I arrived back in Cyprus yesterday evening to start another season on the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project. This year we are focusing on completing our analysis of the artifacts we have collected over the last few seasons, so more of a study season than a field season. David Pettegrew, a professor of history at Messiah College, has been in Cyprus since Friday with 6 of his students (his last student arrives tomorrow) preparing for the season. I have 5 students coming from IUP (2 graduate students in history, a graduate student in anthropology, a graduate student in geography, and an undergraduate history major). When our last 4 participants (including Bill Caraher - professor of history at the University of North Dakota) arrive this week, we will be 18 in total - almost half the number we had last year, so a big change.
Last night I got in in time to go to dinner with the group and was disappointed to learn that 3 of my favorite restaurants have closed down, including a Lebanese restaurant that had great chicken schwarma - something I have tried to cook with no great success. Today we took the students on a walking tour of Larnaka, both in the morning and in the afternoon. It is a bit hectic in Larnaka since the Kataklysmos festival is right in the middle of its festivities. While most of the island celebrates Kataklysmos over the weekend, in Larnaka it is a week long celebration of song, dance, and carnival/county fair like amusements - including great bumper cars (that was what we did after dinner last night).
This presented some challenges as you can see, David is actually talking to the students about a statue commemorating Cimon, not lecturing them on the types of balloons available for purchase as the picture seems to show. I will give David credit - he did a very good job in spite of the crowd and all of the distractions. We were able to move down the boardwalk to the medieval fort and separate ourselves from the Kataklysmos revelers. We then moved on the Church of St. Lazarus, which at first seemed calm and peaceful.
But then a camera crew showed up and starting videotaping the church and even David talking to the students. Every few minutes he would move in with his camera and stand amongst the students videotaping David. I have to admit it was pretty funny watching David trying to keep a straight face every time this guy moved in close.
We finished the tour by showing the students some picturesque sights on the way back to the hotel.