Ayia Varvara-Asprokremnos - Lithics Field School, Cyprus

*This Project will not be running in 2020, but check back for details of future plans, or contact us to join the Mailing List*

Future dates are to be confirmed. The field school is intended for those who have no prior experience with lithic material or environmental sample processing, but will also be invaluable to those with previous experience, to expand upon this by working with expert lithics specialist Carole McCartney on material from Cyprus and the Near East.

Dr. Carole McCartney has worked on lithic material from Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean for over 25 years. She is an expert in the identification, recording, and analysis of chipped stone tools (lithics – tools made of chert or flint). She has written extensively on theprehistory of the Eastern Mediterranean and specifically, has focused on the early Neolithic periods. Her excavation at Ayia Varvara Asperokremnos is one of 2 PPNA sites that have been extensively explored on Cyprus, and has forced a re-thinking of the earliest peoples on Cyprus. All the material that students will be working with derives from this site, and their participation in this course will be contributing to the post-excavation analyses. This is a rare opportunity to not only process finds from a 10,000 year old site, but to learn about the material from an expert at the point of discovery.

This course aims to provide students with an interest in lithics with a hands-on experience of working with archaeologically-derived material and will use Cyprus as a case study to discuss aspects of typology, manufacture and excavation. This is a rare opportunity to be trained in a small group by an expert, to achieve a specialist skill in archaeology, which is applicable across both commercial and research based archaeology.

This course will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to identify, clean, and record lithic artefacts

  • Learn about environmental sampling in archaeology and how to process archaeological soil samples, with the opportunity to wet sieve archaeological samples from a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period site (10,000 years ago)

  • Learn how to identify and record archaeological material from a 10,000 year old site

  • Be provided with lectures, and hands-on training for the identification, processing, recording and drawing of lithics from Dr McCartney, a world expert in lithics analysis

  • Introduction to photographing archaeological finds

  • Field trips to local archaeological sites

The Lemba Archaeology Research Centre is set in the archaeologically rich Paphos District and we will explore some of the local sites with guided tours. Every participant will receive a check list of skills which will be signed off over the course of the field school to add to their portfolio of work over the two weeks. All meals will be provided on work days and we'll wind up the course with a traditional BBQ.

The course is based around the historic village of Lemba, which is located 6km from the centre of Paphos. It is beautifully situated at the top of a green valley over-looking the sea and is perfect for watching a glorious Cypriot sunset.

The cost for the field school is £550 (GBP) per person and includes full training on all aspects covered, transport for all site visits, meals on workdays and a final evening BBQ. Flights are not included. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required within two weeks of being offered a place on the field school in order to secure it.

Airport Transfers by local taxi (to be paid for by participant) can be arranged if required. For more information or to apply for a place please email Ian or download an application form below.


Camping accommodation can be provided at the picturesque Lemba Archaeological Research Centre (LARC) and will be charged at an extra £80 (GBP) per person. The centre is where the course will be held and is centrally located in the middle of the village of Lemba, next door to the kafeneio (coffee shop) and the Lemba Pottery shop. Facilities include a toilet and shower block with hot running water and a kitchen for preparing meals. The centre is a short five-minute stroll away from a large supermarket and take-away establishments. It is also only 500m from the local sandy beach and coastal road, which has bars, restaurants and mini-markets.

Tent plots will be provided on the flat roof of the building beneath the trailing grape vines, or in garden space behind the research centre. Mattresses will be provided but participants will need to bring their own bedding/sleeping bags. Due to the cooler spring time weather it is recommended that participants bring a tent (to be pitched on a flat roof, tents that don’t need to be pegged in place to stay up would be ideal). A full list of suggested items to bring will be sent out upon an offer of a place on the course.


"It was a great intro course for those of us who had no lithic experience, we did more hands on than I expected, which was awesome! My favourite part was getting to try my own knapping and refitting. It really helped with my understanding of what we were learning and talking about."