I’m not the kind of person who asks to be photographed, especially when I’m working.
But, to my eternal bafflement, some people will turn their camera at me instead of the monuments and they often send me some of the photos they’ve taken during the tour. All the photos below are theirs.
I’m often asked why I carry reconstructions wherever we go.
Why lug the heavy pack of pictures everywhere? Well, it so happens that not everyone is a trained archaeologist and few can visualize ancient buildings at their peak by looking at a pile of ruins. Pictures speak volumes; a few seconds’ glance at one can show what I mean better than half an hour of explanations and I’m not afraid to admit that. Besides, I’m sure that half an hour of explaining would bore everyone to tears – I much prefer the look of rapt attention 😉
Pictures are not the only means to bring to life art that’s been broken beyond recognition. At the Acropolis Museum, there’s very little left of Poseidon and Athena, fighting over possession of Athens. But with a little help from one of my guests (thanks N.K.), the scene becomes clear: Athena beats Poseidon and he expresses his feelings in no uncertain terms (he did have a vicious temper, after all).
Ah, yes, there’s nothing better than a little pantomime or reinaction to help make things clear and liven things up after a tiring day. Too bad some of the guards frown upon such “irreverent” attitude in front of the monuments. But I’m hopeful they’ll come around to my way of thinking – one day.
I have to admit that it’s not with every audience I will dare use pantomime. On the right I’m at my most serious and scientific for members of the Diocese of N. Smyrne.
Yet even for this audience, I failed to dress up. My wife often rolls her eyes at my “cargo pants, shapeless jackets and nerdy t-shirts,” but they’re practical and I’m comfortable in them.
Another thing I like using in my tours is props: I fill my bag with samples of marble for a Greek Art tour, minerals for an exploration of the Lavrion mines, maps and toy soldiers to reconstruct the Marathon battle and more, even a real yatagan (from my own, tiny collection), to explain the differences between different weapons used during the Greek War of Independence.
I’d like to thank you all for the photos. Above all, I’d like to thank you all for choosing me to share your vacation with, for listening, for asking questions, for all the fun moments we had together. I’d like nothing better than to see you again some day. All my best to you all!