In the summer of 2016 I lent a hand on the Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP) on the Cycladic island of Naxos, Greece. The site is directed by Dr. Tristan Carter of McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) through the Canadian Institute in Greece and with the permission of the Cycladic Ephorate of Antiquities of the Hellenic Republic’s Ministry of Culture and Sports.
SNAP focuses on the excavation of an early prehistoric quarry for the extraction of chert for the making of stone tools. The survey that preceded the excavation recovered tools of Lower – Upper Palaeolithic, and Mesolithic date, i.e. the site was visited from at least 250,000 to 9,000 years ago, and represents the earliest excavated site in the region. The site is described by the multi-disciplinary team in a recent Antiquity Journal article as also potentially helping us to understand the origins of maritime travel in the Aegean.
SNAP is a community based archaeology project, with the excavation team working with the local community and mayor, as well as with the Naxian Cultural Association to interpret and share the archaeology uncovered. The site is especially exciting for me as there is a possibility that it was used by a number of hominids including Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals!
The archaeological site of Stélida is situated on the north-west coast of the island of Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands, in the centre of the Aegean Sea. Naxos is the most agriculturally self-sufficient island in the Cyclades and also boasts the highest peak in the Cyclades, Mt. Zeus, where the deity of the same name is said to have been raised.
Further information on the Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project can be found here: