June 3rd: The End!

After 70 days of labors great and small and a positively homeric final dinner at The Yellow Squirrel in Athens, our joie-filled band of triglyphs has dispersed.  Thanks to all who followed our epic adventures on the blog. Please visit the End Statements and Photo Gallery page for final thoughts and glamor shots from each of the 14 students.  In closing, Dartmouth Classics Department productions presents “Born This Wierd”, meticulously crafted over something like eight weeks by the 2011 FSP/glee club.

Finally, a couple of things to mop up.

1. By popular demand, and to demonstrate that Professors and other miscellaneous authority figures aren’t a total drag, here are some photos (thanks to Lizzie Short for the submission) of Prof. Christesen and Sarah decked in traditional May Day garlands, expertly crafted by dexterous FSP fingers:

2. Chloe sent in this report from the group’s independent trip to Mykonos over the short break we had in May.  I was waiting for pictures to post it, but I guess they were too incriminating (?) so you’ll have to use your imagination!

“What you’ve all been waiting for… what we did for break! Well, I’ve got one word for you: Mykonos. Perhaps a surprising location for a bunch of Classics nerds, but it was definitely needed. We left at 5:30, before the sun had risen, for Piraeus. From Piraeus, we boarded a ferry to Mykonos. Some may question the sanity of a bunch of Classics nerds waking up early, yet again, only this time unnecessarily… but we needed to see beaches! Without time tables. So we spent the first half of the day on a ferry that, honestly, felt like riding a cruise. It had a few restaurants, airplane seats, tables, bathrooms (always a problem for our bunch) and so many different decks. After spending 5 hours sleeping, talking, and playing cards, we get to Mykonos. As planner of this little trip, I thought we would have to get a bus or taxi to our hostel – Paradise Beach – but, sign of all signs, a bus from our resort was already there waiting to take us to our final destination!

We arrive at Paradise Beach Resort at around 2. We get checked in and they take us to… our rooms! Well, not rooms per se. More of plywood tent-boxes actually. My most distinct memory of the entire trip may be laughing hysterically as we walk towards our two-person, white, beds-and-no-TV homes away from homes. I’m not sure what your children have told you, but I personally found it rather legitimizing to be able to live in a tent-box for two days without computers, TVs, or its own bathroom. Feels so real.

After that wonderful new experience, we decide to catch buses into town. Mykonos proper is astounding. The Cycladic architecture will literally take your breath away; white walls, maze-like pathways, blue doors and windows, large grey pebble stones. It literally is the postcard you’ve all seen. The group splits, let’s be honest, it’s too much to ask one restaurant to accommodate 12 ravenous teenagers. Some of us end up at Little Venice, a restaurant that is below sea-level, meaning our table is at the same height as the water splashing up against us. The sun sets as we eat wonderful seafood, pasta, and pizza. Heaven? Closest we’ve come so far.

We finished the night by shopping and exploring the city. We spend a somewhat frigid night in our tent-boxes, but wake up to sunshine at a very late hour. Back to the city to explore so more, around the many beaches scattering the boulder-covered hills and mountains of Mykonos, or reading at the Mediterranean-blue beach that our resort sits on. We all meet up in the town sometime into  the night and re-connect as a group. Another somewhat colder-than-normal night, followed by another sunny morning. Back on the ferry by late afternoon and home to Athens by 9pm. Unpack and sleep for bright and early first day back with Professor Rutter.”

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June 2nd: Marathon, Brauron, Thorikos, Lavrion, Sounion

“I’m not the kind of guy who thinks much about the finality of things.” – Prof. Jeremy Rutter before what might be his last ever FSP site.

Well, I am that kind of guy, so this blog post is going to be full of oozy sentimental goodness.
Today was the end of the road for a long, adventure-filled journey across the Hellenic world. Sure, Friday will have a big concluding dinner bash, but today was the true “final day.” We handed in our last assignments (well, aside from this here blog post!), visited our final sites, heard our final lectures. The Dartmouth 2011 Classics FSP ended as it began, in a furious burst of activity that aimed to fill us with as much classical knowledge as was conceivably possible. Fittingly, the four sites we visited encapsulated much of what makes Classics so fascinating to study, showing us its grand dizzying heights, its grim lows, and the way this formative period has captured the imagination of so many over the passing centuries.

The day began late, with the group only assembling at noon to embark on a journey through east and south Attica. Our first stop was the fabled site of Marathon. Today the name lives on as a long-distance race, but Marathon deserves to be remembered for far more than that. Indeed, it may be the most important site in all of ancient Greece. In vanquishing the Persian army sent to destroy Athens, the Greek warriors saved their fledgling democracy and the cradle of much of the Western world. Had they lost, who can say how different the world would be? Would we have the forms of art, of philosophy, or of government that we take for granted today?

After Marathon and its museum (containing some exceptionally bad but exceptionally historic pottery from the Athenian mass burial) we made our way to the temple of Artemis at Brauron, but did not arrive quickly enough and found the site closed. This was a great shame, since any site which once featured women dancing in bear costumes is obviously at the absolute top of the list of things to see. Our sadness was partially alleviated by amusement at the signs lining the nature walk on the way to the site, which were probably the most blind-friendly nature walk signs ever created thanks to their extremely detailed plastic animal figures.

If Marathon showed the grand heights that the Greek world could reach, the third and fourth areas visited, the town of Thorikos and the rural lands of Laurion, took us into the quite literal dark underbelly of this greatness. Both sites were linked with the mining of silver, a grim task undertaken by thousands of slaves whose lives were typically nasty, brutish, and short. Their existence within one of the freest citizen bodies of the ancient world is a fascinating contradiction which shows just how different the ancient world was from our own, despite the immense influence it has had on modern society.

The final site of the day, and of the trip, was the temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Sitting on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, the site was a favorite of Byron many other travellers throughout history (whose graffiti defaces the site to this day!). Our group was drawn in by its allure ourselves, as we spent over an hour on the site merely wandering about and taking it in.

Alas, though, we could not stop the relentless march of time, and as sunset approached our group loaded onto the bus for the last time and returned to Athens. It was the end of one grand adventure…but hopefully just one of many more to come!

Signing off,
Blake Neff

Day 69 Photos (finalized by Ping)

“Alright maggots!" The trademark catchphrase of Blake Neff, our beloved and awesome co-leader of the day. Here, Blake observes students boarding the bus.


