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Travelogue June 2015…
Travelogue June 2015…
with Bob Nicolaides
Copy of bronze object from 5th century to be set up at Delphi
A copy of a bronze column dedicated in 477 B.C. by 31 city-states that had fought in the Battle of Plataeans against the Persians that ended up in present-day Istanbul in the 4th century A.D., will be replicated and put up at Delphi, the Central Archaeological Council announced on Monday.
The column, six-metres tall, originally depicted three serpents tightly coiled running the whole length, with the heads supporting a gold leves, or deep bowl, later melted down by the Phocaeans to cover their war costs.
Carved along the coils were the names of the cities that participated in the battle against the Persians, in 479 B.C.; they are no longer visible after being exposed to the elements. According to Herodotus, it was made of Persian loot.
The column was broken off and transferred to the new Rome, or Constantinople, in the 4th century A.D. by Emperor Constantine the Great.
It was placed in the middle of the Hippodrome, where it still stands. It is the only extant bronze dedicatory object of Greek antiquity, and has been viewed by travelers to the city for eons, until the 16th century, when two of the three heads were broken off and lost. The third is in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
A copy will be made on the basis of a plaster cast kept at the Delphi Museum since 1980; the cast preserves the names of the cities that are no longer visible on the original.
Austerity Measures and Weather Threaten Amphipolis Tomb Site
The excavation of the enormous Amphipolis tomb complex in northern Greece that captivated the nation and world and opened a window to our ancient past is now being threatened by austerity budget cuts and bad weather.
The burial mound dating back to 325BC — the era of Alexander the Great — has been flooded by heavy rains, shifting mud and creating large stagnant ponds — all of which threaten to make the already fragile site even more unstable and could very well bury it again. Visitors have already been barred from the site due to the risk of damage and harm.
Human bones found inside a boxlike grave in an inner chamber raised speculation that the tomb may have belonged to one of Alexander’s generals, or perhaps even his mother. But analysis of the bones has since identified they belong to five different individuals.
A recent emergency conference between archaeologists and the Greek culture ministry discussed the need for a comprehensive site study to assess what drainage work needs to be done to protect the stability site. Archaeologists have expressed fears that the water may have undermined much of the stonework, presenting a danger to its preservation even after the site dries out.
Finds on Naxos indicate existence of Neanderthals on the island
Did Neanderthals exist on Naxos island? Most probably, according to new research in Stelida, situated three km northwest of the capital of Naxos at a very developed tourist area.
The Canadian Institute in cooperation with Antiquities Ephorate of Cyclades conducted an excavation in the area which brought into the limelight a series of objects that certify the existence of early humans in the area up to 260,000 ago.
The majority of finds, located on the surface during the 2013 research, were mostly carved stones while a quantity of emery was found (a material that is widely found on the island but not at Stelida). The ceramics found in the area are very rare and are rather from a later era.
The Central Archaeological Council approved the five-year programme for the continuation of the research that will focus on the dating of the finds that changes the prehistoric data on Cyclades.
Until recently, the archaeologists believed that the human activity on the islands started very later, approximately in the 5th millenium B.C while only in 1981 with the discovery of Stelida emerged the possibility of an earlier dating.
The new programme has multiple targets. One of them is the dating of the site with the use of scientific technics in order to clarify when the early humans migrated to Europe through the Aegean basin and if this migration was realised through the sea. Moreover, an in detail analysis of the artifacts will take place and the relations of the early humans, meaning the Neanderthals and the Homo Sapiens, will be examined.
Roadworks on Lesvos reveal remains of fossilized forest
Excavations alongside roadworks for the construction of a new road from Kalloni to Sigrio have yielded new traces of fossilized tree trunks and the remains of an antediluvian forest on the Aegean island of Lesvos.
The search was conducted by scientists at the Natural History Museum for the Lesvos Petrified Forest, which is responsible for preserving other sections of the ‘Petrified Forest’ found on the island.
Among the finds are unprecedented numbers of fossilized tree trunks, both of coniferous and flowering trees (angiosperms) such as oaks, laurels, palms, cypresses and pines. There were also volcanic layers with a large variety of species such as cinnamon, coconut palms, palm trees and others that confirm the presence of an extensive sub-tropical forest that was covered by successive and violent volcanic eruptions.
These and other finds can be viewed from this coming Saturday at Sigri, in the museum’s grand new exhibition that, according to museum director Nikos Zouros, presents the finds in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand way for the first time.
Ellinair picks up Internal Itineraries
Despite the unfavorable economic climate, the Group Mouzenidi, low keyed, consistently and professionally, continues to conquer a large share of the Greek market, forming a new tourist map of our country and beyond. In a packed room at the Central Hotel in Thessaloniki, the Administration presented the new timetable for 2015.
The Administration announced the new program of domestic routes of Ellinair. This network will include 7 destinations, Thessaloniki, Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Iraklion, Rhodes, Zante. From Thessaloniki will run direct routes to Santorini (five times weekly), Mykonos (4 times weekly), Heraklion (4 times weekly), Rhodes (3 times weekly) and Zakynthos (2 times weekly).
From Athens will run direct flights to Santorini (six times weekly), Mykonos (4 times weekly) and Heraklion (4 times weekly) The overall domestic flights will amount to 768 and the seat capacity will be 75,000.
Agents calm down the scared British Tourists in Kos
Travel agents have dismissed a Daily Mail report that quoted British holidaymakers complaining their holidays in Kos were ruined by the sight of African immigrants as ‘nasty’ and ‘scaremongering’, but they said the article might damage business to the Greek island.
One agent wrote on the Facebook site Travel Gossip that she had received a call from a client who had seen the article and was worried about her future travel plans to Kos, but others said the report, which claimed Kos had been turned into a ‘hell hole’ was sensationalism.
One wrote: “Hopefully people will realize it’s only the daily mail and treat it with the contempt it deserves.”
The Daily Mail article claimed British holidaymakers had ‘clashed’ with boat people from Syria and Afghanistan after hundreds arrived on the island in the last few days.
It claimed the immigrants were sleeping rough in cardboard boxes on the beach, just yards from where holidaymakers ‘relax on sun loungers’.
It quoted one Briton saying the island was ‘dirty and messy’ and others said they felt uncomfortable eating in restaurants while watched by penniless asylum seekers outside. However, agents said the boat people were mainly in the city, well away from the tourist areas and that reps on the island had reassured them that the asylum seekers had not caused any problems.
A travel agent who was in Kos, wrote on the Travel Gossip thread: “I’m here and it’s fine….some refugees in Park and some people saw a lot at the police station waiting for onward travel documents.
All quiet and orderly. Thinks mail is making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill. Poor businesses of Kos. They have tolerate the original problem and contend with sensational press reports that will damage their businesses and livelihoods”.
The Greek islands are being forced to deal with the arrival of thousands of migrants arriving in boats after fleeing from war-torn African countries while at the same time wrestling with a financial crisis, which could see the country exiting the euro this summer, causing further uncertainty for tourists.