Posted by: kathrynholroyd | June 6, 2013

End Statements and Portrait Galleries

Thanks to all of our loyal followers over the past 11 weeks! Click on each person’s name to be taken to their end statement and portrait gallery page.

Portrait photo credit: Zhenwei and Katie

Laurel Anderson

Catherine Baker

Hunter Black 

Catherine Darragh

Laura Hechtman 

Teddy Henderson

Emmanuel Kim 

Cara Labrador

Brett Losen

Margo Manocherian

Nina Montgomery

Zhenwei Mei

Cam Woodworth

Zack Wright 

Katie Holroyd

Paul Christesen

Jeremy Rutter

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Posted by: kathrynholroyd | June 4, 2013

Day 75: Sunday June 2nd

 

STAY TUNED for one last blog post featuring a photo gallery and final statement of each FSP member!!!

Sites visited: Marathon, Thorikos, Lavrion, Sounion

Group leaders: Teddy, Zhenwei

Blog: Emmanuel, Hunter

 

This is the end, the finale, the last day of class in Greece. It is very hard to overstate how monumental this accomplishment feels, and the group began the day in high spirits as we began to look back on the past 11 weeks.

The first stop was Marathon, one of the most important sites in Greek, and more specifically Athenian, history. Miss Katie started things off with a nice lecture about the battle and discussed what we know about the battle from both the primary sources such as Herodotus and the archeological evidence. For those of you who do not know, Marathon occurred during the first invasion of the Persians in 490 BCE with 9000 Athenians and 1000 Plataeans facing about 30000 Persians. This resulted in 203 Greek casualties (192 Athenians, 11 Plataeans) and 6400 Persian casualties. The Athenians effectively prevented the first Persian invasion in a single battle.

On site, there was not much to see except the tumulus for the Athenian casualties.  However, surrounding the area were several Mycenaean and Neolithic sites, and the group traveled to the local  museum to see the finds of the surrounding area. Among the finds was the Ionic capital commemorating the victory of the Athenians, Neolithic remains from a cave, several shaft graves, and the remains of an Egyptian cult popular during the Hellenistic period.

The next stop was Thorikos and Lavrion to see some very interesting Greek mines that possibly were in use during the Mycenaean period to produce large quantities of lead with some silver mixed in. Nestled in the hills were several shaft graves, a regular tholos, and an elliptical tholos tomb excavated by the Belgians. Lower on the site was the classical site complete with a trapezoidal theater and “washeries” to separate rock slag from the heavier lead and silver. Then, it was time for a quick trip into the hills to visit Lavrion and more mines. Since Lavrion was the site of the major Athenian silver strike of 484 that helped provide the funding for the Athenian navy, it was very interesting to see what was left of such a historically rich site.

The final site of the entire trip was Sounion. Sounion housed a temple to Athena, a small hero shrine and the Temple of Poseidon. The group took the time to do a final round of autopsy on the temple of Athena discovering a colonnade that only wrapped around the south and east sides.  Next up was the ship sheds that functioned as the heart of the Delian league to deliver news quickly to Athens or to travel around the Aegean collecting the yearly tribute.  These ship sheds were made of marble emphasizing their importance and showed the overall historical importance of Sounion as a site. Last up was the temple of Poseidon. One interesting fact of this temple is that Lord Elgin etched his name on this temple around the time he took the Parthenon sculpture back to England. The group took the time to take a final picture to commemorate the trip.

The group then took a relaxing break at the nearby café (with complementary beverages provided by Dartmouth) to remember these last 11 weeks before hoping on the bus to take the two hour long bus ride back into Athens for the last time. On the bus was a feeling of excitement as the group began to realize we had made it…finally. The bus arrived back at the hotel and everyone departed to get dinner and prepare to return home.

It has been an honor to participate in this trip, and, as the final bloggers, we would like to thank you for reading. Thank you PCC, Professor Rutter, and Katie for making this trip possible. We look forward to returning home, and we will never forget what we have learned here.

Hunter and Eman

The FSP gathers around Katie as she lectures on the famous Battle of Marathon.

The FSP gathers around Katie as she lectures on the famous Battle of Marathon.

A plan of the battlefield. The mound in the middle of the shore was where a large tumulus of the ashes of the fallen Athenians. Presumably, according to Professor Rutter, this might have been the place where the Athenians took the most casualties.

A plan of the battlefield. The mound in the middle of the shore was where a large tumulus of the ashes of the fallen Athenians. Presumably, according to Professor Rutter, this might have been the place where the Athenians took the most casualties.

Katie showing a diagram of the Greek forces enveloping the Persians at the turning point of the battle.

Katie showing a diagram of the Greek forces enveloping the Persians at the turning point of the battle.

The mound where the ashes of the fallen Athenians were buried.

The mound where the ashes of the fallen Athenians were buried.

The large trophy of victory (i.e. a huge Ionic column) that was erected by the Athenians near the edge of the large Northern swamp, where the Persians were slaughtered.

The large trophy of victory (i.e. a huge Ionic column) that was erected by the Athenians near the edge of the large Northern swamp, where the Persians were slaughtered.

The last ascent of the trip, near Thoriki.  This time we trekked up to see some early Mycenaean tombs and the early stages of the tholos tomb.

The last ascent of the trip, near Thoriki. This time we trekked up to see some early Mycenaean tombs and the early stages of the tholos tomb.

The group waiting as Professor Rutter searches for the round tholos tomb.

The group waiting as Professor Rutter searches for the round tholos tomb.

“Ouch!” It was a trap of thorn bushes.

“Ouch!” It was a trap of thorn bushes.

 Brett is dumfounded by the thought that this will be the last tholos tomb of the entire trip.

Brett is dumfounded by the thought that this will be the last tholos tomb of the entire trip.

The trapezoidal theatre at Thoriki, a major mining center in eastern Attica.

The trapezoidal theatre at Thoriki, a major mining center in eastern Attica.

One of the “washeries” at Thoriki. The circular flow of the pressured water would have washed impurities from the ore. Teddy is demonstrating how the cleaned pieces of ore would have been baked in the sun.

One of the “washeries” at Thoriki. The circular flow of the pressured water would have washed impurities from the ore. Teddy is demonstrating how the cleaned pieces of ore would have been baked in the sun.

Brett is exploring the mines of Thoriki.

Brett is exploring the mines of Thoriki.

Laurel standing behind a corbelled vault, which would have supported the upper stories of the theatre, aforementioned.

Laurel standing behind a corbelled vault, which would have supported the upper stories of the theatre, aforementioned.

Teddy and Margo sharing a tender moment at Lavrion next to one of the large cisterns, used for cleaning the ore.
Teddy and Margo sharing a tender moment at Lavrion next to one of the large cisterns, used for cleaning the ore.

 

 Catherine tosses a piece of silver ore that Professor Rutter found on site.

Catherine tosses a piece of silver ore that Professor Rutter found on site.

Professor Rutter, lecturing about the heron at Sounion that was placed next to the Temple to Athena (which strangely only had external colonnades on two sides of the temple). Cam wins timê points for pointing out that the building was distyle prostye in the eastern side.

Professor Rutter, lecturing about the heron at Sounion that was placed next to the Temple to Athena (which strangely only had external colonnades on two sides of the temple). Cam wins timê points for pointing out that the building was distyle prostye in the eastern side.

Professor Rutter demonstrating how the stone statue would have stood on this Eleusinian marble base.

Professor Rutter demonstrating how the stone statue would have stood on this Eleusinian marble base.

The group heads down to the shipsheds at Lavrion and passes by these quarters for the Athenian garrison that used to be stationed here in antiquity.

The group heads down to the shipsheds at Lavrion and passes by these quarters for the Athenian garrison that used to be stationed here in antiquity.

Laura’s diggin’ it.

Laura’s diggin’ it.

At the temple of Poseidon at Lavrion. The group listens to Professor Rutter’s final lecture of the FSP about the decorations on the steps of the temple.

At the temple of Poseidon at Lavrion. The group listens to Professor Rutter’s final lecture of the FSP about the decorations on the steps of the temple.

The group, moments after the very last lecture.

The group, moments after the very last lecture.

 

 

 

GROUP PICTURES: BEFORE AND AFTER

 

British Museum Before:

Before

 

Sounion After:

After 1After 2

 

Final Dinner at The Yellow Squirrel:

After 3After 4

 

 

 

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | June 4, 2013

Day 74: Saturday June 1st

Sites visited: Thermopylae, Kalapodhi, Archaeological Museum of Atalanti, Metrou, Lefkandi

Group leaders: Zack, Laurel

Blog: Teddy, Zhenwei

Today, when dawn with her rosy fingers shone once more, we woke up in our janky hotel in Volos ready for an 8 AM departure to Athens for our last few days in Greece (Insert sad face). We knew we had a long bus ride ahead of us, so everyone was hoping for a delicious nutritious breakfast spread. Alas, we were again disappointed. We found only cardboard chocolate bread and warm tang. Not every hotel can be the Victoria in Nafplion. Whatever. It got the job done, and we were all on to coach right on schedule.

After an hour and a half or so of uneventful driving we took a quick rest stop at a janky roadside joint where Cam became livid about the absurd prices of the inferior quality cookies. After he got a hold of himself (But not before almost causing a serious scene) we got back on the bus and Professor Rutter informed us we’d be arriving shortly at Thermopylae, site of the epic last stand of the Spartan 300 in 480 B.C. Everyone was understandably excited to see what is arguably one of the most important sites in the history of the Western World. Eman and Hunter were especially excited given their love for all things ancient and warfare-ey.

