In ancient times, prospective members of the mystery cult of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods would sail to the island, putting in to the harbor at Paleopolis, the ancient city. They would proceed up the hill through the city, then go through the city walls and into the Sanctuary for initiation rites, starting from the Propylon of Ptolemy II. One of my tasks here this season was to help to “plot” the walls of the ancient city, so that our geographic / cartographic expert, Michael Page, could feed the data into the geographic information system that “we” are developing for the site.

Originally I had planned to hike the wall with my niece, but her ankle was twisted. With Bonna’s leg broken, and the memory of my broken foot of 2 years past still fresh in my mind, I decided that perhaps hiking the wall was not such a great idea for me. However, some of the NYU students were interested and willing to climb the wall and collect points into my handy dandy GPS device. Here are some pictures of their adventure yesterday.

on the way up against the wall

Above are two of the team as they start the ascent.

It's a long way up there

It’s a long way up there.

Taking a point

Here are two of the students taking a point reading.

They made it!

Their perseverance paid off and they made it!

It's a long way down.

It’s a long way down – yikes!

They made it back, with no serious injury although with varying percentages of skin removed from their legs. Neverthless, I want to publicly thank Amy, Arielle, and Emily for their willingness to take on this important task, and the good cheer with which they returned!

Lisa and I are on the mainland. We left Samothraki on the 4 pm ferry today, and drove due east to the coastal town of Kavala. Tomorrow we will stop in Vergina, the site of the tombs of Macedonian royalty, on our way south to the Peloponnese, where we hope to visit Epidaurus and Mycenae on Thursday. I hope to have a picture or two for you tomorrow.