Being a volunteer

Being a volunteer at the NASK-project 2012

Since lately I’ve been dividing my time between archaeology and other pursuits, I was a bit anxious about my usefulness in the project. Luckily, the project team consisted of many different personalities with lots of different skills, and the team management made sure that all were used an that everybody in the project felt useful.
The level of skills in the team, and the variety of these, always made me feel needed. And the social part of the project was just awesome. Even though I have little experience with other archaeological field projects, I am quite certain that this was an extraordinary situation where many different people with varied personalities, nationalities, languages, and backgrounds came together and worked as a team.
Although the job sometimes became a bit painful (thanks to the rather hostile Greek flora, barbed-wire fences and strong winds), the people in the project always managed to keep the mood up and the motivation high. The pastime options and possibilities often, after the day’s work was done, made me forget that I was there for work and provided much needed rest.

– Ole F. Nordland, M.A. (NTNU)

Having worked on a variety of projects in the American West, NASK was a change of pace for me, though a good one. Working in any green field area is always exciting and the anticipation of coming finds is always high. The Karystia certainly didn’t disappoint and the over 20 sites discovered consisted of assemblages from multiple periods giving the opportunity to see a range of artifacts. The project also provided a unique opportunity to learn and teach as the variable familiarity with not only archaeological survey, but also the autochthonous material culture gave many with specific experience the opportunity to fill a didactic role. Overall, the project was a great way to experience Hellenic archaeology and the core methodology upon which our field is based.

– Kevin Blewitt (University of Oslo)

I have always enjoyed working on field surveys, and NASK 2012 was to prove no exception. The challenges were great, with the team battling ferocious winds, climbing fences and unsteady field walls, and advancing through a stunning landscape that at times seemed positively hostile in its thorniness. However the sites and artefacts we found, the delight held in puzzling archaeological meaning from surface materials, and the mutable understanding of the landscape and the situation of sites within it that we gained throughout the duration of the project more than compensated. For myself, the challenges and overall context of working in the Greek landscape only enhanced the experience, and it was an absolute pleasure to participate in such a project. 

Having worked on numerous archaeological field projects since 2007, I am well used to the benefits, and the tribulations, that come with being part of an intensive group project comprising a diversity of personalities. However, NASK 2012 stands out as easily the most sociable project I have had the pleasure to partake in, with the group’s ability to get along sensationally overcoming the usual complications and conflicts that can arise in such circumstances. Working on this particular survey project, with a team of mixed and fascinating people from all over the globe, and has been one of the highlights of my year. I have to thank our fearless leaders, Dr. Žarko Tankosić and Renate Storli for inviting me to be a part of this.

– Kristen Mann, M.A. (University of Sydney)

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