Week 3

Week 5

Wednesday April 22

Sites Visited: Corinth (Greek polis with remains from many periods), Acrocorinth (citadel with remains from many periods)

Where did we stay tonight?: New Corinth

Leaders: Ben Kahn and Alex Assaf

6:30 a.m. up and at ‘em, that’s when we had to wake up and prepare ourselves to leave Athens with our restful Easter break behind us. We set off sleepy eyed and early for Corinth. Everyone entranced in a deep slumber through the Megaran plain…again. Before arriving at Corinth, we took a stop to see the man-made canal across the thinnest part of the isthmus. We all stood on the metal bridge overlooking the tiny strip of water far beneath us, and the canal was quite a sight set between two sheer rock faces (see picture below).

We then made our way to the ancient center of Corinth, where we met up with one of Professor Faro’s old teachers, Guy Sanders, the director of excavation at the site. Guy took us quickly past the impressive Archaic temple of Apollo, wanting instead to show us a mysterious apsidal structure with an attached secret passageway. He led us down to where the frieze of a Doric temple was installed lying on the ground, as a possible temple to a god or goddess of the underworld. One of the triglyphs was moveable, however, and if someone leaned on the triglyph it would have revealed the secret passageway. After a long discussion about Greek gods, we walked over to the Pirene Fountain, where we learned a dedicated (i.e. insane) archaeologist kept up his work in the springs even while the Germans were bombarding Corinth in World War II.

After a short lunch break in town, we headed up to Acrocorinth, the steep hill that was used throughout history as an unassailable fortress. We split up into groups of 2, and our job was to analyze the remains to determine a relative chronology for the different types of masonry on the walls and various defensive features.

After a couple hours of climbing around at Acrocorinth, we went back to the ancient center to meet back up with Dr. Sanders. This time he took us to the Medieval section of the excavation, which is theorized to have maybe been a hospital. Dr. Sanders took the opportunity to relate the stories of many of the people whose skeletons survived from the site…everyone’s favorite was definitely the man who was born a hunchback, with bowed legs, and with a missing bone in his neck leaving his head to flop around, who was most likely an archer on horseback. Then Dr. Sanders led us over to the tented area where pot sherds are being analyzed for the current dig, and our FSP proceeded to bear witness to two motivational rants about what good archaeology is all about. We all left feeling roused about pottery, and our stop in the museum before leaving did not disappoint, as we came across Disco Hermes (pictured below). Needless to say, it was quite a cool day for our FSP and a great start to our next leg of the trip.

Saying “kalimera” to Ancient Corinth:

The fountain of Pirene:

The ascent!:

Day 32 Photo Gallery:

Looking out over the Corinth canal.

Looking out over the Corinth canal.

Poppies decorating the Doric frieze that may be a tromp l'oeils underground temple to Demeter, Hele, or Persephone.

Poppies decorating the Doric frieze that may be a tromp l'oeils underground temple to Demeter, Helen, or Persephone.

Guy Sanders commands the attention of Dartmouth students as he lectures about a trap-door metope.

Guy Sanders commands the attention of Dartmouth students as he lectures about a trap-door metope.

At the Lower Pirene fountain, ancient watersource and WWII archaeological bunker.

At the Lower Pirene fountain, ancient watersource and WWII archaeological bunker.

Ben embraces his leaderly duties at the fountain.

Ben embraces his leaderly duties at the fountain.

Troops in order at ancient Corinth.

Guy Sanders keeps the troops in order at ancient Corinth.

Acrocorinth - promoted to rocky citadel after a millions-of-years-long career as an island jutting out of the sea

Acrocorinth - promoted to rocky citadel after a millions-of-years-long career as an island jutting out of the sea

Approaching the well-built gates of Acrocorinth.

Approaching the well-built gates of Acrocorinth.

Chris and Joe discuss construction phases and defensive features at Acrocorinth.

Chris and Joe discuss construction phases and defensive features at Acrocorinth.

Ben making fine use of his new binoculars at Acrocorinth.

Ben making fine use of his new binoculars at Acrocorinth.

What Ben may see standing at this spot as he peers through his binoculars

What Ben may see standing at this spot as he peers through his binoculars

Curious flora on Acrocorinth

Curious flora on Acrocorinth

Jerry, Alex A., and Prof. Faro explore the eschata of the Acrocorinthian fortifications.

Jerry, Alex A., and Prof. Faro explore the eschata of the Acrocorinthian fortifications.

Vista of Acrocorinth

Vista of Acrocorinth

Kathryn and Charlie wend their way through the spring blossoms.

Kathryn and Charlie wend their way through the spring blossoms.

Back in "regular" Corinth and ready for part II of Guy Sanders's tour.

Back in "regular" Corinth and ready for part II of Guy Sanders's tour.

Introduction to pottery quantification at the finds analysis tables at Corinth.

Introduction to pottery quantification at the finds analysis tables at Corinth.

A leonine water spout from the superstructure of an early temple in the Corinth museum

A leonine water spout from the superstructure of an early temple in the Corinth museum

Disco Hermes!

Disco Hermes!

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