Friday, October 23, 2015

CIG Excursion to Boiotia and Site & Museum Ticket Prices to Rise

The Institute has had a special interest in the archaeological heritage of Boiotia since its beginnings in 1976. Our first archaeological fieldwork project in 1980 was at Khostia in western Boiotia under the direction of Professor John Fossey (then McGill University). Later Professor Duane Roller (then Wilfrid Laurier University) conducted research at ancient Tangara on the border with Attika. This relationship continues today with the Greek Canadian excavations at ancient Eleon above modern Arma.

It has been some time since we have organized an excursion for our members and friends. To end this drought Jonathan and I have organized a trip into darkest Boiotia for Saturday, November 7th. The itinerary starts with a visit to the new Archaeological Museum in Thebes. We will be shown the new exhibits in this museum, which has yet to be opened to the public, by Dr. Alexandra Harami, the Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Boiota and the Director of our synergasia at Eleon. Her colleague in the Ephoreia, Dr. Yiannis Fappas, will assist. Afterwards we will have a chance to see some of the excavations of the Mycenaean palace and settlement on the Cadmeia within the modern city of Thebes. A taverna lunch will follow.

The final stop on the excursion will be the Greek Canadian excavations at Eleon. Professor Brendan Burke (University of Victoria), the Co-Director of the project, will guide the group. After five years of excavation there are two areas with substantial domestic structures dating from Late Helladic IIIB to the end of IIIC. The “Blue Stone” structure is a large rectangular burial monument dating from Late Helladic I. Sondages have revealed Middle Helladic remains below. The most visible feature of the acropolis is a curving wall of polygonal masonry that dates to the late Archaic period. Associated with it are a series of gates that utilize the remains of the Mycenaean wall and gate of the acropolis. There is ample evidence in the form of terracotta figurines and miniature vessels for a shrine or sanctuary somewhere in this area of the site.

The bus for the excursion will leave from the foot of Gennadiou and Vas. Sophias in Kolonaki at 9:00 am sharp. The expected return is around 17:30. It should be noted that for the Eleon visit there is a walk of ca. 100 m upslope over slightly uneven ground. Further, if it has rained recently the ground on the path and at the site may be muddy. Be prepared!

The cost of the excursion (excluding the lunch in Thebes) is 20 € for members of CIG and the Athens Friends’ Association of CIG. For others the cost is 30 €. As the seating on the bus is limited don’t delay in making your reservation by sending an email by Friday, October 30 to For further information: (09.00-13.00 weekdays). We look forward to you joining us!

Price of the Tickets to Greek Archaeological Sites and Museums to Rise

All I seem to write about are references to the economic crisis that has engulfed this country since 2010 and the various efforts and measures that have been implemented to surmount this very difficult situation for Greece. For those of us who live in Greece permanently this is central to most discussions we have and the TV news programs that we watch. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has been affected in various ways from cuts in its operating budget to fewer archaeologists and guards in the ephoreias and museums. As a result some sites and museums are now operating with reduced opening hours or even remain closed.

The constant search for revenue by the new government in the past month has reached the country’s archaeological sites and museums. This month the Central Archaeological Council recommended to the Minister of Culture to raise the prices of tickets during the tourist high season from April 1st until October 31st for the 30+ most popular sites and museums (whose hours during this period run from 08:00 to 20:00). Thus, the ticket for the Akropolis (and the South Slope Archaeological Park) will go from 12 € to 20 €. The site of Mycenae will rise from 8 € to 12 €. The Minoan palace at Knossos will go from 6 € to 15 €. The National Archaeological Museum and the Herakleion Museum, now 7 €, will go to 10 €. It is reported that for the winter season the prices will be reduced by 50% and there will be free admission on the first Sunday of every month. There has been a proposal as well that those individuals with free entrance passes to sites and museums from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture pay at least 1 € for each entrance.

The increasing numbers of tourists visiting Greece are seen as a deep well for a part of the revenue needed by the state to fulfil its substantial financial requirements under the Memorandum negotiated with the “quartet” this summer.

David Rupp


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