04 – Week Four (12-17 April)


 

Week 3

Week 4

Friday April 17

Sites Visited: Sparta (ancient Acropolis, sanctuary of Artemis Orthia), Tegea (temple of Athena Alea)

Where did we stay tonight?: Athens

Leaders: Kathryn Mammel and Joe Indvik

“All in all—except for the gypsies—a gloomy and forlorn spot.”  — Blue Guide, p. 307, Describing Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.

That pretty much describes our experience in Sparta this morning.  Our itinerary:

8:30 a.m.   Archaeological Museum (postponed; opens at 9:30 a.m.)

9:00 a.m.   Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia (cancelled; gate locked; we gaze longingly through the fence)

9:30 a.m.   Acropolis (Open; found only with the unsolicited help of a Greek woman [gypsy?] on a moped; not much to see)

9:40 a.m.  In transit to museum.  Our bus is spotted but is lacking a driver.  Whereabouts unknown.  No way to inform him of our changed plans.

9:45 a.m.  Archaeological Museum (cancelled; guard [who is currently in the building] informs us it “opens” at noon, despite the sign outside reading “Sundays and holidays 9:30-15:00”.)

9:50 a.m.  Sarah and Prof. Faro search nearby cafes for bus driver.  Group breaks for frappe/bookstore and hopes their search is unsuccessful.

10:00 a.m. Plans foiled.  Bus driver spotted in café.  Group called and ordered to rendezvous at bus.

10:10 a.m.  Depart for Tegea.

11:15 a.m.  Arrive at Tegea.  Visit Sanctuary of Athena Alea (cancelled; site locked; we gaze longingly through the fence during lecture)

11:30 – 12:00 a.m.  Circumnavigate the locked sanctuary.  Continue gazing longingly.

12:00 p.m.  Depart for Tripolis.

12:15 p.m.  Lunch.  Small-town café low on inventory.  Group divides and devours.  Jerry subsists on a can of beans only.  Hard man.

12:35 p.m.   Depart for Athens.  Group leaders hastily write blog so as to finish paper assignment as quickly as possible and begin enjoying Easter break.

ETA to Athens:  2:45 p.m.

Next update: Monday, April 20. 

Happy Orthodox Easter!  Kathryn and Joe, over and out.  

Impressions of Sparta:

Foraging for lunch in Sparta:

Reading quiz at Tegea!!!:

Day 27 Photo Gallery:

Taking in the scenery in Sparta - about the only thing open today!

Taking in the scenery in Sparta - about the only thing open today!

Despite the fact that everything else in Sparta was locked down for the day, aggressive ritual sidewalk cleaning continued apace.

Despite the fact that everything else in Sparta was locked down for the day, aggressive ritual sidewalk cleaning continued apace.

Spectacular tentaculars at a Spartan psarotaverna (fish restaurant)

Spectacular tentaculars at a Spartan psarotaverna (fish restaurant)

Turned away at the archaeological museum.

Turned away at the archaeological museum.

Steel bars wrapped all around the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.

Steel bars wrapped all around the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.

Fauna.

Fauna.

Statue of Leonidas in Sparta.

Statue of Leonidas in Sparta.

This is Sparta!  (We're not sure what Chris is doing.)

This is Sparta! (We're not sure what Chris is doing.)

Rescued from the slums of Sparta by a local moped-mounted dragoman.

Rescued from the slums of Sparta by a friendly moped-mounted dragoman.

A scenic fountain in Sparta.

A scenic fountain in Sparta.

The temple of Athena Alea at Tegea.

The temple of Athena Alea at Tegea.

Another patented FSP reading quiz at Tegea.

Another patented FSP reading quiz at Tegea.

An FSP group shut out.  No room for it at the temple of Tegea.

An FSP group shut out. No room for it at the temple of Tegea.

A directional sign for the famed "Spartathon" (an annual 36-hour ultramarathon from Athens to Sparta) in the plateia at Tegea.

A directional sign for the famed "Spartathlon" (an annual 36-hour ultramarathon from Athens to Sparta) in the plateia at Tegea.

A quick lunch at Tripolis. (We're not sure what Jerry is doing.)

A quick lunch at Tripolis. (We're not sure what Jerry is doing.)

