05 – Week Five (18-25 April)


Week 3

Week 5

Saturday April 25

Sites Visited: Thermopylae (Persian War battle site), Dimini (Neolithic and Mycenaean settlement), beach!

Where did we stay tonight?: Volos

Leaders: Ally Begly and Chris Johnson

After a delicious spread at breakfast of miscellaneous starches and tang, we bid goodbye to Hotel Philippos and the wonderful bowling alley (sigh) of Levadhia. We boarded the bus and headed to Thermopylae. Having just watched a recent adaptation of the battle, 300, we were all excited to see the site of the famous Greek and Persian clash of 480 BCE. After looking around and confirming the lack of mutant rhinoceri and/or giant trolls, Professor Faro gave us a lecture in front of the modern monument to the battle. There wasn’t much to see, because the coastline had receded back about 5km from ancient times, and what was once was a narrow pass was now just a road in the middle of a plain. However, it was still exciting to see the site of such a famous battle, and the Spar-Students announced their profession to the other visitors at the site (see video 1). Back on the bus, we stopped at an oasis of overpriced snacks, German tourists, and fascinating arcade games for a brief lunch. We continued on to Dimini, an ancient Neolithic and Mycenaean settlement, where we met Dimitra Rousioti, who told us about the settlement. After an informative lecture, Dimitra suggested we all take a trip to the beach and save the museum for the morning. No one protested. At the beach, we relaxed, played basketball, and had an intense FSP volleyball face off. After much (valiant) flailing, rolling in the sand, and ducking out of the way of the ball, we called a day and went to our hotel in Volos. Tomorrow morning we have off, and then we head to Chalcis, our last stop before returning to Athens. For a more creative take on today, email alexander.assaf@dartmouth.edu.

Spear-rattling campaign:

Dimini lecture highlights:


Day 35 Photo Gallery:

Admiring the American-funded roadside monument at Thermopylae

Admiring the American-funded roadside monument at Thermopylae

Charlie, Jerry, Jason, Ally, Dallis, and KT puzzle out the Spartan epitaph at Thermopylae.

Charlie, Jerry, Jason, Ally, Dallis, and KT puzzle out the Spartan epitaph at Thermopylae.

Basking in the glory of times gone by.

Basking in the glory of times gone by.

Soldiers of the FSP army brave the existential threat of modern times: oncoming traffic.

Soldiers of the FSP army brave the existential threat of modern Thermopylae: oncoming traffic.

Archaeologist Dimitra Rousioti lectures to the group at Dimini.

Archaeologist Dimitra Rousioti lectures to the group at Dimini.

Heading into the Mycenaean tholos tomb that is built into the side of the magoula at Dimini.

Heading into the Mycenaean tholos tomb that is built into the side of the magoula at Dimini.

Alex A. examines the masonry techniques in use at Mycenaean Dimini.

Alex A. examines the masonry techniques in use at Mycenaean Dimini.

Joe, Alex A. and Kate consider the early evidence for sociopolitical complexity at Dimini.

Joe, Alex A. and Kate consider the early evidence for sociopolitical complexity at Dimini.

After some hasty calculations regarding domesticable crop yields, They share their conclusions with their compatriots.

After some hasty calculations regarding domesticable crop yields, They share their conclusions with their compatriots.

Beach volleyball near Volos.

Beach volleyball near Volos.

Jason serving: 15-love

Jason serving: 15-love

Alex A. in action.

Alex A. in action.

Chris and Joe vye for access to volleyball glory.

Chris and Joe vye for access to volleyball glory.

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Week 3

Week 5

Friday April 24

Sites Visited: Gla (Mycenaean citadel), Orchomenos (Mycenaean tholos tomb and Classical polis), Chaeronea (Classical battlefield)

Where did we stay tonight?: Livadhia

Leaders: KT Holroyd and Jerry Guo

Today, the FSP group continued its tour of Greek sites with place names that are difficult or interesting to pronounce. We bid adieu to the chic Hotel Niobe and the bustling market town of Thebes early in the morning, with many group members dawdling at the breakfast buffet for just one more fried egg and filtered coffee. Some would say it is depressing that such simple things now excite us so much. We would respond through a mouthful of fried eggs.

