The French School at Athens' (EfA) archaeological excavations on the island of Thassos will be presented in a photography exhibition that opens on Friday in the new wing of the Archaeological Museum in Kavala, marking the 100 years of the EfA's excavations on Thassos.
The Ecole Francaise d'Athenes (EfA) is one of the 17 foreign archaeological institutes operating in Greece, and indeed the oldest, founded in 1846.
The exhibition, co-organised by the EfA and Greece's 18th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquity, will run for two months.
Founded in 1846, EfA is the oldest foreign institute in Athens and its early foundation -- which is still a source of considerable prestige -- is seen as culturally connected with French philhellenism and politically with the French East Mediterranean strategy of the time, shortly after the birth of the modern Greek state.
Its interest in the antiquities of Thassos was strong from early on, with study beginning in 1911 when Thassos was still under Ottoman rule, and has continued undisrupted from the island's liberation to the present.
The EfA operates an active programme of research in all fields of Greek studies, with the primary focus in archaeology, epigraphy and Classical Studies, while its library holds 80,000 volumes, 550,000 photographs and 35,000 maps.
The exhibition presents a plethora of archive photographs of great interest on the history of the archaeological exploration of the island.
The photographic and informational material is organised into thematic units, presenting the activity of the EfA and the important researchers who conducted studies of the island, as well as the literary work that emerged in the 100 years of excavations on the island.
The photographic display is further enriched with a relatively small but very important exhibition of ancient artifacts dug up in the EfA's excavations on Thassos, which are stored at the Archaeological Museum of Thassos, as well as precious documents from the Historical Archive of the EfA recording the first steps of the archaeological research on the island of Thassos.
Also, a film from the archives of the Archaeological Museum of Thassos will be screened throughout the exhibition, presenting the history of the island and the important role it played in antiquity.
In the 165 years since its foundation, the EfA has been involved in many important archaeological projects in Greece, including the excavations at Philippi, Dikili Tash, the Samothrace temple complex, Delphi, Argos, Delos, Malia and Itanos, apart from Thassos, as well as Amathus in Cyprus.