The Cycladic Civilization

OVERVIEW

The Cyclades fulfil their collective name (kyklos in Greek means circle) by encircling the sacred island of Delos, the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, the twin offspring of Zeus by Leto. Join us on a sailing trip to unveil the spirited Cycladic Civilization -that rose to prominence in the period from approximately 3200-2000 BCE- through art, archaeology, architecture, mythology, religion and its material culture. During our voyage we will visit striking ancient temples and discover the allure and mysterious beauty of the famous schematic flat female figurines carved out of the islands’ pure white marble. Their enigmatic forms possess an incomparable aesthetic power in their very simplicity. Discover the prominent role of a truly great civilization that thrived in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean for millennia before the appearance of the famous Minoan Civilization.

OVERVIEW

The Cyclades fulfil their collective name (kyklos in Greek means circle) by encircling the sacred island of Delos, the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, the twin offspring of Zeus by Leto. Join us on a sailing trip to unveil the spirited Cycladic Civilization -that rose to prominence in the period from approximately 3200-2000 BCE- through art, archaeology, architecture, mythology, religion and its material culture. During our voyage we will visit striking ancient temples and discover the allure and mysterious beauty of the famous schematic flat female figurines carved out of the islands’ pure white marble. Their enigmatic forms possess an incomparable aesthetic power in their very simplicity. Discover the prominent role of a truly great civilization that thrived in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean for millennia before the appearance of the famous Minoan Civilization.

THE SYLLABUS

Travel in the Ancient World

An introduction to travel in ancient times, from 3000 BCE to the Roman period. For the majority of ancient Greeks and Romans, travel was a difficult and adventurous proposition. Travel by land was expensive and time-consuming. Roads were often non-existent or too rugged for the use of vehicles. Travel by sea could solve some of these problems but it was only possible in the spring and summer, since most captains refused to sail during the winter, afraid of the tempestuous seas. And yet the ancient world was full of travellers who visited cities and sanctuaries as exiles, pilgrims, tourists, messengers or traders. This module is based on historical and sociological perspectives to cover types of travel, reasons, means of transportation and the most common trade routes.

Maritime Archaeology

An introduction to the discipline of maritime archaeology. The ancient Greeks were a maritime people and their cities and colonies developed on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in such numbers that Plato thought they resembled “frogs on a pond”. The Romans conquered all the lands around the Mediterranean and transformed it into their sea (mare nostrum). Olive oil, wine, grain, works of art, building materials, and passengers criss-crossed the sea along familiar trade routes. But the Mediterranean can be unpredictable and many ships failed to reach their destinations. Lost in the bottom of the sea for millennia, they supply maritime archaeologists with an inexhaustible field of research. This module is about the history and contribution of this ‘newly emerged’ science to our understanding of the ancient world.

The Art of Sculpture

The earliest settlers in the Cyclades were consummate sculptors in stone, creating marble figurines whose elegance and simplicity of form proved an irresistible source of inspiration for many notable modern artists. These island marble carvers remain anonymous but ancient Greece soon produced a league of sculptors whose works of art remain the most inspiring and memorable artifacts of the classical period. This module focuses on the evolution of the art of sculpture in the Greek world from prehistoric times to the late Classical period, as suggested by the material evidence. Students familiarize themselves with theories of aesthetics and artistic interpretation to better understand and analyse the three-dimensional art.

Program highlights

• Discover how the wealth of natural resources on the Cyclades (gold, silver, copper, obsidian and marble) supported a prosperous society where a unique and distinctive form of minimalist sculpture flourished;

• Explore Akrotiri in Santorini, the so-called ‘Pompeii’ of the Aegean, where ongoing excavations reveal a Minoan Bronze Age settlement considered the most important prehistoric settlement found in the Eastern Mediterranean

• Visit innovative museums such as the Mining Museum of Milos, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Museum of Marble Crafts in Tinos, guided highly-qualified, licensed archaeologists

• Indulge in the Cycladic heritage through intriguing, on-site seminars and workshops by enthusiastic lecturers

• Snorkel through the sunken city of ancient Kimolos on the island of Kimolos, in the southwest of Cyclades, and see the breathtaking treasures hidden beneath the beautiful waters of the Aegean Sea

PERKS & OPTIONS

What is included in our programs?

  • 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
  • Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
  • Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
  • All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
  • Information material
  • Local taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the airport in Greece

Optional

  • Airfares to and from Greece
  • Any custom request


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