The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project conducted its third study season in its leased apotheke in Tripolis between June 11 and July 25, 2013 as a synergasia project between the University of Arizona and the ΛΘ’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Tripolis, working under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
The co-directors of the project are Dr. Mary E. Voyatzis and Dr. David Gilman Romano, both of the University of Arizona, together with Dr. Anna Karapanagiotou, Director of the 39th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Dr. Michalis Petropoulos, former Director of the 39th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Our synergates has been Anastasia Panagiotopoulou, former Director of the Archaeological Institute for Peloponnesian Studies in Tripolis.
The work was made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations and Greek-American supporters from the United States. The financial support of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Karabots of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and Ms. Annette Merle-Smith of Princeton, New Jersey continues to be of major importance. This summer, we were very fortunate to have Dorothy Dinsmoor visit Tripolis and Mt. Lykaion. Dorothy has been a long time financial supporter of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and the Parrhasian Heritage Park and we were delighted to have her with us. The project has continued to receive important support from the National Science Foundation and INSTAP. The Polistikos Syllogos of Ano Karyes and its President, Mr. Kyriakos Karagiannis, and its former President Mr. Christos Koumoundouros, have continued to support all of our efforts in Arcadia.
After five continuous seasons of excavation, 2006-2010, as well as two seasons of preliminary topographical, architectural, geophysical and geological surveys 2004 and 2005, we have continued in 2013 the study of our excavated material that we began in 2011.
Our apotheke, located at 32 Heroon Polytechnion in Tripolis, opposite the Archaeological Museum of Tripolis, was our center of activity again this summer. The apotheke hosted a total of 17 individuals, 6 students and 11 scholars and scientists. We had specialists in residence this summer studying the ceramics of various periods including the Prehistoric, Mycenaean, Early Iron Age, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Byzantine, as well as the miniature pottery. We are happy to host a delegation from the American School of Classical Studies including its director, Jim Wright, chair of the Managing Committee, Jennifer Neils, and chair of the Excavation Committee, Bonna Westcoat.
We continued our photography and archaeological illustration of the pottery and also conducted extensive statistical analyses of the pottery from all the baskets in the altar. Examples of two of the Mycenaean vessels as drawn by Christina Kolb are to the right. Some work was also conducted on the faunal remains from the lower sanctuary. Those working in Tripolis lived to the north of the city in Ano Kardara, near Levidi.
One facet of the Parrhasian Heritage Park (PHP) Field School included a series of lectures on the history of the park project, as well as on specific elements of the park initiative.
- David Gilman Romano, (University of Arizona) gave an introduction to PHP, its scope and the Mt Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project. He discussed the past, present and future of the PHP initiative.
- Fotis Zois (President of the PHP society) presented the Vastas Trail Project and the prospects of opening new trails that link Vastas with Lykosoura as well as trails to connect with Messenia to the south.
- Kyriakos Karagiannis (President of the Lykaios Dias Society) spoke about the activities and initiatives of the Society, placing great emphasis on the Lykaian Games. He also informed the students about the progress construction of the Lykaian Games Museum in Ano Karyes, and its future usefulness for the Mt. Lykaion Excavation as well as the Parrhasian Heritage Park.
- Costas Cassios (Emeritus Professor, Polytechnion, Athens) gave an introduction for students to Greek National Parks and their designing and creation, the flora of PHP, as well as work undertaken at ancient Olympia after the wildfires.
- Matt Pihokker (University of Arizona), a recent Masters student in archaeology, presented his thesis research on Mt. Lykaion, its connection to Megalopolis, and more generally, sanctuaries within the PHP. Matt focused on the neighboring Temple of Apollo Parrhasios as a pilgrimage destination in antiquity and discussed the use of GIS and digital mapping technology in uncovering possible pilgrimage routes.
- Nota Pantzou (University of Patras) spoke about Heritage Management and Public Archaeology, as well as Ethnographic methods in Archaeology and Heritage Management. The Mt Lykaion Ethnographic Project aims to unfold local history, including many intangible values of the region, and to create a communication platform with local communities.
Architectural Work at the Sanctuary of Zeus
During the entire six weeks we also had a small group of architectural students and staff working at the Sanctuary of Zeus. The architectural team worked on the continuation of our architectural documentation project at the Agno Spring. Aspects of the fountain recently cleared by the 39th Ephoreia were drawn in detail this summer. Living in Ano Karyes and working in the Cultural Center of the village, our architecture students were joined later in the summer by four additional students, two of whom were Greek university students working on the Parrhasian Heritage Park.
We were very fortunate to have Professor Madeleine Jost of the University of Paris visit us this summer. She toured the new excavations at the altar and temenos of Zeus and the lower sanctuary. Dr. Jost, who is the leading authority on Arcadian sanctuaries and cults, was especially interested in our work currently underway at the famous Agno Fountain in the sanctuary of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion.
Parrhasian Heritage Park
The third Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School was run for two weeks between July 14-24, 2013, under the direction of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project. Pat Playdon organized the laboratory and the trail work of the Field School while Nota Pantzou directed the organization of the lectures and the field trips around Arcadia. She also worked and lectured on her study of the ethnography of the region. Six US students and two Greek students took part in the field school and the work was divided into several categories that included the creation of a section of the Trail of Zeus on the west side of the mountain. In addition the students were studying landscape character, village character, trails, and sign design, as well as gathering information on the history, geology and archaeology of the region.
During the field school we participated in the opening of a portion of the third trail of the park, between the village of Vasta and the church of Aghia Theodora, a distance of about five kilometers. Community leaders as well as local political dignitaries took part in this event on Sunday July 21, 2013. We participated in a signing ceremony near the church of Aghia Theodora together with people from the local communities and civic leaders. A total of approximately 73 residents of villages within the park boundary (including some children) took part in the inaugural hike. The Parrhasian Park Planning team, together with the student participants of the Parrhasian Heritage Field School, and the team from Tripolis were also in attendance.
Parrhasian Heritage Park Society
On June 7 in the Old Parliment building in Athens the first public meeting of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Society was held. The president of the Society is Photis Zois, who organized the meeting. During the event there were presentations by a number of members of the Society including Mr. Angelos Dendrinos, presenting the International Society for Arcadia. An excellent lecture was given by Professor Theodorou of the University of Athens who spoke about the recent palaeontological discoveries made near Megalopolis. Kyriakos Karagiannis spoke about the upcoming Lykaion Games in August, 2013. David Romano was asked to address the audience and to take questions about the original concept and design of the park. Nota Pantzou assisted with the translations. Emily Graff was also in attendance.
The Parrhasian Heritage Park Society seeks to raise support for the development of the Parrhasian Heritage Park from local villages, societies, and other local organizations. There is strong support for the park from local villages in the prefectures of Arcadia, Messenia, and Elis. There will be the creation of local and regional committees to address the needs of different regions in the park planning process.
The Old Parliament building housed the Greek Parliament between 1875 and 1932. It now houses the National Historical Museum. The foundation of the building was laid by Queen Amalia in 1858 on plans by French architect François Boulanger, was later modified by Greek architect Panagiotis Kalkos with construction completed in 1871.
Vastas to Aghia Theodora Trail Opening
On Sunday July 21 a new trail was opened as a part of the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos. It is a trail that links the village of Vastas with the nearby 11th or 12th century CE chapel of Aghia Theodora. The trail is 4.2 km. in length and passes through beautiful forests and along panoramic ridges from Vastas to the chapel at a lower elevation. The trail was inaugurated by the priest from Vastas. Seventy-three participants from the local communities, and from the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project and the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School, participated in the hike. Photis Zois was instrumental in the organization of this trail opening following the initial work on the trail undertaken by Mark Davison and the students of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School of 2012.
Following the opening of the trail there was a meeting held in the community center where practical elements of the Parrhasian Heritage Park were discussed. The general idea is that this trail will link Vastas and Aghia Theodora to a network of other trails that will include the ancient city of Lykosoura and other sites in the Parrhasia, as well as sites in modern Messenia and Elis.
Another topic considered during the meeting was the question of how local communities would profit financially from the establishment and development of the Park. The idea of selling local products and produce as value-added products of the Parrhasian Heritage Park was discussed. The importance of all of the villages working together in this initiative toward the institution of the Park continues to be critical to the success of the overall Park concept.
The region of southern Arcadia and northern Messenia is one that is filled with many beautiful ancient sanctuaries and modern villages in a spectacular mountainous landscape. The idea of a network of park trails in this area will not only help to link the villages but also generate tourist interest.
The Lykaion Games
On August 4th, 2013 the 11th re-creation of the Ancient Lykaion Games was held on the site of the ancient hippodrome in the lower sanctuary of Zeus. Begun in 1973 and held every 4 years, these modern games have attracted athletes and spectators from Arcadia as well as from across Greece. The village of Ano Karyes, together with the city of Megalopolis, organized the games. Athletes, both boys and girls, men and women, competed in age group categories.
This text summarizes the work of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project conducted during summer 2013. A full color version of the brochure with English text, photographs and maps can be downloaded here.