Student Journal: summer dispatches from the field The Olympics of Ancient Nemea: excavating the way they were
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The Dispatches

1- A taxicab driver's introduction to Nemea and an archaeological jigsaw puzzle

2- The terra cotta jigsaw puzzle and Indiana Jones and his leather coat

3- Connect my 50 bug bites and you have a map of Nemea

4- Pilgrimage to Delphi, the center of the ancient Greek world

5- Upstairs to the Palamidi fortress, eye level with Zeus

6- Goodbye to Nemea, inventorying 5,000 artifacts


Temple of Apollo
The remains of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi

The Dispatches: Katherine Chou
Things that go pop in the night, pilgrimage to Delphi and the center of the ancient Greek world, paean to air conditioning

NEMEA, GREECE - The day before my cohorts and I left for Delphi, I had two close encounters with Mother Nature.

First, in the middle of the night, while on a foray to retrieve my sandals from outside, I stepped on an unidentified squishy object. It popped.

Upon inspection, I realized I had stepped on a medium-sized lizard. In my bare feet. (A moment of silence please for the lizard and my peace of mind.)

Later that day, we had a fire. A farmer in the field adjacent to the ancient stadium had apparently started a small fire for some purpose but the wind caught it and pushed it toward the stadium. Professor Miller could be heard yelling at people to get away from the fire (with probably a good measure of Greek curses thrown in). The flames weren't high enough to see from the museum but there was plenty of smoke. We heard a small aircraft fly over, probably to locate the fire. Moments later, a huge yellow plane came swooping toward the smoke and expertly dumped a load of water onto the fire. It was impressive, to say the least.

About an hour after that chaos subsided, we left for Delphi. Ah, Delphi! The (believed) center of the Greek world. The wealthy and prestigious home of the Pythian Priestess. And hotels with air conditioning!

Delphi was all I had hoped for. The site was beautiful, with a breathtaking view of the gorge. Literally breathtaking; it was a tough hike to the stadium above the theater (where Nero sang, much to people's dismay). But it was worth it. Over the course of two hours, we saw the site of Delphi and the museum. Then we went back to our hotel and enjoyed the air conditioning.

Much to our chagrin, our time at Delphi was short. We drove back to Nemea Sunday morning in the little car we rented, affectionately called "Spidos." (We wanted to call him speedy but that wasn't very Greek, so we added an "os" to it - Speedos. But in Greek, the "e" sound is an "i".) Anyhow, we're back at Nemea now and happier for having taken a break to go to Delphi (with the air conditioning).

— Kathy Chou

Theatre at Delphi
Theatre at Delphi where Nero sang and people feigned death in order to be carried away from his performance


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