Publishing PKAP

One of the things that my friends and I said when we ran the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project is that we would publish promptly. We took that part of our responsibility as archaeologists seriously and produced our first volume documenting our intensive pedestrian survey work at the site as soon as we could. In fact, we excluded the results of our excavation from our first volume with the plans to publish a second volume. This made sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that our excavations were small, the assemblages were relatively more complex to understand, and the number of moving parts (including a retired collaborator!) remained relatively high. The result has been a series of delays and we’re now about 4 years adrift of our last excavation season, have new projects afoot, and are looking ahead to new fieldwork and writing opportunities.

Yesterday, Scott Moore, David Pettegrew, and I had a general meeting about the publication status of PKAP II. We reckon we’re 80% done with the manuscript. The core of the book is the analysis of the stratigraphy and the catalogue of finds with brief sections on our excavation methods and the history of excavation at the site.

The biggest challenge facing us is working on the conclusions. In PKAP I we offered some conclusions that located the Pyla-Koutsopetria micro-region in the larger context of the island of Cyprus and then the Eastern Mediterranean. Our excavations produced a more concentrated assemblage of material that speaks to the history of two small sites: an Early Christian basilica on the coastal plain and a Hellenistic fortified site on the on the plateau of Vigla. The assemblages of material from these sites offers important insights into the Early Hellenistic period and Late Antiquity on the island. Our goal in the conclusion is to write tiny histories of these sites that bring together the excavated assemblages with our survey data, with other assemblages across the island, and with larger narratives of sites (as opposed to regions) on the island.

To get to this point, though, we need to wrangle data, wrangle texts, and most importantly, wrangle people. As we lurch toward having our manuscript complete, we need to arrange the moving parts committed by various scholars. More on this as our manuscript finally takes shape.

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