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Messiah Students Unearth Ancient History

David Pettegrew, assistant professor of history
David Pettegrew

Nine Messiah students from the history and art departments along with Assistant Professor of History David Pettegrew are digging up pieces of the past, literally. The group, as part of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project, is in Cyprus, taking part in a three-week archaeological dig.  The dig is part of a growing trend of utilizing archaeology as a service to communities.

CyprusTime Travel

The team is working on three sites off the south coast of Cyprus excavating an area that dates back to the Late Bronze Age (1200 BC), Classical period (480 BC-330 BC), and the Late Roman period (AD 330-AD 650).  Combined, the coastline is a historical refuge for Cyprus’ role in economic, political, and cultural relationships with other areas in the ancient Mediterranean.

An International Alliance

Students from Messiah are joined by graduate and undergraduate students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of North Dakota, University of Toronto, and the University of Edinburgh in investigating this historical Roman harbor town.

Experience HistoryCyprus

In past field explorations, students have found ancient settlements and artifacts and even a few sarcophaguses complete with skeletons.

To Learn More:
Learn more about their archaeological adventures by following both the students’ and leaders’ blogs. The group is one of the first Mediterranean archaeological projects to blog from the field.  The blogs capture every day experiences from members of the team.

You can also see photos of the project team at

Get to know members of the team and see the work in action through their YouTube channel.

Article written by: Erin Kriner ’10

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