The site  caught us off-guard. When Professor Rutter told us we’d be making a quick stop many of us thought we were at yet another unpublished out-of-the-way Mycenaean palace site that only our man JR would know about. Instead, a rocky path lead up a small hillock at the top of which was not a Mycenaean palace but a small monument (cleverly paved with Lapis Lacadaemonius: a type of stone native to Spartan territory) erected to honor the memory of the Greeks who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae. At the center was a reproduction of the famous commemorative inscription that stood at the site in antiquity, attested by Pausanias. It reads (roughly): “Stranger, tell the Spartans we lie here, loyal to our words.” Or (more poetically): “Go tell the Spartans passerby, that here, loyal to our word we lie.” It was a very cool site, even though there was virtually nothing left in terms of archaeological remains and the topography has changed considerably since antiquity. What was once a narrow coastal mountain pass has been transformed by alluvial fill into a broad coastal plain. 300 Spartans would be hard pressed to hold the site nowadays. After some general tomfoolery around the statue of Leonidas at the bottom of the hillock and several train wreck group pictures (What else is new?) we were ready to get back on the road.

Our next site was Kalapodhi, where we were privileged enough to receive an insightful lecture from Dr. Rainer Felsch. Dr. Felsch has been excavating at the site since 1970, so obviously he knows a thing or two about the site. He believes in antiquity it was the oracle of Apollo at Abai , and he showed us a number of interesting pieces of evidence to support this theory. Although there is not much left at the site in terms of physical remains, it has produced some incredible finds over the years including an iron sword, Mycenaean seals, wall painting fragments from an archaic temple, and layers of habitation stretching from pre-palatial Mycenaean to late Roman times. Dr. Felsch informed us about them all. After a brief Q&A session and a big thank you for Dr. Felsch, it was back on the coach to continue our odyssey.

Our next stop was right nearby – the Archaeological Museum of Atalanti. The collection was pretty standard for small local museums – some Neolithic, some prehistoric, some Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman. Of particular interest was a Roman bronze lock that Dr. Felsch had mentioned at Kalapodhi. The real adventure of this stop, however, was Catherine D. getting locked in the bathroom. After a half hour of banging with a hammer and other assorted tools she was finally freed and was able to meet us in town for a quick gyro from a flustered purveyor of fine spinning meats.

After the museum it was off to Metrou, where Professor Rutter excavated from 2004-2008. We didn’t make it over to the site proper, which is on an island linked to land by a causeway exposed only at low tide, but certainly found the time to stop by one of Prof. Rutter’s old local haunts for a frappe. It’s where he watched the world cup with the locals! Wild times……

Our last stop before Athens was Lefkandi, to see the largest building (by far) to survive from the Greek Dark Age: the Lefkandi Heroon.  Built around 975 B.C., it’s about half as long as a football field. Its would not be equaled until the late archaic period (~600 B.C.). It was purposefully demolished shortly after its construction and a tumulus raised over it. Nobody knows exactly why! Although the remains are not substantial, there’s certainly enough left to appreciate how imposing the structure must have been in its heyday. After a brief lecture and a few minutes to walk about and ponder the structures’ mysterious history we were back on the bus for the last leg of our journey back to our home away from home: The Illisia hotel, Athens.

People examining the commemorative inscription at Thermoyplae, it is important to note that despite the good intentions, Prof. Rutter is the only one who can read it.

People examining the commemorative inscription at Thermoyplae, it is important to note that despite the good intentions, Prof. Rutter is the only one who can read it.

Normal group picture around the famous plaque on the fortified hill of Kolonos, Teddy states that he did not mean to ruin this picture.

Normal group picture around the famous plaque on the fortified hill of Kolonos, Teddy states that he did not mean to ruin this picture.

Not so normal group picture. The same statue of Leonidas has been featured from previous endeavors to Sparta.

Not so normal group picture. The same statue of Leonidas has been featured from previous endeavors to Sparta.

Waiting for the guard to come at Kalapodhi, Dr. Rainer Felsch lovingly runs his fingers across the fence.

Waiting for the guard to come at Kalapodhi, Dr. Rainer Felsch lovingly runs his fingers across the fence.

Dr. Felsch has a beautiful wife and a beautiful dog, who skittishly rushed around the field of the archaeological site as we were checking it out.

Dr. Felsch has a beautiful wife and a beautiful dog, who skittishly rushed around the field of the archaeological site as we were checking it out.

Group taking notes in front of a pile of shards.

Group taking notes in front of a pile of shards.

We can see the impression of a column drum on an echinus .

We can see the impression of a column drum on an echinus .

Taking a peak under the tent, which will be taken out in a week for continuing excavation.

Taking a peak under the tent, which will be taken out in a week for continuing excavation.

The stone edge and ramp of the Archaic period.

The stone edge and ramp of the Archaic period.

This looks like a negotiation, but it’s just three archaeological guys.

This looks like a negotiation, but it’s just three archaeological guys.

Teddy is a magician and practices his ladybug magic tricks

Teddy is a magician and practices his ladybug magic tricks

 

Catherine D pointing out the most hated plant of the FSP, these purple things that have way too many vicious spikes. This is before she got locked in the bathroom in our next destination, maybe the plant has evil mythical power too.

Catherine D pointing out the most hated plant of the FSP, these purple things that have way too many vicious spikes. This is before she got locked in the bathroom in our next destination, maybe the plant has evil mythical power too.

Catherine D locked in the bathroom of Archaeological Museum of Atalanti, which has an iron door which took power tools to open.

Catherine D locked in the bathroom of Archaeological Museum of Atalanti, which has an iron door which took power tools to open.

Catherine D is free and relieved.

Catherine D is free and relieved.

In the museum, Prof. Rutter points out important finds.

In the museum, Prof. Rutter points out important finds.

Geometric depictions of ships combating each other, with dead people being eaten by the fish in the water.

Geometric depictions of ships combating each other, with dead people being eaten by the fish in the water.

The dynamics here are interesting.

The dynamics here are interesting.

Teddy examining the coins. #Classic #NERD

Teddy examining the coins. #Classic #NERD

Margo and Rutter checking out the giant iron lock found in Kalapodhi. Margo is unimpressed, as per usual. #Peons

Margo and Rutter checking out the giant iron lock found in Kalapodhi. Margo is unimpressed, as per usual. #Peons

Swinging at the site of Metrou.

Swinging at the site of Metrou.

Guys getting their drinks at the bar of Metrou, favorite of the archaeologists here, probably because it’s the only one.

Guys getting their drinks at the bar of Metrou, favorite of the archaeologists here, probably because it’s the only one.

The famous site of Lefkandi, tucked in an overgrown, very colloquial landscape, normal people’s houses are located right next to it.

The famous site of Lefkandi, tucked in an overgrown, very colloquial landscape, normal people’s houses are located right next to it.

Students of Schultz salute him with this picture in his favorite building.
Students of Schultz salute him with this picture in his favorite building.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | June 2, 2013

Day 73: Friday May 31st

Sites visited: Dimini, Volos, Pefkakia

Group leaders: Cam, Brett

Blog: Zack, Laurel

 

 

The FSP may be coming to an end in the next few days (a fact that hasn’t quite sunk in yet for many of us), but for now our days are still full of sites and excitement. After an interesting breakfast (“It’s like a United Airlines breakfast.” –Zhenwei) at the hotel in Thebes, we got on the bus and drove for a few hours to Volos, a town in Thessaly that was the largest port in modern Greece until 1954, when a catastrophic earthquake destroyed much of the town and the Piraeus in Athens became the primary port. On the way to Volos, we passed Thermopylae and Cape Artemisium, sources of particular excitement for several members of the group. For anyone unfamiliar with the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480-479 BCE, Thermopylae was the site of the last stand of the 300 Spartans led by Leonidas against the Persian army, and Artemisium was the site of a major Greek naval victory over the Persians at the same time. We’ll be stopping there on our way back to Athens on June 1st.

When we reached Volos, we made straight for the site of Dimini, just outside the modern town. Dimini is notable as one of the two major Neolithic sites in the area (along with Sesklo, which we could not visit due to time constraints), and for its Mycenaean remains. We were met at the site by Dr. Dimitra Rousioti, who started with a tour of the Neolithic remains. She pointed out the interesting layout of the settlement, consisting of six concentric walls arranged in pairs around a central, flat open area with a building facing the main entrance to the site. The building originally had two rectangular rooms, but was later modified to look like a Mycenaean megaron. Cist graves from the Middle Bronze Age were made at the site, as well as a small tholos built into the side of the hill of the settlement. This was an early clue that there was major Mycenaean activity in the area, and Dr. Rousioti also talked to us about the possible Mycenaean palatial sites in the area: Dimini, Palaia, and Pefkakia. This area is particularly significant to mythology enthusiasts as the site of ancient Iolkos was the home of Jason and the starting point of the quest for the Golden Fleece. Many of the local archaeologists want their site to be the palace of Jason.

After a quick investigation of the two tholoi at Dimini, we hopped back onto the bus and met Dr. Rousioti at the Volos Museum. We took a quick look at the beautifully-painted grave stelae of the Hellenistic town of Dimitrias, but the main foci of our visit were the Neolithic finds and the local, recently-excavated material. The museum featured some of the masterpieces of Neolithic art, including some fine examples of Dimini ware (Late Neolithic pottery with black or polychrome decoration on a light background, often with checkerboard or spiral patterns, for those keeping score at home), clay and stone figurines, and clay house models. The recent finds from the area were also both beautiful and interesting. The finds from the intact tholos at Dimini included mold-produced beads of gold and blue glass. Prof. Rutter told us that the glass is likely Egyptian, and the gold, according to Dr. Rousioti, was likely from the Black Sea, which corresponds nicely with the myth of the Golden Fleece (it was kept at Colchis, on the eastern shore of the Black Sea). Based on the local finds, which also included a Canaanite amphora and a vessel made of lead from Laurion in Attica, Dimini and the other Mycenaean sites were integrated into trade networks reaching throughout the Aegean and beyond.

We made a quick stop at Pefkakia, where Dr. Anthe Efstathiou, the director of the excavations, was waiting for us. Unfortunately, we had less than ten minutes at the site before the automatic alarm system went off at 3 pm, so she only had time to show us a few impressively-conserved pots, including an unusual three-handled kylix. We spent the rest of the afternoon with a light lunch (and dessert, of course) at the nearby beach, and then headed back into Volos for a night of working on a paper. Overall, it was a varied and interesting day!

 

The group anxiously waiting in line at the W.C. at Dimini after a 3-hour bus ride from Thebes to Thessaly.

The group anxiously waiting in line at the W.C. at Dimini after a 3-hour bus ride from Thebes to Thessaly.

Dr. Rousioti gives an overview of the Neolithic and Mycenaean settlements at Dimini.

Dr. Rousioti gives an overview of the Neolithic and Mycenaean settlements at Dimini.

Under a beautiful sky, the group follows Dr. Rousioti to the top of the Neolithic settlement.

Under a beautiful sky, the group follows Dr. Rousioti to the top of the Neolithic settlement.

Doctor J scrutinizes the information card about the megaron of the Neolithic settlement. He most likely spotted a mistake (as he often does in our papers) he is the king of all Bronze Age information.

Doctor J scrutinizes the information card about the megaron of the Neolithic settlement. He most likely spotted a mistake (as he often does in our papers) he is the king of all Bronze Age information.

Dr. Rousioti tells us about the development of the central building and how it changed over time into a megaron structure.

Dr. Rousioti tells us about the development of the central building and how it changed over time into a megaron structure.

Catherine D. pensively paces around the last room of the megaron while Laura ruins an otherwise nice picture.

Catherine D. pensively paces around the last room of the megaron while Laura ruins an otherwise nice picture.

The tholos tomb from the Mycenaean settlement. Fun fact: 10 years ago (80 years after the original excavation), the excavators found a skeleton in the relieving triangle above the lintel block. It could either be an unlucky grave robber or an intentional burial. No one will ever know.

The tholos tomb from the Mycenaean settlement. Fun fact: 10 years ago (80 years after the original excavation), the excavators found a skeleton in the relieving triangle above the lintel block. It could either be an unlucky grave robber or an intentional burial. No one will ever know.

J.R. thoughtfully looks off into the distance while Dr. Rousioti tells us interesting stories about the history of the tholos tomb.

J.R. thoughtfully looks off into the distance while Dr. Rousioti tells us interesting stories about the history of the tholos tomb.

Grave stele from Dimitrias, a Hellenistic town near the modern city of Volos. We appreciated the rich painting and the composition of the scene in contrast to the ones we saw at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. We were all thankful that we didn’t have the scheduled quiz on these differences due to our busy schedule.

Grave stele from Dimitrias, a Hellenistic town near the modern city of Volos. We appreciated the rich painting and the composition of the scene in contrast to the ones we saw at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. We were all thankful that we didn’t have the scheduled quiz on these differences due to our busy schedule.

The group gazes at a large map showing all the Neolithic settlements in Thessaly. It is not possible to see such closely spaced Neolithic sites anywhere else in Greece.

The group gazes at a large map showing all the Neolithic settlements in Thessaly. It is not possible to see such closely spaced Neolithic sites anywhere else in Greece.

Stratigraphy of the site at Sesklo reconstructed in the Volos Archeological Museum.

Stratigraphy of the site at Sesklo reconstructed in the Volos Archeological Museum.

A Bronze Age skull of the animal, Homo sapiens sapiens.

A Bronze Age skull of the animal, Homo sapiens sapiens.

Dr. Rousioti shows us a picture of the façade of an unusual tholos tomb. This tomb had a second lintel block on top of the relieving triangle, making it appear as if it had two stories.

Dr. Rousioti shows us a picture of the façade of an unusual tholos tomb. This tomb had a second lintel block on top of the relieving triangle, making it appear as if it had two stories.

Gold from the Black Sea found in a tholos tomb. This shows a connection between the area of Dimini and the eastern shore of the Black Sea.

Gold from the Black Sea found in a tholos tomb. This shows a connection between the area of Dimini and the eastern shore of the Black Sea.

Dr. Rousioti talks about a large lead storage vessel. Lead was a by-product of silver production and was common in the southern Aegean, and there are indications that this metal came from Laurion in Attica.

Dr. Rousioti talks about a large lead storage vessel. Lead was a by-product of silver production and was common in the southern Aegean, and there are indications that this metal came from Laurion in Attica.

Nina takes a seat next to a display of recently-excavated pottery from the area of Volos.

Nina takes a seat next to a display of recently-excavated pottery from the area of Volos.

Cam improvises a solution to the problem of a very late lunch, fashioning the lid of a yogurt container into a makeshift spoon.

Cam improvises a solution to the problem of a very late lunch, fashioning the lid of a yogurt container into a makeshift spoon.

Dr. Efstathiou shows us a rare three-handled kylix that was recently restored at Pefkakia. Prof. Rutter is particularly excited, since he found something similar on one of his excavations.

Dr. Efstathiou shows us a rare three-handled kylix that was recently restored at Pefkakia. Prof. Rutter is particularly excited, since he found something similar on one of his excavations.

View of the beautiful port city of Volos from Pefkakia.

View of the beautiful port city of Volos from Pefkakia.

Brett completely unpacks his frame pack to get his bathing suit from the bottom in anticipation of a little swimming time at the beach.

Brett completely unpacks his frame pack to get his bathing suit from the bottom in anticipation of a little swimming time at the beach.

Some of the group were inspired by this playground to attempt to experience the voyage of the Argo.

Some of the group were inspired by this playground to attempt to experience the voyage of the Argo.

Teddy, Nina, Brett, Hunter, and Cam relax in the shade, awaiting some refreshing ice cream.

Teddy, Nina, Brett, Hunter, and Cam relax in the shade, awaiting some refreshing ice cream.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | June 1, 2013

Day 72: Thursday May 30th

Sites visited: Thebes, Orchomenos, Gla

Group leaders: Laura, Catherine B.

Blog: Cam, Brett

 

 

Our day began with several members of the group ill or fighting illness. Laurel and Professor Rutter fought colds, while Teddy spent the day in a bathroom somewhere due to a nasty 24-hour virus. To put a further damper on things, we were back at Hotel Korinthos which is the proud holder of the “Worst Breakfast in Greece By A Lot” title for at least the last 7 weeks. However, it was yet another blue bird day in Greece, so it was hard for anyone to be too upset.

The first trip on the bus was rather long as we drove from Corinth (in the northern Peloponnese) up through Boetia to the modern city of Thebes. Interestingly enough, this is also the site of the ancient city of Thebes. We were fortunate to get a private tour of the archaeological museum at Thebes from Dr. Yiannis Fappas despite the fact that it’s closed to the public due to renovations. We’ve seen many museums by now, so it was interesting to see the exhibits in their “development stages”– think of pieces of archaic sculpture lying on the ground next to horns of consecration lying on the ground next to an exposed electrical outlet. Particularly notable was a glass floor (similar to the one at the Parthenon Museum) that provides a view down into the excavations of the fortification wall around the ancient city directly beneath the museum. We then got a tour of the storage rooms and got to see restoration work in progress, including a variety of Late Helladic I pottery (which excited Professor Rutter very much) and a massive wall painting from the Palace at Kadmeia. The work on the wall painting was particularly impressive, as every piece was retrieved from the rubble of the palace. The restoration team is recreating a processional scene that they have determined includes at least seven different women for which they have no general outine from which to work. It’s like trying to do a puzzle with half the pieces and no picture on the box.

After leaving the museum, we drove up to Orchomenos to look at yet another tholos tomb. This one is believed to have been based on the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae because it shares the exact same dimensions and plan. The most unique features of this one was the carving in the ceiling blocks of the side chamber. It also contains a later altar, as it was converted into an imperial cult site by the Romans… damn Romans.

We walked across the street for lunch next to a 9th century church (one of the oldest functioning churches in Greece). It made of spolea (the remains of past buildings), so it is interesting to try to pick out the familiar blocks we’ve seen in other buildings. Professor Rutter took the opportunity to quiz a few of our affiliated members on their knowledge of the Greek alphabet that appeared on an ancient sundial– no one was able to identify digamma, a letter that was used only in antiquity.

The final stop with our guide was a group of 14 chamber tombs on a hillside above the Copaic Basin. The plain was historically significant in itself because it was the scene of the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE (marking Philip II’s conquest of southern Greece) and the Battle of Kephissos (when a group of disgruntled Catalonian mercenaries slaughtered some knights and took their wives and kingdoms).

Professor Rutter then took us to Gla,  the last site of the day. Gla is surrounded by a massive cyclopean fortification wall that encloses an area roughly 20 times greater than the citadel at Mycenae. The whole overgrown with thornbushes and thick shrubbery, so we had to fight to see the remains of what was debateably a palace. The long day left everyone thoroughly tired but made the good water pressure in the showers at the hotel that much better.

Thanks for reading,

Cam and Brett

Zhenwei and Zack get fired up for our private tour of the archaeological museum in Thebes while it’s still in the renovation stage. Take note how Zhenwei bolted off the bus for a bathroom and came back with a Frappuccino.

Zhenwei and Zack get fired up for our private tour of the archaeological museum in Thebes while it’s still in the renovation stage. Take note how Zhenwei bolted off the bus for a bathroom and came back with a Frappuccino.

Cara is reunited with her long lost love—pot shards. We got shown the basement storerooms filled with pieces being prepared for the exhibits upstairs.

Cara is reunited with her long lost love—pot shards. We got shown the basement storerooms filled with pieces being prepared for the exhibits upstairs.

The group checks out an in-progress restoration of a wall fresco from the palace of Kadmeia at Thebes. It’s like your favorite puzzle put on “beast” mode.

The group checks out an in-progress restoration of a wall fresco from the palace of Kadmeia at Thebes. It’s like your favorite puzzle put on “beast” mode.

Both the coolest piece recovered and the hardest one NOT to stick in my pocket on the way out—the intact eye of one of the processional women from the fresco restoration.

