The text from the brochure describing our park planning activities for 2014 will be uploaded at the end of the 2014 field season. A full color version of the brochure with Greek and English text, photographs and maps can be downloaded here.

Park Planning Efforts

The summer of 2014 saw important and continuing progress towards the creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos. During two weeks, July 7-21, the Fourth Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School took place in Ano Karyes, Arcadia in which a total of 9 Greek and US students, together with faculty and community leaders, worked on several long-term initiatives. Each of the student participants received a fellowship from the Parrhasian Heritage Foundation for room and board and travel expenses for the two-week field school. The new Parrhasian Heritage Park Society, under the direction of Fotis Zois, was active during the summer and continued during the Fall and Winter, 2014-2015. The Summer Field School worked together with the Society in a number of different ways, including meetings and events as well as an all day Open House in Ano Karyes. The Open House, held on July 12, featured the opening of the Trail of Rhea near the village, a tour of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, including an on-site lecture by David Romano on the latest archaeological discoveries and a buffet luncheon for all participants in Ano Karyes. In the afternoon a community meeting was held with discussions related to the creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park. Later in the evening a lecture by Professor George Theodorou of the University of Athens was offered in the Paleontological Museum of Karyon on the discoveries in the area of Isioma, at the eastern base of Mt. Lykaion.

Future trail planning efforts will focus on completing the trail network. Further surveying work is required, but an overall design is taking shape that will connect the villages in the park. The initial network focuses on the area around Mt. Lykaion connecting the villages of Neda, Ano Karyes, Kastanochori, Lykaio, Lykosoura, Vastas, and Isaris. In addition, it is hoped a trail from the ancient city of Trapezous to Mt. Lykaion can be restored and that it will link the ancient city at the eastern base of Mt. Lykaion to the Ash Altar at the summit of Mt. Lykaion. Further loop trails will also connect to the village of Agios Sostis and to the Temple of Apollo Epikourios. The Park trails will form an approximate 140 km network that will afford many opportunities for visitors to enjoy the fauna, wildlife, beauty and the ancient sites in the area. As the trails begin to be used, park accommodations will be needed for local, regional and international visitors.

Trail Identification & Planning

This year the Park Field School included Greek and US undergraduate and graduate students working together to plan, survey, assess and continue construction of trails in the Parrhasian Heritage Park. The team continued to build the Trail of Zeus that had begun in previous summers. The work included trail definition and leveling in areas that had been left incomplete. The result makes the full loop accessible to the public. As part of the planning effort to connect trails between Ano Karyes, Agios Sostis, and the Temple of Apollo Epikourios, new potential trails were surveyed and assessed.

Trail of Rhea Opening

This year the village of Ano Karyes partnered with the Field School to open the fourth trail in the park, the Trail of Rhea, 1.74 km in length. This is a short loop trail easily accessible from the village that ends with a view of the “Cave of Rhea”. One of the goals of the Field School is to teach the principles of park planning to students and local citizens as well as to share ideas about the future and preservation of the Parrhasian landscape. To this end, Greek and US scholars were taught how to plan for the formalization of the Park, and how to design trail networks and to look for ways of improving the quality of life for the local communities. The opening of this trail took place on July 12, 2014 as a part of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School Open House. In Greek mythology Rhea was the mother of Zeus, and from ancient literary sources, Callimachus and Pausanias, tell us that Rhea gave birth to Zeus on Mt. Lykaion. Pausanias adds that Zeus was born in a cave high on the slopes of the mountain. There are of course many caves in the region of Mt. Lykaion, but a very prominent cave is located on a ridge immediately to the southeast of Ano Karyes that is of great importance to the modern village. The new Trail of Rhea leads to a spectacular vantage point that faces this cave, also known locally as the “Refuge Cave.” During the Open House approximately 50 participants walked directly from the village of Ano Karyes to access the new Trail of Rhea. The group traversed the trail, stopping to admire the views and at the promontory overlook of the “Cave of Rhea.” Following the hike refreshments were served by Field School students at the fountain at the entry to Ano Karyes. Afterwards participants drove to the hippodrome of the Sanctuary of Zeus, where David Romano presented results from the excavation and research at the site from 2004-2014. The tour continued to the Altar of Zeus at the southern peak of Mt. Lykaion where David Romano continued the reporting of archaeological results, 2004-present.

As anticipated, the summer of 2014 afforded the opportunity to begin finding sign makers, carpenters and lumber suppliers who can fabricate the park signs. We are looking to utilize local craftsmen to fabricate the sign posts and the signs to benefit the local economy. The three major sign types have now been designed including trailhead kiosk, trailhead and wayfinding signs. The goal is to install the first group of these signs during the summer of 2015, using local contractors. The trailheads and wayfinding signs will be installed along the Trail of Zeus and Trail of Pan as part of a larger overall Park system of signs, and will be the model that will be installed throughout the Park in following years.

Sign Creation

The students also worked on preparing a public event in Ano Karyes. The Open House was held on Saturday, July 12th and it introduced interested local and regional visitors to the Field School, the work of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project and the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos. During the Open House we also organized the opening of the fourth trail of the park, the Trail of Rhea, near the village of Ano Karyes.

Field School Open House

A splendid buffet lunch was provided for all participants of the Open House in the “Dining Palace” in Ano Karyes. The luncheon was prepared by the students of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School under the direction of Nota Pantzou. Following lunch an important discussion ensued among all participants exchanging new ideas about the future development of the Park.

On the evening of July 12th, Elias Angelopoulos arranged for a lecture to be held in the beautiful, new Paleontological Museum of Isioma, at the eastern foot of Mt. Lykaion, where Professor George Theodorou, Director of the Museum of Paleontology and Geology and Professor of Paleontology at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens spoke about the paleontological discoveries in the area. Professor Theodorou was kind enough to take us on a short walk to the site of the original discoveries, close to the village of Isioma. Following the lecture, Angelos Dendrinos, representing the International Society for Arcadia, presented a number of awards including one to Professor Theodorou and one to the Parrhasian Heritage Foundation. Following these events Elias Angelopoloulos organized an evening reception at the paleontological museum for the students and visitors including music, food and drinks.

During the Field School hikes were undertaken to different parts of the eastern regions of the Parrhasian Heritage Park. Each hike had a specific goal in mind to explore a trail in order to understand its relationship with modern villages as well as with neighboring ancient cities and sanctuaries. On one occasion, following a hike from Lykaio to Vasta, we were welcomed by a representative of the village, Panagiotis Zois, and we discussed the potential benefits of the Parrhasian Heritage Park for his village and the neighboring communities. One of the objectives of the Park is to link individual trails to form a network, and last year the trail between Vasta and Aghia Theodora was successfully opened as an example of this process.