 

Week 3

Week 4

Thursday April 16

Sites Visited: Mistras (Frankish/Byzantine town and citadel)

Where did we stay tonight?: Sparta

Leaders: Kate Ginsberg and Ally Begly

Our day began in the morning, when we packed up our bags and prepared to leave lovely Pylos, home of the cheap and delicious gyro for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After breakfast at the Hotel Galaxy, the slightly fancier cousin of the Galaxy Hotel of Tripolis, we boarded the bus and had another windy ride. Even though the curves were particularly intense, we did not care because we were going to SPPPAAARRRTTTAAAAAAA, best known as the setting of the film 300, noted for its historical accuracy and general good taste when it comes to depicting the ancient peoples. We stopped outside of Mistras at a café to eat lunch and recover from the journey over the mountains. After lunch we headed to Mistras, which is an ancient Byzantine town, palace, and fortress extravaganza dating from the 13th century. Our trip at Mistras began with a thorough lecture on the history of architectural achievements leading to the development of Byzantine churches (who knew there was so much to say about squinches? Only don’t ask us because we still aren’t 100% sure). After visiting several beautiful buildings, and seeing the dome in action, we were turned loose to frolic among the remains and pet the stray cat (there seems to be a recurring theme with our group being distracted by small animals). Some of the group members trekked up to the formidable kastro (castle) that was on the very top of the hill. The views even from lower on the slope were amazing and the wall paintings were still preserved inside many of the churches. We met back near the bus around four to head into modern Sparta, where we stayed at the Hotel Apollon. In the early evening, some of us got a head start on the paper on Mycenaean palaces that is due before our Easter break. Tomorrow we head into Sparta to see the museum, then it’s on to Tegea and back to Athens to enjoy our three day break! 

Summiting Mistras with Ally & crew:

Day 25 Photo Gallery:

Alex A. and Kait enjoy a break from the bus ride at a picturesque mountain village in the Taygetus range.

Alex A. and Kait enjoy a break from the bus ride at a picturesque mountain village in the Taygetus range.

A friendly grackle in the Taygetus mountain village.

A friendly grackle in the Taygetus mountain village.

A talking parrot persuades some group members to purchase some artisanal mountain honey.

A talking parrot persuades some group members to purchase artisanal mountain honey.

Learning about arches and vaults at Mistras.

Learning about arches and vaults at Mistras.

The citadel at Mistras.

The citadel at Mistras.

The Evangelistria church at Mistras.

The Evangelistria church at Mistras.

Kathryn and KT, on the lookout for squinches.

Kathryn and KT, on the lookout for squinches.

Charlie peers upward at the Byzantine frescoes at Mistras.

Charlie peers upward at the Byzantine frescoes at Mistras.

Alex M. takes a moment to work on her journal at Mistras.

Alex M. takes a moment to work on her journal at Mistras.

Kate and Kait enjoy the views out to Sparta from the Byzantine kastro.

Kate and Kait enjoy the views out to Sparta from the Byzantine kastro.

Charlie, Jerry, Dallis, and KT illuminated by sunbeams at the top of the kastro

Charlie, Jerry, Dallis, and KT illuminated by sunbeams at the top of the kastro

Jason and Ally gaze into the maw of "temps perdu" above the Spartan motherland.

Jason and Ally gaze into the maw of "temps perdu" above the Spartan motherland.

An informative placard.

An informative placard.

Joe, Alex A., and Ben have a ramble through the medieval streets.

Joe, Alex A., and Ben have a ramble through the medieval streets.

Saying farewell to the megafauna at Mistras.

Saying farewell to the megafauna at Mistras.

Week 3

Week 4

Wednesday April 15

Sites Visited: Pylos (Mycenaean “palace”), Chora Museum (finds from Pylos), and Methone (Venetian fortress)

Where did we stay tonight?: Pylos

Leaders: Alex Assaf and Chris Johnson

Greetings and welcome,

Today was a day that our group awoke bright and early. The weather was nice—sunny, highs in the mid to lower 60s. We were fated to travel to the Palace of Nestor. We travelled around the palatial area, just as we did with the Minoan and other Mycenaean palaces. The basin in the throne room, to the right of the throne of the wanax, complimented the lone octopus depicted on a tile in front of the throne. The only difference of the Palace of Nestor from the other Mycenaean palaces we’ve visited was the random appearance of a game show being filmed on spot. A segment was captured in a video below. Definitely check it out. It seemed to be loosely based on the short lived hit game show, the Weakest Link. The questions that we heard were based off facts from the palace. As the contestants noted, the Mycenaeans built an aqueduct…take that Romans. 😛

We visited the nearby Chora museum, which holds many of the finds from the palace, immediately after our visit to the site. Cups and other pottery were stacked in the display cases along with some plaster casts of the many Linear B tablets that were found during excavations at Pylos. It was definitely impressive.

After our visit to the museum and a relaxing lunch in Pylos, the group broke into two factions: those who wanted to go to the Turko-Venetian fortress of Methone, which included a beach; and those who decided to stay in Pylos for an assortment of reasons.

The Venetian fortress at Methone was spectacular. It sits on a cliff overlooking the sea, and is well preserved. The entire area is gorgeous and well worth visiting. Chris Johnson reports about the trip:

“In the afternoon, we had an optional trip to the Venetian fortress at Methone. Considering that it’s been a while since we have had a day off, the fact that eight FSPers made the trip was impressive. The hardy few were instantly rewarded with the beauty of the weather and vistas at Methone. The fortress is right on the beach with picturesque views afforded by the steep cliffs that helped to fortify the site. The architecture itself was a good change of pace from the much more ancient ruins we have been studying. Some brave souls ventured into the underground escape tunnels, and luckily nobody got attacked or robbed by residual Ottoman squatters. After a frigid morning at the Palace of Nestor, it was nice to walk around in the warm sunshine and be more tourist than student, if only for a little while.

“The night concluded with a return to the gyro stand where we’d dined our first night in Pylos and some work on our last project for Prof. Faro for this trip: a five-page paper on Mycenaean architecture that is due Friday.”

Meanwhile, the Pylos faction enjoyed an extra-leisurely lunch, took some much needed rest, and caught up on various forms of work. It was a long but intellectually rewarding day.

Weakest Link, Pylos style:

Aqueduct-related strife:

Day 25 Photo Gallery:

Approaching the site of Pylos.

Approaching the site of Pylos.

Lepidoptera at Pylos

Lepidoptera at Pylos

View of the "palace" at Pylos.

View of the "palace" at Pylos from the propylon.

Sarah, Jo, Alex M., and Ben exploring the intricate Palace of Nestor.

Sarah, Joe, Alex M., and Ben exploring the intricate Palace of Nestor.

Prof. Faro lectures around the hearth at the palace of Nestor.

Prof. Faro lectures around the hearth at the palace of Nestor.

KT enjoys the scenic view of Sphakteria.

KT enjoys the scenic view of Sphakteria.

Ally explores the site of Pylos.

Ally considers redistributive versus reciprocal economies at Pylos.

Jason and Kate check out the finds from Pylos in the Chora Museum.

Jason and Kate check out the finds from Pylos in the Chora Museum.

Alex A. demonstrates his best pseudo-Octopus pose with one of the finds from Pylos.

Alex A. demonstrates his best pseudo-Octopus pose with one of the finds from Pylos.

A fresco fragment from Pylos in the Chora museum.

A fresco fragment from Pylos in the Chora museum.

Chris sneaks a rogue "thumbs-up" into a scenic view of the Venetian fortress at Methone.

Chris sneaks a rogue "thumbs-up" into a scenic view of the Venetian fortress at Methone.

Prof. Faro lectures on the Venetian fortifications at Methone.

Prof. Faro lectures on the Venetian fortifications at Methone.

The group makes its way along the sea wall of the fortifications at Methone.

The group makes its way along the sea wall of the fortifications at Methone.

The old church within the ramparts at Methone.

The old church within the ramparts at Methone.

Group on the small fortified island of Bourtzi, part of the Venetian kastro at Methone.

Group on the small fortified island of Bourtzi, part of the Venetian kastro at Methone.

Jason and KT on Bourtzi.

Jason and KT on Bourtzi.

Chris and Jason scale the sea gate at Methone.

Chris and Jason scale the sea gate at Methone.

Ben checks out some boats in the harbor at Methone.

