Years:

Between 2010 and 2012, Prof. Michael Lane of the Ancient Studies Dept. of UMBC and a small geophysical team, including UMBC graduates, undertook fieldwork, titled “AROURA,” which revealed an ancient landscape beneath the fields of the Kopaic Basin in central Greece. The landscape comprises remains of an irrigation system and the cultivated fields it served, all dating to the Late Bronze Age—ca. 1700–1100 BCE. Such a discovery is unparalleled in the region and bears important implications for archaeological understanding of the emergence of “Mycenaean Civilization” in Greece in that era. This archaeological culture is named after Mycenae, the capital of the leader of the Greeks at Troy, Agamemnon, and it is associated with the superhuman feats of the Age of Heroes. The results of AROURA were published in 2016 in the  highly regarded Journal of Field Archaeology, vol. 41, no. 3, among other places (see http://www.umbc.edu/aroura).

MYNEKO:

Beginning in the summer of 2016, Prof. Lane, in collaboration with Dr. Elena Kountouri, head of the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports  (ex officio), began to excavate throughout the AROURA research area. They aim futher to explore both Lane’s prior discoveries in the plain and Kountouri’s along the drainage system that now appears to have fed water—over 3,300 years ago—to the recently discovered irrigated fields­. Their joint project, titled “MYNEKO,” has provided fieldwork training and experience to dozens of Greek and American undergradutes, including students at UMBC (see http://myneko.umbc.edu). MYNEKO has already revealed further intricacies of the irrigation system, as well as having uncovered fortified settlements in the hills above the fields, from which beautiful Late Bronze Age artifacts have been unearthed. These sites must have maintained the irrigation system and benefited from increased agricultural production.
    However, the wages of archaeological success are crate-loads of ancient artifacts, some of which have to be cleaned and conserved immediately—and all of which have to be stored securely. The overflowing guarded storerooms of the Thebes Archaeological Museum are 18 miles away via secondary roads, an hour round-trip and an eighth of a tank of gas there and back again.

The Future

From 2018 onward, Lane, applying for an excavation permit through the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, will expand MYNEKO’s operations, meticulously exacavating the archaeologically promising foritified site of Aghia Marina Pyrghos, which seems to have been inhabited from the Neolithic Age, more than 7,000 years ago, through the end of the Bronze Age, about 3,000 years ago. He also plans to carry out survey of and finds collection from the surrounding landscape. A direct consequence will be the accumulation of thousands more finds from the earth.
      The letter of Greek law requires that all excavated finds be transported as frequently as possible, even daily, to a secure storeroom with an alarm system connected with the Ministry in Athens. As explained above, this stipulation presents an unprofitable burden to the researchers. Moreover, once further excavated artifacts have been cleaned, bagged, and crated, they will have to be taken away and made unavailable for study both to students and specialists, until some part of the confined space at the Museum can be claimed for work in a later study season. The optimal solution is for a suitable laboratory and storehouse to be created in the village of Kokkino, closer to the site of excavations, which is where the staff and students reside during the summer anyway. Thus finds could be cleaned, curated, catalogued, and stored safely for current and future research and analysis.

Laboratory and Storage Requirements

Prof. Lane has discovered an ideal place for the establishment of a permanent laboratory and storehouse. It is an old rotisserie taverna of about 100 sq. meters (ca 1,000 sq. ft) on the ground floor of the archaeological staff house in Kokkino (see photo above). It is conveniently near both the main street to and from the village and on the main square. The archaeological team already uses it as a layover for finds en route to the Thebes Archaeological Museum. In order for the space to qualify as an official permanent storage and analysis facility, it has to have, according to regulation

• steel bars over the windows

• steel roller shutters over the doors, and

• an alarm system connected by phone line to the     control center in the Ministry.

It is for these improvements that the MYNEKO team seeks funds. Private and public foundations do not fund overseas capital improvements of this kind, and Greek state institutions, now facing an unprecedented fiscal and financial crisis, simply cannot do so. However, modest donations from private individuals can add up quickly to cover the costs.

Cost Estimate

The transformation of the taverna into a permanent archaeological laboratory and storehouse will contribute to the local and regional economy. Mr. Dimitrios Katsavrias, a local master ironworker, estimates that the physical improvements will cost about 6,200 euros (ca U.S. $6,800, 1 May 2017; see appended update). The hard-wired alarm system will cost about $160 euros (ca $U.S. 175). Taking into account fluctuations in the currency exchange rate and minor cost overruns, the target total for donations is therefore about $7,000.
    When in many years’ time archaeological fieldwork is finished in the area and most or all of the finds have found places in a museum, the improved building can resort to the community as the folklife center it has long considered constructing on the site.

What’s in it for Donors?

Donors’ “undying fame,” as Homer would have stated it, will be ensured with inscription on a plaque both in the new laboratory in Greece and in the Ancient Studies Dept. at UMBC (listed either by name or as “Anonymous”). Donors will be further entitled to offprints of all MYNEKO publications, should they request it, a commemorative T-shirt in their size.

Contact the MYNEKO Co-Directors:

Prof. Michael F. Lane
Dept. of Ancient Studies
University of Maryland
Baltimore County (UMBC)
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250 U.S.A.
mflane<at>umbc.edu
https://umbc.academia.edu/
MichaelLane

Dr. Elena Kountouri
Hellenic Ministry of
Culture and Sports
Athens 10682, Attiki, Greece
ekountouri<at>culture.gr
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Hi, everyone!

Thanks for all your recent updates, bringing us close to our summer goal of $1,900 for the first part of the renovation, namely the installation of the roller shutters.

I spoke with Mr. Katsavrias today (9/17/18), and he says that he'll start work on them before the weather starts to get wet in mid-October.

I'll be visiting in January, and I'll post pics of the progress. In the meantime, please continue to spread the word!

https://www.gofundme.com/myneko

#Archaeology #Αρχαιολογία #Ελλάδα #Greece
+ Read More
I spoke at the Archaeological Museum of Thebes with Ms. Athina Papadaki, archaeologist in the Superintendency of Antiquities of Boiotia, in whose jurisdiction our project lies. She affirmed that although the museum itself is spacious and state-of-the-art, after the combination of the separate Byzantine Superintendency with the Prehistoric and Classical into a single unit some years ago, due in large measure to the fiscal–financial crisis in Greece, the storerooms are jam-packed with the finds of all the recent undertakings in the region. She said that we would be doing both ourselves AND the overstretched regional archaeological authorities huge favor if we were to have a suitably secure storehouse and laboratory in Kokkino.

#Archaeology #Greece #Αρχαιολογία #Ελλάδα
+ Read More
Here's Mr. Katsavrias' estimate in translation again. Just another $400 will allow us to begin withdrawing money to pay for the security roller shutters for the doors! Thanks to all of you who have donated to date! Please spread the word so we can meet our goal! Michael

#Archaeology #Greece
+ Read More
Here's Mr. Katsavrias' estimate in translation again. Just another $400 will allow us to begin withdrawing money to pay for the security roller shutters for the doors! Thanks to all of you who have donated to date! Please spread the word so we can meet our goal!

Michael
+ Read More
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$1,810 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 17 months
Created May 2, 2017
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$100
Kate Matthew
6 days ago

Danielle and I just spent several days in Athens. Dang, it's hot there. I can't believe you dig around out there in the sun.

$200
Anonymous
8 months ago
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