Update on Fieldwork and Permit Availability
The exceptional circumstances that were created this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have also affected the operations of fieldwork projects in Greece. In light of this situation and in order to support research organizations conducting systematic archaeological research in Greece, the Ministry of Culture has come to the following decisions:
1. Projects conducting systematic archaeological research that were not able to carry out any fieldwork this year are given the opportunity to extend their approved programs for one year. For example, a five-year project that was approved in 2020 through 2024, will now be automatically extended to 2025.
2. Projects will be able to conduct in 2021 any fieldwork that was approved but cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This also applies to Foreign Archaeological Schools, which, as an exception and only for 2021, will be allowed to exceed the number of annually permitted fieldwork projects (three independent and three synergasias).
3. Projects approved for 2020 may change the dates of their 2020 field season for later in the year, provided there is timely and direct communication with their local Ephorate(s).
As a result of these special regulations, there will be no new permits open for 2022, and the next available fieldwork permits through the ASCSA will be in 2023. Applications will be considered for one independent and two collaborative projects. Completed proposals must be submitted via the online application form by November 30, 2021. Here is the updated schedule of ASCSA annual permits:
Independent: Corinth, Pylos, Samothrace
Synergasias: Mt. Lykaion, Megalopolis, Molyvoti (MTAP), Mochlos
Independent: Corinth, Pylos, Samothrace
Synergasia: Megalopolis, Molyvoti (MTAP), Mochlos
Independent: Corinth, Samothrace, 1 permit available
Synergasias: 2 permits available
For applying to the Excavation and Survey Committee for one of the available permits, please follow the instructions below. All proposals for excavation and survey work in Greece should be discussed first with the Director of the School (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Chair of the Excavation and Survey Committee (email@example.com).
Instructions for applying to the School’s Excavation and Survey Committee
Applications to the Excavation and Survey Committee should be submitted online, including the proposal, illustrations, and supporting documents. The Excavation and Survey Committee traditionally meets during the Archaeological Institute of America meetings in January and considers proposals for work to begin approximately 18 months from that time.
Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria and information:
a. An Abstract summarizing the research plan and intellectual goals of the project.
b. A statement of the research plan and intellectual goals of the project including relevant bibliography (not to exceed 7 pages single-spaced).
• When a permit is sought for continuing work on a pre-existing project, the project’s intellectual results to date and how these results have been disseminated must be communicated.
c. A statement of method and techniques to be employed. For scientific analyses, methods should be clearly articulated, and qualified personnel who will conduct the analyses should be included in section (e).
d. A plan, established in conjunction with the Ephorate, for ongoing site conservation and final and sustainable plan for site conservation at the end of the permit period. If you are applying for a new permit, please provide a general outline for conservation. For more information about planning for site conservation, click here.
e. The names and specialties of the staff who are to participate in the work. Additionally, submit the full CV of director(s) (not to exceed 20 pages) and 2-page CV of each senior staff member (Append after the staff list).
f. The exact dates of the field work which should not be more than 8 weeks and the overall length of the program.
• The fieldwork should be planned to start not earlier than April 1st of each year. If there is a special reason why a project should take place earlier, this must be explained in writing, in a special request to be submitted no later than October 1st. These rules are stated in the Ministry’s directive of 2002, which is valid until further notice.
g. A budget for the work and evidence that funds are available and/or have been applied for.
• The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport, in 2018, determined that: "The availability of adequate and appropriate storage space for storing and studying finds must be ensured before the commencement of new archaeological research projects. It is possible to request from the research institution carrying out the excavations to find and rent an appropriate space, which will be under the direct supervision and responsibility of the relevant Ephorate of Antiquities and will fulfill all the security requirements of antiquities storage facilities." Applications for excavation and survey permits should include a statement indicating the arrangements for the storage of finds including any formal documentation of agreements with the relevant authorities.
Necessary Supporting Documents:
a. A brief written statement of support for the project from the Director of the relevant Ephorate. This requires personal and direct communication in person with the Proistamenos.
b. The contacts which have been made with local authorities about the work, and what support is forthcoming from them.
c. The precise location and area to be excavated/surveyed. This should be described verbally and clearly indicated on a detailed map of scale 1:5,000.
d. If a permit for excavation is sought, the Trustees of the School require a statement on the legal disposition of the land and how this has been determined. If the land on which you wish to excavate is privately owned, you must provide a plan for land acquisition and transference to the Greek government (purchase or expropriation or both) that has been agreed upon with the Director of the relevant Ephorate and indicate what progress has been made in negotiations with the landowners. Directors applying for a permit to excavate must demonstrate that they have the funds (or at least the majority) in hand for the acquisition before a permit request can be granted by the ASCSA.
e. If the project will employ workers, an explanation addressing how social insurance (IKA) will be paid for them. The ASCSA does not provide this service for affiliated projects.
f. Evidence of support from the cooperating institution(s) of which the project director(s) is a member, e.g. a letter from an appropriate Dean or the Provost.
g. Evidence that prior publication commitments of field projects have been been fulfilled. This includes commitments for current project being applied for (if applicable), as well as any other relevant or affiliated ASCSA fieldwork (if applicable).
h. A statement outlining publication plans for the project, including plans for regular preliminary and final reports.
• This plan should be updated as warranted by changes in the project’s plans and should contain also a statement of the methods to be employed by the project for the long-term storage and preservation of electronic data that emerges.
i. Evidence that adequate, available storage facilities have been identified.
If a synergasia is contemplated, the name(s) of the Greek co-director(s) and a clear outline of the divisions of labor and responsibilities between the Greek and American teams, including a statement that each side will provide one-half of the required funds and staff for each season. In synergasia projects, and according to the directive of the Ministry of March 2018, the two teams must sign a “protocol of cooperation” before the beginning of their project. In this protocol the two teams must describe the intellectual purpose of the synergasia, the duration and the budget. The synergasia project is equally divided between the two parties and the Greek side is the director of the project. The "protocol of collaboration" is signed by the directors of the project and the directors of the collaborating institutions.
If the request is for continuing excavation on a site where you have excavated before, a clear indication both in writing and on a state plan of the site where conservation/backfilling is complete and what, if anything, remains to be completed. For more about planning for site conservation, click here. Additional information will also be necessary - please consult the online application form.
Instructions for applying to the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports
For those granted one of the School’s five fieldwork permits, the following guidelines apply. If you have questions about this procedure, please contact the Assistant to the Director. Please consult the 2018 Ministerial Decision on the Definition of archaeological fieldwork, conditions and procedure for issuing permits of systematic archaeological research and regulation on systematic excavations (English - Greek), as well as the Ministry's latest directive (2018) on the Terms, conditions and procedure for permitting systematic archaeological research in Greece (English - Greek) before submitting your request.
Directors of new and ongoing fieldwork projects must submit the following information to the Assistant to the Director by October 15 each year:
- New Field Projects:
a. The purpose, research goals and expected contributions to knowledge of the project.
b. A schedule of work of up to five years, with a detailed description of activities of the first year and a preliminary schedule of acitivities of the following years.
c. CV of project director(s), which must demonstrate at least five years experience in excavation and at least two scientific publications related to exc avations or excavation finds.
d. List of participants with their specialties and the CVs of the team's principal members.
e. Information demonstrating the adequacy of technical infrastructure adn the budget of the project, including funding sources.
f. Dates of the coming fieldwork season. The duration of the project must not exceed eight weeks in total, including any preparatory work for the site before the commencement of the investigation, as well as any work tending to the site after the season is complete.
g. Indication of the research area on an orthophoto map, where the precise area of explroration of the first year must be specifically marked and the areas of the following years approximately marked. For surface surveys , the total area of the research project must not exceed 30,000 stremmata.
h. A description of the research methodology.
i. Information concerning the protection status of the research area (arch. site, buffer zones etc.)
j. Documentation on the property status of the area to be excavated/ surveyed. According to Greek Law, systematic excavation cannot take place in privately owned properties (except for limited trial trenches, after the landowner’s permission). In the case of surface or geophysical surveys, the landowners of the area to be surveyed must be notified.
k. In the case of field projects undertaken in collaboration (synergasias) with the Archaeological Service, a memorandum of understanding must be signed by the project directors and the directors of the collaborating institutions. For guidelines on drafting a memorandum of understanding, see the original document here and the English translation here.
l. In the case of coring/soil sampling requests, the areas of sampling must be clearly marked on a map.
