UA in Greece: Excavations at Vergina
Dates: TBC (classroom, UA Tuscaloosa campus), and July 27–August 12, 2018 (fieldwork in Greece)
This program will take participants to do excavation work at the world-famous Vergina site, home of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. This long-term project has been led by Dr. Chrysoula Paliadeli, Emeritus Professor of Aristotle University–Thessaloniki (AUTh) for many years and is currently under the field direction of Dr. Nancy Kyriakou, also of AUTh. Students will gain an understanding as to how archaeology can contribute to an understanding of classical history. They will fly into Thessaloniki and go directly to the site of Vergina where they will spend two weeks doing archaeological work. During the day they will excavate, sift for artifacts, and help with curatorial activities. In the evening there will be lectures and demonstrations, and on the weekends there are sites in a 30-mile radius that the students can visit along with the Greek students who are participating in the dig. Classical sites in the vicinity of Vergina include Pella and Dion. Pella was the capital of the Macedonian King Archelaos around 400 B.C. and was also the home of Philip II at the time he was conquering Greece. Dion was a sacred city of Macedon dedicated to the worship of Zeus that was built at the foot of Mount Olympus.
In addition to learning about the past, participating on an archaeological project is a wonderful way to appreciate the people of modern Greece. As U.S. students and Greek students work together side-by-side in the units day after day, it is this common experience that provides an understanding of differences in behavior, beliefs, and values on a global basis. A chance find, either of a feature or an artifact, can stimulate a group discussion that can lead to a modification of the dig. Or sometimes learning can occur on a more incidental and personal level, as when a student is advised as to a more effective way of handling a trowel or brush. Much of learning also comes simply from observing how archaeologists use logic to interpret what it is they are finding. No classroom can substitute for an archaeological excavation when learning this craft. It is close to impossible for any students in the U.S. to dig in Greece without the sponsorship of Greek institutions, so this truly is a rare opportunity for UA students.
Thessaloniki serves as the point of arrival and departure to and from Greece, but otherwise Vergina, an hour away from Thessaloniki, is the location of residence and archaeological activity for two weeks. The UA group leader will help transport the students to the hotel in Thessaloniki for the night and get them to Vergina the next day.
A maximum of five students will be able to participate with each offering of ANT 262. The course is only open to UA sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Prerequisites include the following: ANT 107 “Introduction to Archaeology,” CL 323 “Alexander the Great: Then and Now,” and participation approval by Professors Summers and Brown. The UA students will keep a journal of their excavation experience, of their findings and of the lectures, which will be evaluated by Dr. Kyriakou. All of the students taking the course are expected to spend a week on campus between July 17-21 receiving instruction from either Prof. Brown or Prof. Summer. A reading list will be provided to the students beforehand and two two-hour seminar sessions during that week will be held to discuss the readings.
The field component of the program lasts two weeks under the overall direction of Dr. Ian W. Brown, an Anthropology Professor at the University of Alabama, and Dr. Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers, a Classics Professor at the University of Alabama and a native of Greece. Dr. Chrysoula Paliadeli, Emeritus Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the Vergina Project Director. She will be a constant source of advice and encouragement for the students. Dr. Nancy Kyriakou, Vergina Project Field Director, will oversee the UA students’ learning experience and follow the progress of their work while they are in the field.
Dr. Ian W. Brown, F.S.A.
Professor & Chair
Department of Anthropology
Dr. Tatiana Tsakiropoulou-Summers
Modern Languages & Classics
Dr. Chrysoula Paliadeli
Emeritus Professor of Archaeology
School of History and Archaeology
Dr. Nancy Kyriakou
School of History and Archaeology
For two nights, students will stay in Thessaloniki, Greece at the Imperial Palace Hotel (www.ad-imperial-hotel.gr). At Vergina, students will stay at either the Olympia Guest House (xenonasolympia.gr) or the Dimitra Hotel (dimitrahotel.com).
For the breakdown of the cost, including billable costs (paid to UA) and non-billable costs (paid elsewhere), click on the Budget Sheet
located at the top of the application.
Once accepted into the program, students need to make a deposit in order to secure their place in the program. For information on how to make a deposit and subsequent payments, please see the instructions in the application, as well as the Faculty-Led Payment Process page
Check out the "Financing Your Study Abroad
" page on the UA Education Abroad website for information regarding financial aid, scholarships and other financial matters.
Students are responsible for obtaining their own passport (must allow at least 8 weeks for the process). U.S. citizens do not require visas or vaccinations to enter Greece. At the orientation meeting to be held sometime in April, students will be given a booklet with information about Greece, tips on travel preparations, and a list of essential items to bring with them.
**The University of Alabama reserves the right to modify the program or its costs as necessitated by changes in the international economic situation or to cancel the program if necessary.