view of Nemea Valley  

FROM THE DIRT TO THE MUSEUM

a website sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Humanities
and Bryn Mawr College

 

 
  

 
 
 

 
 
DIMITRI

Dimitri is a professor at Florida State University.

How deep is the tomb you are excavating?

Right now it is about 8 feet deep, but it will probably be about another 1 or 2 feet more.

How do you tell how old things are?

I ask people who have been studying this for a really long time.  Archaeologists know that generally things that are higher up in the dirt are newer than things that are further down.  We can also tell sometimes by the styles of some pots we find.  Some pots were popular for a long time, but others weren’t and so their shapes changed quickly.  They might have changed quickly because people often want what is coolest or newest.

What kind of artifact did you find just now?

A little jar in the tomb.  We think it is part of a burial.  It is called a stirrup jar because of its handles, which look like an upside-down stirrup.

Were there Mycenaean temples?

We know they did have temples because the Mycenaens wrote about them.  They wrote on clay tablets with wooden pencils in a language called Linear B.  The temples were all over the place, and the Mycenaens sometimes wrote about dedications (gifts) to the gods.  Some of the tablets talk about some of the Mycenaean gods, which were some of the same ones that we know from Greek mythology, like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Dionysos, Potnia, and Artemis.  The tablets are from 3500 years ago, and the Greeks were worshipping the same gods 500 years later!  I think Mycenaean religion would not have been that different from Greek and Roman religion.

Who is your best archaeological friend?

I have many good friends.  I do not think I can pick one person.  Part of the fun of archaeology is making friends, and then working with them.  I have gotten to work with Jim a number of times.  Last year, I met Johanna and Angus, and then I got to work with them again this year.  And this year, I met Stella.  I hope to work with her again.

 


 

 
 
 
Copyright © 2007 Johanna Best