Ben checks out some boats in the harbor at Methone.

Exploring the keep at Methone.

Exploring the keep at Methone.

Methone!!!

Methone!!!

Ben skips rocks at the beach at Methone.

Ben skips rocks at the beach at Methone.

Jason and Ben compete for rock-skipping hegemony.

Jason and Ben compete for rock-skipping hegemony.

Week 3

Week 4

Tuesday April 14

Sites Visited: Bassae (Classical temple)

Where did we stay tonight?: Pylos

Leaders: Charles Clark and Chris Johnson

Today started out like many other FSP days. We slept peacefully. Wakened by the gentle cooing of doves, we soon sought out breakfast. We lingered over our lodging’s exotic and delectable offerings, which were tastefully presented to ensure a healthy appetite. We gathered our daily necessities and boarded our stately chariot. Then, things began to go wrong.

Our journey to the temple of Apollo at Bassai, famous for its architectural oddities and spectacular situation, was originally scheduled to last but a single hour. Alas, our driver disagreed. Instead, he took us on a three hour tour of some of the more winding mountain passes ever created by mortal man. A healthy dosing of Dramamine was enjoyed by many. Finally, we arrived at the peak to find that a rainstorm had chosen today to visit the sanctuary as well. We dashed through the rain and less consolidated precipitation to take refuge beneath the temple’s protective tenting.

Within the safety and relative comfort of the tent, our group was quizzed on the day’s reading. Then we explored the temple remains itself, including the base of the world’s first Corinthian column, which was lost or destroyed shortly after its discovery. You cannot win them all. After our lecture on the remains, we returned to Pylos for an afternoon off. That took three hours too.

mid-marathon bus ride interview with Jerry:

Easter Lamb:

Weather report from Bassae:


Day 24 Photo Gallery:

The temple of Apollo at Bassae reveals its deepest secrets in inclement weather.

The temple of Apollo at Bassae reveals its deepest secrets in inclement weather.

There was much rejoicing at the good fortune of having a gigantic circus tent at this particular site.

There was much rejoicing at the good fortune of having a gigantic circus tent at this particular site.

Milling about in the storm at Bassae.

Milling about in the storm at Bassae.

Site guards, like cats, hate the rain when it is inconvenient. Ben, KT, and Jerry take advantage in order to get a look at the roped off portions of the temple.

Site guards, like cats, hate the rain when it is inconvenient. Ben, KT, and Jerry take advantage of the situation in order to get a look at the roped off portions of the temple.

Exploring the idiosyncratic interior of the temple.

Exploring the idiosyncratic interior of the temple.

Checking out the world's first Corinthian column base in the adyton of the temple of Apollo at Bassae.

Checking out the world's first Corinthian column base in the adyton of the temple of Apollo at Bassae.

Prof. Faro lectures over the sounds of gale-force winds and pounding rain under the tent at Bassae.

Prof. Faro lectures over the sounds of gale-force winds and pounding rain under the tent at Bassae.

A local feline ponders evidence for the architectural agency of Iktinos at Bassae.

A local feline ponders evidence for the architectural agency of Iktinos at Bassae.

It was too much for him!

It was too much for him!

Kait, Alex M., KT, Jerry, Joe, and Charlie shiver through the lecture at Bassae.

Kait, Alex M., KT, Jerry, Joe, and Charlie shiver through the lecture at Bassae.

Charlie, Ben, Kathryn, and Alex A. take some notes amongst the columns.

Charlie, Ben, Kathryn, and Alex A. take some notes amongst the columns.

Chris, Ben, Charlie, and Alex A. are happy to be back on the bus after a bit of exposure to the cold and rain of Bassae.

Chris, Ben, Charlie, and Alex A. are happy to be back on the bus after a bit of exposure to the cold and rain of Bassae.

Kait and Joe share the sentiment.

Kait and Joe share the sentiment.

A vignette from our looooooooong day on the road.

A vignette from our looooooooong day on the road.

Scenery around Pylos.

Scenery around Pylos.

Getting into the Easter mood.

Getting into the Easter mood.

Bucolic scene around Pylos.

Bucolic scene around Pylos.

The fortress above Pylos.

The fortress above Pylos.

Pylos from the fortress.

Pylos from the fortress.

