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