Sites in Central Greece are mercifully close together, so we had only a short bus ride to the Mycenaean site of Gla. A massive fortified rock sitting in the middle of an agricultural plain, Gla sat in the center of the Kopais Basin, which was drained by the Mycenaeans in a massive engineering feat. The remains of Gla are overgrown now, and after a short lecture, Professor Faro sent the group off to explore the ruins (and write an assignment).

The group returned to the bus for a short hop to the next site, Orchomenos. After a visit to the Treasury of Minyas and the Hellenistic theater, we undertook a hike to the acropolis, ascending an ancient staircase to finally reach the top. Lunch was on top of the surviving fortification tower on the peak, and it ranged from salami and mustard sandwiches to canned dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice).

The final site of the day was Chaeronea, the site of the Battle of Chaeronea where Philip II and Alexander of Macedon eliminated the Athenian and Theban hoplites arrayed against them, thus ensuring Macedonian supremacy over Greece. A massive stone lion marks the burial site of the Sacred Band of Thebes, the crack troops of the Theban army who were all but annihilated at the battle.

With an early end to the day, the group took the opportunity to enjoy some much needed time off and watch 300. Tomorrow: Thermopylae. Prepare for glory!!!!

Glad to be at Gla:

Figuring out the remains at Gla:

Tholos tomb at Orchomenos:

Kings/Queens of the mountain at Orchomenos:

Alex A. gives a (melo)dramatic reading of Diodorus Siculus at Chaeronea:

Day 34 Photo Gallery:

Morning scenery about Thebes.

Morning scenery about Thebes.

Thebes, new and old.

Thebes, new and old.

One of many entertainment options in the bustling market town of Thebes.

One of many entertainment options in the bustling market town of Thebes.

Troops sally forth amongst the snakes and overgrown ruins of the Mycenaean stronghold at Gla.

Troops sally forth amongst the snakes and overgrown ruins of the Mycenaean stronghold at Gla.

Charlie does his best poppy impression amongst the greenery at Gla.

Charlie does his best poppy impression amongst the greenery at Gla.

Jason perches atop a geological marker in order to survey the Mycenaean "palace" at Gla.

Jason perches atop a geological marker in order to survey the Mycenaean "palace" at Gla.

Charlie tries to make sense of the architectural remains atop the citadel.

Charlie tries to make sense of the architectural remains atop the citadel.

Jason, Jerry, Joe, Chris, and Alex A. work on their assignment.

Jason, Jerry, Joe, Chris, and Alex A. work on their assignment.

Circuit wall atop the rocky outcropping at Gla.

Circuit wall atop the rocky outcropping at Gla.

KT and Kait practice their psychometry at the tholos tomb in Orchomenos.

KT and Kait practice their psychometry at the tholos tomb in Orchomenos.

Alex A. cuts a striking profile within the side chamber of the tholos tomb.

Alex A. cuts a striking profile within the side chamber of the tholos tomb.

Jason and Alex A. summit the acropolis at Orchomenos, as the rest of the group follows on behind.

Jason and Alex A. summit the acropolis at Orchomenos, as the rest of the group follows on behind.

Chris and Joe clamber up to the top of the keep at Orchomenos.

Chris and Joe clamber up to the top of the keep at Orchomenos.

Scenic view of Orchomenos and the Kopaic basin from the heights.

Scenic view of Orchomenos and the Kopaic basin from the heights.

Joe savors the view from a prime spot on the tower at Orchomenos.

Joe savors the view from a prime spot on the tower at Orchomenos.

Picnic on the watchtower at Orchomenos.

Picnic on the watchtower at Orchomenos.

Group on the tower at Orchomenos.

Group on the tower at Orchomenos.


Week 3

Week 5

Thursday April 23

Sites Visited: Perachora (Archaic and Classical sanctuary), Aigosthena (Classical fortifications), Plataia (Persian War battlefield)

Where did we stay tonight?: Thebes

Leaders: Alex Maceda and Dallis Fox

Kalimera, FSP insiders!

Gossip Greek here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of the FSP elite.

