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Testing the waters, by Lorraine Stratkotter


I have come back to university with the intention of finally finishing a PhD in (Classical) Geoarchaeology.  Not only do I love geology, which I have degree in, but all things ancient. I have a special affinity with the Mediterranean area as it certainly is a huge contribution to the cradle of civilization to which we owe the advances seen in our modern-day societies. I am currently full-time in an after-degree Bachelor of Arts with a major in Greek and Roman Studies and minor in Archaeology at the University of Calgary.  The opportunity presented itself to join this University of Alberta field school.  It was a wonderful experience to actually work with the actual artefacts from the site of an ancient settlement and to be able to visit other sites and museums in what would be considered remote areas in modern times.  It is fascinating to be part of putting together the history of the local area, as well as how it fits into the “bigger picture” of humankind’s evolution.  It also has been a great opportunity to work and share ideas directly with researchers, including the other students, in my area of study.


Lorraine, testing the water of spring nr. 1.

Also while I was here I was able to do water sampling as an independent study in conjunction with both the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. The geology of the area is thought to act as a natural filtration. The basic idea is that if the springs are reportedly presently a clean source of water, then this was probably the case in the past. The samples have been sent for analysis. Of course seeing  the geology of the area firsthand has been amazing.

Spring nr. 3 with its hollow Plane trees.

The people of Greece have been amazing everywhere I have gone.  I cannot say enough how welcoming and helpful  everyone was, especially the residents of Narthaki where we were staying and working. It was really cute how the children say “Hi. What’s your name?” and the patience as I struggled with my Greek conversation book.  Everyone too that I have had the pleasure to meet and work with have been great.

It has taken me 20 years to get here, including to finally see the Acropolis in Athens, and it has been so worth it.  What an experience it has been on so many levels!

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