Our TA Sarah Murray gives a lecture on the Battle of Marathon. Her demeanor and mannerism seem to grow more and more professorial each day.


Students gather around a helpful three-dimensional plan of the site of Marathon.


The Tumulus of Marathon, the burial mound of the 192 Athenians who died at the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE.


Professor Rutter (far left) lectures about the Cycladic cemetery, located right next to the Marathon museum.


Students sit on the ancient theater of Thorikos, ca. 525-480 BCE. It is one of the few theaters in the ancient Greek world whose architectural structure and remains date back to the Classical period and were not modified in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.


Mining in Greece is believed to have started in the third millennium BCE, and our earliest evidences of mining in Greece come from Thorikos. Here, we take a peek into the entrance of an ancient silver mine at Thorikos.


The washery of a silver mine is located right next to the Thorikos theater. Jenna impresses Professor Rutter with her knowledge of how washeries work.


The site of an ancient mine workshop of Lavrion


Our uncanny ability to cross barred obstacles has become our trademark forte. Here, we cheer on as Tara wiggles her way through the underside of a gate.


Getting back onto the bus to go to Sounion, the last site we visit on this FSP trip.


The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Here, Professor Rutter delivers the last site lecture of this FSP – an emotional moment for all!


Professor Rutter and Ping – one is retiring from Dartmouth and the other is about to graduate from Dartmouth.


Sarah Loucks, the Sounion Kore. Note her perfect Archaic smile and her wavy-and-not-quite-Daedalic red hair.


The sunset view of the sea from Cape Sounion.


The ten girls take a group shot at Sounion.


The boys have their fun photo shot too.


Our own set of lovely Charlie’s angels.


Our instructors share a moment of reflection while looking out into the sunset. Thank you Jerry and Sarah for everything.


The 2011 Greece FSP group takes a group shot in front of the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

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June 1st: Thermopylae, Kalapodi, Atalanti Museum, Mitrou, Lefkandi

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John, 1:5

 

This morning we awoke in Volos.  After a quick breakfast, we left on the bus and headed for Thermopylae.  For those less fortunate readers who have not seen the movie “300”, Thermopylae is the location of a battle between 300 Spartans (and a few hundred Thespians and Thebans!) and “a million of Persions”[1].  The Spartans were holding a narrow pass in the mountains and the Persian army was getting decimated as they all tried to continue along this pass, thinking that this was the only way through the mountains.  Even cooler, this is also where the Persians demanded that the Spartans give up their weapons, to which the Spartans responded, “Molon Lave!”, or “Come and get them!”   Unfortunately, the Spartans were betrayed by a local, Ephialtes, who showed the Persians a secret pass which let them get around this part of the pass (which was then being held by the Phocian army) and attack the Spartans who were on lower ground.  Three hundred Spartans fought to the death, refusing to retreat, and potentially giving the Athenians time to flee to Salamis before the Persian army arrived and burned Athens.  In honor of this Spartan sacrifice, some of us did 30 pushups, one for each 10 Spartans.  We thought it would make the Spartan General Leonidas proud.

Something I have been thinking about lately is light. Light is such an important thing to the ancient people in ways that it just isn’t in modern times.  Archaic and Classical Greeks oriented their temples to the East, Minoans built light wells.  On this trip, I’ve used the sun in the early mornings and evening to figure out the cardinal directions.  We did this in the morning in Thermopylae and it got me thinking about light, light contrasted with darkness, which was also important to ancient people (columns in slanting morning or evening light create a “classic” play on light and shade), and darkness.  As much as the ancient folk liked to worship light, they also consciously created dark spaces. The past couple of weeks, we’ve gone to probably a dozen different tholos and chamber tombs.  These are places where one, two, or even hundreds of dead people have been buried, but never once has it felt eerie. Dark, but not eerie.  Today we went to some Dark Age sites (the period between the Mycenaean palatial period and the rise of Classical Greece), and you know, these weren’t scary either.  The Dark Age is only “Dark” because we don’t know a lot about it, not because it is scary.  Darkness equates mystery, not fear.  And as we study and explore these places of darkness, we learn more about the mystery and bring the darkness to light. A Dark age is not necessarily lesser, less developed, or brutish, only more mysterious.

So after Thermopylae, we headed to Kalapodi, one of these awesome Dark Age sites.  Kalapodi is an especially significant site because it has religious continuity from the Mycenaean period through the Roman period.  It is the only site like this in existence.  Furthermore, the site was dug extremely carefully in the 70’s by the Germans,  At last-  good archaeology! There were two temples on this site, one at the North end and one at the South end, and these were likely twin temples to Artemis and Apollo.  Extraordinarily, they found the pediment from one of the Archaic temples face-down, but entirely complete.  They simply have to turn the pediment over to see what was on the front.  Some other extraordinary finds include wall paintings from the 7th century BCE, and cult finds from the 10th century BCE.  This site is also important because it has early Doric temple architecture. There isn’t much to actually see at Kalapodi, but this is another example of good archaeology: much of the site has been backfilled to protect the remains.  We’ve been to a lot of sites where the remains are exposed, but poorly conserved or covered, meaning that these ancient ruins might actually disappear faster as a result of having been discovered and poorly conserved.  The Kalapodi site shows how sometimes the protective darkness of dirt is actually the brightest idea of all when it comes to conserving ancient ruins.

From Kalapodi, we headed to the Atalantai Museuem where we saw some amber beads and gold signet rings, similar to those we saw in the Argolid and in shaft graves on Crete.  We also saw pots with concentric circles with dots in the middle from where the compass was held.  These pots were created using multiple brushes, which sends sherd nerd’s hearts pitter pattering.

Next, we lunched at Mitrou, a small island which was attached to the beach by a sand bar.  We ate, swam and sunned by the bright sea.

After Mitrou, we headed to Lefkandi.  Lefkandi is another Dark Age site, but unlike Kalapodi, it has a rather dark archaeological past.  A school teacher (oh the irony!) was going to build a summer house on the hill where Lefkandi is located, but it became apparent that there were ancient remains there.  As a result, the land was going to be given over to archaeologists and leave the school teacher without a plot of land for a vacation home.  Dark rage overcome him, and he BULLDOZED through the center of the site, hoping to destroy all the archaeological remains.  Instead, he was arrested, and the site was dug anyway, exposing the largest Dark Age heroӧn ever found.  The center part of the building (where the two shaft graves are dug into the bedrock) was destroyed by the bulldozer, probably destroying some remains of internal supports.

Lefkandi is a really interesting site, especially since it contains the ashes of a man inside a 12th cent. BCE Mycenaean urn.  This urn has figural decoration on it, while vases from the Dark Age do not.  It was not that Dark Age people didn’t know how to draw figures, but that they actively chose not to. However, here we have the grave of a man who  harkened back to the Mycenaean palatial period which did use figural art. Why did the people of the Dark Ages decide to stop using figural art, and why did this man choose to use it?  What does that say about Dark Age society and how thy understood Mycenaean society?  We are still in the dark about exact answers to these and other questions, which is what makes the Lefkandi site so interesting and potentially insightful about Dark Age people.

We left Lefkandi and made for Athens, our resting place for the night.  We finished our final assignments as darkness settled around the city.  Since we are studious and finished our assignments tonight, we get the morning off tomorrow.  Awesomeness!

 

Lizziecat OUT

 


[1] Descriptive Sign at Thermopylae

Day 67 Photos (with muchos gracias to Alfonso Villegas)

(Imagine the cookie jar song from when you were in kindergarten) Who stole the genius from the sculpture jar? Did you? Not me! Than who? Well, obviously someone made off with the ability for Greeks to produce sublimely impressive sculpture. Alas, here we have the Thermopylae memorial with its very own bronze hoplite. He is caught somewhere between military action and off the field in-action. Either he should know that he shouldn’t play around with spears (they are sharp at both ends!) or he should really learn how to use a shield.

Find, Fix, Flank, Finish


In true Spartan form they prove their toughness and decided to do pushups at their memorial space across the street. But, of course, right? Let us see how they do. From left to right: Needs to go lower, hands are too in, nowhere near a pushup, perfect form, arms too far apart. No wonder the Persians got through if this is how Greeks did pushups.


Your favorite installment of: Jump the Fence. Luckily, all that was needed to be done was for some overweight character, myself, to sit on the fence while everyone jumped across. Jerry held down the other side of the fence and made sure no one needed an ANTI tetanus shot (an important distinction to make in a Greek hospital; word to the wise.)


Sarah tires to encompass the essence of Lawrence of Arabia as he crossed Arabian sand dunes. Unfortunately pesky archaeologists got rid of all the sand dunes and left a measly pile of pot sherds for us to crawl on (ok, I lied. There were no sand dunes in the first place. But tell me this doesn’t look like Lawrence of Arabia.)


I honestly have no idea what they are doing. Usual culprits in unknown acts: Lizzie, Tara, and Chloé. Archaeologist must regularly get this feeling when they find a new pot with images or frescoes (if they are lucky). In true archaeologist fashion I am going to tell you that this is a form of cult activity. A special dance done by girls in their late teens, early twenties, in front of a dance master who laughs at them from under a ridiculous sacred hat.


There are worse places to spend Finals period at Dartmouth. Off the top of my head: a beach on the shores of the Aegean soaking up sun, eating souvlaki, talking with friends, and deciding on when to take our model pictures. Such a grind, but someone has to do it.


I like to call this “A Cold One” (though it was more of a warm one at this point.) Nothing like having some souvlaki, a nice beer, and showing off your new farmer’s tan at the beach.


Worse places to be than standing in the waters of the Aegean. How do you grade an afternoon at the beach? Some sort of water activity should be necessary to pass. Katelyn therefore receives an A.


He showed such promise as a male model. Alas he decided to do field archaeology and come up with super impressive and revolutionary theories that have become doctrine for the identification of Bronze Age pottery. He had such talent….


If you guessed this is Katelyn, you are right on the money. Actually, there is no money. Sorry. She kindly poses for a picture, or she makes a face to warn me not to tickle her ear with a wheat stalk to make her think it is a bug. Point one: The lamp behind her almost looks like it is spewing out smoke. Alas, it is just a cloud that moved too far to the right. Point Two: Chloe demonstrates the latest fashion in plotting the course of the Sun. It involves using your toes to point at the sky. Tara diligently ignores her.


Mat enjoys his new copy of Game of Thrones whilst evening out his impressive, if there ever was such a thing, farmer’s tan. Trying to keep up with our FSP Best Seller’s List? 1. FSP Readings, 2. Game of Thrones (also a major, obviously motion pictured, HBO series!), 3. 900 page tome on Bronze Age pottery by J. Rutter.


No one Lef-their-kandi. After Emma was done shaking Joyce and toting her around like a sheave of wheat (sack of potatoes is not flattering and wheat, I thought, was neutral) we found that she contained no candy and we moved on.


Chloé. Neff said. Rutter scratches his head.


Obviously Pandoara’s story didn’t teach Tara anything. When was the last time something good came out of a creepy, spider infested, garbage filled hole in the ground? Honestly, what do they teach in school these days?


Can you imagine a Dark Age infomercial? “Hey guys! These Dark Ages have you down? Fall of the Mycenaean palace period left you with spoiling food, burnt palaces, and smaller settlement sizes? We know just what will cheer you up. Our latest design in food storage systems: Pithoi! Although very similar to what was done for thousands of years before, we assure you that our system is revolutionary. And it stores your food for the entire family for up to a year!”


Matt, Blake, and Rutter observe Lefkandi’s location on an old map of Greece. Old but still useful, just like Ping (Just kidding, Ping). Also note the remains of the ancient wall behind Blake. Surprisingly no one is climbing on it (we have an affinity for stopping on really old things). Also note the newish looking wall on which the map is on. Replacement wall, that is. Standard Greek school teacher wanted to make sure his summer home got built. Obviously renting a bulldozer to clear archaeological finds that had already been reported and were protected by the federal state was the best course of action. He is so far on an extended vacation in a federal prison.


Good news parents. We know how to jump fences with skill and grace. There are no pictures of us jumping into the closed site; that would be silly to post online. Just pictures of us getting out of the closed site (Mainly because I forgot to take pictures of us getting into the site). We technically aren’t breaking any rules since Emma is already out of the site and landing on the other side and Matt isn’t touching the ground on his side.


Someone said the grass is greener on the other side. To Liz’s chagrin, the grass was asphalt and therefore not green. But at least this isn’t a picture of us breaking any rules! She is climbing off of the fence. PS, Liz, this is an appropriate use of chagrin.


