The text from the brochure describing our park planning activities for 2015 will be uploaded at the end of the 2015 field season. A full color version of the brochure with Greek and English text, photographs and maps can be downloaded here.

Park Planning Efforts 2015

Continued progress was made towards the creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos during the Summer of 2015. During two weeks, July 5-21, our fifth Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School was held in the village of Ano Karyes, Arcadia. We were fortunate to have 12 students, from both Greece and the United States, working with a team of faculty and instructors as well as with community leaders and friends. Dr. David Romano was the Director of the Field School and Mr. Mark Davison served as the Director of Park Planning.

The work of the Park Field School was divided into several different categories. The students participated in studies of landscape character, trail blazing, trail mapping, and sign design and execution. A number of the Greek students, under the direction of Dr. Nota Pantzou, worked on compiling inventories of both designated and non designated ancient and modern monuments and sites in the three prefectures of Arcadia, Messinia and Elia. Living and working in the village of Ano Karyes, we were based in the village Cultural Center that served as our laboratory and work space. The multipurpose facility provided space to work, space for meetings, and space for lectures. We are very grateful to the village of Ano Karyes and to the Cultural Society of Lykaion Zeus for permission to use the Cultural Center for our project.

Extensive trail identification and planning were carried out for the Trail of Pan and the Trail of Zeus, which have been under study and under construction for several years. Since signs need to be installed in and around ancient sites and sanctuaries it is important that the trails are well marked and easily seen by the public. For this reason, a close examination of the trails was undertaken this summer to understand the needs and necessities of each of the areas. Narrative signs are planned to be set up in the villages of Ano Karyes and Neda in order to attract tourists to hike the trails and visit the neighboring archaeological sites.

Trail Identification & Planning

Character assessment of the landscape is important for the understanding of the way in which trails intersect with the environment. In order to position appropriate way-finding and trail head signs, each trail must be thoroughly studied. Sometimes existing agricultural roads can be used for trails with little or no modification. Other times, trails will need to be created across an unmarked landscape. Assessments must take note of geological formations, water sources, flora and fauna, views, structures, and points of interest. Consideration of types of trees growing nearby trails: walnuts, chestnut, plane trees, and oaks were noted as they can be informative about the use of the land, climate, soil conditions, or water flow. The current use of the land for agricultural purposes is an important part of the landscape character study.

Sign Installation

A main focus of the 2015 Field School was to finish the design of the narrative signs for the Park and to erect wooden trail head, way-finding and interpretative posts in the area of the Park immediately adjacent to the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion. We were able to erect 13 trail head and way-finding signs and we have commenced the erection of a small roofed kiosk near the hippodrome at the Sanctuary of Zeus. We plan to continue the installations of posts and kiosks next summer and we also have contracted with a sign making agency in Athens to have the signs printed and ready for installation. It is our hope that the installation of signs for trails and areas of archaeological interest around Mt. Lykaion will serve as a paradigm for other parts of the Park.

The installation of the signs has been a big job for the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School team. For the posts, it included buying the lumber from a local Tripolis wood distributor, having it shipped to the village of Ano Karyes, where the posts were prepared for installation by Tom Keating. The transportation of the posts to the site of installation was overseen by Pat Playdon with assistance from many of the members of the Field School, typically 8-9 in total. This involved carrying the cement and water, together with the shovels and picks, for the installation. The kiosks were manufactured to our own specifications in Athens and were shipped directly to the site. One of the kiosks was partially assembled at the site of the Hippodrome and installed. The location of all of the posts was carefully considered in advance of their installation following a detailed scientific landscape study undertaken by Mark Davison and the Field School students. As a part of the landscape study, a determination was made for the location of the posts and kiosks along the Trail of Zeus and the Trail of Pan.

Meetings & Presentations

Several meetings were held during the summer of 2015. On May 28, a meeting of the Cultural Society of Lykaion Zeus of Ano Karyes under the leadership of Mr. Kyriakos Karagiannis convened in Athens. Discussion here centered on the future of the village and talk included the contributions of the Parrhasian Heritage Park to the future of the area. On June 14, a general meeting of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Society was held in Athens under the leadership of Mr. Fotis Zois and Mr. Angelos Dendrinos. This local society representing Arcadia, Elis, and Messenia is interested in promoting the creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park of the Peloponnesos. On June 25, a joint meeting between the Parrhasian Heritage Park Society and the Parrhasian Heritage Foundation convened in Athens to discuss common goals and objectives. The discussion focused on the proposal being prepared by Prof. Costas Cassios and Dr. Dimitris Papakonstantinou of the National Technical University of Athens to be submitted to a government agency.

For the last two years, Prof. Cassios and Dr. Papakonstantinou, both of the National Technical University of Athens, together with their students and other members of the Park initiative, have been working on the creation of a document that will designate the area of the Parrhasian Heritage Park as a protected landscape. This document is about to be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment. Since the total area of the Park is ca. 670 kms in area and the Park includes aspects of Arcadia, Elis and Messenia, the consideration of this protected landscape needs to be understood and agreed to by many different government bodies.

We were fortunate to have a number of interesting talks given by visiting civic and society leaders and scholars this summer during the Field School. Mr. Angelos Dendrinos and Mr. Photis Zois, representing the Parrhasian Heritage Park Society, spoke on the subject of the creation of the Park from the Society’s point of view. Mr. Giuseppe Biagini, Vice President of ITKI (International Traditional Knowledge Institute) spoke about the kinds of traditional knowledge that are now being studied and inventoried around the world. Ms. Theoni Christophilou and Ms. Ioanna Sotiropoulou spoke about their Master’s thesis from the University of Kent and Athens University of Economics and Business (MA in Heritage Management) that was in the form of a management plan for the ancient city of Trapezounta.

Dr. George Davis gave several lectures on his current geological research and included two short field trips to neighboring areas for the students. Dr,. Nota Pantzou spoke about the application process for designation of World Heritage Sites and the benefits of ratifying the convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Nea Phigaleia Meeting

On July 20, a visit was made by the Parrhasian Heritage Park Field School to the town of Nea Phigaleia, located on the western edge of the Park in the province of Elis. We first visited the Folklore Museum in the town and then held a meeting in the outside courtyard of the museum where approximately 35 people showed up. This meeting was organized thanks to the valuable help of one of our students Fani Kazantzi, who lives in N. Phigalea. During the meeting there was a very good discussion about the goals of the Park and the practical economic benefits of the Park. David Romano and Nota Pantzou spoke and answered questions of the village citizens and leaders. The geography of the western side of the Park is quite different from the eastern side but there exist ancient towns, cities and trails in this area, and there is great potential for community involvement.