Week 3

Week 4

Monday April 13

Sites Visited: Megalopolis (Classical city-state), Lykosoura (Classical sanctuary)

Where did we stay tonight?: Pylos

Leaders: Jason Spellmire and Alex Maceda

Vitruvius once said, “anyone who tries to reconstruct a temple based on my canon is like a lone actor in the theatre at Megalopolis, calling for warm bodies but alas… the Arcadian league has already dissolved into two separate entities…”

With this famous quote in mind, and after visiting Megalopolis in the morning and viewing a performance of the drama that was the history of the site (Professor Faro’s lecture), we set out to reconstruct the Temple of Despoina at Lykosaura. At least one group member (coughJasoncough) was excited to finally be seeing dinosaurs on this trip… fail.

Any attempt to convey in coherent prose the scenario that unfolded as the entire group struggled to make three small drawings could never do it justice. Instead, we present “FSP overheard;” that is, what an eavesdropper would have overheard as we worked on this project:

“I feel like a pregnant woman… I’m taking pictures for 2!”

“So do we all agree that there are six columns?”

“I have a theory about why you’re always smiling… it’s because your face is shaped that way! Make a straight face. See! His face is shaped that way! He has a freaking archaic smile!”

“Wait…this is a temple?”

“WHAT IS OUR *$#@!% MODULE?!?!?!?”

“Okay…so who has measurements for the walls?”

“40.5 centimeters?! ARE YOU KIDDING??? 40.64 centimeters!! NO COMPROMISES! I MEASURED THAT WITH AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE!”

“Dinosaurs are sick… want some ketchup chips?”

“If we don’t use 41 centimeters, I am going to go buy some socks.”

“FML.”

“Can we draw proportionally accurate dismembered animals in our plan?”

“…well, you can drink the one that makes you hallucinate, or you can drink the one that gives you explosive diarrhea… or the one that makes you do both.”

At least one of these was said by an authority figure on the trip. Given these snippets, we have the confidence that you can imagine the rest. From Pylos, over and out.

Collaboration jam sesh:

Day 23 Photo Gallery:

Kathryn and Kait explore Megalopolis in the shadow of a scenic power plant.

Kathryn and Kait explore Megalopolis in the shadow of a scenic power plant.

Prof. Faro explains the ad hoc institutions of the Megalopolitan polis in the theater.

Prof. Faro explains the ad hoc institutions of the Megalopolitan polis in the theater.

Megalopolis, population: a lot!

Megalopolis, population: a lot!

Picnicking in the sun at Lykosoura

Picnicking in the sun at Lykosoura

Kate enjoys the many splendours of the Hellenic picnic at Lykosoura.

Kate enjoys the many splendours of the Hellenic picnic at Lykosoura.

The temple of Despoina at Lykosoura.

The temple of Despoina at Lykosoura.

Joe and Alex demonstrate the relative merits and drawbacks of Macedonian sarissa and hoplite sword measuring techniques.

Joe and Alex demonstrate the relative merits and drawbacks of Macedonian sarissa and hoplite sword measuring techniques.

Dallis works on the temple reconstruction assignment at Lykosoura.

Dallis works on the temple reconstruction assignment at Lykosoura.

Joe, Ally, Jerry, and Alex A. discuss the subtleties of the Doric order.

Joe, Ally, and Alex A. discuss the subtleties of the Doric order.

Alex and Ally ponder the finer points of Vitruvian syntax.

Alex A. and Ally ponder the finer points of Vitruvian syntax.

Kait, Jerry, and Jason crunch the numbers.  What IS the module!?  The world may never know...

Kait, Jerry, and Jason crunch some numbers. What IS the module!? The world may never know...

Chris and Charlie debate human error in archaeological measurement while Prof. Faro grades some of the ever-present reading quizzes.

Chris and Charlie debate human error in archaeological measurement while Prof. Faro grades some of the ever-present reading quizzes.

Alex and Kate measure the south doorway of the temple at Lykosoura.

Alex and Kate measure the south doorway of the temple at Lykosoura.

The group responds unfavorable to our unceremonious ejection from the site at the hands of the bad-tempered site guard.

The group responds unfavorably to our unceremonious ejection from the site at the hands of the bad-tempered and cryptofascist museum guard.

