The Hill of Ismenion Apollo: Thebes, Greece

Seasons 1 (2011) and 2 (2012)

Two groups of select Bucknell students have enjoyed the opportunity of participating in the excavation at the Ismenion Hill in Thebes during the summers of 2011 and 2012. They have worked directly alongside the Primary Investigators, Bucknell professors Kevin Daly and Stephanie Larson, who also work together with their Greek colleagues from the 9th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 23rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.

The excavation team has now finished its second season of explorations on the Ismenion hill and in the area to hill’s immediate northwest.

In seasons 2011-12, the team:

  • cleaned the western temple remains in order to leave them as they were originally left after the 1917 excavations
  • created a local and internally consistent digital surveying grid system onto which all future archaeological remains can be plotted
  • digitally measured the exposed temple remains at every 10 centimeters and plotted each point into this grid to create a new temple plan
  • excavated 5 5x5 meter areas and two 10x10 meter areas on the temple hill and in the area adjacent to the hill
  • recorded all excavation information digitally on iPads in the field and on laptops in the workrooms
  • excavated three late Byzantine graves (13th-14th centuries CE)
  • excavated five undisturbed early Byzantine graves (7th century CE) and revealed a series of unbroken funerary vessels (over 20 in total) together with other grave goods
  • excavated a large Byzantine garbage pit from the late 13th century CE from which whole pots and a series of vessel profiles emerged
  • excavated and conserved a fine late 5th-century BCE Athenian askos
  • located and excavated a 2nd millennium BCE tomb (Mycenaean)
  • located and recorded other features of note, such as walls of various periods and cuttings in the bedrock that may relate to the foundations and/or adornment of the 4th-century CE temple to Apollo

Season 3 (2013)

June 17 through July 26, 2013