The latest in FSP traditions: scowl at Alfonso as he wins at hearts. The best Hearts player known to man, pun not intended though appreciated, he has forced many a veteran, including Tara, to suffer defeat at his masterful strategy of thrusting the Queen of Spades upon his opponents. (History is made by the people who write it….word to the wise)


What do you mean Harry Potter doesn’t exist? Ok, not really. This is the face you get to look forward to when she loses and you win at Hearts. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)

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May 31st: Sesklo, Dimini, Volos Museum

Week 10 Map

We started our day with a bright and early 7 AM breakfast and 7:30 estimated departure time. Breakfast was something new: pre-laid tables with bread, a croissant, a banana, an egg, fruit juice, coffee, and a ham and cheese sandwich! This was great, because it was more variety than we’re used to, but not so great, because it seriously inhibited the group’s ability to steal lunch from the breakfast buffet. Fortunately, we are seasoned warriors in the wilds of Greece, and scrounged up lunch from several rest stops.

Fact: I told a professor that I was going to Greece, and she told me that we might have fun but we wouldn’t be able to find anything to eat because of the economy. I don’t think she was joking. Fortunately, she has been proven wrong: we have had no trouble finding food to eat. We’ve just had trouble paying for it. We’re all very excited to get back to the US, where five dollars is five dollars instead of 7.5 dollars.

We came close to achieving our 7:30 departure time—a very rare feat—and began our Odyssey-by-bus towards our first destination: Sesklo. We stopped a few times on the way, and had some bus trouble. Fortunately, none of us speak modern Greek, so we couldn’t ask our driver what the problem was.

Our driver now is Spiros—the very same Monos Spiros with whom we began our travels. In the past 9 weeks, we’ve had Spiros, Yanis, and Christos. Each has been wonderful in his own way. Spiros has a supernatural knowledge of all Greek roads, and takes turns that no mortal man of today could handle. Yanis turned up the radio so we could sing along at full volume to our favorite song (“Born This Weird”) and let us watch Tangled. Christos introduced us to his family, and his grandmother tried to adopt us (we think. Again, language barrier). It’s fitting to end the trip how we began it, with Spiros of the 20-Point turn on the edge of a cliff. Talk about ring composition!

Around 10:00, we reached our first stop. Sesklo is divided into two sites, which are—very originally—named Sesklo A and Sesklo B. Sesklo A is earlier, although both are Neolithic. The site was occupied from 7,000 to 3,200 BCE, which means we’re playing with buildings that make the Parthenon look like a ’15 (we officially feel old now). Sesklo is important for a few reasons:

1) It’s the only real Neolithic site we’re going to! That’s only a reason why it’s important to us.

2) It was excavated by the big Greek name in prehistoric Aegean archaeology: Christos Tsountas (pronounced Sountas). He’s Greece’s answer to Britain’s Evans (responsible for Kommos) and Germany’s Schliemann (he found Troy and the Mycenaean shaft graves). This gave us a great opportunity to discuss the complex, complex politics of Greek excavation. The moral of the story: the less you say about it, the better shape you’ll be in. More on that later.

3) There are no Bronze Age ruins on top of the Neolithic ruins, which makes them much clearer to look at.

4) Some see the predecessors to the Megaron in the Megaron-esque structures here.

Fact: Archaeologists love to debate architectural lineage. Some of the issues at hand here: is the megaron-esque floorplan a later addition (were later walls added to make it look like a Megaron)? Why are there no porch columns? Fact #2: It’s mostly over our heads.

We frolicked merrily about the site, examining cuttings, looking at megarons and concentric walls known as “ring walls.”

At Sesklo B, Professor Rutter pointed out the contrast in buildings between the two sites. Sesklo A has massive buildings, like the two megarons, which show that whoever lived there had a higher status than whoever lived in the smaller buildings. The buildings at Sesklo B, however, are more similar in size. This illustrates a more egalitarian social structure.

From a languages major, here’s a guide to translating archaeology:

1) Equality in material culture is equality in society. If everyone has the same pot in their house, there is no big man on campus. Equal graves, or equal houses, suggest an egalitarian social structure.

2) Changes in material culture show internal or external influences. Different pottery? Probably the Dorian Invasion. A new style of burial? Albanian raiders. Isolate the change, and suggest your favorite story! It can be an invading force or—if you want to be really hardcore—“internal social pressure.”

3) If you’re not sure what’s going on, attribute it to religion. I’m sure that someone excavating Dartmouth in a few thousand years will think most of the students were initiates in the cult of Brady. They wore strange garments to show their devotion and worshiped every Sunday afternoon.

After we thoroughly examined Sesklo B, we returned to the bus and drove to Dimini. We saw a lovely combination of a Neolithic and Mycenaean settlement on one site. However, there’s a catch! The two do NOT overlap! Twice the fun with half the confusion: students, rejoice!

Dimini is significant because it’s the northern limit of Mycenaean culture. Finds, such as imports from Aigina and the Levant, as well as Linear B inscriptions, show that this site was part of the Mycenaean network. No one’s found this sort of material further North.

Dimini has a propylon: a fancy gate as the entrance to the Mycenaean town. The propylon shows that this was a possible royal site. Whereas Peloponnesian Mycenaean sites show the presence of royalty through massive fortification walls (e.g. Tiryns, Mycenae), their northern cousins lacked the technology and materials to replicate Cyclopean masonry. So, they had to have other ways to show the site’s importance. A really, really big entrance is a good place to start.

This propylon brings us to today’s lesson: if you thought that Archaic Greeks were big on demonstrating links to the heroic past, you have not met the Greek ministry of culture.

When Jason and his Argonauts felt like finding the Golden Fleece, they left from somewhere called Yokos. There are multiple contenders for Yokos, including Dimini and Volos. Each excavator feels very, very, very strongly that his/her site is Yokos. Finding these mythical sites is a literal expression of Greece’s heritage. So, whose Yokos is Yokos matters—a lot. And the best way to deal with it, as an outsider, is to avoid taking a stance—in case you irritate someone important.

After some time admiring the Megarons (Megara?) in Dimini, we headed onwards to Volos. The Volos museum was very impressive. It has what Professor Rutter categorized as the “best Neolithic collection you’ll see here.” Since the area around Volos is full of Neolithic settlements, we really did see a lot of neat stuff. Highlights include, but are not limited to:

1) Models of buildings. These are very helpful for reconstructing Neolithic architecture.

2) Akrolithic Figures. Figures with a clay body and marble head. Pretty neat!

3) More women with interesting proportions. According to a plaque, the large hips, belly, and breasts emphasize fertility.

4) A Neolithic skull.

