It’s a damp Thursday morning on a Greek hillside in May 2015, and two archaeologists are excavating an apparently unpromising site close to the world-famous Palace of Nestor. Part of a team from the University of Cincinnati, the researchers have dug a three-foot hole in the unyielding clay – but they have nothing to show for their labor. However, then something entirely unexpected appears: the unmistakable green of bronze. Was this, then, the start of a hugely significant find?
The two archaeologists were Alison Fields and Flint Dibble – members of a team of more than 30 experts from the Ohio-based university and led by married couple Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis. And even though Stocker had been exploring this area for 25 years, in 2015 things hadn’t been going swimmingly.
The team had originally selected a site in the Nestor Palace area that they believed might yield some interesting finds. But Greek government red tape, worsened by an untimely national lawyers’ strike, had conspired to render the area off-limits.