Kenchreai Days 3 & 4

Day 3 was me sorting through boxes of materials from a previous excavation in the basement of the Isthmia museum. On my break, I toured the site. The theater is overgrown by grass and blocked off and the temple of Poseidon is a wee bit in ruins, but the mosaic at the Roman bath is great. Here are some shots.

This morning, there was no work...well, there was work, but it was cleaning trash, so instead, we went swimming off the site (where I climbed around on the submerged ruins) and then went to visit the Ancient Corinth museum and site. It is NICE.
The Peirene Fountain.

The theater of Corinth with Akrokorinthos in the distance.

From the Roman skene of the of the theater--Heracles and the Stymphalian birds.

Athena and Dionysos from an archaic gate.

A Roman soldier's tomb.

An infant dedication to the Askleipion.

Athena holding an owl of wisdom.

A seated donkey statue. Apuleius anyone?

The Muse of Tragedy.

Statue in the remains of the Stoa of Corinth.

The 6th century temple of Apollo with the mountain behind.

Tomorrow, we are climbing the mountain. Wish us luck.

Kenchreai Days 1 & 2

Yesterday, I began my career as a low level archaeology serf. Day 1 was spent in the Isthmia museum basement going through bags of un-inventoried sherds from the earlier excavations of the north and south moles of Kenchreai harbor. This involved finding items in the bags with some sort of value artistic or historical value and photographing them and cataloging them. I don't have pictures of the work day, though I did take pics of the Isthmia museum materials--except the lovely mosaics from Kenchreai, which I will need to shoot tomorrow. I spent Day 2 at the site weeding the grounds of the earlier excavations so that the Director could take photos. The site was an early Christian church and baptistry founded where Paul supposedly visited. Due to some technical difficulties,  I can't upload those photos until I return to the US. But I will show you some of the Isthmia museum shots (Isthmia was the site of a temple of Poseidon and one of the 4 big athletic competitions of the ancient world).
Statue of an emperor as Jupiter (2nd cent. CE) found near the the starting line of the later Stadium.

Victor's stele starring Komelios the Corinthian (2nd cent. CE).

This is the inscription on the above stele.

Prayer to the Christian god to protect the Emperor Justinian (ca. 560 CE)

Fragments of the colossal statue group of Poseidon.

Info with a sketch of the group.

I will be able to post up the images from the Kenchreai site, as I mentioned, when I get home. I will say, the beach there is lovely. I'll be heading to the Archaia Korinthos site (home of the temple of Apollo) probably Friday as well as Akrocorinth. Then I head back to Athens for a photo extravaganza. 


We took a short site trip yesterday to Aigosthena (modern Porto Germeno), a small port town on the Gulf of Corinth at the intersection between the Megarid, Attica and Boeotia (excavated in the 1940s by the Austrians, we think). We spent some time exploring the site--occupied since the 6th century BCE up through medieval times--then went swimming ig the mildly chilly bay. It is a Classical citadel with long walls reaching down to the sea. The town was located between the walls on the hillside leading from the citadel to the sea. A medieval monastery was later built into the citadel and both early Christian and Byzantine churches were built in the town.
4th century fortification walls.

Entrance to the fortifications.

Walls of structures leading down to the sea.

One of two remaining tower structures on the acropolis. Shows evidence of a second floor.

The stray puppy who seems to inhabit the ruins.
Stairs to the main wall and tower.

Likely the bedroom for the monks built into the original front gate of the fortifications.

Inside one of the rooms. Is that a column drum? Or a grinding wheel?

Statue base for a bronze statue in the remains of an early Christian church located halfway between the acropolis and the sea. . The letters seems to have been erased or have been worn down by the sea air. The back is un-smoothed suggesting it was positioned, in a niche or against the wall.

A 5th century CE inscription (as determined after a 15 minute debate by a team of "experts") from a statue base incorporated as a cornerstone into the Byzantine church located on the remains of the Christian church.  

This town had a great view of the sea. 

I mean, look at that water. 