5) Standard Mycenaean burial routines: seals! Weapons! Pottery!

6) Hellenistic stelai from Demetrias. They have beautiful painted scenes, and are very important for art historians. Many inscriptions on the stelai refer to doctors. Our pre-med students felt at home.

Now it’s time for an afternoon of paper writing, beach visiting, and a visit to the Volta, which Spiros calls “the bride bazaar.” Our goal is to leave with the same number as we came with—no more, no less—so we’ll try to avoid picking up any husbands tonight.

Yasas for now,

Emma

Day 67 Photos (Anna Leah, artiste du jour)

And the Triglyphs go rolling (along the Neolithic site of Sesklo)

Jenna loves the Neolithic site of Sesklo for its egalitarian building sizes!

Fearless leader Emma takes notes at Sesklo while demonstrating her love for the San Francisco Giants and advertising for Diet Coke. Product placement for the win: education, baseball, soda, and a fantastic landscape too!

American Gothic, FSP-Style. Triglyphs Lizzie and Blake get creative with readily available props

Flora of Greece: Pretty Pink Flower!

Flora and Fauna join forces—Harmony, Archeology, and Biology!

Flora of Greece: Red Flower Buds Blooming

Fearless Metope Sarah Chalupa listens in on another geography lesson—Where exactly is Thessaly? More pressingly, where is Dimini?

This edifying reconstruction of Dimini helps us realize just how awesome Neolithic Settlements can be. Do you think we'll meet Fred Flintsone? Yabba-Daba-Doo!

Art Historians and Sherd Nerds “re-Joyce” at this early Mycenaean pot for it features early Squiggles!

Although we cannot speak for Joyce, Sarah L. is certainly pleased to learn about Mycenaean squiggle decorations

Down in the Tholos, the Triglyphs identify the building material as shist!

Alfonso inspects the stomeion (entry) for cuttings and other archeological clues, while his comrades admire the interior of the Tholos

Sarah L. and Prof. Rutter discuss the finer points of this Mycenaean propylon (gateway or entryway). Have we stumbled upon a royal complex? In any case, the elegant roofing a modern measure designed to protect the ruins from the rain and other elements.

Visual Similes: The Ping and the Skull or merely 2 “Seniors?”

Katelyn examines the Volos Museum's lonely core-formed glass vessel

Lo and Behold: an extensive collection of painted stelae (grave markers) from the Hellenistic period! Fortunately, the FSP has dispatched some of its most valiant photographic troops (Matt) to record this rare sighting.

It seems that Volos also appreciates the funerary fauna among us. Check out this clay Mycenaean menagerie

This exquisite terracotta chariot is one of Volos' most famous artifacts. While some detractors say the horses resemble camels without humps, I say the elongated horses are beautiful in their own way.

What's a Greek museum without the requisite hoards of Greek schoolchildren?

Flora of Greece: Pretty in Pink

Mystery Flora: Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

Splashing around on the beach at Volos

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May 30th: Thebes Museum, Orchomenos, Chaeronea, Gla

Week 10 Map

It is universally acknowledged that Mondays are awful. Those which happen to be the last of an exhilarating, yet exhausting 10 weeks could perhaps be downright depressing, no matter the great expectations for the day.

But yet, this Monday, our last Monday in Greece, proved to be the opposite. Some would say such a reversal in mood is impossible. And yet our experiences in Greece prove that the impossible is always possible, and this day was absolutely paradigmatic of that.

Today broke all rules of what is and what is not possible.

Dichotomies are rampant on any “last.” As the last Monday, we were exhausted, but exhilarated. Wanted rest, but wanted to see more. Ready to go home, but regretting leaving.

The long morning bus ride, normally welcomed by the group as individual time to catch up on journaling or sleeping, seemed somehow sad, knowing we wouldn’t be able to see as many sites as shorter bus rides allow. And yet, today we had a long bus ride and were able to see quite a few important sites, which made everyone happy.

Our first stop was Thebes. Question: Is this real life? A common phrase for the trip, always answered with a definitive, “NO!” For Thebes, this was particularly true. Upon arriving at the museum, which is closed to the public, we were escorted into the annex, where Professor Dr. Vasilis Aravantinos, ephor of the Archeology Museum of Thebes spoke to us. Perhaps what struck me the most about his introduction was this word “impossible;” people often tell him that it’s impossible for Thebes to be so cold in the winter. As unbelievable as it seems, Greece can have freezing, snow-filled winters and only six months later scorching summers, something else we’ve learned on this trip.

Following Prof. Dr. Aravantinos’ speech, the ceramicist by the name of Kyriaki Psaraki was generous enough to show us her recent pottery finds at a new site of Latouphi. Not only did we get to see archeologists at work in the annex, drawing and piecing together pottery sherds, but we were allowed to touch all and any of the pottery from this Early Helladic II Late site. As often as we’ve been to sites and museums containing pottery, we so rarely get to actually feel and examine up close the pottery finds that this was already hugely exciting for everyone. Perhaps more unbelievably, it seems that Latouphi was a one-period site, allowing for very precise dating and perhaps new information on the introduction of certain pottery and weapon styles. And perhaps unbelievable only to the students was Professor Rutter’s face. Not only did his face express the excitement we all felt, but we could see the thoughts running through his mind as he tried to encompass all this new information. And if the pottery hadn’t impressed us enough, that certainly did.

From there, Yannis Fappas showed us around the entirety of the closed Archeological Museum of Thebes. Exhibits were being planned and printed, statues were lying around, and pottery was being sifted through before our eyes. Directly below the museum, excavations were taking place where archeologists dug and sifted through the dirt and clay to find even more pottery. Within the museum, we got to see an amazing collection of unpublished and thus unmentionable pottery (it’s top secret!) sherds that have been recently excavated, frescoes that are still being reconstructed, and steles that have never been seen so up close and personal by that many students before. Again, the improbability that 14 Dartmouth students would all get to see, touch, and feel unpublished works reduced us nearly to chaos. In the commotion, Yannis Fappas and his fellow archeologists helped us understand everything that we saw and welcomed us with open arms into their workspace to see their treasured finds. But the warm and welcoming nature of Thebes Archeological Museum didn’t end there. We were then treated to the Thebes Archeological Museum books and refreshments, which we then proceeded to devour on top of ancient remains. Only in Greece! But actually only in Thebes. There is no other time on this entire FSP where I felt the entire group become as exhilarated as it was, or when the profession of archeology seemed to reach across our many majors and bring out the inner sherd nerd of us all as it did this morning.

