From May 30 until July 5, 2018, students from American and Greek universities serve as interns at cultural institutions in Nafplio, Greece. In addition to their internship responsibilities, students develop a research project with the guidance of a faculty mentor, and tour cultural and archaeological sites in the Argolid region and in Athens. Learn more about the program here.
The students are nine in total. The two students below are occupied at the Argos Archaeological Museum.
Christodoulos Georgios Davonis, University of Ioannina
My name is Christodoulos Georgios Davonis and I study in the History and Archaeology department of Ioannina, my hometown. By the time I acquire my Bachelor’s degree, my plans of study include a master’s degree in Greece in a History department and, later, a Philosopher’s degree abroad so as to pursue an academic career in a Greek or European institution. At the age of 11, I discovered I had a curious mind for history, science and philosophy. Apart from my love of knowledge, I am keen on teaching as well. In my free time I enjoy swimming mostly, reading and hanging out with my friends. I am also a scout and I love walking or exploring the nature.
Sasha Barish, Harvard University
My name is Sasha Barish and I grew up in Berkeley, California. I currently study Classics & Linguistics at Harvard College. In the past I have worked as a research assistant at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and as an intern at Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. When not reading ancient poetry, I write a great deal, including on the blog of the Office for the Arts at Harvard, and play the clarinet in opera orchestras.
“Our internship is with the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio, but we actually got moved to the nearby Museum of Argos near our initial workspace at Tiryns. Both Argos and the area around Nafplio have a history of habitation stretching back thousands of years to the Mycenaean civilization.
Our task is to catalogue archaeological artifacts, specifically ceramic vessels. We spend our mornings looking at these pots and cups very closely. We measure heights and diameters, match the specific colors of clays to numbers in a soil chart, compare the shapes and decorations to the pictures in reference books to determine when an object was made, and write all of that information down on a small museum card. And we spend a lot of time writing a περιγραφή for each object: we describe in succinct, technical Greek the body shape, the outward curve of the lip, the protrusion of the base, the position of the handles, the fragments that are missing, the dark mineral concretions that may have seeped into bits of the clay, the little rocks or inclusions in the clay, the bands of black paint that circumscribe the upper half of the vessel, the brushstrokes that are visible in the paint on the interior surface.
The artifacts we’re cataloguing have been in museum storage for years or decades without any documentation aside from the knowledge of when and where they were found. Giving them identification numbers and writing down exactly what they’re like, and making note of the condition they’re in allows the museum to keep track of what it has in case something gets lost or stolen and to carry out research on these objects and the cultures that produced them.
It’s been challenging to learn the new skill of archaeological museum documentation, from the balance of brevity and detail to the technical terminology (and the language barrier, especially for the American intern), but we’re still excited and fascinated by the work.”–Museum Interns