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