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:
Day 32 Photo Gallery: