The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project conducted its fourth study season in Tripolis between June 3 and July 3, 2014 as part of 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 Drs. David Gilman Romano and Mary E. Voyatzis of the University of Arizona as well as our Greek colleague Dr. Anna Karapanagiotou, Director of the 39th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. The work was made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations and institutions 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. The project also has received important support from the National Science Foundation and INSTAP, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. The Politistikos 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. This was our fourth study season, 2011-2014, following five years of excavation, 2006-2010, and two years of preliminary survey, 2004-2005.
This summer we were delighted to have as our guests in Tripolis, Arch and Laura Brown of Tucson. The Browns are long-time Friends of Mt. Lykaion and this year supported one of our graduate students and our registrar, Sarah Linn, as an “Arcadian Fellow.” While the Browns were staying with us we visited the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, as well as the more well-known sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia.
Our apotheke, located at 32 Heroon Polytechnion in Tripolis, opposite the Archaeological Museum of Tripolis, was the center of activity for us again this summer. The apotheke hosted a total of 14 individuals: 6 students and 8 scholars and scientists. We had specialists in residence studying the ceramics of various periods including the Neolithic, Middle Helladic, Mycenaean, Early Iron Age, Archaic and Classical. We continued our photography and archaeological illustration of the pottery and small finds, and also resumed the statistical analyses of the pottery from all the baskets in the altar. We began similar statistical work for the lower sanctuary. The results of the Fitch Lab Ceramic Analysis Project had just become available, so there was also a team re-examining the 100 Final Neolithic, Early, Middle, and Late Helladic and Early Iron Age sherds selected for petrography and chemical analysis in light of the scientific results. Data entry continued during the field season as well, since more pottery was catalogued, especially Neolithic and Classical material. We lived to the north of the city of Tripolis in Ano Kardara, near Levidi.
Architectural Work at the Sanctuary of Zeus
A small group of architectural students and staff continued work at the Sanctuary of Zeus on the architectural documentation project from June 3 to July 20. This year the group concentrated on finishing individual significant blocks in different areas as well as creating new perspective drawings of the ancient sanctuary. Living in Ano Karyes and working in the Cultural Center (Pneumatiko Kentro) of the village for the six weeks were three architecture students, Pat Playdon from Temple University, Alex Ford and Alex Mayer from the University of Arizona; later in the summer nine additional students joined them to work on the Parrhasian Heritage Park.
Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School
The fourth Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School was held for two weeks between July 7-21 under the direction of Dr. Nota Pantzou, University of Patras. David Romano, Director of the Park Initiative, was also in Ano Karyes together with Mr. Mark Davison who served as Director of Park Planning. The Field School is supported by the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project and the Parrhasian Heritage Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable foundation. The field school consisted of 6 Greek students in social anthropology and cultural heritage management (University of the Aegean and University of Patras), and 3 US graduate students in architecture, historic preservation and ancient history (Temple University, University of Arizona and University of Pennsylvania). Apart from attending lectures, the participants were actively involved in the identification and assessment of new and old trails, creation of digital maps, archival and ethnographic research, as well as participation in public outreach activities.
During the first week of the Field School, students took part in assessing trails, identifying new trails, translating park related material from Greek to English and from English to Greek, and creating a digital database of books and journals linked to the Park area.
During the second week of the Field School, students gathered information about local history, as well about the traditional paths and trails, their use and their abandonment. In groups, the students conducted informal interviews with locals in the villages of Ano Karyes, Lykaion, Lykosoura and Vasta. The aim of this mini ethnographic project was to create a digital map of the network of trails existing in the area around Mt. Lykaion enriched with oral testimonies.
