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:
Day 25 Photo Gallery:
Approaching the site of Pylos.
Lepidoptera at Pylos
View of the "palace" at Pylos from the propylon.
Sarah, Joe, Alex M., and Ben exploring the intricate Palace of Nestor.
Prof. Faro lectures around the hearth at the palace of Nestor.
KT enjoys the scenic view of Sphakteria.
Ally considers redistributive versus reciprocal economies at Pylos.
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.
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.
Prof. Faro lectures on the Venetian 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.
Group on the small fortified island of Bourtzi, part of the Venetian kastro at Methone.
Jason and KT on Bourtzi.
Chris and Jason scale the sea gate at Methone.
Ben checks out some boats in the harbor at Methone.
Exploring the keep at Methone.
Ben skips rocks at the beach at Methone.
Jason and Ben compete for rock-skipping hegemony.