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Fieldwork in Classical Archaeology: Mycenae

July 1 to July 31, 2009*

Mycenae, Greece

* Please note these dates are tentative. 

Program Overview

The Dickinson Excavation Project and Archaeological Survey (D.E.P.A.S) at Mycenae provides students with experience at one of the most important ancient sites in the world. Students will gain hands-on skills in fieldwork and study classical culture through museum and site visits.  The program begins during the spring semester, during which orientation sessions will be scheduled and advance readings assigned.

During excavation, digging is conducted Monday through Friday from the early morning to early afternoon. In the late afternoon, the excavation staff is briefed by each trench assistant or master on the results and finds of the day, and the program director assigns tasks and gives detailed directions for the following day.  In exceptional cases, weekends may be used for dig preparation. Excavation is hard, physical work, requiring high-level concentration and involving multiple tasks, including supervising the workmen, keeping a detailed daily journal, describing, measuring, recording, labeling, drawing, and photographing the archaeological finds and contexts, and transporting, storing and cataloguing the finds.  Students must be well-prepared and trained for this type of work

During the study/research periods, museum research, archaeological survey and other related tasks begin in the morning and end in the afternoon. Organized excursions and field trips will be scheduled on weekends or on days of inclement weather that restrict digging/surveying.

The Setting

The archaeological site of Mycenae is located in the Prefecture of Argolid, Peloponnesos, at a distance of only 2 kilometers from the modern village of Mycenae , 8-10 kilometers from the city of Argos (the prefecture capital), 18-20 kilometers from the shores of Nauplion, and approximately 140 kilometers from the Greek capital Athens and the international airport “Eleutherios Venizelos.”




Eligible students who wish to participate must have fulfilled the following academic requirements prior to the commencement of the program, including four introductory courses (or the equivalent) offered annually at Dickinson:

  • Greek Art & Archaeology (ARCH-120) or Prehistoric Aegean Art & Archaeology (ARCH-210)
  • Field Archaeology (ARCH-201) or previous field experience
  • Modern Greek language (GREEK-107)


Certain eligibility criteria may be waived and equivalency of prerequisites is determined at the discretion of the program director.


ARCH-301/CLCIV-301: Fieldwork in Classical Archaeology

The course and the international DEPAS research program offer interested and qualified students the opportunity to participate in the excavations, archaeological survey, investigation and research of the legendary Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae, and the surrounding area in the region of Argolid, Greece. Successful completion of excavation and/or museum research, survey and associated tasks will earn a full Dickinson course credit (the equivalent of four semester hours), which satisfies the fieldwork requirement for the Archaeology major and minor, or constitutes a general credit for Classics and other related fields.  Students will receive a letter grade for the course.

During excavation campaigns, the students will be trained in field archaeology by conducting the digging as trench assistants/masters under the direct instruction and supervision of the program director.  Alternatively, during study/research periods, the students will conduct data collection and recording; pottery study and cataloguing; museum research; and systematic archaeological surveys, aided by remote sensing devices and techniques, of past and prospective dig sites. 


Program Activities

The program includes excursions to nearby museums and ancient sites in Athens, Corinth, Epidaurus, Argos/Tiryns, Nafplion, Olympia, Thessaloniki and other sites.  These trips are designed to offer the students hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of Prehistoric Aegean and Classical art and archaeology, as well as to familiarize students with modern Greece.


The students will stay in a motel in the modern village of Mycenae that offers double occupancy rooms with air-conditioning, private bathroom and shower, and balcony. The program will provide transportation to/from the archaeological site and on field trips.

On-Site Administration

The program director, Associate Professor Christofilis Maggidis, has many years of field experience at various sites in Greece, including Mycenae. He will be on-site for most of the week, and will also make arrangements with his assistants and local liaisons in case of emergencies. The program director and the students can be reached by phone and cellular phone at the site and at the hotel. The village of Mycenae has emergency medical facilities and a local physician, and there is a hospital in the city of Argos.


Program Cost

The estimated comprehensive fee will be approximately $5400. The program fee will cover tuition, room and board, local transportation, and admittance to museums and sites in Greece. Not included are primary medical and accident insurance purchased in the U.S., travel costs to/from Greece and all other incidental expenses. 

For more information, contact

Associate Professor Christofilis Maggidis (DEPAS Director)

Department of Classical Studies & Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program,

Dickinson College

Tel.: 717-245-1023

Departmental Web-Site:

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