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CAORC Announces RPI for Cultural Heritage Resources Program Awardees

CAORC is pleased to announce the first award recipients for the Responsive Preservation Initiative for Cultural Heritage Resources.

The RPI program is designed to fund projects for urgent, emergent, or priority issues that need to be addressed quickly. Small grants are available for rapid emergency projects in Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, The Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen.​

Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. Visit CAORC Programs to find out more about this program and to apply.

So far, RPI grants have been awarded to the following three projects:

Salvage Archaeology along the Paphos-Polis Motorway: Geophysical and Archaeological Survey at Stroumpi-Agios Andronikos (Cyprus)

The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus requested that our team investigate and document a site threatened with imminent destruction due to a highway expansion project. The threatened site, Stroumpi-Pigi-Agios Andronikos, is located in western Cyprus between the cities of Paphos and Polis and seems to be an intact, stratified, multi-period, prehistoric settlement. Such sites are rare in Cyprus, and our project aims to collect as much information as possible before the site is destroyed. We plan to investigate the site from four different angles: geophysical prospection, surface collection, coring, and test excavations. Following our season, we will be presenting the results of our work to the Department of Antiquities, the people of Stroumpi, and the broader archaeological community in Cyprus.

  • PI: Dr. Kathryn Grossman, Senior Lecturer, North Carolina State University

  • Co-PI: Dr. Tate Paulette, Assistant Professor of History, North Carolina State University

  • Co-PI: Dr. Lisa Graham, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

  • Co-PI: Dr. Andrew McCarthy, Fellow, University of Edinburgh

  • Geophysical Analyst: Christine Markussen, PhD Candidate, University of Vienna

  • Geophysical Technician: Marina Faka, The Cyprus Institute

  • Undergraduate Student Assistants: From Brown University: Sasha Leiblein and Jake Gardner. From MIT: Christopher Cassidy, Devon Goetz, Makenzie Patarino, Eleni Pitses, Laura Bergemann​

Wadi el-Hudi Expedition (Egypt)

In the borderlands of Ancient Egypt and Nubia, in the Egyptian Eastern Desert, lies a geologically rich zone that ancient peoples exploited for rare mineral resources: gold, amethyst, copper, and granite. The Ancient Egyptians established over a dozen important mines there in order to acquire objects for making jewelry during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1700 BCE) and in the Roman Period (c. 1st century BCE-4th c. CE). Next to these mines, Egyptian and Nubian workforces built several settlements that housed the laborers and the administrators of the mines. These settlements are so well-preserved, they are veritable time capsules in the desert, with walls standing close to their original height at two meters tall and with archaeological deposits left in place untouched for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians also carved hundreds of inscriptions across the natural boulders in these camps. Studying the inscriptions, architecture, and archaeology in combination gives us the ability to answer many unique questions that cannot be resolved in any other archaeological context in Egypt. And yet, most of these sites remain undocumented.

Despite the fact that these sites have been perfectly preserved for thousands of years they are also under imminent threat of destruction from modern gold mining companies and from illegal miners raiding the desert resources. The Wadi el-Hudi Expedition is proud to have received a grant from CAORC to help complete the mapping of the standing architecture at Wadi el-Hudi, which will give us basic information about every site before they are destroyed. Answers from these archaeological sites will greatly impact the entire field of Egyptology, international relations in the Greco-Roman world, and how we write ancient history because evidence from these sites have information relevant to Egyptian history, resource exploitation, cross-cultural interactions, and much more. ​

  • Director: Dr. Kate Liszka, Assistant Professor of History at California State University, San Bernardino

  • Assistant Director, Epigrapher, and Chief Surveyor: Bryan Kraemer, University of Chicago and the Robert and Francis Fullerton Museum of Art at California State University, San Bernardino

  • Assistant Director and Chief Ceramicist: Meredith Brand, University of Toronto​

Conservation of the Metal Cargo from the Late Bronze Age Shipwreck at Cape Gelidonya (Turkey)

CAORC RPI for Cultural Heritage funding will support the conservation and photographic documentation of a metal cargo from a ship that sank at the end of the 13th century BCE, the era of the pharaohs Ramesses. The cargo represents an assemblage deliberately collected in antiquity and now completely recovered. ‘Deliberate’ and ‘complete’ are adjectives that can only rarely be applied to archaeological finds and for this reason alone this assemblage of archaeological artifacts has special significance. Furthermore, this particular cargo is unique evidence for the processes and economics of metal recycling in an era commonly referred to as the Bronze Age because then copper and tin had technical, economic, and strategic importance akin to that of oil today.

Much of this cargo was recovered in 1960 and the rest of it from 1987-2010; it has been variously conserved, much of it not at all. There is need to stabilize all of the metal artifacts for purposes of preservation, display, and scientific analyses, now and in the future.

Conservation of the metal objects is the first step not only in our immediate plans for scientific analyses of the metal cargo but also preserves the objects and ensures their availability for future studies, using newer methodologies or answering different questions.

  • PI: Professor Nicolle Hirschfeld, Department of Classical Studies, Trinity University

  • Head Conservator: Esra Altınanıt Biçer, Institute of Nautical Archaeology

  • Conservation technician and Photographer: Asu Selen Özcan, Institute of Nautical Archaeology

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