a 350,000 grant from the Stavros
Niarchos Foundation, one of the
world’s leading international philanthropic organizations. Although
Thebes has been an important Greek
city throughout history, the site of the
sanctuary of Ismenian Apollo offered
a rare opportunity because parts of
the site remained unexplored and are
not located beneath modern buildings.
Daly explains that there have been
only two limited excavations within
its boundaries — the Greek archaeologist Antonios Keramopoulos’ on
the sanctuary hill from 1910 to 1917,
and Nikolas Pharaklas’ few additional
trenches in 1967. Neither archaeologist conducted a full exploration.
When Larson and Daly moved to
Greece in 2011, they created their
base from the ground up — from
buying basic tools to renting and
securing a storeroom to finding a place
for students to live in Thebes. It was
a daunting task but one that allowed
them to develop strong relationships
with their Greek colleagues, carry out
important academic work and provide
rare experience for undergraduates.
During the last six years, more
than 75 Bucknell students have
spent eight summer weeks learning
the physical and intellectual aspects
of archaeology. Students say the
experience has challenged them to
grow, whether by opening their minds
to a new culture or translating the
intense work experience to a biology
lab back on campus.
Jon Hunsberger ’ 16, a classics &
ancient Mediterranean studies major,
spent four summers in Greece with
the team. Learning about ancient
Greek material culture in contrast
with today’s Greece gave him a
keen understanding of how history
and modern culture intersect. “As I
was digging, I was learning history,
archaeological technique, teamwork,
modern Greek language, modern
Greek culture and more,” he says.
“My time in Greece strengthened my
work ethic, connections and world
experience, which I will carry into my
Tyler Strobel ’ 19 spent last summer
working on the dig team during the
final active excavation season. He says
that the experience was invaluable.
“It exposed me to the grittier side of
the field. Archaeology on paper is far
different from archaeology in person.
As a classics major, going to Greece
was priceless — from seeing the
Acropolis to the Antikythera
Mechanism to walking through
Minoan ruins — it allowed
me to integrate myself
into another culture for
a short time.”
between the past,
present and future
comes with great
This etching of Thebes was published in 1819 in A
Classical and Topographical Tour through Greece,
During the Years 1801, 1805, and 1806, a book by the
Irish painter and archaeologist Edward Dodwell.
Courtesy of The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.