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 Zeus
The Temple of the Nemean Zeus, which is being reconstructed. Shown are three columns which have been standing since the temple was first built.
The Dispatches: Katherine Chou

Looking for an elevator to the fortress, a bird's-eye-view of the reconstruction of the Temple of Zeus, and an encounter with Euripides

NEMEA, GREECE - And then there were three. Last weekend, Jini went home, reducing the population of students working here at Nemea by one.

That didn't stop Martin and me from making the trip to check out the Palamidi fortress in the city of Nafplio. We hauled ourselves up a path to the fort that reportedly includes 999 steps. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm that. We were too busy panting and sweating to remember to count the steps.

While we were taking a short rest at the top, we spotted a grey-haired lady walking about, nonchalant as you please. Well of course, Martin and I were ashamed that we were so out of shape compared to this older woman who obviously was having a much easier time of it. Then we saw the toddler. Now how did he get up here??? We began to have visions of a huge elevator up to the top. As it turns out, we weren't far off.

After exploring around, at the end of the long windy road up the mountain side we found a parking lot. Argh! Why didn't the person who had driven us here drop us off at the top! After a good look at the fortress, we headed back down the steps. Every time we stopped to rest, our legs would shake and tremble.

Oh well, one more adventure in Greece to remember.

Back at Nemea, the reconstruction of the temple of Zeus is going well. Our team finished setting upright the second reconstructed column, bringing the total number of columns now standing to five. Not only that but they have also put up both epistyle blocks and a triglyph block on top of those. Taking the opportunity to ascend the workmen's scaffolding before they started dismantling it, I climbed up to enjoy the view. Despite the fear of falling from the seemingly flimsy scaffolding, seeing such a large monument in such an intimate way was incredible. It's one thing to see pieces lying in ruin on the ground. It is quite another to see them as they were millennia ago.

Several evening ago, Professor Miller took us to Ancient Epidauros to see Euripides' play, Hypsipyle, performed in the ancient theater. Very appropriate considering that it tells the foundation myth of of the Panhellenic games at Nemea. I couldn't understand the Greek. Even still, the performance was one I won't soon forget.

— Kathy Chou
Stage at Ancient Epidauros
Prior to the start of the play, the stage and theatre at Ancient Epidauros


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