Excavation Techniques

Course Code:

Π1 4050


4th Semester

Specialization Category:


Course Hours:




Course Description

Course Theory

1. Excavation Archaeology. Object and Sources. Systems of Archaeological Research (Traditional Archaeology, New Archaeology, New Archaeology). Legislative framework. Institutions and bodies who can carry out archaeological research [Archaeological Service, University Departments of Archaeology, Foreign Archaeological Institutes (“Schools”)]. Designation of Archaeological zones. 2. Factors determining the burial of archaeological remains (geological, zoological, botanical and human). Environmental factors: Soil (Profile and Soil texture), Climate. 3. Methods of tracing archaeological remains. 4. Dating and Dating Methods. Relative Dating. Absolute dating. 5. Excavation. Rescue and Systematic (Research) Excavation. Preparing and organizing an excavation. 6. Excavation Techniques: Test pits. Archaeological Stratigraphy. Stratigraphic section. The mapping of stratigraphy and layers (strata). 7. The stages in a systematic (research) excavation. 8. Excavation models. 9. Archeological research and Exposure techniques. The archaeological remains in an excavation. 10. The role of Conservation in an excavation. Access to the excavation site. Protection of the excavation site. 11. Under water archaeology and its significance. The subject matter of underwater archaeology: research along coastlines, ancient shipwrecks. Access to the seabed. 12. Underwater excavations. Stages in underwater excavation: location, identification, description, mapping, in situ research, rescue of finds. 13. Factors contributing to deterioration of submerged antiquities: microorganisms, heat, salinity, depth, types of seabed. The role of technology in under water excavation. Field Trips/field work In the hands-on part of the course, visits are made to sites where excavations – rescue or systematic – are carried out, in order for students to get to know the techniques and methods of archaeological research in the field.

The Scope of the Course and Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:

• be familiar with the methods of archaeological fieldwork

• have acquired knowledge of the techniques for uncovering archaeological remains

• know the appropriate ways of intervention concerning the first rescue measures in the excavation

• have acquired the necessary knowledge for the protection of the excavation site and the recovery of archaeological objects and monuments

• understand and respect the importance of protecting cultural heritage (movable and immovable cultural finds) and the environment and demonstrate professional, social, and ethical responsibility.


Language of evaluation: Greek The final evaluation grade of the student consists of the 50% of the evaluation grade of the theoretical part and the 50% of the evaluation grade of the workshop.

Students’ evaluation (100%):

Theory (50%): written final examination (short answer questions, topic development questions, case study questions) Workshop-Lab (50%): Oral examination



-Djindjian, Fr. (2020).Αρχαιολογία. Θεωρίες, μέθοδοι και ανασυνθέσεις. Αθήνα: Ινστιτούτο του Βιβλίου-Καρδαμίτσα. [Original edition: L’archéologie : Théorie, méthodes et reconstitutions. Paris : Armand Colin, 2017, 2eéd.] -Renfrew, C. &Bahn,P. (2001). Αρχαιολογία. Θεωρίες, Μεθοδολογία και Πρακτικές εφαρμογές. Αθήνα: Ινστιτούτο του Βιβλίου-Καρδαμίτσα.[Original edition: Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. London: Thames&Hudson, 2000, 3rd ed.] -Trigger, Br. G. (2005). Μία Ιστορία της Αρχαιολογικής Σκέψης. Αθήνα: Αλεξάνδρεια.[Original edition: A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004] Foreign -Balme, J. & Paterson, Al. (2006). Archaeology in Practice. A Student Guide to Archaeological Analyses. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. -Barker, Ph. (1993). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. London: Routledge. -Bintliff, J. (2006). A Companion to Archaeology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. -Carver, M. (2009). Archaeological Investigation. London, New York: Routledge. -Joukowsky, M. (1980). A Complete Manual of Field Archaeology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. – Renfrew, C. (1999). Theory and Explanation in Archaeology. London: Ac Press. – Schnapp, A. (1980). L’archéologie aujourd’hui. Paris: Hachette. -Trigger, Br. G. (2003).Artifacts and Ideas: Essays in Archaeology. New Brunswick: Transaction Publ. Related Scientific Journals Greek and International archaeological scientific journals in which excavations reports are published