Week 2: July 2 – 8

Digital terrain model of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion

We begin this week by laying out the trenches for the excavation that will begin during the next days. During the course of the winter, expropriation of land has been initiated so that we are able to dig trenches in several different aspects of the site this summer.

Christina Gieske and Maya Gupta working in the ‘xenon.’ Anastasia Panagiotopoulou observing.

At the highest part of the site near the southern peak of the mountain, we have planned for one trench to be dug in the ash altar (literally at the summit), two in the temenos, as well as several trenches in the lower sanctuary, one in the “xenon,” two in the neighborhood of the seats or steps, one in the walnut grove and one in the terrace bordering the hippodrome.

We will be using our students and staff as the principal work force for the excavations to be supplemented by several Greek workmen. Since our project is a ‘synergasia’ our collaborators are the representatives of the Greek Archaeological Service from the Tripolis Ephoreia. We have a meeting on Tuesday with the Ephor, Dr. Michaelis Petropoulos and others to make the final arrangements for this collaboration. There will be several trenches opened at the site from the Greek Archaeological Service and a number of representatives from the Service to supervise these trenches.

Dr. Apostolos Sarris and his team continue their remote sensing work around the site and on their last evening in Ano Karyes. Dr. Sarris gives a before dinner presentation in the village plateia on the subject of preliminary results of the remote sensing survey that he and his team of six have undertaken.

Sarah Ward and Emily Graff beginning work in the terrace near the hippodrome. The workman Giannis Markolephas observes.

Field trip outside the Stadium at Olympia
Our architectural team consists of five architectural students under the supervision of Pam Jordan. They include Reagan Ruedig, Bridget Schmelzer, Rebecca Hughes and Margaret Jankowsky. Their task is to continue to create the actual-state drawings of the above ground architecture at the site, this year focusing on finishing the drawing begun last year of the stone seats and beginning work on the east façade of the ‘xenon.’

Work beginning at the altar. Susan Mentzer, Ethne Barnes, Art Rohn, Arvey Bassa and Dan Diffendale.

The topographical survey team is directed by Andrew Insua who is responsible for work to be carried out both at the excavations at the southern peak of the mountain as well as work in the area of the buildings to the south of the hippodrome. He is assisted by Arvey Bassa, Dan Diffendale, Hayden Cadwalader, Diane Amoroso O’Connor, Katherine McBride and Rachel Moskowitz. When not supporting the trenches with topographical points and elevations the topographical team survey blocks at the site for the topographical map.

Alexis Belis and Josh Gieske beginning work in the temenos

Our geological team consists of Dr. George Davis and Randy Goossen who concentrate their survey in and around the southern peak of Mt. Lykaion.

Our trenches begin across the site. Dr. Art Rohn and Dr. Ethne Barnes begin the work at the ash altar of the site. This trench is literally at the southern peak of the mountain at 1382 m. asl and the site of one of the most famous altars of Zeus in the Greek world. The views are absolutely spectacular from this location, but the wind can be fierce even in the summer. Susan Mentzer and Brit Starkovich also work at the altar assisting with the excavation of the trench. Alexis Belis and Josh Gieske begin work in the area of the temenos near the base of the altar, some 20 m. lower in elevation. In the lower sanctuary Christina Gieske together with Maya Gupta begin excavations in the ‘xenon.’ Jared Benton together with Sarah Linn begin work in an area in front of the stone seats. Alissa Stoimenoff and Clivia Zois begin work in the walnut grove in an area below the seats. Sarah Ward and Emily Graff commence work in the area of the terrace adjacent to and to the west of the hippodrome. Dr. Susan Petrakis assists me with the oversight of the trenches in the lower sanctuary.

Museum work is begun with Dr. Mary Voyatzis co-ordinating the activities. Dr. Leslie Hammond serves as the registrar of the finds.

Jared Benton and Sarah Linn beginning work opposite the seats.
Mark Davison and Danae Whipp of the University of Oregon arrive to continue work on certain aspects of the development of the archaeological park that has been proposed by our project to protect a large area of Western Arkadia, Eastern Elis and Northern Messenia that includes numerous ancient cities and sanctuaries.

We have a Sunday excursion to Olympia where we find, unfortunately, that the Greek Archaeological Service Guards are on strike. It is disappointing that we cannot visit the site nor the Museums although we make the best of the situation by touring the sanctuary from the nearby road. Another group takes a Sunday excursion to Tegea and Mistra.
Pam Jordan beginning work on the drawing of the ‘xenon’


About mountlykaion

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