The Helike Project 2020 -- Call for Volunteers

Excavations at Helike, Greece

August 03 September 04, 2020



General Information

The Helike Project is recruiting students and volunteers to take part in field work and laboratory practice at Helike in Achaia, Greece, during five weeks in the summer of 2020. Participants must be 18 or older.

Helike is located on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth, about 7 km southeast of Aigion (see map). The Helike Project is managed by The Helike Society (Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou, President) and the Geology Department of the University of Patras, with field work under a permit from the Greek Ministry of Culture.

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2020 Season

The Helike Project will accept students and volunteers for a minimum period of two weeks between August 03 and September 04, 2020.

The main focus of the fieldwork will be carried out at the Hellenistic and Geometric sites discovered by the Helike Project in recent years. Surveying with GNSS-Global Navigation Satellite System will be continued in the major Helike area to map the archaeological record of the Helike sites ranging from the Early Bronze Age to Late Roman times. Laboratory work includes large scale conservation, classification and recording of excavation finds from the Early Helladic, Geometric-Archaic, Classical-Hellenistic and Roman Helike sites. Conservation work for the protection of important monuments discovered will also take place at the extraordinary Hellenistic industrial site of fulling, dyeing and weaving activities, consisting of workshop areas and domestic quarters, containing well preserved foundation walls and a large array of constructions such as vats, clay and plastered structures, rare storage vessels, well-built pebbled floor deep and shallow tanks and other specialized findings.

There are no pre-requisites for participation in the expedition. All instruction is by professionals in the field and in the lab. Volunteers may participate in various phases of the work, including site cleaning and conservation, pottery and other finds conservation and archaeology/geology studies in the conservation lab, as determined by the Project Director. They are expected to work Monday to Friday, with weekends free for rest or excursions in the region.

Participants should prepare by reading on the history of ancient Greece in general and on this region in particular. See, under The Helike Society Publications; also relevant articles of Dora Katsonopoulou and associates can be accessed at The Helike Project will issue certificates of participation for participants on request.

Participants can make their choice for a standard accommodation with 2 persons per room, or for an individual room. The minimum period of stay is two weeks. Payment for accommodation and participation is made to The Helike Society, is tax-deductible and covers hotel room for a seven-day week, breakfast and dinner for a five-day week, plus some Helike Project expenses. Payment will be accepted in advance or on arrival in Greece. Should the field season be canceled, the Project will refund the full contribution. For information on payments please contact the Secretary of the Helike Society, Mrs. Maria Karvela at  



All participants are responsible for their own health and accident insurance and will be asked to sign a waiver of liability (click  here for the text). They should bring their own supply of sunscreen/block, first aid items (band-aids, Neosporin and Cortisone cream recommended), and any prescription drugs they may need.

Anyone having a problem with drugs or alcohol, or a communicable disease, should not apply and will be asked to leave.


Weather, Dress & Supllies

The summer weather at the site is often hot, and temperatures may exceed 38C (100F). Most evenings are comfortably cool. Water temperature in the Gulf of Corinth is perfect for swimming. Expect mostly bright sunshine. Dress is informal. Participants are advised to bring the following:  

sun hat (essential)  
spare glasses/sunglasses if needed  
work clothes  
work gloves 
sturdy shoes/sneakers  
street clothes for weekends  
shoulder bag or backpack  
bathing suit and beach towel  
personal toiletry articles  
notebook, pencils & pens  
reading material


Daily Schedule (Monday - Friday)

07.30            breakfast  
08.00            depart for field/lab  
08.30-11.30  excavations/labwork  
11.30-12.00  light meal

12.00-14.30  resume excavations/labwork 
15.00            return to hotel
20.00            dinner


Hotel and Meals

Participants stay at the Hotel Themisto, at the center of  the village of Nikolaiika. Dinner five days a week (Monday-Friday) is arranged by the Project in a nearby seaside restaurant, pre-paid by the contribution. The fine pebble beach at Nikolaiika allows opportunity to relax during free time and on weekends.



Participants arrange their own transportation to and from Greece. Information regarding transportation between Athens and Nikolaiika is provided at 


Instructions to the Helike site

Helike is on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth in Achaia, about 180 km west of Athens. Volunteers will stay at the Hotel Themisto in the village of Nikolaiika, about 7 km southeast of Aigion. To travel from Venizelos International Airport in Athens to Nikolaiika, you can go by bus, train or rental car.

By bus:

Take Bus #93 from the Airport terminal to the KTEL/Kifissos bus station in Athens . This express bus leaves the Airport every 35-40 minutes, takes about 1 hour, and costs about 5 euros. Or you can take a taxi to the Kifissos bus station (about 35 to 50 euros, depending on luggage and traffic). At the Kifissos station, buy a ticket for Aigion (Egion), about 15 euros. The Aigion bus leaves every hour and takes about 2 hours 15 minutes. From Aigion, take a taxi to the Hotel Themisto in Nikolaiika (about 10 euros).

By rental car:

For optimal mobility, you may want to rent a car at the Airport (or in Athens). Additional vehicles are always useful at the Helike site. At the Airport, go to the Greek National Tourist Agency desk and ask for a map and directions to the Corinth/Patras National Road . From the Airport, follow the signs for Athina (Athens) and Elefsina until you come to the turnoff for Lamia and Peiraias. Take the road toward Peiraias until you come to the turnoff for Korinthos (Corinth). Turn right and follow the signs for Korinthos for about an hour. This will become a toll road. When you approach Korinthos , follow the signs for Patra (Patras). After about another hour, leave the toll road at the Diakofto/Kalavryta exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left and again left, to continue west (toward Diakofto) along the old coast road. Drive for about 10 km to Nikolaiika. Immediately after the community square and the church in Nikolaiika turn left. The hotel Themisto is right on the old road only one block from the community square and the church in Nikolaiika. The drive from the airport to Nikolaiika takes about 3 hours.

Road signs in Athens can be confusing, so pay close attention. Greece has a high accident rate, so drive carefully.  

View Directions to Hotel Themisto, Nikolaiika in a larger map


Telephone numbers:

Before leaving Athens, if you have any essential questions, you can contact us in Nikolaiika by telephone at 693-702-6588 (mobile). The Hotel Themisto telephone is +30-26910-81888.



The mailing address for volunteers during their stay is:

Hotel Themisto  
Nikolaiika Aigion 25100


Count on at least a week for a letter from the USA to reach this address. Hotel Themisto telephone: ++30-26910-81888, fax: 81990

Internet access is available at the hotel and the Helike lab.


Helike Project Telephones  

Prof. Dora Katsonopoulou, Project Director
Mobile phone:6937026588


Helike Project E-MAIL  


Application Procedure

 Please submit the attached application form (also in ms word format) and waiver form (above) electronically at, Mrs. Maria Karvela and/or Ms. Eleni Georgiou including registration fee of 60. Applications should be sent the latest by July 15.

Openings are limited. We will process applications in the order received, and notify you regarding acceptance as soon as possible.