Both the coolest piece recovered and the hardest one NOT to stick in my pocket on the way out—the intact eye of one of the processional women from the fresco restoration.

Brett and Emmanuel look rather worried about getting back on the bus after the museum visit.

Brett and Emmanuel look rather worried about getting back on the bus after the museum visit.

Brett (one of today’s bloggers) acquires Zhenwei’s camera and turns insta-tourist. He went a little snap-happy and somehow took 140 pictures of… well not much.

Brett (one of today’s bloggers) acquires Zhenwei’s camera and turns insta-tourist. He went a little snap-happy and somehow took 140 pictures of… well not much.

Rutter gives a quick lecture on the tholos at Orchomenos.

Rutter gives a quick lecture on the tholos at Orchomenos.

Catherine D. poses for a quick pic in the doorway to the side chamber of the tholos. It’s hard to see, but there is evidence for a single-leaved door left in the masonry.

Catherine D. poses for a quick pic in the doorway to the side chamber of the tholos. It’s hard to see, but there is evidence for a single-leaved door left in the masonry.

Margo and Catherine B. decided to be all matchy matchy with their crazy Ray-Bans. They’re the real things. Honest to blog!

Margo and Catherine B. decided to be all matchy matchy with their crazy Ray-Bans. They’re the real things. Honest to blog!

Cara is subjected to one of Brett’s stalkerish candid shots. Notice the Byzantine church in the background with the reuse of column drums in the construction.

Cara is subjected to one of Brett’s stalkerish candid shots. Notice the Byzantine church in the background with the reuse of column drums in the construction.

After lunch, we pile back on our bus to check out a newly excavated chamber tomb!

After lunch, we pile back on our bus to check out a newly excavated chamber tomb!

Emmanuel asks an intriguing question about the construction of this particular tomb.

Emmanuel asks an intriguing question about the construction of this particular tomb.

Nina and Margo caught in the moment. What else needs to be said?

Nina and Margo caught in the moment. What else needs to be said?

There’s a lesson to be learned here—don’t try to escape the bloggers. The chase is half the fun!

There’s a lesson to be learned here—don’t try to escape the bloggers. The chase is half the fun!

Cam takes some blog photos from atop the fortification walls at Gla. This Mycenaean “palace” showed many differences from those found in the Argolid and probably reflected a separate function.

Cam takes some blog photos from atop the fortification walls at Gla. This Mycenaean “palace” showed many differences from those found in the Argolid and probably reflected a separate function.

A photo of Catherine D. taking a photo of Cam taking a photo of Catherine D. ALL while having his photo taken by Brett from atop the outer wall circuit at Gla. Confused yet?

A photo of Catherine D. taking a photo of Cam taking a photo of Catherine D. ALL while having his photo taken by Brett from atop the outer wall circuit at Gla. Confused yet?

American archaeology student or Mycenaean royalty (perhaps the type found in the Queen’s megaron)? You decided.

American archaeology student or Mycenaean royalty (perhaps the type found in the Queen’s megaron)? You decide.

Rutter gives us a 10-minute lecture on everything we ever wanted to know about the “palace” at Gla. Abridged version: The site is exactly like its name sounds.

Rutter gives us a 10-minute lecture on everything we ever wanted to know about the “palace” at Gla. Abridged version: The site is exactly like its name sounds.

Catherine B. takes in the views of the Copaic Basin from atop the palatial structure at Gla.
Catherine B. takes in the views of the Copaic Basin from atop the palatial structure at Gla.

The fearless, and possibly directionally challenged, Zhenwei leads us to down the “trail” back to the bus for a quick trip back to the Big Olive! (In case you didn’t catch the Hercules reference, that’s the city of Thebes)
The fearless, and possibly directionally challenged, Zhenwei leads us to down the “trail” back to the bus for a quick trip back to the Big Olive! (In case you didn’t catch the Hercules reference, that’s the city of Thebes)

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | May 30, 2013

Day 71: Wednesday May 29th

Sites visited: Lerna, Argos Museum, Naupflion Museum, Aigeira

Group leaders: Nina, Margo

Blog: Laura, Catherine B.

House of the Tiles “Cribs” episode:

Actual “MTV Cribs” episode for our less informed readers:

We had yet another busy day in the Peloponnese today, packing in as many sites as possible in our last week of the trip.  We waved goodbye to our hotel at Naupflion and its delicious breakfast spread at eight a.m. sharp and boarded the coach with our sights set on Lerna, a site with rich prehistoric finds, especially from the Early Helladic period.  While at Lerna, Professor Rutter lectured about the architecture found there.  The House of the Tiles is an example of one of the earliest corridor houses, and is noteworthy for its monumental size and the eighty different types of sealings that were found inside.  The structure had a predecessor referred to as “BG,” though we don’t think that it was a fraternity – probably just an earlier form of the corridor house.  Additionally, Lerna was an important site in helping sort out the chronology of the Early and Middle Helladic periods due to its easily distinguishable layers of stratigraphy.  Lerna was an important site and a good way to start our day!

For our second stop of the day, we headed over to the Argos Archaeological Museum (for the second time on this FSP! At least it wasn’t hailing this time), where we were able to take a closer look at many of the artifacts from Lerna and the rest of the Peloponnese.  Professor Rutter focused on different types of pottery designs we saw.  The Argive Geometric pyxis, for example, was of monumental scale and seemed to incorporate a quilt-like pattern in its decoration.  We also noticed the addition of horse motifs in some pieces, and a variety of painting styles like polychrome and outline painting (black-figure did not yet exist).  The museum had some interesting finds for us to look at, but soon enough we were moseying back onto the bus, gearing up for stop number three.

A quick thirty minutes later, Christos had dropped us in the main parking lot of the harbor at Naupflion.  Even though we checked out of our hotel earlier this morning, we were back at our favorite resort town to check out the contents of its Archaeological Museum, too.  It was at this museum that we were able to take a look at some of the remains from the Franchthi Cave, especially thrilling to those of us that took Classics 6 last fall.  The unassuming museum also contained some of the earliest pottery in Greece (from circa 7000 B.C.).  Perhaps our favorite part, though, was the Dolphin mosaic from the tile floor at Tiryns.  This really helped us connect the architectural remains we saw a few days ago with the artifacts that would have originally been at the site, as well.  Upon leaving the museum, we had about ten minutes to literally run to buy gyros and proceed to shove them down our throats before boarding the bus again.  As you can imagine, we all wished we had Tums after that.

Luckily, we had an hour and a half long bus ride to digest on our way to Aigeira, which is mostly a Hellenistic site. In addition to two temples and a theater, the site was thought to have had a late fourth-century B.C. hotel-like structure (probably nowhere nearly as nice as Hotel Korinthos, though) that produced some neat pebble mosaics, perhaps influenced by the wall paintings at Sicyon.  The site of Ancient Aigeira also had some prehistoric remains on its acropolis (which we, of course, climbed to the top of). Excavations on the acropolis show the remains of a Mycenaean fortification wall from the twelfth century BCE! After taking in the beautiful views from the top of the site, we descended the hill.

After Aigeira, we were all hot, exhausted, and unexcited for our long ride back to Corinth.  So, we were thrilled when Professor Rutter saved the day with an emergency ice-cream break! Popsicles and Magnum bars led to inevitable smiles, and made the prospect of staying in the grim town of Corinth for another night slightly more appealing.  After a night of scavenging for restaurants and suffering through cold showers, we are off to bed in preparation for Thebes tomorrow.

With love from your favorite FSP redheads,

Catherine B. and Laura

Margo, Nina, Catherine B., and Teddy listen to Prof. Rutter lecture at Lerna. The site of Lerna is particularly important because its finds – which are layered into clearly stratified levels—have allowed archaeologists to develop a “master chronology” of the Early Helladic period (ca. 2800-2100 B.C.), helping excavators sort finds and remains from other EHI, II, and III sites.

Margo, Nina, Catherine B., and Teddy listen to Prof. Rutter lecture at Lerna. The site of Lerna is particularly important because its finds – which are layered into clearly stratified levels—have allowed archaeologists to develop a “master chronology” of the Early Helladic period (ca. 2800-2100 B.C.), helping excavators sort finds and remains from other EHI, II, and III sites.

The group learns about the remains of a middle Neolithic period building (ca. 5800-5200 B.C.) at Lerna that excavators found underneath the EH II remains.  It appears that people lived at Lerna for 30,000 or 40,000 years!

The group learns about the remains of a middle Neolithic period building (ca. 5800-5200 B.C.) at Lerna that excavators found underneath the EH II remains. It appears that people lived at Lerna for 30,000 or 40,000 years!

Prof. Rutter explains the architecture of the EH II fortifications at Lerna, which were complete with a gate and flanking towers.  Here, we see the remains of an apsidal, horseshoe-shaped tower as well as mudbrick preserved from the 3rd millennium B.C. (seen underneath the small roofs).

Prof. Rutter explains the architecture of the EH II fortifications at Lerna, which were complete with a gate and flanking towers. Here, we see the remains of an apsidal, horseshoe-shaped tower as well as mudbrick preserved from the 3rd millennium B.C. (seen underneath the small roofs).

Cara finds a pithos to sit in at Lerna!

Cara finds a pithos to sit in at Lerna!

Prof. Rutter gives the group a lecture on the EH II-period House of the Tiles at Lerna, an example of one of the monumental EH II “corridor houses.” This particular corridor house—the first corridor house discovered—was associated with finds of a large number of fallen tiles that once made up the roof of the structure.

Prof. Rutter gives the group a lecture on the EH II-period House of the Tiles at Lerna, an example of one of the monumental EH II “corridor houses.” This particular corridor house—the first corridor house discovered—was associated with finds of a large number of fallen tiles that once made up the roof of the structure.

Prof. Rutter lectures about an Argive Geometric-style giant pyxis from 740/50 B.C. in the Argos Museum.  The pyxis features imagery of birds and horses on irregular rectangular panels, a type of decoration which is believed to have been inspired by quilts.