Today is a day of relaxation while tomorrow signals hard work in 100 degree heat. THe dig is wrapping up here so we will be assigned to either analyze artifacts or do some minor work on the excavation site. Looks like there is a marathon or something being run in town right now. Wow. All I want to do is sit in the shade and hide from the blazing sun.

The Parthenon

Yesterday I got lucky and crashed the site visit to the Parthenon with the Sumer Session students at the school. Luckily, one of the students quit the program during the first week (crazy, I know!) and so they had an extra spot. IT was pretty cool and I took over 60 pictures. I also got some shots of the rest of the Acropolis, but I will upload those later when I go back. We also arrived in Archaia Korinthos to join the Kenchreai excavation team for the week. I'll have to post the pics of the town and such later because there is just too much. 

The east entrance.
The west entrance.

Southeast corner.

Inside from the east entrance.

The north side restoration.

One partially restored and one melted interior columns on the east entrance.

View of the Erechtheion from inside the Parthenon.

Original bronze hook used to hang Persian shields dedicated by Alexander after the battle of Granicus.

Up close of melted marble.

Sculpture in the east pediment.

Metope on the east entrance with remnants of the Nero inscription below (the dots).

Today we are going to a site near Achaia Korinthos. I'll update later.

Another Day in Athens

I have mostly been recovering from jet lag and working in the library, but I did get a chance to walk around a little bit in Kolonaki. Also, due to a minor miscommunication, I have been moved to a different room--an apartment. It is big and has its own bathroom and AC, though I will confine myself to the bedroom/bathroom as much as possible so they have less cleaning to do tomorrow when I leave. Here's a looksy:

A small church.

A statue of some sort. I don't know what it is made of, but it looks a bit like a bush. Except much larger:

See, it is almost as big as a building.

These are the carvings on the side of the building.

I got this little tasty breakfast treat this morning. Bread filled with cheese and ham. I also got a fresh squeezed OJ. So good.

This is the entry to the new room.

The bedroom is spacious and charming.

This is the office (which I won't use).

A living room (note the tiny tiny TV).

And a little kitchen and dining area. I will also avoid using this.

If I come for a month or so at any point, this will be a great place to stay. When I come back in the spring, though, I'll probably just ask for a room with a private bath. 2 weeks is a long time to share a bathroom with others. 

Tomorrow, if Rome does not go on strike, Max will meet me here and we will take a train to Kenchreai. If Rome does go on strike and he can't get here, I may be able to stay at the School another night (though not in this apartment!) if he can make it here on Saturday. We'll see. I would hate to take the train across Greece all by myself. Where's the fun in that?

A Barbarian at the Walls

I have decided that this blog can handle more than my more academic reflections on the confluence between antiquity and today and have decided to record herein my own barbarian invasion of Greece. Yesterday, I descended upon the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for a short visit before heading out to Kenchreai and then back to Athens for a full sight-seeing tour (this means, of course, that the pictures between now and July 1 will be less exciting than after). It all began with my 14 hour travel extravaganza from Columbus to Philly and from Philly to Athens:

I managed to get the seat right up against the wall of the bathroom (row 11--remember to avoid it for future flights on this particular plane-type) which meant NO RECLINING! FOR 11 HOURS! I did not sleep very well. This is Loring Hall, the place I am staying at the school.

A statue hanging on the porch off the dining area.

The outdoor dining area.

My room is in the basement. Apparently they usually put the students there, but me and another professor are here this week and it is lucky. Loring Hall is NOT air conditioned (though we all have our own fan) and the basement stays cooler than upper floors.
The long corridor to the bathroom.

My room (including my fan)

I found a little bakery nearby that I will be breakfasting at this morning and I am going to try Greek frappe. It is coffee, I know, but I tend to like the coffee in Europe, just not in the US.  The school is in Kolonaki, an upscale neighborhood in Athens. Even here, though, you have to be prepared for emergencies:
I'm not sure what in my room is good for barricading, maybe the chair, if I can carry it to the main hall.

That is all for now. I'll try to get pictures the city over the next couple of days, especially the bakery.