Leaving Thebes, we traveled to Orchomenos. First, we stopped by a tholos tomb. But not just any tholos tomb, but the Treasury of Minyas, as it is called today. This tholos had a unique feature; a splendidly preserved side chamber. It is something you will never see anywhere else, but here, rosettes and spirals cover the carved roof of the side chamber. More importantly perhaps are the remains of side wall panels of alabaster also carved with rosettes which seem very similar to those found in the Treasury of Atreus. Here, they remain in situ (in place), while their original placement was not known for the Treasury of Atreus. Therefore, these in situ remains perhaps show us where those from the other tholos tomb would’ve been. We so rarely get to see rosettes anywhere that that alone become a pleasure, but seeing them in situ, and in a way that could give us evidence and help in understanding other tholoi became yet another mental exhilaration for the entire group.

After the tholos of Orchomenos, we continued on to the rest of the site. We visited the 9th century church, where you can still find ancient inscriptions on re-used stone blocks sporadically throughout the building. It was in the shade of the trees surrounding the church that we ate a quiet and peaceful lunch. Surprising, I know.

From there, we went to the Lion Monument. Erected for the Sacred Band of Thebans after the battle against Phillip II in 338 BC, the Lion of Chaironeia was broven when it was discovered. The current lion statues has been restored and marks this communal grave site. Another takes-your-breath-away kind of moment. How many moments like that can one day have? Yet to be seen.

Continuing on our trip, we then visited Gla. Here, the Mycenaeans built a 3000 meter fortification circuit running around the site. Again, if you thought you couldn’t get bigger or better than Mycenae, you were wrong! However, these walls were considerably less well-preserved and the site as a whole offers a bit of a mystery. Whereas most Mycenaean palaces follow similar, not exact, building patterns, this ‘palace’ had a tendency to be symmetrical on either side. Another mystery for us to solve, but perhaps another day…

Concluding this wonderful day of mind-boggling sites and people, we were invited by our bus driver, Christos, to his home village of Platanaki for a traditional family dinner. Could the day have gotten any better? Impossible. We left via bus for his small village, and consequently found ourselves with lots of food, wine, and love to go around. And while we were all sad to leave Christos in his own village, we found ourselves escorted home by our first and awesome bus driver, Spiros!

The day, and perhaps trip, of impossibility is almost complete. And one thing that our TA told us from the beginning strikes me still today, “Greece is a return to childhood.” Not because we find ourselves devolving, but rather because the happiness and the fantasty that you only truly believe in childhood still exists here. And it makes life truly wonderful.

Chloe

Day 66 Photos (Joyce Cho, master of ceremonies)

Dear Shard Nerds, Latoufi is where dreams come true. Sincerely, Jerry

Dear Visitors of Greece, Some of us do work. Serious work. Sincerely, Latoufi Conservationists

Dear Triglyphs, Sometimes, teachers make the most eager students. Sincerely, Sarah and Jerry

Dear Mom and Dad, It’s like looking through a kaleidoscope! SO MANY COLORS, SO MUCH UNPUBLISHED POTTERY. Sincerely, Sarah

Dear Alfonso, Blake, and Anna-Leah, DON’T TOUCH. Just kidding- We’re friendly here at Thebes! Sincerely, The Color Blue

Dear Kaitlyn and Anna-Leah, My stony faces crack at your looks of pure wonder. Sincerely, Theban Museum Artifact

Dear Theban Museum, We are utterly shocked that this amazing collection hasn’t been shown to the world yet. Open soon please! Sincerely, Classics FSP 2011

Dear World, Archaeologists are actually children at heart. Pottery shards = Lego pieces. Sincerely, Tara, Jenna, Kaitlyn, Chloe, S.Murray

Dear Theban Museum, I’m going to keep my distance- touching ancient pottery is too new for me! Sincerely, Matt

Dear Sky, Thanks for making me look so good today. Sincerely, Orchomenos

Dear Orange, Sorry, we were hungry. Sincerely, Sarah and Anna-Leah

Dear Mycenaean art, This is my take on the ‘Procession of Women’ fresco. Sincerely, Joyce

Dear Kaitlyn, Can this day get any better? I didn’t think so either. Sincerely, May 30

Dear Jenna, Ack! There’s a lion right outside your window! Sincerely, Chaeronea

Dear Alfonso, Your wasp bite will still be there but this ‘Gla’-rious day won’t be here forever! Sincerely, Gla

Dear Tara, Sarah, Ping, and Matt, Surrender- you’re surrounded! Sincerely, Plants of Gla

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May 29th: Nafplio Museum, Lerna, Argos Museum, Argos Larissa

Week 10 Map

May 29, 2011: The Quest for the Archaeological Record (An Archaizing Fairytale-Epic)

Once upon a time zone, in a land far, far, away, there lived fourteen triglyphs. Like any good protagonists, they rose early and descended to begin the day with a hearty breakfast. Once in the great hall of the Park Hotel’s breakfast room, their wise advisors informed them of their quest. Well-armed with sunscreen and no-flash cameras, they set forth to do battle against the forces of evil, first the UltraViolet and then the Anti-Flash, which manifests itself through its fervent initiates, the Guardians of the Museum, and launches sneak attacks on unsuspecting students of classics throughout Greece. The Hill of the Ninety-Nine Steps, a previous conquest of our heroic protagonists, rose high to the left as the triglyphs navigated successfully across the treacherous flower-vaulted streets of Nafplion to the hallowed hall of knowledge and ancient treasure, the Nafplion Archaeological Museum.

The Ticket-Collector, a fierce guardian who strikes fear in the hearts of all visiting tourists and demands a toll from all who pass, was pacified by eloquent speech and the powerful Seal of Dartmouth. Our triglyphs were now given their first task: to interpret the ancient artifacts of the hallowed Museum. Some continued their earlier mission of studying ancient religious idols, having previously journeyed to the Museum of Mycenae to see the LHIIIB artifacts from the thirteenth century Before the Common Era. Some, however, were drawn in by the allure of the Dendra panoply, a suit of bronze armor created ca. 1400 B.C.E. The owner of this bronze armor is not known and its function remains a mystery. The triglyphs, intent on dispelling the cloud of mystery that surrounds these artifacts, set hard to work on deciphering ancient clues such as the use of boar’s tusks in the helmet (an ancient status symbol signifying the owner had been in a boar hunt) and the large amount of bronze that was incorporated into this armor (a sign of wealth and power in the 15th century). Disheartened by the constant barrier of the evil Glare of Light on Museum Cases, the triglyphs were given courage by a sighting of the great sage, Dr. Jeffrey Hurwit, whose brilliant insights on the Parthenon sculpture have helped many a classics student in their quest to interpret the frieze. The triglyphs stood shoulder to shoulder to defeat the monstrous Glare and attained their clear-cut images!