Prof. Rutter lectures about an Argive Geometric-style giant pyxis from 740/50 B.C. in the Argos Museum. The pyxis features imagery of birds and horses on irregular rectangular panels, a type of decoration which is believed to have been inspired by quilts.

Prof. Rutter explains the design and function of the EH III-period Lernian hydra.  The three-necked hydra is believed to have been used for drinking alcoholic beverages, such as unstrained beer, from straws.

Prof. Rutter explains the design and function of the EH III-period Lernian hydra. The three-necked hydra is believed to have been used for drinking alcoholic beverages, such as unstrained beer, from straws.

Margo and Nina display the teamwork skills we’ve been learning all term by sharing the medkit duty together. What great leaders!

Margo and Nina display the teamwork skills we’ve been learning all term by sharing the medkit duty together. What great leaders!

Brett poses in front of a bronze suit of armor in the Naupflion Archaeological Museum that was found in the cuirass tomb at Dendra (Midea’s cemetery!). *note: this was the subject of Brett’s 25-page CLST 20 paper for Prof. Peter Schultz! Yay for finally getting to see the armor in person!

Brett poses in front of a bronze suit of armor in the Naupflion Archaeological Museum that was found in the cuirass tomb at Dendra (Midea’s cemetery!). *note: this was the subject of Brett’s 25-page CLST 20 paper for Prof. Peter Schultz! Yay for finally getting to see the armor in person!

Prof. Rutter explains the pottery finds from Franchthi Cave in the Naupflion Museum. These vessels – created ca. 7000 B.C.—represent some of the first forms of pottery in Greece.

Prof. Rutter explains the pottery finds from Franchthi Cave in the Naupflion Museum. These vessels – created ca. 7000 B.C.—represent some of the first forms of pottery in Greece.

Catherine D. examines some strange masks in the Naupflion Museum that were found at Tiryns.  These masks likely belong to a Greek Geometric-Period cult.

Catherine D. examines some strange masks in the Naupflion Museum that were found at Tiryns. These masks likely belong to a Greek Geometric-Period cult.

Students sit on the remains of Hellenistic-period temples while listening to Prof. Rutter explain the excavations of the site of Ancient Aigeira.

Students sit on the remains of Hellenistic-period temples while listening to Prof. Rutter explain the excavations of the site of Ancient Aigeira.

Oh look- it’s the studious ones! Believe it or not, these people are listening to the same Aigeira lecture as the folks sitting on the Hellenistic temple remains.

Oh look- it’s the studious ones! Believe it or not, these people are listening to the same Aigeira lecture as the folks sitting on the Hellenistic temple remains.

Brett and Cara enjoy the shade while sitting on the remains of the Hellenistic temples at Aigeira.

Brett and Cara enjoy the shade while sitting on the remains of the Hellenistic temples at Aigeira.

A ladybug found Catherine B.!

A ladybug found Catherine B.!

Catherine D. and Zhenwei are ready for the hike up to the Aigeira acropolis!

Catherine D. and Zhenwei are ready for the hike up to the Aigeira acropolis!

And the ascent toward the acropolis at Aigeira begins! According to Prof. Rutter, this was a well-worn “path” that led us up to the top the site… we saw no path.

And the ascent toward the acropolis at Aigeira begins! According to Prof. Rutter, this was a well-worn “path” that led us up to the top the site… we saw no path.

I guess the climb to the top was worth it- another great view! This time, the view was of the Corinthian Gulf. Because Delphi is right across the Gulf, ancient Aigeira had close ties with central Greece.

I guess the climb to the top was worth it- another great view! This time, the view was of the Corinthian Gulf. Because Delphi is right across the Gulf, ancient Aigeira had close ties with central Greece.

Catherine B. and Laura (your lovely bloggers) pose at the top of the Aigeira acropolis.

Catherine B. and Laura (your lovely bloggers) pose at the top of the Aigeira acropolis.

Margo takes in the view from the top of the Aigeira acropolis.

Margo takes in the view from the top of the Aigeira acropolis.

Laura attempts to pose for Katie for her end-of-FSP photos.

Laura attempts to pose for Katie for her end-of-FSP photos.

Nina and Laurel listen to Prof. Rutter’s lecture on the Aigeira acropolis. On this acropolis, excavators found remains of a late 12th - century B.C. Mycenaean settlement with fortification walls!

Nina and Laurel listen to Prof. Rutter’s lecture on the Aigeira acropolis. On this acropolis, excavators found remains of a late 12th – century B.C. Mycenaean settlement with fortification walls!

Margo carefully descends down the path of loose rocks and soil from the acropolis at Aigeira. Time for an ice cream break in town!

Margo carefully descends down the path of loose rocks and soil from the acropolis at Aigeira. Time for an ice cream break in town!

Teddy attempts to capture Katie for their move to the Deep Mani.

Teddy attempts to capture Katie for their move to the Deep Mani.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | May 29, 2013

Day 70: Tuesday May 28th

Sites visited: Mycenae, Mycenaean road, Kleisoura

Group leaders: Cara, Brett

Blog: Nina, Margo

 

Today was the day of the goats and nightmare insects… and by that we mean that our day concluded with a casual five mile (more for some with lesser developed senses of direction) stroll on a Mycenaean road that erred on the far side of surreal.

We got an early start in order to beat the crowds of Greek school children and expressively dressed tourists at Mycenae. On the way there we made a pit stop to look at the remains of a Mycenaean bridge and learn about their extensive road system and civil engineering projects. The bridge itself was made of conglomerate cyclopean blocks and was an impressive feat of engineering by any standard.

We then piled back on the bus to get to the site of Mycenae. Our first stop was at Grave Circle B, a 17th/16th century BCE royal burial site outside the walls of the citadel. We saw shaft graves marked with stelai and one transitional grave (“Tomb Rho”) that exhibited certain features that were later adapted by the tholos style tomb.

We then began our tholos tour of Mycenae, visiting four of the total nine found around the citadel. We first went to the rather unimpressive Tomb of Aegisthus which featured rubble masonry and a less than ideal relieving triangle (probably because this tholos marks the transition between tholos type I and II). Next, we saw the Tholos of Clytemnestra which did not disappoint. This classic Type III tholos featured a long dromos (path leading to the central chamber) with an ashlar retaining wall, exclusively employed cut-stone masonry, conglomerate stomion blocks, and a successfully corbeled ceiling with an effective relieving triangle. Things began to get weird while becoming familiar with the smooth conglomerate blocks of the stomion…the sanity of the group only deteriorated from that point on. After losing our [Elgin] marbles, we continued our tour and went to the Lion Tholos (RAWR!). This regression to a Type II experience was only slightly disappointing, mostly because there are no lions in the Lion Tholos. For the grand finale we took a short walk (foreshadowing our later excursion and marking the beginning of our encounters with mega insects) to the Treasury of Atreus. This stunner featured sawed conglomerate ashlar masonry (also very soft), a 120 ton lintel block and a gigantic and magnificent relieving triangle. After putting our flashlights to use and getting freaky in the pitch black side chamber, the group clamored up to pose on top of the relieving triangle where a mound of dirt covered the tholos.

We then made our way back up to the citadel of Mycenae and finally beheld the famous Lion Gate. The fortification walls were imposing and featured impressively large blocks, especially around the gate. Directly inside the gate was Grave Circle A–the wall circuit was, in fact, expanded to include Grave Circle A at the front entrance. We then walked to the extant megaron which was located just below the peak of the hill and had killer views of the Argolid, which may have been framed by windows flanking the king’s throne in the megaron. Although there is uncertainty, there was possibly a “bathroom” near the megaron–this would have been the site of the mythical stabbing of cheater Agamemnon by his cheating wife, Clytemnestra (see reenactment in the video). Next we walked down into an underground water system that was hidden in the fortification walls (so that enemies wouldn’t be able to find it and contaminate it). Our journey to the dank pit was proceeded by a heartwarming tale of a boy leading tourists to the bottom and then blowing out his candle and abandoning them. Obviously, we took the opportunity to further dispose of our sanity at the bottom of the pit. Next we went to the archaeological museum associated with the site and saw many of the finds (and more reproductions) from the citadel and graves of Mycenae, including some important frescoes and terracotta cult figures. We were then quizzed on the things we saw inside.

Professor Rutter then led us to a Mycenaean road so that we could make our way by foot, as the Mycenaeans would have, to the modern town of Prosymni (Berbati, during the Bronze Age). The journey was long and trying. There was some karaoke-ing, there was some feasting, there was some wandering through thorn bushes to look at the remains of the old road, and there was some archaeological surveying. Those who had no interest in surveying (shocking!) made their way to town on a desperate quest for frappes. Everyone else peeled away slowly with the goal of town. Nina, Margo and Cara took a wrong turn and made some friends with old, drunk men having a party in front of a church at the top of a mountain–they kindly pointed them in the right direction. Eventually, everyone made it to town and rehydrated before piling back on the bus with the promise of a shower, rest and food.

BUT, before the day was through, Professor Rutter took the opportunity to squeeze in one more site, Kleisoura. This site is centered around a cave and has yielded Paleolithic artifacts (that is EXTREMELY old–as in 40,0000 years old). The group then spent the next hour rummaging through the dirt in search of flint tools. When this got old, some people entertained themselves with the bodily remains of a Lykosouros Rex (a goat skull). We told you today was weird.

With love and bad dreams,

M.M. & N.M.

 

“Sermon on the Mount”: Rutter stands atop the remains of Mycenean bridge. Hunter is saved.

“Sermon on the Mount”: Rutter stands atop the remains of Mycenean bridge. Hunter is saved.

Laura= Hercules. See how effortless it is for her to hold a cyclopean block in the fortifications of Mycenae.

Laura= Hercules. See how effortless it is for her to hold a cyclopean block in the fortifications of Mycenae.

The Aegisthus Tholos. Notice the rubble masonry of this Type 1 (but kinda a transition to type II) tholos.

The Aegisthus Tholos. Notice the rubble masonry of this Type 1 (but kinda a transition to type II) tholos.

The group stands in the stomion of the Tholos of Clytemnestra. See Zach and Cam, well over 6’4’’, for scale.

The group stands in the stomion of the Tholos of Clytemnestra. See Zach and Cam, well over 6’4’’, for scale.

A rabbit sneaks up on Rutter in the creepy rectangular side room at the Treasury of Atreus.

A rabbit sneaks up on Rutter in the creepy rectangular side room at the Treasury of Atreus.

The gang examines the Lion Gate of Mycenae.

The gang examines the Lion Gate of Mycenae.

“Manhasset High School Class of ’01? I’m a ’67!” #setlax #edwardsquared

“Manhasset High School Class of ’01? I’m a ’67!” #setlax #edwardsquared

FSP 2013, the crowning jewel of the Treasury of Atreus. Professor Rutter is our relieving triangle, without whom we would tumble to the ground.

FSP 2013, the crowning jewel of the Treasury of Atreus. Professor Rutter is our relieving triangle, without whom we would tumble to the ground.

Rutter lectures about Grave Circle A—a burial and cult site with a view of the Argolid.

Rutter lectures about Grave Circle A—a burial and cult site with a view of the Argolid.

The walri bear their tusks for mates. Its mating season in Mycenae.

The walri bear their tusks for mates. Its mating season in Mycenae.

Nina and Catherine survived the trek out of the dark and scary cistern.

Nina and Catherine survived the trek out of the dark and scary cistern.

A terracotta figure of a god probably holding an attribute (Late Helladic IIIB2). The holes on its face and body reveal that hair and clothes were likely attached. “He’s not holding his junk. He is not that proud of his junk.”-JR

A terracotta figure of a god probably holding an attribute (Late Helladic IIIB2). The holes on its face and body reveal that hair and clothes were likely attached. “He’s not holding his junk. He is not that proud of his junk.”-JR

he gang takes a quiz. Cam concentrates.

he gang takes a quiz. Cam concentrates.

Your kick-ass bloggers, Nina and Margo take selfies at every tholos we visited today! The Aegisthus Tholos, The Tholos of Clytemnestra, the Treasury of Atreus and the Lion Tholos (from left to right clockwise).

Your kick-ass bloggers, Nina and Margo take selfies at every tholos we visited today! The Aegisthus Tholos, The Tholos of Clytemnestra, the Treasury of Atreus and the Lion Tholos (from left to right clockwise).

We saw many interesting people at Mycenae today. Keep in mind that all of these people woke up this morning and said, “Hmm. I want to wear this to one of Greece’s most important historical sites”. But who wins best dressed? Is it the woman with the neon green skull and crossbones shirt, toe shoes and headscarf, the bootylicious girl wearing only a black t-shirt, the three boys wearing sombreros, the old man with a camera strapped around his neck and a gelled beard, or the old man with sea-foam green pants and suspenders? Let the blogosphere decide.

We saw many interesting people at Mycenae today. Keep in mind that all of these people woke up this morning and said, “Hmm. I want to wear this to one of Greece’s most important historical sites”. But who wins best dressed? Is it the woman with the neon green skull and crossbones shirt, toe shoes and headscarf, the bootylicious girl wearing only a black t-shirt, the three boys wearing sombreros, the old man with a camera strapped around his neck and a gelled beard, or the old man with sea-foam green pants and suspenders? Let the blogosphere decide.

The group encounters obstacles (in the form of a goat impasse) while boogying down a Mycenean road.

The group encounters obstacles (in the form of a goat impasse) while boogying down a Mycenean road.

Rutter eats an apple for lunch. Everyone’s heart melts. We would like to call this strange sequence of events the “Teacher’s Pet, Variation 1”

Rutter eats an apple for lunch. Everyone’s heart melts. We would like to call this strange sequence of events the “Teacher’s Pet, Variation 1”

Zachsquatch siting.

Zachsquatch siting.

Teddy is birthed from Prof. Rutter’s head. Teddy is wise and bellicose, and Prof. Rutter’s headache is gone now.

Teddy is birthed from Prof. Rutter’s head. Teddy is wise and bellicose, and Prof. Rutter’s headache is gone now.

Professor points out the path of the Mycenean road that lead us from Mycenae to Prosymni.

Professor points out the path of the Mycenean road that lead us from Mycenae to Prosymni.

Laura, Catherine and Brett take an ice cream break at the end of our five mile odyssey.

Laura, Catherine and Brett take an ice cream break at the end of our five mile odyssey.

Margo, Catherine B. and Nina uncover evidence of cult activity at the Paleolithic site of Kleisoura. It’s a goat skull. Or is it a Lykosourus Rex?

Margo, Catherine B. and Nina uncover evidence of cult activity at the Paleolithic site of Kleisoura. It’s a goat skull. Or is it a Lykosourus Rex?

Rutter examines the pieces of Paleolithic flint tools the group found near the caves of Kleisoura.

Rutter examines the pieces of Paleolithic flint tools the group found near the caves of Kleisoura.

Margo tries to convert Katie to the cult of the Lykosourus Rex. Cam and Hunter are inspired and try to start their own religion based on flint… its been a long day/ week/ trip.

Margo tries to convert Katie to the cult of the Lykosourus Rex. Cam and Hunter are inspired and try to start their own religion based on flint… its been a long day/ week/ trip.

Zhenwei sees fashion in everything.

Zhenwei sees fashion in everything.

Catherine B., Nina and Laura continue their search for the perfect hat.

Catherine B., Nina and Laura continue their search for the perfect hat.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | May 29, 2013

Day 69: Monday May 27th

Sites visited: Free day!

Group leaders: Zack, Emmanuel

Blog: Cara, Brett

 

 

Today we enjoyed a holiday in what has become many group members’ favorite city in Greece: Nafplio. Located in the Argive plain, it is but a short coach ride away from Argos and the Mycenaean palatial sites of Tiryns, Midea, and Mycenae. Nafplio has switched hands multiple times over the millennia, falling under the reign of the Byzantines, the Ottomans, the Franks, the Italians, and, finally, the Greeks. 182 years of Venetian control have given this seaside town a distinct Italian feel. The streets are narrow, the roads are cobbled, signs announcing pizza and pesto catch the eye, and it seems that not a single street lacks its own gelateria(s).

Although Nafplio has become a popular tourist destination in recent times, it still retains its charm. It was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to the Peloponnese this past April. Memories of a delicious, pastry-filled breakfast and cliff jumping into the Aegean waters have done much to offset the sour memories of climbing to the acropolis of Argos in a hailstorm. With these fond memories in mind, we were determined to make the most of the last off day of the ΦΣΠ. In this respect, the day was a veritable success.

Most everyone chose to sleep in, with varying degrees of success. 70 days of rising at seven or eight in the morning have conditioned us to wake up early regardless of whether an alarm goes off, but Brett successfully slept in until noon. This can either be construed as a triumph or an embarrassment, but he chooses to go with the former. Other, more productive members of the trip took advantage of the free morning to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, chat with loved ones over Skype, sort through accumulated masses of emails, and buy groceries for tomorrow’s picnic lunch at Mycenae. Laurel, Cam, Laura, and Cara each went running on their own for several hours. The varsity skiers, as always, took to the hills, while Laura and Cara followed a scenic seaside road that stretched on for miles on end. Cara played with a starfish in an empty beach before realizing that she was probably killing it, at which point she quickly set it back in the water.

The evening was no less exciting. Some members chose to spend their time studying for tomorrow’s quiz while sipping on frappes, some napped, some did laundry, some went gift shopping, some updated their journals, and others wandered aimlessly about the town. Mindless, glorious TV watching was also a popular pastime: Emmanuel passed the time by going through his favorite battle scenes from war movies, Hunter caught up on episodes of Archer, Laurel watched Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy (a must see), and Zhenwei, Catherine D., Brett, and Cara watched Good Luck Chuck (a movie you should never see). Brett also watched Psycho into the wee hours of the morning and loved it.

Teddy, Hunter, Catherine D., Brett, and Cara spent a few hours on the beach, soaking up the Mediterranean sun, reflecting upon the trip, and wondering about the origins of Greek men’s fascination with speedos. Teddy, for once, was responsible and applied sunscreen. He’ll probably be red all over tomorrow anyway.

The group also made a point of exploring the culinary delights that Nafplio has to offer. Zhenwei had some excellent gnocchi (high praise from someone who lived in Rome for three months!), Emmanuel tucked into fresh anchovies, some of the boys went on the prowl for their beloved gyros, and the girls enjoyed a meal of pesto pasta recommended to them by Professor Rutter. Frozen yogurt and gelato were had by all, yet Catherine D. blew us all out of the water by eating nothing but frozen products until dinnertime. This girl has her priorities straight!

All in all, it was a much-needed day of rest. Now that we’ve recharged our batteries, we look forward to tomorrow when we’ll finally visit one of the greatest sites in Aegean history: Mycenae!

Zack and Emmanuel do a little sink laundry and leave their unmentionables out on the balcony to dry.

Zack and Emmanuel do a little sink laundry and leave their unmentionables out on the balcony to dry.

Laura is totes excite for her lunch date with Brett.

Laura is totes excite for her lunch date with Brett.

While others chose laundry, Hunter, Teddy, and Brett decide 2€ underwear out of the gumball machine is the more effective choice.

While others chose laundry, Hunter, Teddy, and Brett decide 2€ underwear out of the gumball machine is the more effective choice.

Teddy sticks his hand into the “Mouth of Truth,” who legend says will bite off your hand should you tell a lie under its watch. Surprisingly, he walked away unharmed.

Teddy sticks his hand into the “Mouth of Truth,” who legend says will bite off your hand should you tell a lie under its watch. Surprisingly, he walked away unharmed.

