From the Field
On Saturday, July 30, 2011, the first trail of the proposed Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos was opened between Ano Karyes (Arcadia) and Neda (Messenia), 5.65 km. Thirty-five villagers together with local and regional dignitaries left the two villages that morning and met near the political boundary for a signing ceremony. Attending the ceremony were Mr. Evangelos Giannakouras, Governor of Arcadia, Dr. Takis Bouras, Mayor of Megalopolis, Dr. Anna Karapanagiotou, Ephor of the ΛΘ’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Dr. David Gilman Romano, Co-Director of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project together with members of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project and the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School participants.
One of the most important objectives of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project has been to propose, and now to work towards, the creation of Greece’s first large-scale national cultural heritage park in the mountainous area of the western Peloponnesos. The Park will protect the area of Mt. Lykaion but will also extend to protect and unify many other ancient cities and sanctuaries in the region. This is a spectacularly beautiful region of Greece worthy of preservation and protection that is characterized by forested hills, river valleys, peaks, mountain meadows, springs, isolated but welcoming villages and towns and winding roadways. The 550-square km area abounds with flora and fauna, and large parts of the region remain largely undisturbed by modern civilization. The proposal for the creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos, now in its seventh year, is gaining momentum through education, public presentations and meetings, as well as through the creation of the Park webpage. Park planning information and documents have been prepared and are available both in Greek and English on the website.
Both in Summer 2010 and 2011 important public meetings have been held in Megalopolis, Arcadia at which private citizens, village and community leaders, archaeologists, mayors and governors have attended and have contributed to the creation of what is now called the Park Alliance which will be the governing body of the Park. With the full support of the Ministry of Culture, including a message from the Minister of Culture, the ΛΘ’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Tripolis and other Ephoreias around the Peloponnesos plan to be involved in the creation of the Park. The first meeting of the Park Alliance took place the next day on July 31, 2011 in Megalopolis at which the Governor of the Peloponnesos, Dr. Petros Tatoulis, presided. Plans for the future of the Park were discussed. A supportive statement from the Minister of Culture, Pavlos Gerolanos was read at the meeting by Dr. Anna Karapanagiotou. Brief talks were given by Dr. Tatoulis, Dr. Takis Bouras, Dr. Costas Cassios, Dr. David Romano, Dr. Mary Voyatzis, Mr. Mark Davison and Ms. Ximena Valle.
During the Summer 2011 the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project began a Field School to train Greek and US students in the process of creating a large European cultural heritage park. During the Field School the first Park trail was opened, between Ano Karyes (Arcadia) and Neda (Messenia). It is planned that this field school will continue in future years and become an important training resource for Greek students and for students from the US and around the world and that the work of the Park creation will continue to develop.
The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project is a synergasia between the ΛΘ’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the University of Arizona under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The Co-Directors of the project are Dr. Michalis Petropoulos, Dr. Anna Karapanagiotou, Dr. David Gilman Romano, and Dr. Mary Voyatzis.
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