Archaeology professor wins site preservation award

Donald Haggis, professor of classical archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received a 2012 Best Practices in Site Preservation Award from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

Haggis and his colleague, Margaret Mook of Iowa State University, were recognized for their work in co-directing the Azoria Project on the island of Crete, the largest island in Greece.

The AIA is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization.

The Azoria Project focuses on the excavation of an Early Iron Age-Archaic site. It explores the processes of urbanization and state-formation in the Early Iron Age and early Archaic period (ca. 1200-600 BC).

The organization praised the Azoria archaeologists, stating that their “exemplary work … confirms that site preservation and excavation should go hand-in-hand.” The project was recognized for assuring the stabilization of exposed remains, while withstanding pressures from year-round visitation.

From the early stages of excavation, Haggis and Mook enlisted the services of local specialists to stabilize and conserve the architecture being exposed in the excavation. In addition to their conservation efforts, the professors worked to publish their research and share their findings with local communities.

Haggis is the Nicholas A. Cassas Term Professor of Greek Studies in the department of classics, and an adjunct professor in the curriculum in archaeology, both in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

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