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A Year of Preparation

Organizing an excavation is no easy matter and preparations start immediately after the summer when the first scientific and financial reports are due and applications need to be put in, via the Belgian School at Athens, for the next permit. Raising money is evidently the most time and energy consuming factor but at the same time results of the previous campaign need to be assessed and preparations made for the coming season. All drawings and notebooks need to be digitised and inventoried, as do all photographs (site and objects) and video notebooks. During a debriefing session, the excavation and its results are discussed, a strategy is put forward for the continuation of the exploration. Throughout the winter, the results of the excavation are presented either at invited lectures or for scientific meetings. Preliminary reports need to be drawn up and publications prepared. Specialists need to be contacted, storage rooms and logistics to be worked, the website needs to be updated….

The decision whether or not a permit is granted by the Greek authorities usually falls in May. Then things are getting more hectic: lodgings need to be booked, cars rented, the final team members contacted, travel arrangements be made, workmen be found, the database needs to be finalised, etc.