“Exploring the Peloponnese” is our second scheduled tour in Greece for 2018. To give an impression of the experience, we are providing a travel diary, following last year’s precedents in Crete and the Dodecanese. Rather than describing every day in detail (you can check our itineraries on www.petersommer.com for that), every day we pick one photo we took that day, accompanied by some explanations and thoughts.
As always, the end of a tour is a day of introspection and reorientation. For two weeks, my fellow guide, Maria, and myself have presented the Peloponnese, one of Greece’s most dense archaeological landscapes, and one the world’s most historic and mythic regions, to our group of wonderful guests. For two weeks, we have built and presented a continuous narrative and for two weeks, we have shared the country’s gastronomic traditions, looking after our guests’ needs as best we could.
Now, our guests are dispersing across the planet, some of them continuing their travels in Greece, others returning to their homes in Britain, America, Canada and Australia. We hope to see them all again and to show them more of what we have to share, in Greece or elsewhere. Moreover, we hope that our shared experience of the Peloponnese was memorable and that some of the things we showed them, and some of the stories we told them will stay with them.
Our final image is the so-called “Mask of Agamemnon” in the National Archaeological Museum at Athens. We showed it to our guests yesterday afternoon. Discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in the shaft graves of Grave Circle A at Mycenae, it is certainly not the mask of a king fighting in the Trojan War, which, if it ever happened, belongs to about 1,200 BC. The gold mask, and its context, are from more than 300 years earlier, and Grave Circle A is part of the nucleus of Mycenae. We will probably never know whose face it covered, much as we think he was an important ruler or noble. If he was directly related to Agamemnon at all, he was (roughly) his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. or a peer thereof. The mask is a actually a controversial object in some regards, but it is perhaps the most emblematic image in all of Peloponnesian archaeology.
I hope you enjoyed our Peloponnesian tour diary, and if you did, I hope you might consider joining us on this wonderful tour in the future!