Laura is forced to take a selfie since nobody wanted to go on a run with her. Google maps said she ran 50 miles, but we were a bit skeptical.

Laura is forced to take a selfie since nobody wanted to go on a run with her. Google maps said she ran 50 miles, but we were a bit skeptical.

Part of the gang heads down to one of Nafplio’s beaches where the aggressive waves kept most patrons out of the water.

Part of the gang heads down to one of Nafplio’s beaches where the aggressive waves kept most patrons out of the water.

Only in Greece. Your guess is as good as ours.

Only in Greece. Your guess is as good as ours.

Cara ventures out on the rocky outcropping for a quick picture before the waves could soak her.

Cara ventures out on the rocky outcropping for a quick picture before the waves could soak her.

Teddy puts on sunscreen like a responsible adult since the FSP is winding down and his aloe supply (courtesy of Angie) is surely running low.

Teddy puts on sunscreen like a responsible adult since the FSP is winding down and his aloe supply (courtesy of Angie) is surely running low.

Brett thinks he’s a boss for about ten seconds before the waves destroy him.

Brett thinks he’s a boss for about ten seconds before the waves destroy him.

Today was quite a day for people watching. Sometimes they make it just too easy. #BestCoupleoftheYear

Today was quite a day for people watching. Sometimes they make it just too easy. #BestCoupleoftheYear

Zhenwei takes a beautiful photo inside a barrel vault up at Palamidi, the Venetian fortress up above Nafplio.

Zhenwei takes a beautiful photo inside a barrel vault up at Palamidi, the Venetian fortress up above Nafplio.

A panorama of the coast off Nafplio showing part of the wall circuit of Palamidi, the Venetian fortress.

A panorama of the coast off Nafplio showing part of the wall circuit of Palamidi, the Venetian fortress.

Margo and Nina stand arm-in-arm with the cannibalistic ice cream cone around the corner from our hotel.

Margo and Nina stand arm-in-arm with the cannibalistic ice cream cone around the corner from our hotel.

Catherine B. and Laura catch a quick sunset pic while walking along the Nafplio harbor.

Catherine B. and Laura catch a quick sunset pic while walking along the Nafplio harbor.

Brett, Cara, Catherine D., and Zhenwei unwind while watching a movie in the afternoon.

Brett, Cara, Catherine D., and Zhenwei unwind while watching a movie in the afternoon.

Catherine B. and Zack also take advantage of the hotel’s magical internet streaming capabilities.

Catherine B. and Zack also take advantage of the hotel’s magical internet streaming capabilities.

Catherine D. shamelessly watches her zombie rom-com Warm Bodies.

Catherine D. shamelessly watches her zombie rom-com Warm Bodies.

Nina was so disappointed about missing Derby that she had to go hat shopping with Catherine B., Margo, and Laura.

Nina was so disappointed about missing Derby that she had to go hat shopping with Catherine B., Margo, and Laura.

Brett, Laurel, Zhenwei, and Catherine D. go for their second round, fourth for some, of gelato after dinner.

Brett, Laurel, Zhenwei, and Catherine D. go for their second round, fourth for some, of gelato after dinner.

Some of the ladies decide to take Rutter’s advice and seek out some quality pesto.

Some of the ladies decide to take Rutter’s advice and seek out some quality pesto.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | May 28, 2013

Day 68: Sunday May 26th

Sites visited: Corinth Canal, Midea, Dendra, Tiryns,

Group leaders: Catherine D., Hunter

Blog: Zack, Emmanuel

 

Today we moved out of our hotel in Athens to see Mycenaean sites in the Argolid. We started out with a relatively lengthy bus ride. Doctor J, awesome as he is, was worried about us being stuck on the bus for too long, so he let us take a break after about an hour. It was really cool to stop at the Corinth Canal, which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. This was awesome and really made us appreciate how much effort it taken to accomplish such a feat. The downside to this stop was that it was a tourist trap and there were more than fifteen other buses full of obnoxious tourists. As a result, most of us spent our time at the canal and avoided the zoo in the food court. After our brief stop, we got back onto the bus and had another lengthy trip to our first site.

The first site of the day was the great Mycenaean center of Midea in the Argolid. It was very windy so the members of the group with long hair struggled. Nevertheless, the site was still very impressive. It was our first contact with Cyclopean masonry on a large scale. It was a cool thing to see in person and we really got a sense of scale. We did not let the wind dampen our spirits as we worked our way through the site with J.R., who gave us another one of his masterful lectures.

The next site that we went to was Dendra, which is located right outside Midea. It served as a cemetery for the settlement. It is a significant prehistoric archaeological site and was excavated by Swedish archeologist Axel W. Persson in the first half of the twentieth century. We briefly went around the site looking at the different tholos tombs, chamber tombs, and tumuli located there. There was a strange, disgusting smell that seemed to permeate almost every corner of the site. This was especially annoying because Dendra is where we had our lunch break. For some of us, the lunch break was already unpleasant due to the fact that our lunch mostly consisted of breakfast scraps, and the smell just made it that much worse.

After we had finished lunch, we headed to Tiryns where we were greeted by the lovely German graduate student Susanne Prillwitz. The palace at Tiryns was absolutely incredible. Many of the fortification walls were very well-preserved. This gave us an idea of just how overpowering the building would have been in antiquity. The walls were eight meters thick and made of massive stone. The people at Tiryns did not have to worry about being attacked, and even if they were this would have been excessive. Rutter informed us that this was done as a display of wealth and power. After seeing the fortification walls and elaborate system of gates, it is almost impossible to believe that, at least for some time, Tiryns was under the control of the palace at Mycenae. It just made all of us that much more excited for our upcoming trip there.

After we were kicked out of Tiryns by the guards at closing time, we headed over to the tombs of Tiryns. We went into one of the tholos tombs. Professor J. began telling us about the large slab that would have covered the doorway into the tholos, but Zack displayed his acute observational abilities and unparalleled deductive skills by pointing out two pivot holes in the third lintel block, thus proving that there was in fact a door located there. After we left the tholos tomb, the Doctor wanted to show us what an unexcavated tholos looked like, but this required going over a small barbed wire fence. Cam, Zack, and Teddy demonstrated their mad ups by gracefully leaping over the fence.

Our last stop for the day was at the Tiryns Dam. This was really cool and would have taken an incredible amount of manpower and organization, which is even more impressive considering this happened 3,000 years ago. When we finished our very brief trip to the Tiryns Dam, we finally headed to Nafplio and settled into Hotel Victoria.

The gruesome twosome,

Z and E

View of the Canal at the Isthmus of Corinth. This canal was built in the late 19th century. In ancient times, Corinth controlled this strategic pass between the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs.

View of the Canal at the Isthmus of Corinth. This canal was built in the late 19th century. In ancient times, Corinth controlled this strategic pass between the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs.

Professor Rutter points out the segmented wall at the citadel of Midea made of Cyclopean masonry that still stands after more than three thousands years.

Professor Rutter points out the segmented wall at the citadel of Midea made of Cyclopean masonry that still stands after more than three thousands years.

Teddy gazes into the Argive plain, trying to get a sense of how the monarchs of Mycenaean citadels would have dominated the area.

Teddy gazes into the Argive plain, trying to get a sense of how the monarchs of Mycenaean citadels would have dominated the area.

Strong gusts of wind pound on the group as we make our way back into the citadel through the west gate of Midea. Notice the huge, coarse blocks of hard limestone!

Strong gusts of wind pound on the group as we make our way back into the citadel through the west gate of Midea. Notice the huge, coarse blocks of hard limestone!

An adorable picture of Tedgarita near the top of the citadel. Photocred: Eman

An adorable picture of Tedgarita near the top of the citadel. Photocred: Eman

The group examines the crude, Cyclopean masonry at the east entrance to the citadel of Midea. We noticed how the bottom of the entrance is the narrowest portion of the entranceway.

The group examines the crude, Cyclopean masonry at the east entrance to the citadel of Midea. We noticed how the bottom of the entrance is the narrowest portion of the entranceway.

Catherine, Brett, and Laura standing on the lintel block of the largest tholos tomb at Dendra in the Argive plain, visible from the citadel at Midea. This lintel block indicates the original ground level from when this tomb was constructed.

Catherine, Brett, and Laura standing on the lintel block of the largest tholos tomb at Dendra in the Argive plain, visible from the citadel at Midea. This lintel block indicates the original ground level from when this tomb was constructed.

The enormous size of this tholos tomb is obvious in this photo. Zack eats his first lunch high above, and others take note of how the tholos was constructed.

The enormous size of this tholos tomb is obvious in this photo. Zack eats his first lunch high above, and others take note of how the tholos was constructed.

Professor Rutter explains how flat slabs of stone were used in the construction to flatten the various levels of coarse stone during the corbelling process.

Professor Rutter explains how flat slabs of stone were used in the construction to flatten the various levels of coarse stone during the corbelling process.

The group is taking a lunch break. The conversation involved childhood book series, television shows, and memories from Crete.

The group is taking a lunch break. The conversation involved childhood book series, television shows, and memories from Crete.

Magister Susanane Prillwitz discusses the restoration efforts on the eastern outer fortification walls of the citadel at Tiryns. Notice the Cyclopean masonry!

Magister Susanane Prillwitz discusses the restoration efforts on the eastern outer fortification walls of the citadel at Tiryns. Notice the Cyclopean masonry!

Magister Prillwitz lectures on the first closed gate leading up to the main courtyard at Tiryns. She explains the masonry of the door jambs and threshold, both of which are made of imported conglomerate stone. This door was two-leaved and rather imposing. Notice the huge blocks of Cyclopean masonry that comprise one of the fortification wall circuits.

Magister Prillwitz lectures on the first closed gate leading up to the main courtyard at Tiryns. She explains the masonry of the door jambs and threshold, both of which are made of imported conglomerate stone. This door was two-leaved and rather imposing. Notice the huge blocks of Cyclopean masonry that comprise one of the fortification wall circuits.

