Tracking Re-cycling: Archaeological and Anthropological Survey in the Habitat of Xanthi Region-Thrace (Κ.Ε.16337)

Acronym: TRAASH

Principal Investigator (PI): Eurydice Kefalidou, Assistant Professor in Classical Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 

Host Institution: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Cooperative Organization: Ephorate of Antiquities of Xanthi

Funding Institution: The research work was supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) under the “First Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty members and Researchers and the procurement of high-cost research equipment grant” (Project Number: 2452)


In the last decades we have a continuous encouragement to “Τhink Green” and to recycle, upcycle, reuse, reduce waste and repurpose a variety of objects, which could be called a ‘secondary use’ of materials. The Research Programme TRAASH is based on the view that this secondary use, their disposal and taking them out of circulation emphasizes the biography of the objects and their makers. The region of Xanthi as a case study allows the diachronic analysis, from Prehistory until modern times, of how all these practices were and are used by various cultural groups, such as the Greeks colonists and the indigenous Thracians in Antiquity or, later, the modern rural communities. However, all these practices are not restricted to material culture but they are applicable to landscapes and concepts, while they have a deeper impact in human societies and cultures, both modern and ancient. The changing patterns of landscape (natural and human-induced) exploitation and of the locally available natural resources can provide a footprint of how distinct cultural groups acted through time. The diachronic analysis of all these parameters (material culture, landscape, natural resources) in the area of Xanthi will allow the understanding of broader social and cultural interchanges within an often neglected geographical area. It will also highlight the ways which people diachronically used in order to extend (or reduce) the lifetime of objects, landscapes and ideas, which were bearers of various meanings and reflect the mentality, the individual and group identity, memory, and cult. Within the framework of the current research programme experienced specialists and young researchers will actively participate in order to collect archaeological, historical, ethnoarchaeological and other types of data that will formulate a paradigm of environmental and material sustainability for immediate or future application in modern societies.