Greek Archaeology - New Scientist Exclusive

6 nights starting from
£1995

  • Lectures and walking seminars from Professor Christofilis Maggidi and his colleagues

  • Accompanied by New Scientist's Editor Emily Wilson (May) and Reporter Clare Wilson (June)

  • 3 days ‘behind-the-ropes’ access to Mycenae

  • A full day of archaeological dig training

  • Visit excavated sites at Tyrins, Epidaurus, Argos, Messene and the Temple of Apollo Epikourios

This is an interactive tour of the key Mycenaean sites including a unique ‘behind the ropes’ 3-day experience at Mycenae, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, where you will be taught how to explore, map and excavate with their archaeologists. Followed by visits to the hidden gems and famous sites of the ancient Peloponnese. Accompanied by Professor Christofilis Maggidis, President of the Mycenaean Foundation, and New Scientist editorial staff. This tour is run in conjunction with the New Scientist and Travel Editions

The group size on this tour is limited to 18 passengers to ensure that smaller sites can be visited and that you get a high level of attention.

Whilst we are building in time to relax, there will be a lot of walking on this tour. Please ensure you are fit and able to walk for up to 2 hours at a time on uneven ground. Comfortable supportive footwear is a must. During the dig training, you will be on your hands and knees and bending regularly. We would also suggest suitable clothing for dusty conditions.

Please note that flights are not included in the package price but suggested flights and timings are shown on the itinerary page.  If you opt to purchase the flights optionally, then of course transfers are available.  If you opt to purchase your own flights, you will either need to be at the appropriate airport to meet the main group or meet at the hotel. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Do not book flights independently until you know that the tour is definitely operating – it is based on a minimum number of participants which need to book before the tour is certain to operate.

Available Departures

From

14 - May - 2021 £ 1995.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

04 - June - 2021 £ 1995.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MYCENAEAN WORLD.
After flying into Athens airport, we will be transferred to the beautiful seaport town of Nafplion where we will check in to your hotel for the next four nights and meet our fellow travellers. In the late afternoon, you will take a short drive for the first of 3 days on-site at Mycenae. The tour begins with a private tour of the famous citadel of Mycenae, including the cyclopean walls, the palace, the royal workshops, the cult centre, and the underground cistern, led by Professor Christofilis Maggidis, President of the Mycenaean Foundation, and the Assistant Director of the centre, Adrianos Psychas. In the early evening, there will be a welcome reception with refreshments at the Melathron Centre of the Mycenaean Foundation with an introductory talk by Professor Christofilis, 'An introduction to Mycenae and Agamemnon' , plus an outline of the next two days activity. The talk will be followed with a performance by a Byzantine choir. Byzantine music derives directly from ancient Greek music, amalgamating Greek and Oriental musical elements. Then its back to the hotel in Nafplion for a welcome dinner.
Throughout your time in Mycenae, you will be accompanied by New Scientist's Editor Emily Wilson (May) and Reporter Clare Wilson (June) who will give insightful talks, introduce our experts and ensure that the insight gleaned from Mycenae is set within a broader archaeological context.

Day 2: LEARN HOW TO BE AN ARCHAEOLOGIST.
After a short drive back to Mycenae, we will begin a full-day archaeology experience in the unique one-acre dig simulator and working in the ATREUS Field School archaeology labs, led by field archaeologists and the Mycenaean Foundation's experts. The dig simulator facilitates intensive, interdisciplinary ‘hands-on’ education and practical field training in real conditions in the controlled environment of a simulated excavation field. Learn how to survey using aerial photography, ground observation and geophysical surveying. Then onto excavation, restoration and digital applications. The dig simulator features reconstructed architectural ruins and diagnostic archaeological contexts (hearths, kiln, wells, houses, shrine, cist and pit graves, tholos and chamber tombs), plotted portable finds and spatial distribution of physical remains, including artefacts (reproduced pieces of pottery, figurines, jewellery, tools and weapons) and ecofacts (casts of human skeletons, animal bones and teeth, carbonized wood, organic remains and other bioarchaeological material), and reproduced stratigraphy filled with different types of sediment (occupation layers, destruction layers, floor levels, burnt deposits). During lunch Professor Christofilis will give an interactive seminar on field methodology and all participating guests will receive Mycenaean Foundation’s ATREUS Fieldwork Certificate.
After returning to the hotel to freshen up, Professor Christofilis will give a talk over dinner 'The science behind the discovery of Agamemnon's throne' followed by a Q&A session led by New Scientist.

