February 2, 2013
The Academic Program resumed under cloudy skies in January, and we’ve had quite a bit of rain on our site visits. Nonetheless the group has accomplished a lot in a short time: we went to the Akropolis and were able to get into the newly reconstructed Temple of Athena Nike; we heard from Mr. Tasos Tanoulos on the Propylaia, and we’ve looked closely at the details of the Erechtheum. On our first Wednesday trip of 2013 we went to Thorikos and Lavrion, where Assistant Director Nick Blackwell spoke to us on the process of washing and refining silver ore. Since then we’ve also visited Sounion, the sanctuary of Apollo at Cape Zoster, and the Vari Cave, and also Eleusis and Acharnai. In Athens, Agora Director John Camp gave a full slate of lectures on site, as well as multiple sessions on context pottery.
This past Wednesday when we were at Dekeleia, enclosed by the former royal estate at Tatoï, Regular Member Thomas Rose led some of the group at a quick jog along the path that follows the circuit of the Spartan wall. Built in 413 B.C. and still visible in the side of the hill, the wall may not seem impressive, but we know the Spartan occupation of the site changed history—hence the commemorative run (dubbed the Tour de Dekeleia). That day we had the beginning of the “Alkyones,” a period of beautiful weather that comes at the end of January, and likely to stay for us as halcyon days in years to come.
— Margaret M. Miles, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies
Click on an image below to start the slideshow: