2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


CHAPIN, Anne P., Fine Arts, Brevard College, 400 N. Broad St, Brevard, NC 28712, REYNOLDS III, James H., Division of Environmental Studies, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, Brevard College, 400 N Broad St, Brevard, NC 28712-3498 and BAUSLAUGH, Robert A., Social Sciences, Brevard College, 400 N. Broad St, Brevard, NC 28712, chapin@brevard.edu

Brevard College's GEOL 270 takes an interdisciplinary approach to exposing students to field study. The course is titled Field Study in Geology: and varies in subtitle. In 2005 the subtitle was Geology and Archaeology of the Mediterranean Basin. Team taught by a geologist and two classical archaeologists, students receive lab science credit toward fulfillment of the Core Curriculum. During the semester, class meets for one 2-hour session each week. Students present research on ancient Mediterranean cultures and their interactions with the geological environment. At semester's end, the class goes on a 2-3 week field trip to visit sites of one of the cultures. After the trip, students prepare web pages about their experiences. Students receive an incomplete in the course until the web page is completed.

Course Enrollment varies between 15-20 students, ~3% of Brevard's student body. Students arrange their own flights with variable return dates. Field trip hotels and travel are arranged through in-country travel agents. Daily food allowances cover student meals. Faculty expenses and stipends are included in the program fee.

The 2005 trip went to Athens and the Greek islands of Crete, Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos, and Delos. A highlight of Crete was a hike through the Samaria Gorge, a 2.6 km descent from mountaintop to seashore over a 17 km distance. Visits to the Skoteino Cave and Diktean Cave, the birthplace of Zeus, integrated Greek mythology and religion with the local geological environment. Our time on Santorini included visits to Akrotiri, the “Greek Pompeii” and to other islands in the group. On Naxos, visits were made to two ancient quarries from which the largest known marble statues were extracted. From Mykonos, the group visited the sacked Sanctuary of Apollo on Delos. Field topics included types of ancient building stone, Aegean tectonics, karst geology, Minoan archaeology, paleoseismology, Theran volcanism and tsunamis, and sources of obsidian and Bronze Age metals.

The Greek trip undertook new research with student participation. Attempts were made to establish paleoseismic vectors from earthquake field evidence found at Minoan sites. We also measured the orientation of major walls for possible archeoastronomic significance. Surprising outcomes in these endeavors instigated numerous student discussions.