Day 3: BEHIND THE ROPES AT MYCENAE.
On our final day at Mycenae we will start the morning with an archaeological walking survey in an area that has not been formally surveyed yet and is off-limits to tourists. Learning about the systematic survey methods employed by archaeologists in recording, analysing and interpreting a potential site, led by Professor Christofilis and Panagiotis Psychas. After lunch on site, we will visit the Mycenae Archaeological Museum led by the Assistant Director of the centre, Adrianos Psychas. In the afternoon, we will take part in more 'behind-the-ropes' activity with a trek on geomythological paths and ancient roads: covering the site and its surroundings including the famous Tholos Tombs and the excavation site of the Lower Town, led by Adrianos and Mycenaean Foundation archaeologists.
The evening talk at the hotel will be 'The future of archaeology - using digital technology and 3D scans to create site reconstructions' by Professor Christofilis followed by more Q&A.

Day 4: NAFPLION, TIRYNS AND EPIDAURUS.
Today, we will start to explore more Mycenaean sites with a walking tour of Nafplion. Discover ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian buildings along with its archaeological museum. This will be followed by short drives to visit Tiryns citadel, one of the most important centres of the Mycenaean world, and Epidaurus, led by Adrianos Psychas.

Day 5: ON THE ROAD WEST TO ARGOS AND BASSAE. 
After checking out of our hotel in Nafplion, we will take a short journey to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Argos. Along with Thebes, it is considered the most powerful city of ancient Greece. Here, you will find several monuments and a great museum with finds from 8th century BC to 5th century AD. In the afternoon we will travel onto Bassae for the well-preserved and architecturally unique UNESCO World Heritage site of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios. Sited on a windswept mountain, this is the place you can really feel the presence of the gods. In the early evening, we will check you in to your hotel in Kalamata, where you can relax with a night at leisure.

Day 6: THE HIDDEN GEMS OF MESSENE.
After breakfast, we will drive to Messene, one of the largest and best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Often overlooked by visitors to the Peloponnese, it is a vast complex with ongoing excavations. Mostly built in 369 BC on the ruins of an even older city. Returning to Kalamata, you can enjoy a final night in this bustling seaside city.

Day 7: FAREWELL TO GREECE (OR STAY ON FOR A FEW MORE DAYS).
After a farewell breakfast, depart to Kalamata airport for your journey home. Should you wish to stay a little longer, further days by the beach in the idyllic villages of Kardymili or Stoupa can be arranged by Travel Editions. Alternatively, travel back the Greek capital, Athens, where along with the ancient complex of the Acropolis, you can explore the Temple of Olympian Zeus, one of the biggest ancient temples of the Greek-Roman Empire and the National Archaeological Museum.

Please note: Under Greek law, the dig simulator is only open to those aged 16 or over

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 18 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Four nights’ accommodation at the four-star Amalia Hotel, Nafplion on half board basis, two nights’ accommodation at the four-star Pharae Hotel, Kalamata on bed and breakfast basis, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Four dinners
  • Two lunches
  • Transfers and full touring itinerary as detailed
  • Entry to all sites & attractions
  • Guest lectures by Professor Christofilis Maggidi and his colleagues
  • A full-day training on Mycenae’s dig simulator
  • Tour manager

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Holiday insurance
  • Single room supplement
  • Meals other than those state
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and Gratuities

HOTELS

Amalia Hotel Nafplio

A four-star hotel built in a neo-classical style and with large grounds and pool, so you can relax after the dusty days at Mycenae.

Amalia Hotel Nafplio Website

Pharae Palace Hotel

A simple but elegant four-star hotel on the Kalamata seafront a few steps away from the beach. It even has its own rooftop bar and restaurant from which to admire the splendid bay view.

Hotel Website

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