07 – Week Seven (4-9 May)


Week 6

Week 7

Saturday May 9th

Sites Visited: Ioannina Museum, Dodona (Epirote oracle)

Where did we stay tonight?: Kalambaka

Leaders: Kate Ginsberg and Alex Maceda

Today started off with a nice morning stroll through the streets of Ioannina to the Archeological Museum. We were immediately posed with the question “Who ate the rhinoceros?” Yes, the one and only rhinoceros in Prehistoric Greece. Continuing the theme of thought-provoking questions, the group was amused by the display of lead tablets recording questions posed to the oracle of Zeus Naios at Dodona. These questions included “Where is my lost kylix?” and “Given that I dedicated my cup, why did the horse from Actium beat Diodones’s horse in Elea?” Questions not as momentous as put to the oracle at Delphi…

The museum also housed lithics galore and an informative video on their production. By 10:00 AM we were off and running to Dodona, site of one of the most famous oracles of the ancient Greek world. As Professor Christesen lectured, the group listened carefully for the quiet rustling of oak leaves or the clash of acorns on bronze tripods—the voice of Zeus Naios from the roots of the ancient sacred tree. While some of us admired (admired?) the sandstone columns of the temples to Dione, the others seriously considered living in the style of a priest of Zeus Naois: no shoes, sleeping on the ground, and no bathing. We admired the many reptiles who call the site home, including snakes and bright green lizards. On our way to lunch, we passed the theater, which was one of the largest such buildings in ancient Greece. After lunch, we settled in a shady spot to discuss Books 2-5 of the Iliad before boarding the bus for a scenic drive through the Pindus mountains and an interminable array of tunnels to Kalambaka, where we’re staying for the night.

Day 49 Photo Gallery:

A favorite quadroped from the museum visit.

A favorite quadraped from the museum visit.

Ben's take on the strigil, c. 415 BCE

Ben's take on the strigil, c. 415 BCE

Kait displays a rare Neolithic paper crane.

Kait displays a rare Neolithic paper crane.

The FSP waits patiently at the Ioannina Museum.

The FSP waits patiently at the Ioannina Museum.

The sacred oak tree at Dodona.

The sacred oak tree at Dodona.

Who ate the Rhinoceros, the eternal question.

Who ate the Rhinoceros, the eternal question.

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Week 6

Week 7

Friday May 8th

Sites Visited: None (Free Day in Ioannina)

Where did we stay tonight?: Ioannina

Leaders: Dallis Fox and Jason Spellmire

There are worse places to spend a day off than Ioannina (pronounced YAWN-in-ah). It is in Northern Greece, with a nice lake, snow-capped mountains, and a Tilt-a-Whirl with strobe lights. People used to fight here a lot more than they do now, as evidenced by the castle, museum of weapons, and knives of many shapes that can be bought on the street. Oh wait. Anyway, some important people died here apparently. Also the city is known for its silversmiths. We didn’t see any, but we did see a lot of metal things for sale, like pots, large keys, and things that looked like combination shields and hubcaps.

We all spent the day doing different things. Some of us slept until 1:30. Okay, that was just Ben. Others spent five hours in a café. World record? Nay, just a typical Greek afternoon. Still others explored the weaponry museum, which also contained a five-foot pipe-like thing that one of the aforementioned famous guys who died here smoked.

Ioannina has lots of other attractions besides these. It has, for instance, a very nice, first-rate grocery store in which can be bought many attractive items. It also has a Haagen-Daas. It does not have a Dominos Pizza or a bowling alley, which means it automatically cannot place higher than 3 on our 1-5 rating of Greek cities.

We leave you with this gem of an acrostic in which our combined poetic brilliance will shine through with the light of a thousand suns.

Interesting
On a Lake
About 400 kilometers from Athens? This might be very wrong.
Northern Greece WOOOOOO
Nothing else is coming to mind
It’s really late. Can you tell?
Not another N!?!?!
A DAY OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 48 Photo Gallery:

Ioanninaaaaaaaaa

Ioanninaaaaaaaaa

Alex not yawning in Ioannina

Alex not yawning in Ioannina

Tapping into the ragey spirit of Ali Pasha.

Tapping into the ragey spirit of Ali Pasha.

Ladies on the town.

Ladies on the town. Single men of Ioannina stand no chance.

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Let sleeping dogs lie. They have wisely chosen the lush grassy park bordering Lake Ioannina for their idylls.

Snow-capped mountains by the lake.

Snow-capped mountains by the lake.

Week 6

Week 7

Thursday May 7th

Sites Visited: Thermon (Aetolo-Acarnanian sanctuary), Nekyomanteion (Oracle of the dead!), Kassope (Hellenistic city)

Where did we stay tonight?: Ioannina

Leaders: Kathryn Mammel and Kait Barber

Choose Your Own FSP Adventure:

You wake up to another day in Greece. Kathryn and Kait, your leaders, bring you to the bus and you sleep on the way to Thermon. You get off the bus and wait for the guard to open the gate as PCC gives a lecture on the sanctuary. You walk down the hill and you see a) snow, or b) a wall

a) The snow is sitting on the ground. In Greece. In May. You cry softly to yourself as you think about the 90-degree day in Hanover. Bad Times. (Go to b)

b) The wall forms the base of a temple that was made out of wood, mud-brick, and terra cotta. You realize that the plan you were given doesn’t match the stones on the ground. In confusion the group decides to find out later and go check out the stoas. After seeing the site you head back to the bus with everyone else for a long ride north.

You arrive at the mysterious site of Nekromanteion  (perhaps the site of an ancient oracle of the dead) after eating an amazing souvlaki sandwich while looking out on the Adriatic. You walk through the corridors, the labyrinth, and arrive in a central chamber where you can descend into darkness below. The stairs are dark and damp, and you wonder if Hades and the Underworld await you below. You decide a) this is definitely the site of oracle of death, or b) this is just a fortress.

a) The group is drawn into the dungeon room and everyone feels the spirit of the underworld. WOOOOOOO. You have an awesome time and check out the huge crack in the wall. Maybe the Underworld? Great Times.

b) It’s just a fortress? BOORING. (go to a)

You walk back down the hill to the bus, stopping for ice cream on the way. The group goes to Kassope to do some exploring. Everyone walks all over the ancient town and sees the theaters, a tomb, and ancient houses. You break into your group and decide what you would like to excavate. It’s beautiful.  You head back to the bus,  stop for the night in Ioannina, and enjoy a leisurely dinner at an Italian restaurant on the lake. Full and quite exhausted you a) attempt to intuit your way back to the hotel in the dark, or b) ask for help.

a) You realize the girls will never follow you and you give up and wait outside while…

b) The girls ask the waitress for directions. She asks the enormous Greek mobster (?!) at the table next to you who calls some friends, draws a map, and directs you safely back to your hotel.

You arrive at the hotel and prepare to sleep in late and enjoy your day off. No choice about that.

Oracle of the dead: communing with Dale Earnhardt?:

Day 47 Photo Gallery:

SNOW! outside the Temple of Apollo at Thermon

SNOW! outside the Temple of Apollo at Thermon.

PCC, Charlie, and Alex A. attempt to make sense of the walls at Thermon.

PCC, Charlie, and Alex A. attempt to make sense of the walls at Thermon.

Ben and Alex outside the Thermon Museum

Ben and Alex outside the Thermon Museum

Chris reads the Iliad in front of the Adriatic.

Chris reads the Iliad in front of the Adriatic.

The Mets make their Greek debut

The Mets make their Greek debut

KT attempts some Psychometry outside the Oracle of the Dead

KT attempts some Psychometry outside the Oracle of the Dead

Mysterious Modern Stairway to the Underworld

Mysterious Modern Stairway to the Underworld

Inside the Secret Underground Chamber

Inside the Secret Underground Chamber

Jason among the flowers.

Jason among the flowers.

Charlie among the ruins at Kassope

Charlie among the ruins at Kassope

It's a bird!  It's a plane!  NO - IT'S KAIT!

It's a bird! It's a plane! NO - IT'S KAIT!

Week 6

Week 7

Wednesday May 6th

Sites Visited: Mesolonghi (War of Independence monument), Oiniadae (Hellenistic city-state)

Where did we stay tonight?: Ioannina

Leaders: Ally Begly and Ben Kahn

This morning we woke up early again (sensing a pattern…). We ate a quick breakfast and prepared to leave Olympia. But for the first time, we left a man behind (and a woman). Unfortunately, Joe was feeling sick, so he and Sarah stayed back to rest up and will meet us in Ioannina. We boarded the bus to Mesalonghi, where we made a quick stop to visit the Garden of the Heroes, a monument to those who died in the Greek War of Independence. After Ally located the museum, the rest of the group followed to check out the town hall/ shrine-museum to Lord Byron. After checking out the many portraits of Lord Byron and some dramatic paintings of the Greeks last stand at Mesalonghi, we headed back to the bus and continued on to Oiniadai, a Hellenistic city which is largely unexcavated. At Oiniadai we ate lunch and then split up into groups to tackle the various parts of the site. Some of us went to the ship sheds, and others to the theater, but the real adventurers of the group (or those of us selected by process of elimination due to our partners having a crippling phobia of snakes), Jerry, Ally, CJ, and Charlie, went to explore the southern fortifications and the enigmatically named House on the Hill. After bushwhacking our way through many prickers, snakes, and spiderwebs, we had a successful survey of the fortifications despite one small mishap with a piece of crumbling wall. We regrouped at the theater, and found nice spots to finish reading Books 2-5 of the Iliad in the breezy Greek afternoon. We wrote a bit on Homer and War, and then came to Agrinio, where we are staying at the third incarnation of the Hotel Galaxy. This evening most of us wrote our assignment, a Blue Guide entry on Oiniadai, and then turned in early because we have another busy day tomorrow, when we are headed to Thermon, Nekymanteion, and Kassope.

Day 46 Photo Gallery:

Oineadae

Oiniadae

At work in the theater remains.

At work in the theater remains.

There are worse places to read Homer

There are worse places to read Homer.

Charlie, with the coveted peanut butter

Charlie, with the coveted peanut butter

We can read (sort of)

We can read (sort of)

Fine polygonal masonry in the wall circuit at Oineadae.

Fine polygonal masonry in the wall circuit at Oineadae.

The plain around the site.

The plain around the site.

No caption necessary

No caption necessary

Meanwhile, back in Olympia, Sarah stalks about documenting more recent archaeology as she waits for the patient to improve...

Meanwhile, back in Olympia, Sarah stalks about documenting more recent archaeological remains as she waits for the patient to improve...

A vintage paint job.

A vintage paint job, resting on its laurels.

An old-timey model of Olympia from the Excavation history museum.

An old-timey model of Olympia from the Excavation history museum.

An illustration from an early excavation report at Olympia.

An illustration from an early excavation report at Olympia.

 

Week 6

Week 7

Tuesday May 5th

Sites Visited: Olympia

Where did we stay tonight?: Olympia

Leaders: Jerry Guo and KT Holroyd

As is usual these days, our group woke up bright and early at 7am to sample the delicacies of the hotel breakfast. The orange juice machine was both delicious and terrifying. Many FSPers were amazed by the toaster; such high technology is rarely seen in Greece. A short walk to the main site at Olympia yielded a locked gate, archaeologists setting up survey equipment, a beautiful view, and wet benches. After an eye-opening by Professor Christesen, we were met by the German Director of the site, Dr. Reinhard Senff. He gave us a spectacular lecture on the restoration work the DAI has undertaken in the past century as we moved through the site, and we were even able to see the current excavation work to the south of the stadium.

After another lecture by Professor Christesen (noticing a trend?), we finally took a break for lunch. Those of us who picnicked on the site were chased away by a harpy of a guard and had to encamp just outside the gates, like the Greeks of old. Others ventured into town to the FSP lunh of champsions: a gyro dripping with grease and tzatziki. After lunch, we proceeded to the museum to deliver presentations on various pieces of sculpture from the Temple of Zeus.

Then came the fun stuff. We were given a major assignment to draw site plans based not on chronology, but on function, in addition to a short paper. Clearly, the gods did not wish for us to do this assignment, as they sent a thunderstorm that poured down upon those of us who worked outside.

In a bizarre turn of events, the entire FSP got on the bus after the assignment was handed in to go to a restaurant in a small village nearby, well-renowned for serving olive oil-drenched chicken by the kilo. And many kilos were eaten that night at “Chicken Restaurant.” After a 15 hour day, we passed out on our beds, ready for another 7am wakeup call and even more machine orange juice in the morning.

Dr. Senff lectures:

Slow race:

Making it educational:

Day 45 Photo Gallery:

Dr. Senff lectures at Olympia.

Dr. Senff lectures at Olympia.

Resistivity work near the Hill of Kronos at Olympia.

Resistivity work near the Hill of Kronos at Olympia.

Joe and Chris flee the encroaching hoards of package tourists.

Joe and Chris flee the encroaching hoards of package tourists.

Massive column elements from the temple of Zeus.

Massive column elements from the temple of Zeus.

Sceptical faces at the Eretrian "bull" monument.

Sceptical faces at the Eretrian "bull" monument.

The group clambers through the brush to inspect the trenches being sunk near the hippodrome.

The group clambers through the brush to inspect the trenches being sunk near the hippodrome.

Prof. Christesen enjoys a frolic in the pleasant greenery of the Olympic stadium.

Prof. Christesen enjoys a frolic in the pleasant greenery of the Olympic stadium.

Joe, Kathryn, Ben, and Kait join in.

Joe, Kathryn, Ben, and Kait join in.

Mix and match Doric capitals at the temple of Hera in the altis.

Mix and match Doric capitals at the temple of Hera in the altis.

More skeptical faces at the temple of Hera.  Must be the machine orange juice.

More skeptical faces at the temple of Hera. Must be the machine orange juice.

One of the sacred trees in the grove at Olympia.

One of the sacred trees in the grove at Olympia.

Apodyterion-ing before the race at Olympia.

Apodyterion-ing before the race at Olympia.

The athletes process out to the starting line for the stadion (200 m.) race.

The athletes process out to the starting line for the stadion (200 m.) race.

Serious game faces on.

Serious game faces on.

And they're off - but what's this...

And they're off - but what's this...

The Olympians have split into two factions!  So much for the truce.

The Olympians have split into two factions! So much for the truce.

Fast race.

Fast race!

Slow race.

Slow race.

Fast race!

Fast race!

Slow race.

Slow race.

Still racing.

Still racing.

And, the inevitable descent into frippery.

And, the inevitable descent into frippery.

Ben and Joe emerge from the tunnel: conquistadors!

Ben and Joe emerge from the tunnel: conquistadors!

Faded grandeur at the Temple of Zeus.

Faded grandeur at the Temple of Zeus.

Lecture under the guard's watchful eye at Pheidias's workshop.

Lecture under the guard's watchful eye at Pheidias's workshop.

The Alexes and Ben listen intently.

The Alexes and Ben listen intently.

The architrave of the Phillipeion against a brilliant Spring sky.

The architrave of the Phillipeion against a brilliant Spring sky.

Ben gives a presentation of his work on strigils at the Olympia museum.

Ben gives a presentation of his work on strigils at the Olympia museum.

Ben captures the imaginations of his viewers as he steps into the shoes of the Apoxyomenos.

Ben captures the imaginations of his viewers as he steps into the mighty shoes of the Apoxyomenos.

The strigil in its natural habitat.

The strigil in its natural habitat.

Ben Kahn, arbiter of strigil typologies.

Ben Kahn, arbiter of strigil typologies.

Microarchaeology.

Microarchaeology.

KT, Alex M., and Dallis explore the bronze finds from Olympia.

KT, Alex M., and Dallis explore the bronze finds from Olympia.

