Annual Report 2019
At the end of a year rich in discoveries, the outcome of the research carried out by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (ESAG) is promising. The excavation in the sanctuary of Amarysia Artemis at Amarynthos accounted for most of the School’s resources. Thanks to an exceptional financial contribution of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research a plot of land on the western side of Paleoekklisies was purchased, which links the sanctuary in the plain and the prehistoric settlement on top of the hill. The discovery in 2017 of inscriptions bearing the name of the goddess brought conclusive evidence for the exact location of the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia. A fragment of a decree found this year confirms this identification, as it mentions the goddess’ sanctuary at “Amarynthos”.
The excavation program in the Gymnasium of Eretria was completed by targeted fieldwork. The aim of this final season was to locate the racetracks outside the gymnasium building: a stadium in the south and a paradromis in the west, already attested by an inscription. Evidence for the location of these racetracks was obtained by geophysical survey and exploratory trenches.
Numerous visitors were guided in the excavations, including a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council. The presentation of the School fieldwork drew a large audience at an event organised by the municipality of Eretria and the cultural association of Amarynthos on August 2 in the main square of Amarynthos. The following open day was attended by hundreds of visitors who did not want to miss the opportunity to be guided on site.
Parallel to the excavations at Amarynthos and Eretria, the School supports the research project in the Bay of Kiladha (Peloponnese), directed by Andreas Sotiriou (Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities) and Julien Beck (University of Geneva).
New release in the ERETRIA series
The series ERETRIA, Ausgrabungen und Forschungen has been enriched with a new volume this year : ERETRIA XXIII by Kristine Gex presents results of the rescue excavation in the centre of Eretria.
The Bouratza plot lies to the northeast of the ancient agora. From 1979 to 1981, it was the site of an excavation by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece. This volume describes the structures and finds of the Classical and Hellenistic period discovered there.ERETRIA XXIII release
First and foremost, I would like to thank all ESAG staff members for their dedicated commitment in the field and in the museum’s storerooms, and whose contribution was decisive to the success of our activities. In particular our two scientific secretaries Thierry Theurillat and Tobias Krapf, the head of administration in Athens, Valentina Di Napoli, the intendant in Eretria, Kostas Evangeliou, as well as the head of restoration, Harry Giannoulopoulos.
We wish to gratefully acknowledge the continued support and stimulating spirit of collaboration of the Greek archaeological authorities, first and foremost the Directorate of Antiquities in the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport under the direction of Polyxeni Adam-Veleni, as well as Konstantina Benissi and Sophia Spyropoulou from the Department of Foreign Schools, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea under the direction of Aggeliki Simosi and the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities under the direction of Paraskevi Kalamara.
We also extend our gratitude to Amalia Karapaschalidou and to Kostas Boukaras for their close cooperation in the fieldwork at Amarynthos and Eretria, as well as to the staff in the Museum of Eretria under the direction of Stavroula Parissi, for providing ideal working conditions.
Special thanks go to the Swiss Embassy in Athens and to the Greek Embassy in Switzerland and to their respective Ambassadors, Olaf Kjelsen and Hara Skolarikou, for their keen interest in our activities. We would also like to thank the municipality of Eretria and its mayor Amphitriti Alimbaté as well her successor, Ioannis Dimitropoulos, the cultural association of Amarynthos under the leadership of Antonios Karavas as well as the local association Gerani and its president, Kostas Frangoulopoulos, for their active support.
Finally, the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece extends its warmest thanks to the active members of its Board of Trustees and Advisory Council. We owe to the tireless efforts of the acting president of the Board of Trustees and former member of the Swiss Federal Council, Pascal Couchepin, and of the vice-president, Pierre Ducrey, the financial support of generous sponsors and institutions: the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the University of Lausanne and the other Swiss universities, the Sandoz Family Philanthropy Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Théodore Lagonico Foundation, the Afenduli Foundation, the Isaac Bernheim-Dreyfus Foundation, as well as numerous private donors.