On Friday, I returned from my first trip as a member of the American School staff.  I met up with the Regular Members in Edessa and then stayed with them through Florina, Mikri Prespa, Kastoria, Dispilio (check out the Dispilio excavation’s classy web site and be sure to click on the “Diary of an Archaeologist” feature on the left), Aiani, and Thessaloniki.  Since I have already talked about the first places in that list, I thought I might reflect a bit on Thessaloniki.

In some ways, Thessaloniki forces an observer to acknowledge the post-antique history of Greece as much as (if not more than) the Ancient past.  Perhaps it is the standing monuments that are still more or less embedded in the urban landscape (as opposed to the sanitized presentation of the Acropolis in Athens or the fenced off preserves of the Agora and Keramikos). Or perhaps it is because I am less familiar with the city so have to pay more attention to landmarks; after all, Athens does have its share of post-antique monuments — architecturally interesting mosques, Byzantine churches, and art deco apartment blocks (or here).

In any event, Thessaloniki was quite vivid this past trip.  The Regular Members were particularly engaged in the post-ancient cityscape making the trip quite rewarding.





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