A fine terracotta sculpture of Zeus and Ganymede.

A fine terracotta sculpture of Zeus and Ganymede.

Dallis formally analyzes the West pediment from the Temple of Zeus with great gusto.

Dallis formally analyzes the West pediment from the Temple of Zeus with great gusto.

Ally and Charlie present a mildly successful metope from the temple of Zeus.

Ally and Charlie present a mildly successful metope from the temple of Zeus.

KT and Jerry work on their assignment in a cafe.

KT and Jerry work on their assignment in a cafe.

 

Week 6 

Week 7

Monday May 4th

Sites Visited: Chlemoutsi (Frankish fortress)

Where did we stay tonight?: Olympia

Leaders: Kate Ginsberg and Charlie Clark

It was a dark and stormy morning in Delphi.  The intrepid FSP group trudged from the hotel up to the bus, the chill mist of dawn swirling around our ankles and hiding our footsteps.  We boarded the bus and slept through some questionable driving, a shadowy sense of foreboding hanging over us all the while.  After stopping briefly in the gloomy drizzle at a bakery for lunch and at a cool bridge to take pictures, we reached the ominous site of Chlemoutsi, a Frankish castle.  The group descended from the bus warily and began the ascent to the mysterious site.  As we got closer, we could see the moldering ruins of a castle perched atop a hill with sheer cliffs on all sides.  Dismal fog lowered over the castle, obscuring the top from view as we scaled the path to reach our destination. 

After several near-death experiences and an encounter with ruthless brigands, we reached the castle, only to stand outside and stare through the locked portcullis.  Fear and awe gripped us as we contemplated what might lie behind the gates.  The wind howled at our backs as we circumnavigated the castle and attempted to stare through breaches in the wall into the enigmatic realm beyond.  Periodically an ear-splitting shriek rent the air from the depths of the castle, sending chills down our spines as we listened to our lecture.  Afterwards we got back on the bus, never suspecting the evil that would follow us to Olympia in the form of…READING ASSIGNMENTS!!!

And now for something completely different…

Each member of the group was asked what architectural element they would self-identify as. Here are the results:

Barber – Metope from Tholos

Holroyd – Triglyph

Dallis – Ionic Column Capital

Murray – Voussoir

Ginsburg – Corinthian Column Capital

Mammel – Spitting Lion Spout

Begly – Hedgehog Acroterion

Maceda – Karyatid

Clark – The infamous Hawksbeak Moulding

Khan – Amoeboid Polygonal Masonry Block

Guo – Half-fluted Doric Column Drum

Assaf – Oblique Semi-Engaged Monolithic Ionic Column

Spellmire – Pentelic Frappe Holder

Johnson – Flying Buttress

Indvik – Keystone

PCC – Relieving Triangle

“A really long shot of the sky”:

It was a dark and stormy Frankish Castle:

A glimpse into the chasm of Prof. Christesen’s deepest desires:

A glimpse into a different kind of chasm:

Day 44 Photo Album:

 

The bridge from Rhio to Antirhio at the narrowest point in the Corinthian Gulf.

The bridge from Rhio to Antirhio at the narrowest point in the Corinthian Gulf.

A beautiful piece of engineering.

A beautiful piece of engineering.

Seige towers thoughtfully left on the bus, Kate, Charlie, and Alex A. have no way to penetrate the fortifications at Chlemoutsi.

Seige towers thoughtlessly left on the bus, Kate, Charlie, and Alex A. have no way to penetrate the fortifications at Chlemoutsi.

 

Hunting for the breach.

Hunting for the breach.

Alex M., Dallis, and Kathryn try to "cute" their way past the defenses.

Alex M., Dallis, and Kathryn try to "cute" their way past the defenses.

KT gazes wistfully at what might have been.

KT gazes wistfully at what might have been.

Alex A. and Joe give up the fight.

Alex A. and Joe give up the fight.

Chlemoutsi, may thy firm unshak'n vertue ever bring Victory home!

Chlemoutsi, may thy firm unshak'n vertue ever bring Victory home!