Sites visited: Numismatic Museum, Acropolis, Wiener Lab at ASCSA
Leaders: Shania and Herr Frankel
To Whom It May Concern:
We write to you today to tell you about our experience on May 30th. Our day commenced with a visit to the numismatic museum of the Greek state. We met a very learned man named Panagiotis, who makes numismatics his area of study. The museum was the old house of the well-known Heinrich Schliemann, a man who did not make numismatics his study. After the numismatic museum of the Greek state we made the walk to the Acropolis, where we were granted permission to enter into the interior of the building on that outcrop. Then we went to the Wiener Laboratory, where another man by the name of Michailidis (also not a numismatist), gave us another tour. We saw some stratigraphy, some archeobotany, and some anthrakology (not numismatics, but charcoal studies). Then the day ended and reparations were made to the hotel. Thank you for giving this missive your attention, and please take it under consideration.
Shania Kee and Max Frankel
Sites Visited: Temple of Aphaia and Kolona, Aegina
Leaders: Nat and Tim
We took the Flying Dolphin from Piraeus to Aegina this morning and paid a visit to the Temple of Aphaia, an early classical structure that has been the subject of significant debate over its sculptural program – its west pediment housed sculpture in the earlier Archaizing style while its east was filled with sculpture done in the later Severe style. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Aphaia, who was granted divinity by Artemis and is often syncretized with the mountain goddess Britomartis and with Artemis herself. We also took the opportunity to pose as the sculptures in one of the pediments before stopping into the nearby museum.
Our other stop for the day was at Kolonna, a settlement that is home to a Temple of Apollo of which a singular column still stands – the namesake of the site. Corridor houses here from the Early Bronze Age suggest the development of complex administration during this period, and ceramics made here are easily identifiable by the biatite (gold micah) present in their clay. After finishing up with our academics for the day, we did our best to stay out of the overcast weather and spent a few hours exploring the town before riding the Flying Dolphin back home.
Peace and love,
Nat and Tim
Sites: Orchomenos, Gla, Thebes
Leaders: Dan Pomerantz and Saphfire Brown
Hello, gla-dies and gla-ntlemen!
Today was not great, nor was it horrible. It was just kind of gla. Just kidding, today was actually pretty cool. We started at a big Bronze Age site called Orchomenos, which had a huge tomb. Apparently, the place used to be pretty gla-morous (sorry, we’ll stop now. Maybe), but some looters got in. Hard to guard all of your treasure when you’re dead, we guess. There was also a theater, a palace-like thing (pretty much just some rocks in piles), and a church almost entirely built out of recycled material (think column drums, statue bases, etc.). We were gla-d to see it.
Next, we went to the scene of the crime. Gla. By this point, we were fresh out of terrible Gla puns and spent our time trying not to get stabbed by plants or hit by cars. Did we mention that we had our lecture in the middle of the road? It was the only place safe from the plants! Most of us braved the jungle for a quick gla-nce at the walls of Gla, but they were about the opposite of gla-m.
Last, we stopped at the Thebes museum, which had a gi-gla-ntic collection of all things Greek. After a couple of hours learning, we gla-ded onto the bus for the trip back to Athens!
Gla 1, Gla 2, and Gla flock
Sites Visited: Delphi
Leaders: Grace and Barg
Salutations Progenitors, Other Kinsmen, and Personal Associates,
Today we explored the prepossessing archeological site of Delphi, prominent for its prognosticator that foretold the futures of many of ancient Greece’s unsettled decision makers. We commenced the day tardy at 12:00 PM at the remnants of the Temple of Athena Pronaia and its surrounding structures. We then clambered up the rise towards the entry of the focal quarter of the site.
Using the thesaurus is taking too long, I apologize. Anyways, as we climbed we admired the treasuries of each of Greece’s great city states. Athens’ treasury was certainly one of the most beautiful. We then reached a large flat area built into the slope where the Temple to Apollo still stands. Apollo was the primary deity worshipped at Delphi, and the famous oracle would have received people inside the large stone temple.