When April 23rd rolls around, that can only mean one thing: Perachora. With its private cove and multiphase Heraion, this ancient site is anything but ruined. But with the best panoramic views of the Corinthian gulf, will anyone remember A. and C.J.’s big day? Or will it be discarded like the Roman period remains? Well, C.J. sure made a big splash…

Spotted: Our two group leaders carrying a nutella-covered pound cake. Could it be to the birthday two? Maybe A. and C.J. weren’t forgotten after all. Did our two fearless leaders delay the celebration of the birthday for the next scenic cove, Alkionias that is? And we hear that the best preserved Classical tower at Aegosthena is the perfect backdrop for turning another year older…

Every FSPer fantasizes about finding her perfect battlefield. But since when did one of the most decisive battles of the Persian war occur in an inconsequential polis’ backyard? Not much to see here at Plataia, archaeologically that is. But the real story is always what’s happening in private. Perhaps the professor has a paper is in store…

Until next time,

You know you love me,

xoxo,

Gossip Greek

Group, meet Perachora:

Chris’s 23rd birthday plunge:

Mardooooooniiiiiiiiiiiiiius!:

Day 33 Photo Album:

Perachora

Perachora

Alex M. conducts leaderly duties at Perachora.

Alex M. conducts leaderly duties at Perachora.

Charlie captures the spirit of Perachora on film.

Charlie captures the spirit of Perachora on film.

Prof. Faro lectures in the birthday drizzle at Perachora.

Prof. Faro lectures in the birthday drizzle at Perachora.

Ally benefits from the informative signage at Perachora.

Ally benefits from the informative signage at Perachora.

Early remains at Perachora.

Early remains at Perachora.

Alex A. dwells in darkness amongst the chthonic deities of Perachora.

Alex A. dwells in darkness amongst the chthonic deities of Perachora.

A happy group enjoys the sights and beach at Perachora.

A happy group enjoys the sights and beach at Perachora.

Dear sir, it's a mollusk I've found!

Dear sir, it's a mollusk I've found!

Chris shows the group the meaning of birthday arete, braving the cold and shark-infested waters at Perachora

Chris shows the group the meaning of birthday arete, braving the cold and shark-infested waters at Perachora

Taking in the fine view of the Corinthian Gulf and Mts. Helikon and Parnassos from the lighthouse at Perachora.

Taking in the fine view of the Corinthian Gulf and Mts. Helikon and Parnassos from the lighthouse at Perachora.

Picnic lunch on the beach at Aigosthena

Picnic lunch on the beach at Aigosthena

This is what happens when you get chocolate cake in the gears of your professor's leatherman.

What happens when you get chocolate cake in the gears of your professor's leatherman.

Jerry presents on the Pentaskouphia plaques at the beach at Aigosthena.

Jerry presents on the Pentaskouphia plaques at the beach at Aigosthena.

Going to check out the well-preserved fortification circuit at Aigosthena.

Going to check out the well-preserved fortification circuit at Aigosthena.

Taking notes at Aigosthena.

Taking notes at Aigosthena.

Group at Aigosthena

Group at Aigosthena

Kait peers through an opening in a Byzantine structure built into the fortifications.

Kait peers through an opening in a Byzantine structure built into the fortifications.

Kait and Alex explore Aigosthena.

Dallis and Alex A. explore Aigosthena.

Charlie, KT, Kait, and Kate luxuriate in the ashlar isodomic masonry at Aigosthena.

Charlie, KT, Kait, and Kate luxuriate in the ashlar isodomic masonry at Aigosthena.

The battlefield of Plataia, site of many shenanigans.

The battlefield of Plataia, site of many shenanigans.


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!

 

Week 3

Week 5

Tuesday April 21

Sites Visited: Piraeus Museum, Kolonna on Aegina (Neolithic through medieval settlement site with important Early and Middle Helladic remains) and the Archaic/Classical Temple of Aphaia at Aegina.

Where did we stay tonight?: Athens

Leaders: Jason Spellmire and Kait Barber

Today we awoke faced again with the painful reality of touring the country in the spring with no real world responsibilities. We drowned the agony in Nescafe coffee (the horrible inadequacy of which was loudly bemoaned) at the breakfast buffet before taking the subway to the port of Pireaus. Attractions there included a museum and a shop that sold telescopes, swords, pipes, and firearms all under one roof, for the budding Victorian guerilla astronomer. After a brief visit to the museum, at which TA Sarah showed off her knowledge of Athenian naval history, we headed to the island of Aegina aboard the Flying Dolphin 19. This was a sort of hybrid animal-ship with the approximate speed and sleekness of a dolphin but the cargo capacity and smell of a boat.

On Aegina, we toured the site of Kolonna and then took taxis to the famous Temple of Aphaia. The taxi drivers seemed eager to put the fine Mercedes engineering of their vehicles to use on the more open roads out of town. The temple was in antiquity apparently painted red and black, suggesting a possible dual use as an early 3-D model of a stylized ladybug/checkerboard—thesis forthcoming.

We took taxis back to the town of Aegina, where we had some time to kill before the Flying Dolphin made its return flight. During this time two FSPers each purchased a pair of binoculars from a nice young Bangladeshi on the street who assured them that they would pay four times his price in a shop (all those annoying requirements associated with legality make things more expensive I guess) (Note: Talking with him later I asked him how many binoculars he usually sold in a day. He struggled to find the correct English expression, finally coming up with “Most days, I sell zero. Maybe…I sell one in five days?”). The vendor’s unusual success with our group prompted his comrades to begin (even more) aggressively proffering their own binoculars and knockoff RayBans, but no takers here. We know quality when we see it.

At the temple of Aphaia:

Day 31 Photo Gallery:

Jason fails to measure up at the Piraeus museum.

Jason fails to measure up at the Piraeus museum.

The famous Apollo of Piraeus

The famous Apollo of Piraeus

Bronze Athena with Dallas and Jerry.

Bronze Athena with Dallas and Jerry.

Filing past the Lion of Moschato in the Piraeus museum.

Filing past the Lion of Moschato in the Piraeus museum.

Ally, Alex A., Jerry, and Charlie enjoy the sights and sounds of a bustling harbor town en route to the Flying Dolphin in Piraeus.

Ally, Alex A., Jerry, and Charlie enjoy the sights and sounds of a bustling harbor town en route to the Flying Dolphin in Piraeus.

A friendly carriage horse enjoys his feedbag in Aegina town.

A friendly carriage horse enjoys his feedbag in Aegina town.

Kait marvels at a formidable pithos from Kolonna in the Aegina museum.

Kait marvels at a formidable pithos from Kolonna in the Aegina museum.

Walter Gauss lectures to the group about his many years of excavation at Kolonna

Walter Gauss lectures to the group about his many years of excavation at Kolonna

Ben puts his archaeological game face on at Kolonna.

Ben puts his archaeological game face on at Kolonna.

The single standing column from the temple of Apollo at Aegina, for which the site of Kolonna was named.

The single standing column from the temple of Apollo at Aegina, for which the site of Kolonna was named.

Kait enjoys the sun and fun of the group's first Aegean island at Kolonna.

Kait enjoys the sun and fun of the group's first Aegean island at Kolonna.

Jason, Kathryn, et al file past the unexcavated Middle Helladic "mansion" at Kolonna.

Jason, Kathryn, et al file past the unexcavated Middle Helladic "mansion" at Kolonna.

The striking temple of Aphaia at Aegina.

The striking temple of Aphaia at Aegina.

 

Prof. Faro lectures in the museum on the grounds of the temple of Aphaia.

Prof. Faro lectures in the museum on the grounds of the temple of Aphaia.

A rare Qoppa siting in the museum!

A rare Qoppa siting in the museum!

KT, Jerry, and Kate study the wooden model of the temple of Aphaia in the museum.

KT, Jerry, and Kate study the wooden model of the temple of Aphaia in the museum.

Joe, Kate, KT, Alex M., Kait, and Dallis can hardly contain their joy at seeing a rare superimposed interior colonnade.

Joe, Kate, KT, Alex M., Kait, and Dallis get "high" from the sheer joy of seeing a rare superimposed interior colonnade.

Satisfied customers Joe and Alex A. at the Aegina town port.

Satisfied customers Joe and Alex A. at the Aegina town port.

 

Week 3

Week 5

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday April 18-20 (Greek Orthodox Easter)

Sites Visited: Various/None

Where did we stay tonight?: Athens

Leaders: Jason Spellmire and Kait Barber

Saturday through Monday was Greek Easter so we all had these days off. Most of the time was spent catching up on sleep and relaxing. Over the weekend people did their own things but here are some haikus that describe our break:

Easter Weekend Haikus

Resting in Athens

Party together at night

Everyone’s happy

Exploring Plaka

Monastiraki Gyros

People parading

Easter and chocolate

Everything in town is closed

Watch movies at night

flowers