Professor Rutter puts his arm into one of the smooth, drilled holes of the door jamb that marks the first gate into Tiryns. This hole in conjunction with its counterpart on the other side of the door was used to slide in a wooden crossbeam that would have kept the door closed against intruders…for a little while.

Professor Rutter puts his arm into one of the smooth, drilled holes of the door jamb that marks the first gate into Tiryns. This hole in conjunction with its counterpart on the other side of the door was used to slide in a wooden crossbeam that would have kept the door closed against intruders…for a little while.

Professor Rutter, Laurel, Cara, and Zhenwei imitate the columns in the propylon leading into the main courtyard of the palace at Tiryns.

Professor Rutter, Laurel, Cara, and Zhenwei imitate the columns in the propylon leading into the main courtyard of the palace at Tiryns.

Magister Prillwitz explains how the palace at Tiryns had two megaron-like chambers. She is currently lecturing in the smaller megaron, which had a rectangular hearth and less fancy masonry compared to the main megaron. Why are there two megarons? This could be an indication of multiple tiers of government.

Magister Prillwitz explains how the palace at Tiryns had two megaron-like chambers. She is currently lecturing in the smaller megaron, which had a rectangular hearth and less fancy masonry compared to the main megaron. Why are there two megarons? This could be an indication of multiple tiers of government.

Zack relaxes on the fence at the entrance to the corbelled storage magazines made of coarse masonry. This architecture reminded us of the huge storage complex at Agia Triada.

Zack relaxes on the fence at the entrance to the corbelled storage magazines made of coarse masonry. This architecture reminded us of the huge storage complex at Agia Triada.

Magister Prillwitz stands on the huge megalith that probably functioned as a place for religious washing and/or bathing. This enormous megalith had regularly spaced drill holes where wooden posts would have been placed to create a perimeter. The megalith was sloped down in order that all the water drained into a single spot. There was a lustral basin-like structure attached to this megalith.

Magister Prillwitz stands on the huge megalith that probably functioned as a place for religious washing and/or bathing. This enormous megalith had regularly spaced drill holes where wooden posts would have been placed to create a perimeter. The megalith was sloped down in order that all the water drained into a single spot. There was a lustral basin-like structure attached to this megalith.

The group leaves the citadel of Tiryns between the new and old fortification walls, via a corbelled western exit that faces the sea.
The group leaves the citadel of Tiryns between the new and old fortification walls, via a corbelled western exit that faces the sea.

An amazing photo of Zatherine in their element as they leave the citadel of Tiryns. Photocred: Eman, again.

An amazing photo of Zatherine in their element as they leave the citadel of Tiryns. Photocred: Eman, again.

The group enters the large tholos tomb outside of Tiryns. It is monumental and worthy of a monarch’s place of rest.

The group enters the large tholos tomb outside of Tiryns. It is monumental and worthy of a monarch’s place of rest.

The group examines the construction of the tholos. Unfortunately this tomb was robbed, and what remains is a Roman wine press.

The group examines the construction of the tholos. Unfortunately this tomb was robbed, and what remains is a Roman wine press.

After a thorough examination of the two-leaved doorway to the inner chamber, Professor Rutter and Cam leave the tholos tomb through the stomion (doorway) with more questions than answers.

After a thorough examination of the two-leaved doorway to the inner chamber, Professor Rutter and Cam leave the tholos tomb through the stomion (doorway) with more questions than answers.

An inch worm joins the group on Laura’s arm, as we ponder what treasures lie below our feet in the yet-to-be-excavated tholos tomb.

An inch worm joins the group on Laura’s arm, as we ponder what treasures lie below our feet in the yet-to-be-excavated tholos tomb.

Professor Rutter points out the Cyclopean masonry that faced the large channel that diverted water from the plains surrounding Tiryns and prevented flooding in the area. Presence of such a large architectural project indicate the power of the Mycenaeans who controlled this area of the ancient Argolid. Laurel looks at the construction, awestruck in her imagination.

Professor Rutter points out the Cyclopean masonry that faced the large channel that diverted water from the plains surrounding Tiryns and prevented flooding in the area. Presence of such a large architectural project indicate the power of the Mycenaeans who controlled this area of the ancient Argolid. Laurel looks at the construction, awestruck in her imagination.

Posted by: kathrynholroyd | May 27, 2013

Day 67: Saturday May 25th

Sites visited: Free day!

Group leaders: Nina, Zhenwei

Blog: Catherine D., Hunter

 

Today was one part travel day and one part off day. Some of us, including Professor Rutter and Katie, mixed up which part was “off” and accidentally slept through the wakeup call on the boat. Luckily, thanks to our leaders Zhenwei and Nina scrambling to rooms to wake people, everyone was eventually woken up and the group gathered together outside the boat. We took the by now familiar route by train and metro to our home away from home in Athens, the Ilisia hotel. On the train a few ambitious groups put the finishing details on their paper assignments from the night before. Most groups were not finished because the sea was much rougher than expected, and some of us had been gruesomely stricken down by seasickness the night before.

Unfortunately, the group arrived at our hotel far too early to check in and needed to wait around in the lobby for other guests to check out. Still recovering from the receding nausea of the night before, groups spent much of the morning at the Ilisia Hotel typing away and trying to make up for time lost on the boat. By noon, everyone received a room and most finished their work. Everyone took this opportunity to go out in Athens and explore more fun archeological sites…just kidding. Everyone took long naps, did laundry and never moved more than 100 yards away from the hotel.  Eventually some members worked up enough energy to venture outside.

Catherine B. and Laura went to lunch in Monastiraki and practiced some geographical orientation exercises in honor of PCC.  Hunter managed to gather enough energy to meet up with a friend from Dartmouth and his parents for dinner (Thanks for the meal Mr. and Ms. Von Moltke).

Catherine D., Nina, and Margo departed for Avocado (a spectacular vegetarian restaurant with gluten free menu options) and met up with Laurel who was waiting for her lunch to be delivered. The restaurant was too full to accommodate them, so they set a reservation for a half an hour later and split up to accomplish various tasks. Margo and Nina went to buy concert tickets at Public. Catherine D. lurked at the neighboring Bio-market for 30 minutes, gleefully reading through organic food labels and ogling the gluten free food goods. Laurel finished her amazing lunch and joined them for dessert at Avocado while everyone else ate a late lunch/dinner. The group was joined while ordering by Zhenwei and Eman in quick succession, and enjoyed a marvelous meal and dessert.

Post-Avocado the group once again split up. After another quick jaunt through the bio-market, Eman headed back to Hotel Ilisia to finish laundry and relax. Margo and Nina made a beeline for Oyshio and Catherine D., Zhenwei, and Laurel took a leisurely stroll through the rest of the shopping district in the Syntagma area. Nothing was bought, but many outfits were tried on, and a few lacy white summer dresses were seriously contemplated.

Zhenwei continued shopping while Catherine D. and Laurel also returned to the hotel to retrieve laundry, Skype, and laze about. Lamentably, this concludes the adventures of both heroic bloggers for the day, and there is little else of note to remark upon.

However, Nina and Margo did attend a German concert of mysterious nature, which Hunter assumes to be German Techno “because all music from Germany is techno these days” (Hunter 5/26/13).

In summation, the day was uneventful but served as a much needed respite after our exciting trip through Crete.

Your devoted bloggers,

Darragh and Blackie

 

The group swarms in to get tickets to board the train back into Athens from the Piraeus.

The group swarms in to get tickets to board the train back into Athens from the Piraeus.

The [zombie like] procession to the platform at 7 am.

The [zombie like] procession to the platform at 7 am.

“This shows how I felt”-Katie as she waits for her room to be ready. At least she has Starbucks.

“This looks like how I felt”-Katie as she waits for her room to be ready. At least she has Starbucks.

Laura waiting around in the lobby for other groups to check out of rooms, so we can move in.
Laura waiting around in the lobby for other groups to check out of rooms, so we can move in.

Cam begins to go a little crazy waiting for the room.

Cam begins to go a little crazy waiting for the room.

Laura, Cam and Hunter finally get into their room, Horary!!!

Laura, Cam and Hunter finally get into their room, Horary!!!

Catherine B, Laura, and Beyonce do some shopping.

Catherine B, Laura, and Beyonce do some shopping.

Margo, Nina, and Catherine D. head into town for some food and shopping.

Margo, Nina, and Catherine D. head into town for some food and shopping.

Catherine D. finally finds gluten free cookies.  Apparently, they were slightly disappointing.

Catherine D. finally finds gluten free cookies. Apparently, they were slightly disappointing.

Laurel, Margo, Zhenwei, and Nina at Avocado: a restaurant with vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options.

Laurel, Margo, Zhenwei, and Nina at Avocado: a restaurant with vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options.

Eman drinking a green shake: could be wheat grass, could be avocado, could be kale, but we will never know for sure.

Eman drinking a green shake: could be wheat grass, could be avocado, could be kale, but we will never know for sure.

Eman, Laurel and Zhenwei showing off their clean plates.

Eman, Laurel and Zhenwei showing off their clean plates.

Laurel, Zhenwei and Eman holding up some mini watermelons.

Laurel, Zhenwei and Eman holding up some mini watermelons.

“ABOKANTO?” If only I paid attention to the transliteration lesson earlier this term.

“ABOKANTO?” If only I paid attention to the transliteration lesson earlier this term.

Zhenwei checking out the dairy isle to offset the vegan food she ate minutes before.

Zhenwei checking out the dairy isle to offset the vegan food she ate minutes before.

Eman finds another type of protein to add to his collection, pea protein.

Eman finds another type of protein to add to his collection, pea protein.

Zhenwei and Laurel doing some window shopping.

Zhenwei and Laurel doing some window shopping.

Laurel and Zhenwei checking out some dresses.

Laurel and Zhenwei checking out some dresses.

 

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