Larnaca Update

museum rainSo, it has been a few hectic days in Larnaca. We have been working at the Museum’s off-site storage facility trying to finish things up for PKAP II. Tuesday was another rainy day, it stormed for a while. There was a bit of thunder and when the rain started, it was raining so heavily on the metal roof that it was hard to hear a person talk. We continued to focus mainly on the Roman and LAte Roman catalogue for the volume and this means IMG_0131checking catalogue entries, correcting any mistakes, and then illustrating any interesting ones. This was a little frustrating, particularly when I found a mistake that was my fault, Bill seemed to enjoy that a bit too much. Today was much better weather wise, it was sunny a little cool, but enjoyable. Dave’s students came to the museum for the first time and we did several short talks for them (basic intro, databases, XRF, and ceramics) – they seemed to go well. After we closed up work at the museum, we took the students out to visit Koutsopetria and Vigla and show IMG_0132them around the site. It did look like they really enjoyed the visit and were surprised at how many artifacts are laying on the surface. We also took time to drive them through Pyla to see the medieval tower and visit Pyla Tomb. All in all, it was an enjoyable time. Tonite we took Sarah, the IUP Anthropology graduate student doing our XRF research out for dinner since she is leaving tomorrow morning to fly back to the United States. Tomorrow I am only doing a half day since I am flying to Athens to partiicpate in a ceramics workshop that is focused on Cypriot Ceramics – it should be enjoyable.

IMG_0145

RSM

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Back in Larnaca

So, Saturday night Bill and I headed out to our favorite Polis restaurant (The Old Town Restaurant). They have a meze there that is fantastic. Unfortunately, since it was raining off and on all day, they had moved all their tables from outside into the smaller interior space – as a resullt……no available tables for us. This was……soul crushing. The owner said maybe in an hour we could check back, but she did not look hopeful. Very disappointed.

paphosAnyway, on Sunday, for the first time since we arrived, the day dawned bright and sunny with temperatures in the low 70s, an absolutely gorgeous day. We had a quiet breakfast in the platea and headed out of town towards Larnaca. On the way we stopped at two sites that were suggested to us as possible sites for further work, but neither panned out. We stopped at the Kourion Beach Restaurant for a light lunch and the chance to watch the waves crashing on the shore – it was a bit windy down there.

Kourion beach

Lebanese 1Once we arrived in Larnaca, we checked into our hotel and unpacked. We decided to eat at our favorite Lebanese restaurant along the waterfront, Maqam Al-Sultan, whch also has a fantastic meze – 19 different dishes were listed, but there were several more included, plis bread and baklava. I was too full from dinner to even think about having some loukoumades – some tents are already set up for the Kataklysmos, which will happen next weekend. And I love loukoumades, so that says something. The Lebanese 2.jpgmuhammarah was amazing as usual, and I also had a chickpea and yoghurt dip that I did not catch the name of and cannot find on their menu. I guess the only solution is to go back there and eat again, and pay closer attention.

This morning we went to the museum and retrieved the keys for Terra Ombra, the satellite storage location where our artifacts are stored. The site had changed a bit, they had filled up the empty spaces with trays and trays of pottery, the site really looks like the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As is our usual, it took a bit of time to sort out our material Larnaca Rainand get started. Usually we are the only people out there working, but todat there were people from two other archaeological projects, conservators, and technicians from the museum – in all 11 people. Tomorrow Dave will be there with his nine students – so it will be an absolute madhouse – on the plus side, there is better than a 50/50 chance Bill’s head will explode. About the time we started working, it started to rain and since the warehouse has a metal roof, it was a bit noisy for a while. [It has rained more this season than all the rest of my tris to Cyprus combined – and that is 19 summer trips]. We skipped lunch since we had picked up a large snack or second breakfast from the bakery and worked straight through to 2:30 when we had to DSCN9332_thumb.jpgleave. I wa a little worried about Bill, I looked over at 2:00 and he had his head on the table – I was worried he was burned out on day one. He was also bummed out because we wouldn’t let him use the XRF on one of the pastries. After we cleaned up we went to lunch at my favorite souvlaki restaurant near the museum. We then ran to the store, where I found 4 chip varieties to try in the next few days. Now we are back at the hotel, waiting on David to show up with his students from Messiah.

RSM

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Last Work Day in Polis

polis leaveToday was our last work day at the apotheke in Polis – and it was windy and rainy for most of the day. Tomorrow we are heading back to Larnaca so we can work on PKAP material. As is our fashion, our last day of work always tends to be a bit frantic as we realize that we have a bit more to do than we expected. We were able to get all the sherds catalogued and drawn that we needed to, but we were running late and this meant that reshelving trays and shreds, cleaning up, and packing up was a bit stressful. We finished with ten minutes to share. The only drawback to the day was Bill insisting that we film a youtube video of us using the XRF like Raylon Givens in Justified – using a quick draw to shoot a sherd and identify it. Since I share the use of the XRF with the Anthropology Department, I figured that if they saw me playing with an expensive piece of their equipment they might not find it as amusing as Bill would. When it came time to leave the apotheke , we discovered that we had left a window open in our car and the passenger seat was soaked.scoops

Today’s chip is Lay’s Scoops Chili flavoured. They taste a bit like puffed corn, and are very light – and yet are still sort of stale. They did taste like chili, but only very faintly – there really wasn’t much taste to them period. So….I give them a ***(3). Fortunately, Bill has Pringles Paprika Flavoured available and I ate those – they, along with Prawn Cocktail are my two favorite chips on Cyprus.