Requests for the approval of an extension of a continuing project, for up to five years, must include, in addition to the above, the following information:
A report on the activities and results during the previous research period, accompanied by plans and photographs. The report must provide a composite picture of the project and its contribution to the enrichment of archaeological data in the wider area.
Progress on the study and publication of the results of previous years and a relevant schedule for the next research period. Copies of publications related to the project must be submitted to the appropriate Ephorates of Antiquities and the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and/or the Directorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities.
Correlation of the proposed area of research with the area that has already been surveyed/excavated on a digital orthophoto map.
Study or technical report on the consolidation and conservation of exposed antiquities. The care for exposed antiquities, which is the responsibility of the excavating institution and of the excavator, is a prerequisite for considering any request. Conservation, consolidation, and restoration studies are submitted by the Foreign Archaeological Schools/ Institutes and Greek Universities and other Research Institutions to the relevant Ephorates of Antiquities, the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities or/and the Directorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities, as well as to the relevant Directorates of the Central Service (Directorate of Restoration of Ancient Monuments, Directorate of Restoration of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments, Directorate of Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments). At the same time, the institution conducting archaeological research and the excavator are responsible for the good state of preservation and presentation of the site, according to the site’s needs and particular characteristics (e.g. removal of vegetation, fencing, drainage). Failure to comply with these obligations can result in the termination of the research project.
Financial report of the previous research period.
- Ongoing Field Projects
a. A report on the work of the previous field season, accompanied by photographs and plans.
b. Detailed description of activities for the coming season.
c. List of project members with their specialties.
d. Dates of coming field season (not to exceed eight weeks annually).
e. Orthophoto map of the area to be excavated/ surveyed, in correlation with the area previously explored.
f. Actions on the protection, conservation and consolidation of exposed antiquities, if necessary.
g. Budget and funding sources.
- Study Seasons:
Projects conducting study seasons must also submit their request by October 15 every year with the following information:
a. A report on the work of the previous season, accompanied by photographs, plans and catalogues of finds that were studied.
b. Detailed description of activities for the coming season
c. Dates of coming field season
d. List of project members with their specialties
The School is required to submit all applications for excavation and survey work to the relevant Ephorates and the Department(s) of Foreign Schools of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports by November 30 every year. The Ephorates submit their recommendation to the Department(s) of Foreign Schools by December 31 of the same year. Applications for new projects are examined by the Central Archaeological Council (ΚΑΣ) and the final decision is issued by the Minister of Culture and Sports. Permits for ongoing projects are issued directly by the Minster, without being examined by the Council (for more information on the Central Archaeological Council, its members, meetings and agendas visit http://ksymvoulia.culture.gr/). Study season permits are issued directly by the local Ephorates of Antiquities.
NOTE: Even though the School submits its requests to The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports in November, it does not usually receive replies from the Ministry until the end of April. In some cases, the replies are negative. Project directors who need to expend funds before this time are warned that they may have to cancel their plans if the Ministry denies permission. In this case, they are advised to make other arrangements in order not to pay penalties if air tickets are purchased earlier than the end of April.
At the end of each season and by October 15 of each year all projects should submit to the School, via the Assistant to the Director, a report of activities (as a Word document, single-spaced, 12-point type throughout) accompanied by photos and/or maps. This report will be sent to the British School at Athens, the French School and the German Archaeological Institute for inclusion in Archaeological Reports and Archaeology in Greece Online/Chronique des fouilles en ligne. This report will also be translated into Greek and sent to the relevant Ephorates and Directorates of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and to the Archaeological Receipts Fund (TAPA) in order to be published in the Archaiologikon Deltion (for the cost of the translation please see https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/excavators/general-information-for-fieldwork-projects/fees-for-fieldwork-projects). Project directors are requested to send their text accompanied by high resolution images and plans to the Assistant to the Director via a file-sharing mode, such as Dropbox, WeTransfer etc.