Gonies Archaeological Ethnography Field School

Gonies Archaeological Ethnography Field School 

21 june – 19 july 2015


gonies field school 2014-2

IHC.Public’s project, Gonies Archaeological Ethnography Field School, aims to closely investigate the involvement of locals with their material and intangible heritage in general, and the remains of various peak sanctuaries scattered around the area of Gonies, Crete. We address the issues arising in the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of cultural heritage through our research and our public engagement with the village of Gonies, as well as local and national stakeholders. Our goal is to develop a public archaeology program that will contribute to the sustainable development of the area.

To achieve this we need to fully understand the local context, but also forge strong cooperative bonds between our project and the village. Ethnography helps us to involve more deeply the local population in creating anthropological and historical knowledge about the village, the archaeological site and its significance in changing historical settings.


Village of Gonies, Crete

Gonies was one of the largest villages in the Malevyzi province, on the foothills of mount Psiloritis, Crete.  It had a very strong pastoralist and agricultural economy, and significant contribution to the culture and history of the island. Gonies have a reputation for stonemasonry, providing a number of itinerant workers in large hotel projects during the tourist boom of the late 1970s. However, before the boom, post-WWII out-migration and urbanization , as well as dropping prices in agricultural produce, severely depopulated the village and the surrounding area, leaving it with a mere 200 inhabitants.

In our involvement in Gonies, the public aspect of the archaeological project is very pronounced. We try to work closely with the local community in all decisions taken on the future of the archaeological process itself.  We also attempt to demonstrate how the peak sanctuaries of the area may serve as a means to rejuvenate the local economy and community in sustainable ways.




Field School Objectives

The field school aims to familiarize students with the methods and issues of archaeological ethnography; to involve them in a theoretical and practical way in the organization of sustainable community of archaeology projects; and to allow students to experiment with various inclusive methods for the presentation and dissemination of finds.

Students will participate in the following research activities:

• Ethnographic interviews, focus groups and participant observation.

• Digitally recording and locating cultural heritage (buildings, material objects, songs and stories), ancient remains and natural resources in the area.

• Planning a community-based archaeological experiment focusing on figurine-making.

• Collecting information on crafts and techniques from local artisans.

• Engaging the locals and carrying out the community workshop on figurine making with the help of a local potter.

• Planning and performing a public presentation/exhibition at the end of the program.





There are no prerequisites for participation in this field school. Students will learn to conduct ethnographic work with a translator, in this case a Greek-speaking colleague. There is only minimal physical labor involved in this field school. Fieldwork takes place in a village that is not far from the capital of the island of Crete, but amenities are sparse and the ways of life are quite different from those in a city. Students will understand that ethnographic work in such places is quite demanding, and requires their full attention and resourcefulness to be successfully carried through.

The language of instruction if English; Modern Greek via a translator will be used to conduct interviews.



Students will live in houses provided by the community. Lodging is comfortable, but very basic. Students will share rooms, kitchen and toilets. Hot water will not always be guaranteed.

We offer breakfast, a snack at lunch, and dinner, which will be cooked in the traditional local cuisine. Food will be basic, but plenty and nutritious, based on local produce.


Program Fees & Course Credit

The participation fee for this program is 4500 Euros.  This fee covers all course costs including: registration; tuition; program materials; shared accommodation; one meal per day (excluding free days).  Airfare and optional trips on free days are not included in the program fee.

There are a number of scholarships available for this field school– scholarships are awarded after acceptance into the program, so please apply early for elligibility. Please contact us for more information

If  you would like to take this course for credit, the suggested credit amount for this program is equivalent to one semester / term course, based on contact hours, field work, and course content.  We prefer to allow students’ home institutions to calculate credit hours and award credit accordingly.  We will support your request for credit by supplying any relevant documentation and or supporting materials.


Project Director

• Dr. Aris Anagnostopoulos, University of Kent, UK


Further Information

For further information about fees, available spaces, or to apply, please write to [email protected]

You may fill out an application form here!

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