We’re Off to Sardis

June 5, 2021

The 2021 season at Sardis will soon begin. Baha, Teoman, Nick, and others have been working with colleagues at the Harvard Art Museums and have sought guidance from Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Faculty Oversight Committee for the Sardis Expedition, Harvard Global Support Services, and with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey to develop plans for a safe and productive season, We now have approval from all parties to travel to the site and begin work. The team will be about half its usual size; with masking, social distancing, alfresco dining, regular testing through a local hospital, and the majority of team members now fully vaccinated, we are confident that we can carry out fieldwork without undue risk. On the agenda this summer: further excavation at Fields 49 and 55, the Lydian palace and Roman sanctuary and houses; three-dimensional documentation of blocks from the largest Roman arch in the world; site conservation on the acropolis; conservation of finds from past seasons; research on an assortment of finds, from tiny gems to huge sculptures; and the construction of a shelter over the synagogue to protect this iconic building from further damage. Work on publications, such as the final report on the synagogue, will continue from home. For those of you traveling this summer, we regret that we cannot host visitors—but we hope to see you in a future season. We will of course keep you informed about developments during the summer, and we remain most thankful for your support.

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