The students frantically gather pediment measurements before getting the proverbial heave-ho out onto the extra-sanctuary curb..

The students frantically gather pediment measurements before they get the proverbial heave-ho out onto the extra-sanctuary curb.

Week 3 

 

Week 4

 

Sunday April 12

Sites Visited: Tiryns (Mycenaean Bronze Age citadel), Lerna (Early Helladic corridor house), Mantinea (Classical-Hellenistic city-state)

Where did we stay tonight?: Tripolis

Leaders: KT Holroyd and Ben Kahn

               Early this morning we all had to pack up our bags and leave the beautiful town of Nafplion. After arriving at the site of Tiryns, we took a short quiz and began our tour of this Mycenaean palace. We were given a thorough and enthusiastic tour from Dr. Ulrich Thaler, a resident expert on the site. His excitement and interest were thoroughly appreciated by us so early in the morning. Dr. Thaler guided us through numerous gates and to the upper citadel where we entered the megaron; we even acted out the way Mycenaean citizens would have approached their wanax (or king). He got great enjoyment from revealing to us his unpublished theory about how individuals would have experienced the space as they moved through the throne room. We spent almost two more hours walking through the lower citadel and exploring the remains of the settlement before we had to say goodbye to our friendly German guide.

            After a brief bus ride we had a beautiful picnic lunch outside of the site of Lerna. Lucky for us, the main attraction of the site—the House of Tiles—was open for exploration (a rare treat). We explored the large building where thousands of tiles were found along with sealings that indicate that it was one of the first examples of a complex, organized administration on mainland Greece. We soon took off for a bus ride through the hilly Peloponnesian landscape, allowing most of us to catch up on some much needed sleep. However, four of the boys took the opportunity to set up a mini-casino at the table in the back of the bus.

            We stopped at the town of Mantinea and took a short break to admire a strange church built, oddly enough, in 1972. Although we had all been mourning the loss of the peak sanctuary hikes we had enjoyed in abundance on Crete, our sorrows were soon remedied with a brisk walk up to the top of a hill overlooking the scenic Mantinean plain. From this viewpoint we were able to get a sense of what an average Greek polis would have looked like, set in the midst of mountains in a fertile plain. Sarah gave us a brief lecture on the history of Mantinea and we all walked down the hill to get a look at what little remains on the site.

            At the end of the long day we got on the bus one last time and were taken to Tripolis where we slept for the night. 

Through the formidable gateway at the citadel of Tiryns:

Impressions of Lerna:

Day 22 Photo Gallery:

Guest speaker Dr. Ulrich Thaler introduces the group to Tiryns.

Guest speaker Dr. Ulrich Thaler introduces the group to Tiryns.

 

Dr. Thaler instructs us on movement in the megaron at Tiryns.

Dr. Thaler instructs us on movement in the megaron at Tiryns.

Jerry and Alex A. follow the argument.

Jerry and Alex A. follow the argument.

 

Jerry, Chris, Joe, and Jason master their column impersonations, as Charlie is crowned wanax for a day.

Jerry, Chris, Joe, and Jason master their column impersonations, as Charlie is crowned wanax for a day.

An acrobatic snail amongst the ruins at Tiryns

An acrobatic snail amongst the ruins at Tiryns

 

Kate and Alex M. make their way through the flora in the Mittelburg.

Kate and Alex M. make their way through the flora in the Mittelburg.

 

Exploring the postern gate at Tiryns

Exploring the postern gate at Tiryns

 

The group gets excited about the Unterberg.

The group gets excited about the Unterberg.

Kait and Alex M. explore the Unterburg.

Kait and Alex M. explore the Unterburg.

 

Picnic at Tiryns

Picnic at Lerna

Prof. Faro lectures on the Neolithic remains at Lerna.

Prof. Faro lectures on the Neolithic remains at Lerna.

 

The House of Tiles at Lerna

The House of Tiles at Lerna

 

KT and Dallis take a break at Ayia Photeini at Mantinea.

KT and Dallis take a break at Ayia Photeini at Mantinea.

The "Minoan-Classical-Byzantine" folly (Ayia Photeini) at Mantinea.

The "Minoan-Classical-Byzantine" folly (Ayia Photeini) at Mantinea.