Field Seasons

6 May 2015
Anandi Salinas
54526
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Click the ▼ to view the reports for the Samothrace project.

2016 Field Season


2016 Field Season Group

Senior Members: Bonna D. Wescoat, director; James R. McCredie, director emeritus; Michael Page, geographer; Jessica Paga and Susan Blevins, archaeologists; Stephen Koob and Michael Morris, conservators; William Size and Emmanuel Skourtsos, geologists; Richard Pope, geomorphologist; Ioannis Poularakis, architect.

 

Student Members: Ellen Archie, Vincent Baillet, Louis Blackwell, Maria Carriero, Kimberly Frost, Madeleine Glennon, Abigail Green, Samuel Holzman, Cody Houseman, Philip Katz, Cassandre Mbonyko-Kiefer, Kyriaki Mousikidou, Leah Neiman, Simon Swart, Andrew Ward.

 

Projects

  1. Stoa, Theater, and Nike Precinct: In conjunction with our NEH-supported project to publish the western region of the Sanctuary centered on the Stoa, Nike Precinct, and Theater, we worked extensively on the documentation on the nearly 2400 architectural blocks found in the vicinity of the Stoa. Not only the blocks types but also the varieties of limestone used were documented. We began to inventory the many marble fragments belonging to dedications that stood in front of the Stoa. We further examined the remains of plaster and roof tiles from the vicinity of the Nike Precinct, in a continuing effort to determine if the statue was originally set within a roofed building. To articulate the relationship of the Theater to the Altar Court more clearly, we began a reexamination of that unusual Doric building.
  2. Central Ravine: In a continuing effort to determine how and where ancient visitors crossed the central torrent running through the heart of the Sanctuary, we recorded the surviving Greek, Roman, and modern retaining walls of the channel, using a combination of photogrammetry, 3D modeling, and drawing. Geomorphologists investigated the watersheds and stream dynamics across the larger region, which shaped the ancient temenos. We now have a fuller idea of the course of the channel, as well as its areas of vulnerability and repair, but we have not yet identified evidence for the precise position or construction of bridges.
  3. Conservation and Site Management: Conservators and geologists worked in collaboration with Greek colleagues to analyze the 2015 hillslope failures on the main tourist path and to the east of the Anaktoron. Preliminary recommendations for treatment were proposed. In advance of major remediation in the area east of the Anaktoron, archaeologists made a surface collection of pottery exposed by erosion over the last year. Conservators worked on preparing objects for the Samothrace Archaeological Museum.
  4. Survey, GIS, Photogrammetry: Aerial photos were taken of the Stoa, Nike Precinct, and Altar Court. Photogrammetric imagery was completed for the areas of the Central Ravine that preserve evidence of ancient retaining walls. Architectural and topographic features were surveyed to add to the extensive digital record of remains within the Sanctuary, and to serve as a basis for an enhanced 3D digital reconstruction of the Sanctuary.


2015 Field Season

2015 Field Season Group

Senior Members: Bonna D. Wescoat, director; James R. McCredie, director emeritus; Michael Page, GIS specialist and geographer; Steven Koob, conservator; Michael Morris, conservator; William Size, geologist; and Chase Jordan, architect.

 

Student Members: Joy Bloser, Julianne Cheng, Ashley Eckhardt, Madeleine Glennon, Abigail Green, Daniel Majarwitz, Joanna Mundy, Hae Min Park, Hannah Smagh, Jordan Smith, Ellie Studdard.

 

Projects

  1. Survey and Photogrammetry: We continued to survey architectural and topographical features of the site in order to produce a revised plan with newly articulated contour lines. We surveyed the Hieron, the walls of the central ravine, smaller boulder walls, and key topographic features. This season, we also used ortho-rectified aerial photography to improve our record of the monuments and enhance the quality of our digital terrain model.
  2. Research on the Nike Precinct and Theater region: We continued to work on the reconstruction of the architecture of the Nike precinct and its relation to the theater.
  3. Site Management: Our conservators worked in collaboration with Greek colleagues on the conservation of the Theatral Circle on the Eastern Hill, for the completion of part of Phase I of the site management plan. Student conservators also worked on the conservation of objects for the Samothrace Archaeological Museum. In addition, we surveyed the subsidence of the land in the area of the Anaktoron caused by heavy rains over the winter. We made a surface collection of pottery that had been exposed by land movement.
  4. Geology and Geomorphology: We completed identifying the rock types used in the foundation of the building, and we produced color-coded plans documenting the type of each stone. We consulted with geologists and geomorphologists (Drs. Panagiotis Karkanas, Emmanuel Skourtsos, and Richard Pope) regarding the geologic history of the ravines running through the Sanctuary, with the objective of establishing a research initiative to understand the interaction of geologic and anthropogenic forces shaping the topography of the Sanctuary.


2014 Field Season

2014 Field Season Group

Senior Members: Bonna D. Wescoat, director; James R. McCredie, director emeritus; Michael Page, GIS specialist and geographer; Steven Koob, conservator; Michael Morris, conservator; and Chase Jordan, architect.

 

Student Members: Julianne Cheng, Ashley Eckhardt, Matthew Pierce, Hannah Smagh

Projects

  1. South Nekropolis: At the close of the 2013 season, we found 37 sheets of the grid plan of the South Nekropolis made during the 1957-1964 excavation of the region. During the 2014 season, we joined the sheets into a single plan, which we then verified against the visible remains at the site.  The plan is now available at www.samothrace.emory.edu.
  2. Survey and Photogrammetry: We continued to survey architectural and topographical features of the site in order to produce a revised plan with newly articulated contour lines.  We completed the Stoa, South Nekropolis, large parts of the Hieron, smaller architectural features on the Western Hill, and the ancient boulder retaining walls of the central ravine. At the close of the season, we converted ten years of survey data, which was taken in the Greek State Refernce System, HATT, into the Hellenic Geodetic Reference System 1987/HGRS87 (Ελληνικό Γεωδετικό Σύστημα Αναφοράς 1987/ ΕΓΣΑ’87). This season, we introduced a new component of photogrammetry using Agisoft Photoscan. Particularly effective for recording vertical surfaces, these 3-dimensional files will enhance our 3-dimensional model of the site and serve as a valuable record documenting, photo-realistically as well as spatially, the current state of each monument.
  3. Research on the Nike Precinct and Theater region:  Replicas of the significant fragments belonging to the prow of the Nike Monument, created by 3-dimensional scanning last summer, were incorporated into the new reconstruction of the statue in the Louvre. In the field, we continued to work on the reconstruction of the Nike precinct and its relation to the theater.
  4. Site Management: In close collaboration with Greek colleagues, our conservators worked to prepare the proposal for the Phase II of the comprehensive site management plan, which focuses on the western region of the Sanctuary.


2013 Field Season

2013 Field Season Group

Senior Members: Bonna D. Wescoat, director; James R. McCredie, director emeritus; William Size, geologist; Jessica Paga, archaeologist; Steven Koob, conservator; Michael Morris, conservator; Michael Page, GIS specialist and geographer; and Alexander Meyer, architect.

 

Student Members: Veruschka Aizaga-Thomason, Marya Fisher, Kirsten Lee, Annika Finne, Kathryn Brugioni, An Jiang, Alison Hight, Rebecca Levitan, Zachary Domach, Hannah Smagh, Clare Mullins, and Joshua Miller.

Projects

  1. Archaeological research concentrated on the Nike Monument, with the aim of bringing the monument to publication. We examined all context material from the excavations of 1939-1985, to help determine the date of the monument and the major repairs made in the Roman Imperial period.  We also examined the remains of painted and molded architectural plaster and the deposit of roof tiles to determine if the original building was roofed or open.  Although the building does not survive in situ above the level of the second step, we were able to determine that more than 500 large fragments of ashlar masonry built into the Byzantine building on the Western Terrace originally came form the Nike Monument. Working in conjunction with colleagues from the Louvre, we catalogued, drew, and 3-D scanned the major fragments belonging to the statue and the prow that formed its base.
  2. We examined and identified all of the non-marble stone used in the buildings in the Sanctuary.
  3. We added to our survey of the site, especially in the area of the Nike Monument, Stoa, Theater, and Altar Court.
  4. Our conservators prepared condition reports and treatment proposals and created the photo-documentation for the monuments in the western area of the Sanctuary, to assist in creating a comprehensive site management plan for this region.
  5. Working in conjunction with Dimitris Matsas and Giorgos Karadedos, we conducted a 3-day cleaning campaign in the area of the theater, in order to be able to survey the visible remains and determine the extent of the theater previously excavated in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


2012Field Season

2012 Field Season Group

Senior Members: Bonna D. Wescoat, director; James R. McCredie, director emeritus; Steven Koob, conservator; Clemente Marconi, archaeologist; Michael Page, GIS surveyor; Leah Solk, architect; and, Vicki Hertzberg, statistician.

 

Student Members: Veruschka Aizaga-Thomason, Jane Arney, Marya Fisher, Sally Hertzell, Alison Hight, Rebecca Levitan, Samantha Owens, Jessica Paga, Desirae Peters, and Kari Rayner.

Projects

  1.  Study of the Milesian Banquet Hall on the Western Hill continued.  Blocks were measured, drawn, and inked with the aim of understanding the elevation of the building.
  2. Research continued on the hestiatorion adjacent to the Neorion, to secure its date and original design.
  3. Material from the Nike precinct was examined in preparation for a comprehensive study that will begin in the 2013 season.
  4. The region immediately south of the Sacred Way on the Eastern Hill was investigated in advance of the creation of a new tourist pathway.  The small structure composed of reused blocks immediately adjacent was cleaned and drawn.
  5. Archaeological and conservation assistants completed condition reports on the monuments in the western sector of the Sanctuary, to assist in creating a comprehensive site management plan for the site.
  6. Conservation students helped to conserve and prepare objects that could be included in the future reinstallation of the Samothrace Archaeological Museum.


2011 Field Season

2011 Field Season

Senior Members: James R. McCredie, director; Bonna D. Wescoat, director-elect; Steven Koob, conservator; Vicki Hertzberg, statistician.

 

Student Members: Gloria Choi, Amy Hughes, Emily Lynch, and Arielle Winnik.

Projects

  1. Work concentrated on final documentation for Samothrace vol. 9, The Monuments of the Eastern Hill, which went to press at the end of the season.
  2. Research was begun on the hestiatorion adjacent to the Neorion, to secure its date and original design.
  3. Archaeological assistants identified material from the Eastern Hill that could be included in a future reinstallation of the Samothrace Archaeological Museum.  They compiled drawings and measurements of the Propylon of Ptolemy II, Dedication of Philip III and Alexander IV, Hall of Choral Dancers, Stoa, and Neorion, to aid in the reorganization of the block fields and future reinstallation of the Samothrace Archaeological Museum.
  4. Conservation students helped to conserve and prepare objects that could be included in the future reinstallation of the Samothrace Archaeological Museum.


2010 Field Season

2010 Field Season Group

Senior Members: James R. McCredie, director; Bonna D. Wescoat, project director; Amy Sowder, archaeologist; Michael Page, cartographer; Vicki Hertzberg, statistician.

 

Student Members: Kira Jones, Rebecca Levitan, Hugh H. W. Green, and Kyle Thayer.

Projects

  1. The digital survey of the site begun in 2008 was continued; 5,000 points were collected.
  2. The 3-dimensional digital model of the Sanctuary was improved by mapping monument-specific textures onto the surfaces of the reconstructed buildings. Six video walk-throughs of the Sanctuary have now been created to follow the progress of the initiate through the Sanctuary.
  3. Digital images of drawings were prepared and tables of architectural dimensions were drawn up for the publication, “Samothrace.  Excavations Conducted by the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University,” Volume 9, “The Monuments of the Eastern Hill.”
  4. Megapixel photographs were made of key areas in the Sanctuary, to serve both as a research tool and as a record of conditions of the monuments.
  5. Work continued on documenting the architectural blocks associated with the Milesian Dedication on the Western Hill.


2009 Field Season

2009 Field Season GroupSenior Members: James R. McCredie, director; Bonna D. Wescoat, project director; Amy Sowder, archaeologist; Yong K. Kim, architect; Leah Solk, architect; Michael Page, cartographer; Vicki Hertzberg, statistician.

 

Student Members: Susan Blevins, C. Jake Butera, Hugh H. W. Green, J. Matthew Harrington, Kira Jones, and Maggie Popkin.

 

High School Liaisons for i-Samothrace blog: Abigail B. W. Green, Sarah Atkinson,

 

Projects

  1. The team worked with Dimitris Matsas to complete a proposal outlining a program for site conservation, “Sanctuary of the Great Gods Site Preservation Plan, Phase I.”
  2. Blocks from the Dedication of Philip III and Alexander IV and the Hieron were measured for a metrological study of Samothracian buildings.
  3. The digital survey of the site begun in 2008 was continued; 10.000 points were collected.
  4. Giga-pan photographs were made of key areas of the Sanctuary.
  5. Work continued on revising the manuscript, drawings, and photographs for “Samothrace.  Excavations Conducted by the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University,” Volume 9, “The Monuments of the Eastern Hill.”
  6. Work continued on documenting the architectural blocks associated with the Milesian Dedication on the Western Hill.  A reconstruction of the monument was outlined using the graphic program, Rhino.


2008 Field Season

2008 Field Season GroupSenior Members: James R. McCredie, director; Bonna D. Wescoat, Eastern Hill publication; Clemente Marconi, senior scholar; Sheila Dillon, senior scholar; Laura Gadbery, numismatist; Vicki Hertzberg, statistician; Paul Weiss, statistician; Stephen Koob, conservator; Michael Morris, conservator; V. Reagan Baydoun Reudig, architect.

 

Student Members: Susan L. Blevins, Joan Bottkal, C. Jacob Butera, Marguerite Cox, J. Matthew Harrington, Genevieve Hendrix, Sarah Madole, Alexandre Miller, Lisa Nelson, Ann Marie Perl, Maggie Popkin, Leah Solk, and Meredith Stattler.

Projects

  1. In the region of the Eastern Hill, work continued on the documentation of material on the Eastern Hill for publication as volume 9, The Monuments of the Eastern Hill, in the series, Samothrace.  Excavations Conducted by the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. Work on the catalogue of coins from the Eastern Hill continued under the direction of Dr. Laura Gadbery. The statisticians studied the metrology of Samothracian buildings, particularly the Dedication of Philip III and Alexander IV and the Hieron.
  2. For the Milesian Dedication, work continued on documenting the architectural blocks associated with the building. More marble blocks were added to the electronic database for the architectural material found on the Western Hill. A reconstruction of the monument was begun using the graphic program, Rhino.
  3. Professor Clemente Marconi, Institute of Fine Arts, studied the votive reliefs and   prohibition inscription found in the region of the Hieron. Professor Sheila Dillon, Duke University, studied the small-scale marble sculptural dedications and edited the entries for the terracottas included in volume 9, The Monuments of the Eastern Hill, in the series, Samothrace. Excavations Conducted by the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.
  4. A digital survey of the Sanctuary was begun. Roughly 20,000 points were collected. Work continued on the electronic database of objects in the museum.
  5. To develop a plan of site management, we worked with Greek colleagues on a proposal outlining aims for site management and conservation in the Sanctuary. A report was drafted on the current tourist pathways in the Sanctuary and a proposal made for improving the pathways and the flow of traffic through the Sanctuary. A report was drafted on the condition of the monuments, comparing their state at the time of excavation and their current condition. The monuments were examined to prepare a report outlining the main conservation issues within the Sanctuary and proposing treatment methods. Scale drawings were made of the block fields in the areas of the Eastern Hill, Propylon of Ptolemy II, and the central Sanctuary.
  6. Conservation of objects on display and in the storerooms of in the museum continued. New mounts were made for recently restored objects and the plaster sections of the architectural reconstructions were conserved.