Wednesday April 29th
Sites Visited: Numismatic Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Athenian Agora
Where did we stay tonight?: Athens
Leaders: Ally Begly and Jerry Guo
This morning the group awoke bright and early, enlivened by the scent of fresh Tang wafting down the steps from the 10th floor breakfast buffet. After getting our monthly intake of fresh fruit at breakfast, Professor Christesen bestowed upon us a special welcome back gift: an assignment on the Agora, Athens’ ancient market place and civic center. There is nothing like writing in the morning or drawing dozens of (extremely) rough building plans to get the day started off right. After finishing our assignment, we went to the Numismatics Museum, also known as Heinrich Schliemann’s fabulous Athenian mansion, modeled after a Minoan palace and/or a Pompeiian villa (he had to spend that Crimean War money somehow). Jason enlightened us with a SPELLbinding tale (get it?) about Septimius Severus’ coinage. He gave a dramatic and inspiring lecture, despite the lack of actual Septimius Severus coinage. After bidding farewell to the Museum and Schliemann’s abode, we mounted an expedition to the National Museum. Following the FSP vow of “No Man Left Behind” Jerry and Professor Christesen scoured the city for CJ (who was actually left behind). Everything turned out well in the end as we all met up at the National Museum at the exact right moment. Ally and Jerry sat with the bags as the rest of the group went in to look at pottery for their upcoming presentations. After the National Museum, we hopped on the subway and ate a quick gyro at Monastiraki. Then it was on to the Agora to meet Dr. David Scahill once again, who was unfortunately sans his trademark hat. Dr. Scahill gave us a great lecture on the various buildings in the Agora and also allowed us access to the top-secret basement pottery stores of the excavations. We looked at billions of transport amphorae, and also saw the old excavation notebooks. Then we ventured out into the Agora itself and saw the remains of a number of virtually all of the major ancient buildings, including the Stoa of Attalos (the Hellenistic shopping mall) and the Hephaisteon. After a quick look in the museum, we negotiated a wake up time for tomorrow and headed back to the Astor for dinner, or into the welcoming if slightly Euro-techno atmosphere of Chroma to use the internet. Back to the National Museum tomorrow to finish up our student presentations.
Day 39 Photo Gallery: