1.28.2015

Amphipolis ...

... look, I had literally refused to go on TV for well over five years as I don't want the "fame" and I only went on Greek TV as I was tired of people who had never been to the site at Amphipolis (Palagia, Chugg) talking crap; I wanted to defend the work of the amazing team who actually are working at Amphipolis.

I also should admit that whilst a book about Amphipolis would be lovely in the long term, I also had never planned to 'rush' to publish one before the archaeologists. I knew a book by me on the market would blow out others' attempts to get advances for a book, and that was my main plan. Also, if a book of mine one day is published and makes money, obviously I would split the profits with the guys there as they did the hard work.

I am happy to try to explain the archaeologists' finds, and try to theorise about them but ... I am currently taking a break as I was close to the CharlieHebdo office and the doctor told me I need to go for a rest. I have had absolutely no news or contact about the excavation finds from the team since the news broke in August - no-one is leaking to me as I gave the few (minor) people who tried hell. Theorise away, just be aware that we are just theorising and discussing possibilities!

Normally excavations are complicated, but the public and press only see the end results. Amphipolis may look a "mess" because unusually here people are seeing the excavation as it goes along. This is normal! As is changing theories as new evidence comes to light ... whoever this turns out to be, it is already the most important find of the century.

Michaelis Lefantzis has been there from the start, he was the one who went looking for bits of the Lion and thus in turn found even more amazing discoveries. Lefantzis is one of the most talented archaeologists (in Greece it's "architect" but in the UK & US we include that within "archaeologists") that I am aware of, not just in Greece but the world. He's the hero of Amphipolis, and the idiots claiming other crap are just that - idiots. Greece voted for change, so let's give Amphipolis a chance to change too.



27 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Dorothy, don't worry about the fools, let the fools worry about you.
      Keep smiling and live your live in London as best as you can.
      Forget Greece, this is a part of the world far away from you, let the Greeks to discover their past.
      As for the Parthenon, no body is able to speak, may be the next generations, will be better and more civil, may be they say bad things about the barbarism of these ages.

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    2. is this the 'Tsipras' school of vocabulary??....bad trolling....

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    3. Κώστα, άσε με να την ειρωνευτώ λιγάκι, της χρειάζεται μ' αυτά που κάθεται και λέει.
      Η τύπισα δεν έχει τον Θεό της, θα μας βγάλει "λάδι" τον Έλγιν, σε λίγο θα μας πει οτι φταίμε εμείς που πήρε τα μάρμαρα.
      Έλεος....

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    4. ;-)

      I'd be delighted to see the Marbles in Athens, but I'm not going to judge what Elgin did by modern standards any more than we can judge Pericles or anyone else by the 'rules' of today ...

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    5. Dear Dorothy,
      I have a simple question for you and i think you ll be able to answer to your self.
      Let' s say that you are walking on the street alone and helpless, from a dark corner a bandit comes and strikes you hard, now i am walking on the same street a few hours later, i see you down and i am taking from the floor your wallet, your bag, your watch and everything i like.
      What am i?
      Can you realize what am i try to say to you?
      What ever is on the floor does belong to every one found it?
      Try to see my example, as a part of real civilization, not in my mind, but in my Greek DNA.

      Delete
  2. Are you fucking serious? You want me to take a man who has never been to Amphipolis as seriously as people who have (me!) and the amazing team of archaeologists actually working there?!?!?

    By taking an idiot like Chugg seriously - a man whose last book claimed he'd found Alexander's Tomb, and whose next one will probably find Cleopatra's - you're the prejudiced one against real scholar with real knowledge doing real work.

    What the fuck do you want me to do? Say "oh I know I've been discussing Amphipolis will my colleagues there for years and seem the actual evidence but I'm going to change my mind and disregard my own years of work because some arrogant little twat sends journalists hundreds of emails marks high priority"

    Chugg was not the one who presented the woman thesis at real archaeological conferences two years ago - that was Lefantzis. So Chugg is welcome to get his minions to spew crap about me but he didn't find Amphipolis, Lefrantzis did. And no matter how many tantrums Chugg throws, this will continue to be true.

    This has nothing to do with "fair play" - I got fed up of Chugg trashing my work, and if he's "allowed" to do that, then why the hell am I not allowed to defend myself?!?!?

    And if you can't see the difference, then go play with the traffic

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  3. Why did you delete my comment??? It did not contain ANY insulting comments or any hate speech or any spam! Can you handle critic or do you prefer flatterings?...Was it the 'not so inspired' comment for your opinion on Elgin Marbles that actually irritated you? Or was it the cenotaph thing? And by calling me a "minion" of someone i do not know is so ridiculous and insulting...Iif he had a blog of his own with comments believe me he would have heard a lot of criticism and irony about his Alexander "findings".....

    until today I believed that your blog was a democratic one....but by deleting my comment you create the impression that I insulted you! so would you be kind enough to upload it so that readers can see my opinion and judge by their own? if you are so right as you say you have nothing to hide....or are you applying censorship against whoever disagrees?

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  4. I apologise for the "minion" comment - I assumed you were another name of his many "super-fans" constantly attacking and frankly I'm sick of that.... I apologise humbly for being so rude to you personally, when really my felling very pissed off is with him and his nonsense. I was upset by the ISIS attack and I over-reacted to you when I should have to you - honestly I don't feel I'm in any way above criticism and am more than happy to leave criticism of me. I sort of thought you were sharing his criticism of the team there.

    Here's the bottom line - Chugg is not Democracy in action. I genuinely believe all people are equal etc but ... Not all people are as skilled at certain things. I wouldn't take the opinion of an amateur surgeon as seriously as a professional, for example. It's why he self-publishes books, but publishers pay others to write.

    There is a difference. Just as I object to the Christian US religious fanatics thinking they know better and can destroy Ptolemaic Egyptian mummies to "rescue" papyri fragments or smuggle artifact to "save" them from "bad" Turks / Greeks / Egyptians as they those Americans think they're superior ...

    Chugg may sound "inspired" but ... just as there is something racist about the US lot's "superiority" ... there is something rather ridiculous about an Anglo-Saxon man who has never been to Amphipolis thinking he is so much more superior to the Greek team that has been working there for years. I feel the same way about Olga Palagia and her complete crap. It's an insult to scholarship to do anything more than dismiss is, as it discussing such silly ideas is as much a waste of time as discussing the wild theories that the Paris attack was a Jewish conspiracy to frame Muslims - I was there, and can assure you it was not either.

    I feel very very protective of the team at Amphipolis. "academics" can be terrible back-stabbers in normal circumstances as it is (see Palagia, Olga), and an excavation has never been presented in this way before so I imagine that they are going through a horrible time - see the extra press releases the MC had to do because of Chugg and Palagia spreading silly things recently - whilst also trying to work, so I am very defensive about them.

    I apologise that I seriously misinterpreted your comment and if I can will try to put it back up. I would also like to apologise to you - I should not have been so rude at you when my frustration was directed at others.

    However I do stand by what I pointed out about Chugg - and he's insulting Greece by trying to claim the credit for the work of some heroic Greek archaeologists that persevered even when the odds were against them, and an insult to them and Greek abilities. I guess I'd hoped with government change there'd be less of his nonsense.

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  5. apologies accepted…the internet is full of rude jokers or fake ids attacking their opponents, so sometimes it's hard to tell....and maybe I gave the impression I was picking on you but that was definitely not the case as you realized…and you do not have to upload my first comment since your last response was explanatory and mature…

    I am not chugg’s fan by the way…I’m not anyone’s fan….but reading your comments against him and your overt protectiveness towards the Greek team made me skeptical.…I feel that independent scholars are generally excluded by academic elite, not only for reasons of inadequacy.…he may be a wild speculator and an attention-seeker but hey that’s “the discovery of the century” as you said….and many people try to exploit it in different ways (I truly hope you are not one of them)….also the Olympias hypothesis deserves some credit and discussion…it has been supported by findings while other hypotheses have not….also me and other Greeks, as you may assume, actually wish for an “Olympias” revelation…this hypothesis still plays largely in Greek media…that the tomb is actually Alexander’s mother…something which will prove very helpful towards the identification (or non-identification) of Alexander’s remains…anyway, time will tell, even though I am afraid it is unlikely to end up with certain identification findings (like in Vergina's case)...

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  6. Truth is that I dont agree with your opinon over the Parthenon marbles and I think they should by all means be returned to Their respective monuments along with artifacts from Bassae and Dafne monastery. The thing is that I have the same feeling about British scholars most notably the line of curators of the BM. They seem to be considering themselves better, smarter and probably better looking driven by their arrogance. I would most probably want to hear your opinion not only on the Partenon Marbles but for the building parts ripped off from Vassae and Dafne Monastery. If one has to accept the Ottoman Bull for the Parthenon please tell me in what way the Vassae Temple was in the same derilect state. Meanwhile the columns ripped off from the Dafne monastery left the building in a more derilect state than it was. This outlines tha arrogance of Lord of Elgin (By no means can I gloryfy him as a Sir as I am not obliged as a greek national) and mostly the currators of the BM. The reason the Parthenon Marbles are mostly on the press is because of their immense value but at the same time the other two buildings are also Unesco monuments... Keep well... Pantelis

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  7. Truth is that I dont agree with your opinon over the Parthenon marbles and I think they should by all means be returned to Their respective monuments along with artifacts from Bassae and Dafne monastery. The thing is that I have the same feeling about British scholars most notably the line of curators of the BM. They seem to be considering themselves better, smarter and probably better looking driven by their arrogance. I would most probably want to hear your opinion not only on the Partenon Marbles but for the building parts ripped off from Vassae and Dafne Monastery. If one has to accept the Ottoman Bull for the Parthenon please tell me in what way the Vassae Temple was in the same derilect state. Meanwhile the columns ripped off from the Dafne monastery left the building in a more derilect state than it was. This outlines tha arrogance of Lord of Elgin (By no means can I gloryfy him as a Sir as I am not obliged as a greek national) and mostly the currators of the BM. The reason the Parthenon Marbles are mostly on the press is because of their immense value but at the same time the other two buildings are also Unesco monuments... Keep well... Pantelis

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  8. Disagreement makes the world a better place! Discussing things makes us change opinions etc.

    1) I think it is wrong to judge Elgin by today's standards - or anyone from history eg Alexander too!

    2) there is also a lot of propaganda from the Greek side: had he not taken them, the French would have. A lot of pieces were on the ground, and he sawed some other frieze blocks, but the metopes could easily be slipped out ... so the damage is often vastly exaggerated.

    3) I have not lifted a finger to help the British Museum for years (since 2006 at least), but I have helped the Greek Ephoria and the restitution campaign during that period ... things change, my opinions change as situations change, and I tell people to ignore the last chapter of the book now.

    4) I've been pro a loan for years. You can argue the British don't "own" them so can't "loan" them but ... I could argue that they "belong" to Ancient Athens then, not too all "ancient Greeks" ...

    5) Honestly if the "long term loan" became permanent ... I'd happily open the champagne and wouldn't loose any sleep over it ;-)

    6) and Bassae was arguable also sold be the Ottoman (legal) government of the time ... if you want looted 100% looted, then look at what the Germans did with the Aegina sculptures! Not even Ottoman consent - just pure theft!

    Oh and as to the current BM director and staff ... I think you're being far too polite merely accusing them of arrogance ;-)

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  9. Again, I don't want to in any way justify the crap Elgin did but ... there are drawings by Thomas Hope in the Benaki and elsewhere showing that before Elgin frieze blocks were on the floor and built into Ottoman walls, so not all had to be hacked.

    (can't find them right now as Google default-setting keeps doing Arabic ...)

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  10. But I do have a lot of these somewhere I bought at a London flee market years ago ...
    http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/autumn08/38-autumn08/autumn08article/89-new-discoveries-unpublished-drawings-by-thomas-hope-and-henry-moses-in-the-gennadius-library-athens
    And if I donated them, they certainly wouldn't go to the BM ;-)

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  11. I didn't even notice the book comment because I don't worry about what people who "value" Chugg think of me - I'd be horrified to be thought of like him ;-) ... and publishers pay me as my book sold 20000 copies; Chugg pays to publish his book himself ... slight difference.

    What pisses me off is Chugg (and Palagia) and their fans thinking their "research" is as valid as the research of Lefantzis and the team at Amphipolis. It does not need to be discussed seriously as it is crap - and as ridiculous as Skopye's claims to be Macedonia. We discuss fairy tales with children not with adults.

    So trying to put Chugg on a par with Lefantzis et al is insulting to them and to Greek archaeologists.

    I really mock myself as much as others, and have no problems with criticism of me ... but it is unfair to do it to the amazing archaeological team at Amphipolis, who already had politicians breathing down their necks and can't fight back!

    Here is the original post:

    "Dear Dorothy, why do you insist writing offensive things for Chugg like “talking crap”, “nonsense”, “amateurs” etc...disagreeing with someone is one thing, insulting him is another…So what it’s all about? Is it something personal? Or just a popularity contest? Both of you need not to worry for the second…cause if you decide to publish books on Amphipolis they will definitely fly high…
    so what it’s all about? The guy predicted almost from day one that the tomb was built for a female!…and all later findings supported his theory…on the other hand, you and many others excluded that…you also talked about a cenotaph (which proved wrong) and later Hephastion (which is also probably wrong)…

    so come on, where’s the fair-play…why such prejudice?....no one asks you or any other 'serious' archaeologist to give any credit to his theory...scholars are so competitive with each other that this is very rare, especially when they disagree....but at least you should not diminish him…I am writing this in a critical but still friendly manner…as a Greek -despite your ‘not very inspired’ book on Elgin Marbles- I really appreciate your concern, knowledge and love of Greek civilization"

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  12. Oh Dorothy... I think i really sympathise the guy.... he wasn't su harsh Simply overwhelmingly curious... anyways... truth is accademics are really harsh to one another Ive came accross that quite a lot ... allthough on another filed. Probably things in archaology are more exagerated because of politics and prestige (not the case for you and Chugg). I think Chugg is simply an archaological Diva... Palaggia on the other hand is simply more connected to her leftist past mingling politics in her media output... Wouldn,t be strange if she made a turn now with the left government. Thing is I have a huge respect for accademics rather than media people. Palagia allthough not correct on what she says is a professor in a university... so i will just have to deal with her ... On the other hand Chugg is what? Haha ... please. So on the Vassae thing.
    1)Elgin supposedly had a permit to take fallen works of art. Vassae was completely under soil... He had to dig up for it. He took the columns. If he hadn't done so part of the temple would be in a much better state.
    2) Daphne monastery at the time belonged to the patriarchate so by no means is the Ottomans able to give permits...
    3) The reason I feel that the British are more arogant(ie I mean the befoere mentioned and the ephores and Elgin) is because of the general european concept of eastern and muslim countries. At the time Greece was an easter oryhodox country governed by the sick man of Europe a muslim country the Ottomans. Culturarly Greece was in a limbo state, romantically kept in the minds of Western Europeans. Since then and after the revolution Greece arose in a western european enviroment with a briedge of the French and american revolution.
    On the context whether the French would take it I feel they would be more willing to discuss than the British museum.... Ties between Greeks and French are more close than with the British. My opinion in general is that architectural elements of Unesco sites should be returned to their respective sites/countries unless incorporated in other buildings in historic times or the recipient country accepts the movement. Movable artifacts should be excluded unless there is ambiquity of their provenance. If this leads to a turmoil in museums then so be it ... Its time things came to a right place.
    In the case of The parthenon marbles the Greek government could undertake and pay for copying exactly yhe marbles on white marble. The BM doesnt have this ability.
    I think at some point I should make my own blog but anyways... This answere turns out to be a post on its own

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  13. I know, I know ... I was harsh on him :-( ... that's why I apologised and am trying to put it right ...

    It arrived in the context of a lot of other similar pro-Chugg messages and the ISIS news (the former is irritating; the latter still upsets due to those murderers killing my team in Afghanistan so ... I tend to over-react but that is not an excuse, just trying to explain ... I also tend to hide in the bathroom as that's what I did ... eek). And I slightly lost it ...

    And, whilst I stand by support for Amphipolis team, I really really really should not have been that rude to Konstantinos Gravanis and HUGELY apologise.

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  14. Oh Dorothy... I think i really sympathise the guy.... he wasn't su harsh Simply overwhelmingly curious... anyways... truth is accademics are really harsh to one another Ive came accross that quite a lot ... allthough on another filed. Probably things in archaology are more exagerated because of politics and prestige (not the case for you and Chugg). I think Chugg is simply an archaological Diva... Palaggia on the other hand is simply more connected to her leftist past mingling politics in her media output... Wouldn,t be strange if she made a turn now with the left government. Thing is I have a huge respect for accademics rather than media people. Palagia allthough not correct on what she says is a professor in a university... so i will just have to deal with her ... On the other hand Chugg is what? Haha ... please. So on the Vassae thing.
    1)Elgin supposedly had a permit to take fallen works of art. Vassae was completely under soil... He had to dig up for it. He took the columns. If he hadn't done so part of the temple would be in a much better state.
    2) Daphne monastery at the time belonged to the patriarchate so by no means is the Ottomans able to give permits...
    3) The reason I feel that the British are more arogant(ie I mean the befoere mentioned and the ephores and Elgin) is because of the general european concept of eastern and muslim countries. At the time Greece was an easter oryhodox country governed by the sick man of Europe a muslim country the Ottomans. Culturarly Greece was in a limbo state, romantically kept in the minds of Western Europeans. Since then and after the revolution Greece arose in a western european enviroment with a briedge of the French and american revolution.
    On the context whether the French would take it I feel they would be more willing to discuss than the British museum.... Ties between Greeks and French are more close than with the British. My opinion in general is that architectural elements of Unesco sites should be returned to their respective sites/countries unless incorporated in other buildings in historic times or the recipient country accepts the movement. Movable artifacts should be excluded unless there is ambiquity of their provenance. If this leads to a turmoil in museums then so be it ... Its time things came to a right place.
    In the case of The parthenon marbles the Greek government could undertake and pay for copying exactly yhe marbles on white marble. The BM doesnt have this ability.
    I think at some point I should make my own blog but anyways... This answere turns out to be a post on its own

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  15. no worries! don't victimize me, the initial comment was gently provocative...and talking in a raw manner is more interesting than politically correct phrasing (what irritated me was the deletion and not the angry response)...besides, hearing a lady yelling the ‘f’ word is kind of fun and sexy, haha…alright I’m kidding on this…

    I do not agree dear Dorothy that authors who find a publisher are necessarily better or smarter than those who cannot find one...in many cases they probably are but it is also a matter of how commercial the 'book' is and also a matter of reputation and connections.

    Similarly, a professional scholar is not necessarily better than an amateur. Heinrich Schliemann was an amateur archaeologist! And I am sure many ‘professionals’ of his time would degrade him as a nobody…

    Michael Ventris, the man who deciphered Linear B, was also an amateur linguist of genius. Linguists would probably regard him as a joke...but if those people turned into pros I’m not sure if they would make it…

    it is also a matter of character, some people give their best performance in academic context, others cannot take guidance and instructions (or more importantly, they do not afford studying fees)…

    So let’s be realistic on this. A professional scholar is better qualified, more disciplined, methodical and more connected, but (s)he is also less able to think out of the box, more confined to academia restrictions and taboos.


    That's why Einstein is the perfect example of an academic genius, his motto was "at least one hour per day think totally differently from your peers"....

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  16. Schliemann's techniques ... oy vey ... and I think my colleagues would be horrified at the idea of me thinking even more differently than I already do... ya gotta give those guys a break from my "outside the box" stuff once in a while ;-)

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  17. we should not judge him with today's standards and techniques...he was a notorious case but still is the father of modern archaeology...the "box" is absolutely necessary...but alas to those who cannot escape it i'd say...

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  18. Konstantine dont judge the times most Archaologists were amateurs... people study today... and if you are not an archaologist (have an MC permit) at least in Greece you go to jail.... Schliemann was benefitial for Greece but we dont know exactly his ways. Other example is Evans.... What i know and what i heard is that the current state Knossos is in is because of imaginative additions to the complex.... Nice true but not true to knowledge. So nowdays an archaologist has to be a scholar and an accademic. The private amateur archaologists are an American phenomenon. The same goes for Minerologists and oaleontologists.... where amateures go around digging themselves, This can lead to great mistakes and law suits (l;ike in the case of Tyranosaurus X "Sue"). I am sorry to say this but as an accademic myself i have to go down and see what is Chuggs accademic past. Then I can judge from there. As for Pallagia.... She is an accademic, she has done some research but the lady is a pharse.... and to be honest Im dissapointed on Dorothy that she keeps talking about her... But ive came to understand that Dorothy is a bit warmheaded and passionate... Probably it would take an insicion to take that passion out. :)

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  19. I suppose you're right, not trying to degrade academics, just saying that many amateurs have important things to say but their voice can't be easily heard due to academia snob and exclusiveness....i'm not implying this guy, Chugg, i'm speaking generally...academic elite is by no means an ideal society...i'm studying Art History at the time...2014 was dedicated to El Greco...there's a competition full of hatred going on for years between different interpreters of the artist...and we're talking about top-level scholars...the worst of all is that if a student dares to question one of those 'gurus' views their prospective is probably over...you're an academic yourself so i'm sure you will know similar cases...this may not be the rule...but generally academia is a very competitive arena, often demanding unwilling compromise...

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  20. Tracing the remains of Cervantes! what do you think Dorothy?

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  21. Just to be clear I am a huge supporter of amateurs. They make the field amazing, and still (long post Schliemann - who incidentally was a 'professional' of his day whatever his PR, and btw Frank Calvert found Troy not him ... ) do. I love nothing more than chatting for example with the guys who do army re-enactments as they 'solve' the questions when they make the equipment and practice fighting with swords the way academics do not!

    AND it was an amazing amateur who went to the sites and worked out that Marius vs Jugurtha took place in modern Tunisia not Algeria based on the common sense of the topography!

    BUT a) Chugg has not even been to Amphipolis ... b) he's more 'professional' than most PRs in the way he pushes his agenda to the press / media, and ... c) ROFL ....

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  22. Since we insist on this guy, let's try some more neutral judgement...because i'm sure other archaeologists are also very negative against him...First of, how do you know he hasn't been to Amphipolis? And what if only archaeologists are allowed to visit? Then it's not up to him...

    Then, i can see that his articles on Alexander have been published by many respected journals, mainly historical. And the same will also apply for Amphipolis....Meaning he has been positively peer-reviewed (meaning he has some serious things to say using a sound methodology).

    Thirdly, archaeologists are speculative as he is, many of them have probably not been to Amphipolis neither, many of them enjoy and pursue publicity, their 'territory' is not threatened by non-experts, so what's the problem??

    and by the way, if I felt "left outside" from scientific circles and strongly believed in some views of mine then I would definitely reach for publicity too...not so desperately as you say he does but i would....so why oh why are academics arrogantly ridiculing amateurs?

    so the way I see it is this: the guy made a good first guess on Amphipolis, findings supported his suggestion, he then reached everywhere for publicity (as any other 'amateur' -blocked by experts- would do, seeking media attention), so some experts felt frustrated by an 'intruder'....the irony, though, is that even if he was an expert then we'd also see similar phenomena, that's why I talked about ego-trips from the start...

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