The Helike Project is recruiting students and other volunteers to take part in archaeological field work at the Hellenistic, Classical, Early Bronze and Geometric sites of Helike in Achaia, Greece, during six weeks in the summer of 2013. Volunteers must be 18 or older.
Helike is located on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth, about 7 km southeast of Aigion. The Helike Project is managed by The Helike Society (Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou, President) and the Geology Department of the University of Patras, with field work under a permit from the Greek Ministry of Culture.
2013 Field Season
The Helike Project will accept students and volunteers for a minimum period of two weeks between July 08 and August 16, 2013.
The main focus of the fieldwork will be archaeological excavation of the Hellenistic, Classical, Geometric, and Early Bronze Age sites discovered by the Helike Project in recent years. The team will also use bore hole drilling and geological trenching to investigate the geographic evolution of the area and trace the occurrence of historical earthquakes triggered by the Helike Fault.
There are no pre-requisites for participation in the expedition. All instruction is by professionals in the field. Volunteers may participate in various phases of the work, including excavation, washing pottery and work in the conservation lab, as determined by the Project Director. They are expected to work Monday to Friday, with weekends free for rest or excursions in the region.
Participants should prepare by reading on the history of ancient Greece in general and on this region in particular. The Helike Project will issue certificates of participation for volunteers on request.
Volunteers can make their choice for a standard accommodation with 2 persons per room, or for an individual room. The minimum period of stay is two weeks. Payment for accommodation and participation is made to The Helike Society, is tax-deductible and covers hotel room, breakfast and dinner per day for a seven-day week, plus some Helike Project expenses. Payment will be accepted in advance or on arrival in Greece. Should the field season be canceled, the Project will refund the full contribution. For information on payments interested participants should contact the Secretary of the Helike Society, Mrs. Maria Karvela at [email protected].
All participants are responsible for their own health and accident insurance and will be asked to sign a waiver of liability (click here for the text). They should bring their own supply of sunscreen/block, first aid items (band-aids, Neosporin and Cortisone cream recommended), and any prescription drugs they may need.
Anyone having a problem with drugs or alcohol, or a communicable disease, should not apply and will be asked to leave.
Weather, Dress & Supplies
The summer weather at the site is often hot, and temperatures may exceed 38°C (100°F). Most evenings are comfortably cool. Water temperature in the Gulf of Corinth is perfect for swimming. Expect mostly bright sunshine. Dress is informal. Participants are advised to bring the following: sun hat (essential), spare glasses/sunglasses if needed, work clothes, work gloves, sturdy shoes/sneakers, street clothes for weekends, shoulder bag or backpack, canteen, bathing suit and beach towel, personal toiletry articles, notebook, pencils & pens, reading material.
Daily Schedule (Monday – Friday)
07.20 depart for field
12.00-12.30 light meal in the field
12.30-15.00 resume excavations
15.30 return to hotel
17.00-19.00 (Tuesday and Thursday only) pottery washing
Hotel and Meals
The volunteers stay at the Hotel Poseidon Beach, in the village of Nikolaiika. The hotel provides breakfast and dinner seven days a week, pre-paid by the contribution. Volunteers may also eat at nearby tavernas, at their own expense. The fine pebble beach at Nikolaiika allows opportunity to relax during free time and on weekends.
Volunteers arrange their own transportation to and from Greece. Information regarding transportation between Athens and Nikolaiika is provided at www.helikeproject.gr .
Instructions to the Helike site
Helike is on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth in Achaia, about 170 km west of Athens. Volunteers will stay at the Hotel Poseidon Beach in the village of Nikolaiika, about 7 km southeast of Aigion. To travel from Venizelos International Airport in Athens to Nikolaiika, you can go by bus, train or rental car.
By bus: Take Bus #93 from the Airport terminal to the KTEL/Kifissos bus station in Athens. This express bus leaves the Airport every 35-40 minutes, takes about 1 hour, and costs about 4 euros. Or you can take a taxi to the Kifissos bus station (about 25 to 30 euros, depending on luggage and traffic). At the Kifissos station, buy a ticket for Aigion (Egion), about 13 euros. The Aigion bus leaves every hour and takes about 2 hours 15 minutes. From Aigion, take a taxi to the Hotel Poseidon in Nikolaiika (about 10 euros).
By train: Take a taxi to the Peloponnesos Train Station in Athens and get a ticket to Aigion on the Intercity Train. This train departs at 08:49, 12:07, 14:06 and 18:20 daily, takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to Aigion, and costs about 7euros. Other trains run more often but make more stops. From Aigion, take a taxi to the Hotel Poseidon in Nikolaiika. (If no taxis at the station, ask the ticket office to call one.)
Train schedule may change so make sure to check the daily schedule for July/August.
By rental car: For optimal mobility, you may want to rent a car at the Airport (or in Athens). Additional vehicles are always useful at the Helike site. At the Airport, go to the Greek National Tourist Agency desk and ask for a map and directions to the Corinth/Patras National Road. From the Airport, follow the signs for Athina (Athens) and Elefsina until you come to the turnoff for Lamia and Peiraias. Take the road toward Peiraias until you come to the turnoff for Korinthos (Corinth). Turn right and follow the signs for Korinthos for about an hour. This will become a toll road. When you approach Korinthos , follow the signs for Patra (Patras). After about another hour, leave the toll road at the Diakofto/Kalavryta exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left and again left, to continue west (toward Diakofto) along the old coast road. Drive for about 10 km to Nikolaiika. Turn right at the corner between the community square and the church in Nikolaiika, and drive down to the sea. The entrance to the Hotel Poseidon Beach is the first right. The drive from the airport to Nikolaiika takes about 3 hours.
Road signs in Athens can be confusing, so pay close attention. Greece has a high accident rate, so drive carefully.
Telephone numbers: Before leaving Athens, if you have any essential questions, you can contact us in Nikolaiika by telephone at 693-702-6588 (mobile). The Hotel Poseidon telephone is 26910-81400 and 81401.
The mailing address for volunteers during their stay is: Hotel Poseidon Beach, Nikolaiika Aigion 25003, Greece
Count on at least a week for a letter from the USA to reach this address. Hotel Poseidon telephone: ++30-26910-81400 and 81401, fax: 81402
Internet access is available at the hotel and in Aigion, the nearest town, about 15 minutes away by bus.
Helike Project Telephones
Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou, Project Director
Athens: +30-210-3845658 (Tel. and Fax)
Helike Project E-mail
Greece : [email protected]
Please submit the attached application form (also in ms word format) as soon as possible. Applications should be posted by May 31. Include a non-refundable check for €60 (or the current equivalent in $US) to cover processing costs, payable to The Helike Society (Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou), and mail it with the application to:
Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou
58 Solomou Street
Openings are limited. We will process applications in the order received, and notify you regarding acceptance as soon as possible. After acceptance, you may send your entire fee, payable to the Helike Society (Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou, President) to the above address. You may also pay upon your arrival in Greece , in euros or travelers checks only.