RSM

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Searching for Plans to build an Ark

cloudsWell, this has been an unusual season in Polis so far. The rain has continued to fall, and at times it has been very heavy. Last night we drove out to Fly Again for dinner. I was worried as we headed out because it was cloudy and it looked like it was raining off in the distance. Fortunately, we managed to catch a bit of the sunset when there was a break in the clouds and the sun peeked through. The pizza was good, and our waiter was from California so we had a long conversation with him since we were the first Americans he had seen in Cyprus. Then we noticed some lightning and heard some thunder, and then it poured. Fortunately, even thoughflyaway we were outside, we were under an awning and the wind was blowing the rain in such a way that we did not get wet…or too wet. While I had my jacket, I was almost at the point of regretting not wearing long sleeves underneath it, since it was a bit cool and windy. Our waiter suggested hot tea which was a good idea, but sitting outside in the rain wearing a jacket sipping hot tea in Cyprus in late May was a bit surreal. Then, it rained off and on all night – and was heavy at times. With the rain hitting the building, it sounded a lot like being in Indiana, PA at this time of the year where it rains a lot….a lot, like almost every day.

RSM

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Friday at Polis

billapothekeWe are in Polis only for a short time this season. In fact, we will be leaving Sunday to head to Larnaca, so that we can do a short study season working on PKAP material for volume 2. Today was like yesterday in that when we woke up it was raining and overcast. We went to the apotheke and continued our artifact work from yesterday. Bill and I worked on locating, cataloguing, and drawing a selection of sherds that can be used in a variety of publications we have underway – it will still need some more work next season. Sarah, an IUP graduate student in xrfAnthropology, continued to work with the portable XRF to collect data from a wide range of the CRS forms we have at Polis. While we got quite a bit done, we are still pressed for time since tomorrow is the last day we can work at the apotheke and the hours it is available to us is shortened since it is Saturday. We should be able to finish what we have prioritized for this season, but will require a very focused day

chicken wingAnyway, on to the chip of the day. Today’s chip is Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Chicken Wing Flavour, which sounded like a cool chip to try. In actuality, not so much. I like chicken wings, and these actually tasted like chicken wings (not surprising since one of the ingredients listed was actually barbecue chicken wings flavour), but after the initial thought of “Wow these taste like chicken wings” that taste disappeared and left a not pleasant aftertaste. I would have to give them an A for creativity, but a ** (2) for taste. Tonite we are heading out to our favorite pizza place (an Irish pub called Fly Again in Argaka) with the hopes of catching a picturesque sunset. I include below a previous photo taken there to give you an idea of the sunset.

fly away

RSM

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Potato Chip Research Continues

IMG_0523While many people think I am in Cyprus working on Late Roman Ceramics, those in the know are aware that my potato chip research is what is really driving my work on the island. [On a side note, it is always amazing how many people think I am in Crete and not on Cyprus]. Over the last few years I have been able to really further my research on flavored potato chips on Cyprus, and while it sounds like I am bragging, I really feel that I have developed into a leading researcher in the field. So, as usual, first let me recap my research by providing my previous years’ work which will soon be available in print – The Potato Chips of Cyprus: An Exhaustive Study:

  • Argentinean Steak — ***** (5)
  • Baked Lays with Mediterranean Herbs — *****(5)
  • Barbecue — ******** (8)
  • Brazilian Mango and Chile — **** (4)
  • Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Cheese and Onion — *** (3)
  • English Cheese on Toast — ***** (6)
  • Goldies Bacon Extreme. Bacon – *(1)
  • Goldies Extreme – *****(5)
  • Greek Salsa — **** (4)
  • Handy Snacks Cyprus Potato Chips Vinegar and Oregano – *** (3)
  • Lay’s Baked Barbecue potato chips – ***** (5)
  • Lay’s Cream Cheese and Bacon – ******(6)
  • Lays Greek Salad Flavor – ****(4)
  • Lay’s Heinz Ketchup flavored – **(2)
  • Lays Cider Vinegar – **** (4)
  • Lays Lasagna Flavored chips – ****** (6)
  • Lays Mozzarella and Pesto flavored — ******** (8)
  • Lays Mushrooms in Cream – ***(3)
  • Lays Sensations – Japanese Teriyaki – *****(5)
  • Lays Smokey Bacon – ****(4)
  • Lays Sour Cream and Black Pepper – ****(4)
  • Mama’s sundried tomato and basil chips -***(3)
  • Mediterranean Herb — ****** (6)
  • Mexican Peppers and Cream — ******** (8)
  • Oregano — ******** (8)
  • Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme — **** (4)
  • Prawn Cocktail — ********** (10)
  • Quavers with Cheese — ******* (7)
  • Salt and Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Thai Sweet Chile — ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Bacon and Cheese Flavoured Chips – * (1)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Florina Peppers Flavor – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Graviera Cheese Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Ketchup and Mustard – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Mytilene Sea Salt Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Oregano – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Vinegar Flavour – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Santorini Tomato Flavor – ******** (8)
  • Tzatziki — * (1)

RSM

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Settling In

rainy dayWe began work at the apotheke yesterday. It went as it usually does, a little chaotic. Some of it involves arranging things that have been in storage and plugging in things. We also set up the portable XRF station and checked to see if it worked correctly and had not been knocked out of whack by the trip – like my rolling duffle which had a wheel almost torn off. It was a pretty good start to the work at Polis. I also gave a short ceramics talk to Amy’s students – which is always fun to to do. It involves ramble on and pass around different sherds as a show and tell. For dinner we went out to one of the two places (Yiolos) that have great views of the sunset, but it was really cloudy last night and not spectacular at all. When I woke up this morning, it was raining – during my first fifteen summers on Cyprus it rained on me twice – neither for longer than five minutes and now it has rained on me three of the last four years. On the bright side, the weather is expected to be cooler over the next few days with temperatures in the low to mid 70s with rain every day.

RSM

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