Fieldwork Opportunities
The ancient acropolis of Halai, in the present seaside town of Theologos, Greece, was located near major land and sea routes in antiquity, and its well preserved remains are easily accessible today. The site flourished from about 6000 to 5300 B.C. during the Neolithic period and, after a hiatus, in Greek, Roman and early Christian times. The well-stratified Neolithic levels give evidence for domestic life and regional interconnections. In the Archaic Period, it was a fortified city with civic and secular buildings bisected by a major NW-SE artery leading to the temple of Athena. In the Hellenistic period it was a florishing harbor town that furnished the passing naval and commercial traffic with food and water. In early Christian times, the temple was replaced with a church, which has yielded a sixth-century mosaic featuring birds. Fishing, farming and trade were principal activities at all times. Past seasons, during which many volunteers have participated, included surface survey (1988-89), excavation (1990-92 and 1996), and study seasons (1993-95, 1997-2010).


The Cornell Halai and East Lokris Project is looking for several volunteers to take part in our six week field season in Greece during the coming summer (July 2-August 12).

Our focus is on the archaeological site of Halai, in the village of Theologos, on the North Euboean gulf about 75 miles northwest of Athens (2 hours by bus). The site was a settlement in the Neolithic period, followed after a hiatus by a Greco-Roman town with a small fortified seaside acropolis. The main later periods of the town are Archaic, Hellenistic and Late Roman (Early Christian).

Volunteers in 2012 will help with description and recording of artifacts from Halai in the project's storerooms and possibly with study and conservation at the site. They should generally plan to spend a full six weeks with the project.

Volunteers will work with specialists studying the material at Halai for publication. Graduate students with specialties in the periods during which the site was occupied (Neolithic, Archaic, Hellenistic and Late Roman) are especially welcome. Other potential volunteers should have at least some archaeological training, a serious interest in learning about all aspects of field archaeology, a tolerance for working at close quarters with others and an appetite for hard work. Our study is in its final stages and we are looking especially for those with experience in working with Neolithic and Archaic pottery. Some conservation work involving volunteers will probably also take place on the site of Halai.

Ability to drive a stick-shift vehicle and willingness to drive on the secondary roads between Vivos, the site of Halai and the workrooms at Tragana are sometimes helpful. Potential drivers must obtain an international drivers licence before their arrival in Greece.

Living quarters are at our camp at Vivos, 2 miles from the site, and a 5-minute walk from the nearest bay. Our storerooms are at Tragana, 21/2 miles from the camp. Besides swimming, oportunities for recreation include walks in the beautiful hills and valleys in the area.

CHELP covers some of volunteers' basic living costs while they are in Greece but not travel or food. Accommodation is in tents (beds are provided, bring sleeping bags) and there are showers, flush toilets and a washer. Participants make use of a spacious kitchen adjacent to a broad terrace.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Coleman by e-mail with queries at To apply, please send an e-mail with relevant personal information, including a resume and contact information for a couple of references.

The study season is 6 weeks. Full time participants should be in camp at Vivos by the evening of Sunday July 1 and stay until Sunday morning of August 12. See here for information on getting to Halai/Vivos. We work a full day on weekdays and a half-day on Saturdays. Sundays are generally free. Our daily schedule in the workrooms is generally as follows, though it may be somewhat modified during the season: morning start at 7:00 AM, lunch break about noon, and finish in afternoon at 5:00 or 6:00 PM, depending on the availability of the personnel of the Greek Archaeological Service to open and close the workrooms. Work at the site usually comes to an end in mid-afternoon.

We supply basic living needs. Sleeping is in tents (some fairly large and can accommodate couples); we supply beds, sheets and blankets, towels, etc. We supply basic food (pretty much everything except beer, soft-drinks and informal snacks). We bring food from camp to the workrooms and site for lunch to keep costs down.

Participants are responsible for food preparation and other camp chores (our financing is tight).

Although we work a half-day on Saturdays, everybody is entitled to one complete free weekend at a time of their choice starting on Friday after work until Sunday evening.

Participants should bring any medicines you might need and your prescriptions for anything that must be renewed. There is a drug store in Tragana, where the workrooms are located, but some things easily available in the US (e.g., ibuprofen) are not so in Greece and the European versions of drugs may not always be quite the same. In case of medical emergencies we go first by car to a clinic with doctors in Atalanti, 20 min. from camp and where immediate care is given for bee stings, minor infections, etc. For more serious injuries we would go to a hospital about an hour away, either at Leivadhia or Lamia or, if time permits, to Athens. Plan to bring lots of sun screen a good broad-brimmed hat and your favorite water bottle; also, a flashlight and/or headlight is helpful. Rubber shoes or flip-flops are good on the bare ground around the tents and for swimming. There are mosquitoes and we have found that Skin-So-Soft may keep them at bay on the terrace. The tents have pretty good mosquito screens but if you are especially concerned consider bringing good quality netting for your bed.

Resources on the research: two preliminary reports on our work in Hesperia (Vol. 61, No. 3, 1992 and Vol. 68, No. 3, 1999). Versions of these and other Halai documents are available on our web page ( at "Online Reports" and you can also get Hesperia online through many research library gateway via JSTOR at "e-Journals." For earlier work at the site see Hetty Goldman, "The Acropolis at Halai," Hesperia 9, 1940, 381-514 (also available online).

If you have any questions, please send mail or email to John Coleman, Department of Classics, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; We'd like to thank everybody who has contacted us already to express an interest in the project. Opportunities for participation are limited and we are still lining up some staff members, so it may be some time before we will make final decisions about volunteers.

For those also interested in other sites, we note that field work opportunities in Greece are scarce. Almost all opportunities we know of are listed on a website posted by the Archaeological Institute of America (

We are always interested in in showing visitors around the site of Halai, so if you are in Greece, please contact us to see if a site visit is possible. See information on getting to Halai.

Last modified 1.28.07