THE BREVARD COLLEGE FIELD TRIP TO ATHENS, CRETE, AND THE CYCLADIC ISLANDS: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FOCUS ON GEOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY
After visiting the Acropolis and Agora in Athens, the group ferried to Crete and hiked the Samaria Gorge trail, visiting the medieval ruins of a village in the gorge and viewing evidence of earthquake, landslide, and debris flow hazards that afflict the site. Along the south coast of the island they explored Roman tombs carved into Neogene marls at Matala. Evidence of earthquake destructions were examined at Minoan sites at Phaistos, Ayia Triada, Knossos, Mochlos, and Rousalakos and religious ceremonial sites at the Skoteino Cave and Psychro/Diktean Cavealleged to be the birthplace of Zeus.
On Santorini, the group climbed the Nea Kameni volcano to view the Thera caldera from its center. Visiting the ruins of the active excavation at Akrotiri provided evidence of the magnitude of the Minoan eruption and earthquake damage that preceded the cataclysm. The students also visited the buried cinder cone exposed in the cliffs at Red Beach.
Naxos was visited to view ancient and modern Naxian marble quarries that continue to provide high quality white marble. Two ancient, broken kouros highlighted these visits. The group also explored the harborside stargate ruins and the labyrinth of streets in the medieval town. A similar town was visited on Mykonos which provided a base for the visit to island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Aphrodite and later a Roman free port that was eventually sacked by Turkish invaders.
Applying this interdisciplinary approach provided an opportunity for geological and archaeological field investigation to students whose majors are generally not in the sciences. Students gained insight into the historical connection between Geology and society: a perspective critical to appreciation of the importance of Geology in today's world.