Having succeeded in the first part of their quest, our heroes proceeded to the well-known site of Lerna, an ancient settlement site that contains pre-historical and Bronze Age remains. The wisdom of the ages was passed onto the triglyphs through the eloquent words of their constant leader, Dr. Jerry Rutter, who guided the triglyphs on their quest and instructed them in the ways of the wise Archaeologists, those who use their great powers to divine, unearth, and bring the past to light. One of the archaeologists to excavate at Lerna was the brilliant Dr. John Casky, whose brave efforts at conservation still survive today. During the course of their quest, our intrepid heroes (re)discovered ancient mudbrick! This elusive material was quite a common early building material but rarely survives from the Early Helladic Period, having succumbed to the constant barrage of every archaeologist’s ancient enemies, Rain, Sun, and Wind, along with their modern allies, the powerful Bulldozer and its sidekick the Frontloader. The triglyphs also explored the House of the Tiles, so named for its surviving roof tiles, which had been buried for centuries under a mysterious tumulus (or mound) after being destroyed by unknown forces. When the triglyphs went to leave the site of Lerna, they ran into a fearsome monster, the Hydra! However, upon closer examination, it was only the shed skin of a (large) snake descendant, as the real Hydra was slain on the spot by Heracles – not the Romanized Hercules – thousands of years before.

The triglyphs boarded their bus-chariot once more and the brave-hearted charioteer Kristos drove them onwards to the great city-state of Argos, where there lay another hallowed hall of knowledge and ancient treasure. Here, the triglyphs gazed in awe at Argos C209, which was the Argolid version of Athens 804, a contemporary Geometric, monumental, decorated krater found at the National Museum in Athens, the object of a previous quest. Unlike the death-centered imagery found on Athens 804, this textile-inspired artifact had scenes of horse taming and animal figures. Also found within the museum was another ancient set of armor and the second task: analyzing early hoplite armor found at the site of Argos along with a set of obols (iron spits used as money) and fire-dogs! The triglyphs were again set the task of photographing the armor and again valiantly battled against the malicious Anti-Flash and the Glare, taking heart from their knowledge of classics and successful previous quests. The Argos armor, from ca. 700 B.C.E., included a cuirass and helmet of bronze that were among the earliest of the famed hoplite armor that would guard Greek warriors for four centuries.

Having acquired more knowledge and completed their second task, the triglyphs moved onwards and upwards to the fortified acropolis of Argos, also known in legend and popular belief as the Larissa. Here, the triglyphs enjoyed a feast to celebrate their completion of the first tasks set before them and to refuel before the grueling task yet to come. No one was denied their fair portion. The sun was shining favorably on the triglyphs until they began their assault on the fortification walls, which angered the weather gods and brought rain down upon the triglyphs’ heads from an ominous blockade of clouds above. Not to be dissuaded from their ultimate quest, the triglyphs went in search of early archaeological remains that had been buried under the later walls of the Argives. Armed with their training and good spirits and rain gear, the triglyphs explored the ruined Kastro and completed their mission! Among the discoveries of our heroes were many essential pieces of evidence to declare the Mycenaeans and later Greeks had, indeed, occupied and fortified this spot. They located a water source (including well and cistern), characteristic Mycenaean Cyclopean masonry, an ancient inscription with a later addition, and even a peak roof tile from an Archaic temple! Having completed their quest, the triglyphs descended the hill, leaving the fortifications to guard the ancient remains from future barbarian hordes. The rest of the afternoon and evening were filled with merriment and celebration, including various feasts in the great city of Nafplion (and no one was denied their fair portion). Their quest was complete!

And everyone lived happily ever after, secure in their knowledge and their curiosity sated, until the triglyphs’ daily quest was renewed… but that’s another story.

May you always be curious and have great adventures,
Liz

Day 64 Photos (Matt, dropping science)

Marching through glistening plateia of Naupflion, these FSPers are ready to take on today’s wave of museums, sites, and puzzles.

Inside the Naupflion Museum, Jerry lectures on an impressive assemblage of Neolithic and Bronze Age artifacts

Jenna snaps a photo of the Late Helladic IIIC Period (12th century B.C.) Mycenaean idols from Tiryns. One of the options for our next paper assignment is to compare this set of idols with another set from the LHIIIB Period on display at the museum at Mycenae, which we visited yesterday.

The Dendra Panoply, complete with a skirt, a cuirass, shoulder pieces, and a boar’s-tusk helmet. This set of Mycenaean armor was discovered in a tomb at Dendra, which the group visited on the 27th. Another option for our paper assignment is to compare this armor with a much later set from Argos (pictured below).

A background lecture at the site of Lerna. Alfonso can be spotted on the ground next to the professor. Six of the girls appear to be in uniforms today. See how many of the white-shirt girls you can spot in the pictures below!

Jerry discusses the Early Helladic defensive circuit at Lerna.

Snapping some photos of the world famous “House of the Tiles,” a corridor house from the Early Helladic Period known for its…tiles!

“The House of the Tiles must have been at least this tall.” “No, no, no. It must have been at least…three times this size.”

“Can anyone tell me where the tiles are?” “Here’s one.” “Here’s another!” “Why, I believe we’ve found a pile of them!”

“Meh, shaft graves are SO 16th century B.C.”

The girls collect evidence from the monstrous snake of Lerna: its shed skin. This unstoppable beast has wreaked havoc on the residents of Lerna for centuries. We can only hope that some valiant Greek hero will show up to save the town from further destruction.

“Raise your hand if you love Geometric vase painting,” Jerry announces as he directs the group through the Argos museum toward the Argos c209 vase.

Jenna looks distraught over the gargantuan pithos jar behind her.

Jerry discusses the Late Geometric (ca. 700 B.C.) panoply from Argos, the earliest known form of hoplite armor. The Greek soldier would come to use this type of armor, along with a shield, sword, and spear, with devastating effectiveness in the group formation known as the phalanx.