We continued our ascent, ending our tour of the site with the theatre and stadium. We then climbed down and learned more about what we just had seen by visiting the museum. The museum had a lot of the sculpture that once decorated the buildings at Delphi. The sculpture was truly amazing, and rivaled any monumental sculpture we have seen to date.
After that, we were all pooped. Definitely the hardest half-day we’ve had so far!
Fervently and with a thesaurus,
Barg n’ Caldwell
Sites Visited: Olympia Archaeological Museum, Museum of the History of Olympics, Patras Archaeological Museum
Leaders: Shania and Bodek
Today was one of those days in which we spent the majority of our time on the bus. We woke up this morning in Olympia, where we went to two cool museums. We then grabbed a quick lunch and hopped on the bus to begin the long journey to Delphi. After driving for two hours, the one-lane highway became a two-lane highway and we reached Patra, a place almost nobody has heard of. In Patra, we stopped at an incredibly large and well-funded museum that contained a lot of mosaics. However, the museum was virtually empty and we were the only ones there.
We then continued our journey to Delphi, and crossed a relatively new bridge that took us over the Gulf of Corinth and cut several hours off of what would have otherwise been an unbearably long drive. On the other side of the bridge, the two-lane highway morphed back into a one-lane highway, and we drove on for another two hours. The bus then climbed into the mountains and we reached Delphi. The city is built onto a cliffside, and it has a lot of narrow streets that increase in elevation as one gets further from the center of town. After witnessing our bus driver Spiros execute some of the most impressive three-point turns in history, we settled into our hotel and prepared for a quiz.
Your visitors to the oracle,
Bodek, Kee, and the others
Sites Visited: Peristeria and Olympia
Leaders: Ben and Vic
Today, we started with a brief detour to the town of Pylos, and then proceeded to get on with the archaeology at Peristeria. This site also supposedly had lots of sneks, but they were sneaky and we saw no sneks. We did see a very large bee, which some of us mistook for a beetle, and a beetle, which some of us mistook for a bee. The archaeology itself was pretty dope, and we spend a lot of time in awe at the huge corbelled tholos tomb at the top of the hill. A few predictable bad jokes later, we were back on the bus and on our way to Olympia.
Once at the town of Olympia, we had a few minutes to check in and get food before heading to the sanctuary site to receive a lecture from Robert Pritz, a grad student working in the museum. Some of us still hadn’t had enough though, even after a few hours around the site, and went back for more. Olympic races were recreated, memories made, some were even good memories. All in all it was a pretty great day.
Sorry for cheating in the games, Zeus
-Ben and Vic
Sites Visited: Pylos and Chora Museum
Leaders: Nat and Frankel
It’s us again, Max “Nissan Maxima” Frankel and Nathalie “Condé Nath: Traveler” Ferneau. Today we went to The Palace of Nestor at Pylos. We were told to watch out for snakes. I, Max Frankel, killed several. I wore their skins as trophies, as Herakles wore the Nemean Lion. I turned their cold-blooded veins to ice, and the Snake King offered peace, in order to reclaim his dead, but I refused, and the snakes feared the sound of my footfall… Just kidding! We didn’t actually see any snakes. Well that’s not strictly true. We did see some roadkill…
But, we did get to see the current excavations going on at Pylos. Liz, a Dartmouth ‘13, and Classics FSP Alum, is digging at Pylos and she showed us her trench. Cool stuff! Tim Shea just wanted to hop into a trench and start diggin’. Maybe we all did…
Anyways, we then got a tour of the awesome Mycenaean palace from the Head Honcho, “El Patrón”, the helmsman, the Chef de Cuisine, Jack L. “the Jackal” Davis. (that is not his nickname- Nat) (yeah, it’s actually ‘the Jackalope’- Max) (no, we don’t know if he has a nickname or not. If he does, it is certainly not ‘the jackalope’- Nat). It was really cool to see Pylos not just because it’s a massive palatial site but also because Professor Hruby also excavated there and did some very cool stuff with party pots. After we explored the site, we headed to the nearby museum that contained all the cool finds from Pylos. There was lots of very cool material, among other things pots.
Did You Know: Hippopotamus is Greek for river horse!
Hungy! Hungy! Hungy!
Sites Visited: Nichoria, Bassai, and Lepreon
Leaders: Tim and Saphfire
Today was an action–packed day of travel and archaeology. We departed from Kalamata in the morning and drove out to Nichoria, a Mycenaean settlement that flourished from 1400–1200 BCE. Nichoria is most famous for its huge tholos tomb where a hoard of carnelian and agate seals were found, but it was also a fully–functional secondary center for the Mycenaean palace at Pylos.
Our most important stop of the day was at Bassai, the home of the famous Temple of Apollo Epikourios (Apollo the Helper) from the 5th century BCE. This temple is utterly unique in the Greek world, with a freestanding Corinthian column – possibly the first of its kind – in its cella, an elongated 6–by–15 column layout, Doric columns on its exterior, engaged Ionic columns on its interior, and an interior frieze depicting a Centauromachy scene that we saw at the British Museum at the start of the FSP. Dr. Konstantinos Papadopoulos was generous enough to give us a tour on his name day, and he radiated enthusiasm the whole time.
We wrapped up our day at Lepreon, a settlement that flourished during the Classical and Hellenistic periods and was home to a Temple to Demeter and a Temple to Zeus, the latter of which was discovered with evidence of human sacrifice. After a last, brief trip on the bus, we arrived at Gialova for an evening of rest before our day off tomorrow.
Tim and Saphfire
Tholos tomb at Nichoria
Temple of Apollo at Bassai
Temple of Demeter at Lepreon
Sites Visited: Ancient Messene, Archaeological Museum at Messene, Arcadian Gate
Leaders: Dan and Grace
Today, we took a trip out to the Hellenistic/Roman site of Ancient Messene. We spent a couple of hours on a scavenger hunt through the site, looking for the remains of different buildings. Some of these buildings, like the gymnasium, were used for almost 400 years in antiquity, while others are apparently still used today! One other, that is. The stadium at Messene hosted the All-Greek Youth Olympic Games today (just kidding, we have no idea what the event was or why it was held here, but as we walked into the site we were followed by hundreds of children who all went down to the stadium for something or other). Each of us also chose a building of interest to photograph in depth in an attempt to understand and explain its importance to the ancient Greeks.
After the site itself, we took a quick trip to the Messene museum and saw some of the finds from the site. These included lots of clay lamps and some marble statuary from sanctuaries to Artemis and Asklepios at Messene. Last, we jaunted over to the Arcadian gate, a huge gate in the city’s wall which protected the trade road out to Arcadia. The circular gate was about 20 meters (roughly 65 feet!) in diameter, and the road through it is still in use. Then it was back to Kalamata for more olives!
Dan, Grace, and the crew
We made a new friend at Ancient Messene
Sites Visited: Kalamata museum
Leaders: Max Barg and Shania Kee
This morning we got to sleep in, and we left Sparta for Kalamata at 11 AM, arriving just after noon. We then spent the next two and half hours at the Archaeological Museum of Messenia here in Kalamata.
The museum was relatively small, but had tons of cool stuff inside. It essentially held all of the best archeological finds from the surrounding area. My favorite stuff (Max) was the drinking vessels from the Palace of Nestor, a Mycenaean palace located about 50 km from Kalamata. It looks like the Mycenaeans knew how to throw a party. I (Shania) thought the coolest thing was a seahorse votive figurine from a sanctuary of Poseidon in Akovitika.
After the museum, we hopped back on the bus to drive to our hotel in Kalamata. Close to three, most of us were hungry. We spent the afternoon grabbing some grub and exploring the coastal city.
That’s all folks,
MB and SK