Apart from field and lab work, students had the opportunity to attend lectures by the initiator for the creation of the Park (David Gilman Romano), local stakeholders (Fotis Zois) and specialists in Landscape Architecture (Mark Davison), (Alex Mayer) and Heritage Management (Nota Pantzou), visit important heritage sites (historical, archaeological and natural) of the Park and participate in local festivities, such as the festival of Prophet Elias and a gathering at the village of Isioma Karyon. Students visited the Neda Gorge, the archaeological site of Lykosoura, the Palaeontological Museum at Isioma Karyon, the hippodrome at Ano Karyes and the altar of Zeus.
Field School Open House
The students also worked on preparing for a public event in Ano Karyes. The Open House was held on Saturday, July 12th and introduced local and regional interested visitors to the Field School, and to the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project’s work. An important goal was to initiate discussion among various stakeholders for the future of the Park. During the Open House we also organized the opening of the fourth trail of the park, the Trail of Rhea, 1.74 km. in length, near the village of Ano Karyes. We had approximately 50 individuals in attendance, including members of the regional Parrhasian Heritage Park Society, the Parrhasian Park Planning team, and the student participants of the Parrhasian Heritage Field School.
Trail of Rhea Opening
The fourth trail to be opened as a part of the Parrhasian Heritage Park was the Trail of Rhea. In Greek mythology Rhea was the mother of Zeus, and from ancient literary sources we are told that Rhea gave birth to Zeus in a cave on the slopes of Mt. Lykaion. On a ridge immediately to the southeast of Ano Karyes a new trail leads to a spectacular vantage point that faces a well-known cave. This cave might be associated with the Greek myth of Zeus’ birth. Walking from the village of Ano Karyes, 40 of the Open House participants approached the access to the new Trail of Rhea and traversed it, stopping to admire the views and the beautiful day. Following the hike refreshments were served at the fountain at the entry to Ano Karyes. Participants drove to the hippodrome at the Sanctuary of Zeus, where David Romano presented results from the excavation and research at the site from 2004-2014.
Parrhasian Heritage Park Society
During the Field School multiple hikes were undertaken to different parts of the eastern regions of the Parrhasian Heritage Park. Each hike had a specific goal in mind to explore a trail in order to understand its relationship with modern villages as well as with ancient cities and sanctuaries. On one occasion, following a hike from Lykaio to Vasta, we were welcomed by representatives of the village, the former mayor, Panagiotis Zois, and we discussed the potential benefits of the Parrhasian Heritage Park for his village. One of the objectives of the Park is to link individual trails to form a network, and last year the trail between Vasta and Aghia Theodora was successfully opened as an example of this process.
Circumnavigation of the Peloponnese
Between May 12 – 23 the University of Arizona Alumni Association and the Archaeological Institute of America sponsored the Circumnavigation of the Peloponnese, a ten-day tour, seven days of which were aboard the Harmony V, a luxurious yacht, cruising the coastline of the Peloponnese. Mary Voyatzis and David Romano were the leaders of the trip and led the group in Athens, Sounion, and Brauron in Attica; Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae and Epidauros in the Corinthia and Argolid. Once aboard the boat in Nauplion we stopped in Monemvasia, Gytheion, Kyparissia and Katakolon, the port of Olympia, and Itea, the port of Delphi. We passed through the Corinth Canal on our return to Piraeus and Athens. Highlights of the trip included Sparta and Mystra, Olympia and Delphi and of course a tour of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion after we had visited the Temple of Apollo Epikourios. It was a spectacular spring day when we arrived at the sanctuary of Zeus, and at the temenos of the altar of Zeus just 20 m. below the southern peak of the mountain, we were treated to a spectacular display of pink wild flowers that provided a carpet for us as we got out of the vans and began our tour. After visiting the altar and temenos and the lower sanctuary, including the hippodrome, stadium, stoa, fountain and administrative building and corridor, we returned to the local village of Ano Karyes where we enjoyed a wonderful village lunch in the building that we fondly call the “Dining Palace.”
This text summarizes the work of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project conducted during summer 2014. A full color version of the brochure with English text, photographs and maps can be downloaded here.