Kissonerga-Skalia Excavation

*2021 Field School Postponed*

Due to the unprecedented global situation regarding Cornovaris/Covid-19, and the uncertainty surrounding international travel, we have unfortunately had to take the decision to postpone the 2021 field school at Kissonerga-Skalia. We are intending a return to a normal programme in 2022. We will provide an update and rescheduled dates for the 2022 season as soon as possible, and it will follow a similar fashion to the details laid out below for the postponed 2020 season. If you would like to contact us or stay in touch with project updates please do so via email. We hope everyone can stay safe and healthy, and look forward to seeing you all on the other side of this.

The Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) together with HARP will be running a four-week excavation field school from Saturday 27th June to Saturday 25th July at the site of Kissonerga-Skalia in southwestern Cyprus. Places are available to attend for 3 or 4 weeks, and set dates for excavation blocks are provided below. This field school is intended for those who have no prior experience with archaeological excavations, as full training will be provided, but we also gladly welcome those who have previous archaeological experience and are looking to increase their skill set and broaden their excavation experience.

Dr. Lindy Crewe, Director of CAARI, has been conducting excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia since 2007. Our ongoing work has revealed a settlement that was continuously occupied from at least the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (ca. 2500 BC) into the start of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600 BC). Located in the western coastal plain of the island of Cyprus, the site lies only 300 meters from the Mediterranean Sea. Archaeological remains at Skalia consist primarily of multiple super-imposed phases of rectilinear architecture, with a pre-Bronze Age component, and a final phase of large-scale architecture. During the final phase, at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, a significant building complex with evidence for domestic and industrial activities, including beer production, was constructed. Our objective will be to continue to expose this complex and understand the nature of the final occupation before the site was abandoned.

In addition to the preserved architecture, finds from the excavations include beads, pendants and copper fragments; evidence of textile production in the form of spindle whorls and loom weights; and a number of chipped stone and ground stone tools, including agricultural types such as querns. The site has also yielded evidence of faunal (cattle, deer, sheep/goat, pig) and marine (crab and shellfish) exploitation, and has uncovered well-preserved botanical remains including grape and lentil.

This field school aims to provide students with a hands-on experience of working on an archaeological excavation, and all participants will learn how to excavate to a professional archaeological standard, as well as how to record the remains by completing context sheets, technical drawing, photography and surveying. Students will also have the opportunity to work with various artefact material types including pottery, and chipped stone during post-excavation.

This course will include:

  • Archaeological excavation using the single context recording system

  • Site recording including technical drawing, and context recording

  • Artefact processing including handling, cleaning and storage

  • Basic site surveying

  • Field trips to local archaeological sites

  • Expert lectures by specialists

  • Extra-curricular opportunities for further skills development

The field school fees include training, accommodation (details below), meals on work days, and transport costs on field trips. Field school fees do not include flights, or transfers within Cyprus. Airport Transfers by local taxi (to be paid by participant) can be arranged if required and requested.

The course is based around the village of Kissonerga, which is located 8km from the centre of Paphos. It is a lively village, with a long history and prehistory, with several bars, restaurants, and shops, and is only a short walk to the local beach.


During the field school, the team stays at the local village school where dormitory-style accommodation is provided. Facilities include a toilet and shower block with hot running water and a kitchen for preparing meals. Meals are prepared communally on all working days, by staff and participants. The school is a short five-minute stroll away from a local supermarket, bars and restaurants. It is also only a ten-minute walk from the local beach and coastal road, which has bars, restaurants and mini-markets.

Camp beds or mattresses will be provided but participants will need to bring their own bedding/sleeping bags. Due to the hot weather, sleeping outdoors is possible. A full list of suggested items to bring will be sent out upon receipt of a deposit for your place on the course.


The cost and dates for the excavation blocks are outlined below and include full training on all aspects listed above, transport for all site visits, and meals on workdays. 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.

  • • 4-Week Block (Saturday 27th June to Saturday 25th July) - £850 or $1195 (US) (10 places available)

  • • 3-Week Block (Saturday 4th July to Saturday 25th July) - £745 or $1050 (US) (10 places available)


Each participant will have the opportunity to complete a training manual and portfolio. For an extra fee of £40 ($60 US), participants will be provided with extra training sessions, and a training manual and portfolio which they will fill in during the course of the excavation to take away with them. Individuals completing an Archaeological Skills Passport will have relevant sections checked off.


There is no application deadline. Places are limited and are given on a first come first served basis. To apply for a place please contact us for an application form and complete and return to Ian.

Please note, that the excavation takes place during the summer months in the eastern Mediterranean, which can be exceptionally hot and humid. There is only minimal shade available on site with all excavation taking place in direct sunlight. We do our best to mitigate for the worst of the heat by beginning the work day as early as possible, but if you are sun sensitive, or on medication that may be affected by sun exposure, please check carefully with a doctor before signing up for this field school. We can provide some alternatives to help manage sun exposure, but only if we know PRIOR to the excavation about any issues with the sun and heat. Temperatures will typically be between 28-35 degrees Celsius, plus 60–85% humidity. We want to make sure that everyone has a positive excavation experience, so we encourage you to explore the conditions and ensure that this project is suitable for you.


"Highly structured field school with professionals and other passionate archaeologists allowed for lots of learning of a multitude of skills. I learned more than I thought I would."

"I was very pleased with the training provided. Not only was the training itself very useful and informative, but the lectures added to the training and education provided. The hands-on training with instruction provided by experts fostered a wonderful environment of learning."