Sarah takes notes on Jerry’s elucidation of the polychromatic painted scene of Odysseus blinding the Cyclops Polyphemos.

Jerry points out a vase casually known as the “Lernian Hydra” for its three mouths.

Sarah and Katelyn grab some sugary snacks for lunch at a kiosk. These fine establishments can be found all over the streets of virtually every city in Greece.

Ping, standing atop the Larisa hill of Argos, perhaps is thinking to himself, “Some day, I shall be known as Ping the Magnificent, and shall save this city of Argos in its time of need... mmm, this apple is delicious.”

During lunchtime, Alfonso found his way onto the fortress wall to scope out the perimeter, you know, in case there may be any girls camped below.

There they are! Besides the sweet view of the city of Argos, Alfonso observes that all the FSP girls are lunched and preparing for an invasion of the citadel. In the middle of the lineup we have Miss Loucks forming an imaginary box with her hands! What is she trying to tell us?

The medieval fortress on the Larisa of Argos, formerly the Akropolis of ancient Argos. Inside the walls of this citadel are various evidences for fortifications and other structures starting in the Mycenaean period and continuing through the Archaic, Hellenistic, Medieval, and modern periods of occupation.

Once inside, Jerry sends the group off in a scavenger hunt to solve mysteries. Who can find a block with a Greek inscription on it? Who can find the water supply? Who can identify ancient masonry?

Alfonso stands gallantly on a door jamb (?), floating in a sea of grass and rubble. This part of the wall looks odd, he notices. Mystery unlocked: it’s an ancient gateway!

Aha! Thanks to Chloe, we found the inscription block. With some close inspection by one of our Greek language specialists (Sarah), we conclude that this is an Archaic or Archaizing text. But that’s not all! Jerry holds up something Liz found on the ground: a Corinthian roof tile from the peak of an Archaic temple!

As it begins to rain, the group quickly analyzes this column base.

After a hard-fought battle at the Larisa, the FSP’s finest thought it best to plant THIS in the ground!

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May 28th: Mycenae, Berbati, Prosymna gorge

Week 9 Map

My mom once told me that when you go back to college reunions a lot of people have changed drastically from who they were when you knew them before,but when you go to high school reunions everyone is the exact same as they had been in high school (hi mom).

In that spirit, Katelyn and I chose to dub today High School Day (note: all assigned stereotypes were totally random, but Ping really is a gangsta). We visited MHS (Mycenae High School), took a long walk to Prosymna gorge (where all the cool kids hang out and make tools), and along the way we stopped at Berbati to embrace the sherd nerd in all of us. As in high school the majority of our day was spent learning, but we did have extended P.E. time on our roughly five mile walk from Mycenae to Prosymna.

We embraced the rare quiet (perhaps the time before school has started) at Mycenae that allowed us to fully analyze tholos tombs and take many pictures in front of the usually bustling lion gate. We talked in depth about the layout of the Principal’s office (the Megaron), and ventured down a pitch-black stairway to get to the water fountain. MHS is an extremely well fortified school. Its huge, Cyclopedan walls would have ensured that no ancient truants could return unnoticed from ditching class.

Around lunch-time our teacher (no Professors in high school) decided to take us on a field trip along an ancient Mycenaean road. We wandered along over rivers (on Mycenaean bridges) and through the woods (of olive trees) until we found a suitable place to lunch. As all good high school students have nicknames, we spent our lunchtime coming up with classical names for each triglyph. Some highlights were Pingdar, Mattroklus, Jennaphon, and Kimoon. After we all filled our tummies we ventured off to the educational part of our fieldtrip, rooting around in the dirt for pot-sherds. It was a great change of pace to be able to get our hands dirty (literally), and see how hard it is to distinguish what is important and worth noting when you are walking a field.

After our learning time we continued our trek until we reached the small town of Prosymna. There we were treated to ice cream pops by Sarah Murray, who plays the old, embittered science teacher in this adventure. We got back on the bus, but instead of going straight home as one might expect to at the end of a long day at school, we stopped at Prosymna gorge to do more field walking (or in this case, mountain walking), and look for Paleolithic stone tools. For those of you at home who haven’t been in school in a while, Paleolithic is VERY old.

We finally made it back to Naupflio, exhausted but quite happy. If high school had been as interesting and outdoors as today was I think that many of us would have failed a year or two on purpose just to stay there a little longer.

H.A.G.S!! (have a great summer!)
Jenna (Jennaphon)

Day 64 Photos (chez Katelyn)

Mycenaean High School, Class of 2011

School dances in tholoi tombs are the bee’s knees. After all, what else are you supposed to use the side chambers for?

We have mastered the ancient art of awkward slow dancing.

THE REBEL: Anna Leah “Rebel without a cause” Berstein Simpsom laughs in the face of danger. Mwah-ha-ha.

: Archaeological Lesson 1: Measuring tapes are always useful in determining how far tholoi doors open.

THE PLAYER: “OMG! Isn’t Lizzie just so rad?”*insert high-pitched squeals*

TEACHER’S PET: Tara presents Professor Rutter with a lovely apple in hopes of raising her grade, but, alas, her gift is rejected.

THE JOCK: Sarah shows off her biceps in front of the Lion Gate.

THE WANNABE GANGSTER: Ping strikes his gangsta pose. What up homiez?

THE ARTSY ONE: With flowers in her hair, Liz looks off in the distance, wishing she could float like a butterfly across the Argive plain.

THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENT: Matt is baffled by the Mycenaean palatial structures. “So, you’re telling me that these people built steep and slippery staircases down to their water source? That’s just crazy!”

Class has been momentarily postponed for some frolicking in fields.

Our ferocious school mascot. BAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

No day at MHS is complete without a delicious picnic lunch.

THE BROODING CHEERLEADER: Emma wants to get into school spirit but her makeshift pom-poms are just bringing her down.

THE CLASS CLOWN: Joyce provides comic relief in the form of fake facial hair.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!

THE HIPSTER COUPLE: Jenna and Blake hunt for ancient neolithic tools in the Prosymna gorge. You’ve probably never heard of it.

THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY GUY: Why is Alfonso smiling? Because he can.

THE COOL KID: Chloe is just too cool for school.

THE CLASS PHOTOGRAPHER: Used to being behind the camera, one does not know how to respond to another person’s camera. Crazy faces ensue.

And last, but not least, THE NERDS: When push comes to shove, we are all still Classics Nerds. Just face it. Baby, we were born this weird.

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