Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 - What a year!

Our season of excavation at Eleon ended on Saturday, July 13th this year. Throughout 2013 our team of about 30 volunteers, graduate students and undergraduates worked in three different locations: ceramic analysis, drawing, and flotation (to uncover plant remains) were done in our apotheke in Arma.  At Dilesi, object conservation, faunal analysis, and pot washing were done. On-site at ancient Eleon in Arma, where Bryan Burns and I, as co-directors, coordinated fieldwork every day. Five trench supervisors worked with student volunteers for six weeks of excavation to further uncover the Bronze Age (Mycenaean) and Archaic/Classical phases to the settlement.

A more detailed report will follow very soon and will be posted on our excavation website: www.uvic.ca/~bburke/EBAP. What follows here is a short summary of our 2013 results. We had three primary areas of excavation in 2013: the Northwest, where we uncovered several whole vessels in their primary context and a very clear destruction level; the Southwest, where we have well-preserved stratigraphic levels from the LH IIIB to LH IIIC middle phases; and the Southeast, an area we refer to as the ‘ramp’.  The earliest architecture in the area of the ramp was first built with elaborate Cyclopean style masonry during the Mycenaean age, ca 1200 BC.  At some point later Greeks returned to Eleon and renovated the remains of the prehistoric architecture in their own style. From at least the Archaic period (6th c. BC) onwards this area served as a monumental ramped approach to the upper settlement, as evidenced by multiple pebbly white surfaces and at least two in situ threshold blocks.  It seems that the gate area was reworked multiple times attesting to a long period of use. There were indications for heavy traffic on this ramp: crushed miniature cups, known as skyphoi and kotyliskoi. Several, located closer to the walls, were found intact. We also found a large number of Archaic/Classical female figurines, suggesting some cult activity in the area.  In the Northwest and Southwest we uncovered more of the Mycenaean settlement and have been able to isolate specific destruction levels which are significant for understanding the changing fortunes of Eleon before and after the great palace at Thebes was destroyed. The ceramic sequence continues to indicate a robust and long-lived LH IIIC (post-palatial) occupation at Eleon. This period of Greek history is relatively poorly understood and is traditionally associated with decline, what was formerly known as a ‘dark age’. At Eleon, however, our architecture, ceramics, and other finds of the LH IIIC period indicate that the settlement thrived during this time, after sites like Thebes, Mycenae and Pylos were destroyed. From 2013 our work shows that Eleon is a particularly rich LH IIIC site which continued to have significance into the Archaic and Classical periods.

On July 14th, we had the opportunity to present our results to the people of Arma at what we called an 'Open House. This event with the village was a perfect conclusion to a great six weeks of work.  We were able to present many of our results this year to the local community. It is, however, also important to us that we take some time to highlight our ‘home base’, in Dilesi, where our work continues every afternoon. Since 2007 we have been hosted by this community and have sincere thanks to many people who have helped us each summer.

Dilesi is located along the eastern Boeotian ‘Riviera’ (as we like to call it), the small stretch of coast along the southern Euboian Gulf between Attika and Chalkis. It is about an hour by car from Athens, and we look across the gulf to the important sites of Lefkandi and Eretria.  Dilesi is the modern name of ancient Delion, or Delium, the location of a famous battle between the Athenians and Boeotians in 424 BC. The Athenians established a garrison in the town for a short time, but were ultimately routed by the Boeotians who reclaimed the city and its temple to Apollo. The precise location of the Greek sanctuary and settlement are not known, but excavations have revealed remains of the Roman period occupation, including a ceramic kiln, shops, and a bathing complex.

We have been very fortunate to live right along the sea every year of the EBAP survey and excavation, in the summer apartments owned by Mrs. Ino Mamoni and her family. The property’s enclosed patio and garden provide a vital workspace. This is where we wash and sort daily pottery so that the next day’s excavation can be directed in some ways by the preliminary reading of the previous day’s potter. In the garden we have occasional seminars led by our staff members and we welcome visiting scholars interested in our results. The garden is where everyone comes to appreciate the material we’ve recovered each day, and it’s the site of many small discoveries: letters inscribed on a tile fragment, the joining pieces of a vessel, a bird or shell or human, among the painted sherds!

Beginning in 2007, Mrs Mamoni was a constant help to us, always greeting us with a joyful smile and treats upon our arrival each summer. She would bring us fruit picked from her garden trees or cool drinks at the perfect time during our working hours. She was also ever watchful of our living and work space, providing a safe and secure environment. She loved cats, including a recent adoption she called ‘Xanthi’. In previous years she adopted local dogs, treating them with rare kindness and providing them with food and water. One of our favorite dogs she called ‘Kanella’ (cinnamon), to whom she once memorably said, ‘ela Kanella, exoume douleia!’ as they walked down the street together on a late-night errand to help her tenants (us!). Most sadly, Mrs. Mamoni passed away this summer and we are very sorry for this loss to her family.  We miss her greatly.  We have grown to know and care a great deal about the Mamoni family and hope to continue living and working at the family’s place in Dilesi in the coming years. 
In 2013 our team of volunteers and students was the largest we have ever had and we had to find additional housing in Dilesi, in several apartments in the town and in one rented summer home in the nearby neighborhood of Argileza. Our various landlords have been extremely helpful to us, providing us with a sense of security and ‘home’ while we do our research.

Nearby to our home base in Dilesi are a number of tavernas, and as everyone who has been on an excavation knows, dinner time is one of the most important events each workday. It’s the only place the entire team is together in one place and serves as a meeting point for sharing updates on the project and making announcements. Our most-favored taverna is Babis’ Taverna. Young Babis runs the taverna while his parents are in the kitchen. The prepared meals here are unparalleled in Dilesi – students will often take home left over moussaka for breakfast! We do enjoy other tavernas in Dilesi as well, including Delion, which makes excellent seafood. Our students have come to discern the best souvlakia in town, with and without ‘sos’ (sauce). There are many to choose from so being in-the-know is helpful. We also enjoy several of the local cafes which provide broadcasts of major sporting events. I watched several Wimbledon matches with people on the team at Café Contigo.  Others preferred Café Legend and the unusually named ‘Square: More than Coffee’. We have grown to appreciate Dilesi since first arriving in 2007. We’ve seen several changes over the years, and wish it well over the winter. We look forward to coming back again in 2014 to continue our work at ancient Eleon!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Farewell Eleon!

EBAP 2013 excavations have finished and I am sad but ready to be going home. This experience has been incredible and has open up another world for me. I had never been around so many people who know more than I do about classical history and culture. Being part of a project like this has been the most real trip for me because of my personal involvement. Traveling with a purpose is so much more meaningful. It is one thing to visit the ruined civilizations for a day, devoting all your energy for a month into uncovering them is another level of travel I'd like to get into more often.
The last week I spent processing the pottery sherds by sorting, weighing, and tagging, which intimately acquainted me with the differing grades and quality of clay in the making of different types of pottery used for cooking, storage, or as a personal drinking cup for example. Other EBAPers were up at the site taking the precautions to preserve our work for continuation next season.
As I sleep on my flight home I expect to awaken on one of the cars driving back to Dilesi after hard work under the Boeotian sun. I still dream of the daily tasks that had to be done while living in Greece. I don't know how I will go back to eating the tasteless North American food again. I will also miss the physical work that made the days so satisfying. I will surely be coming back to ancient Eleon next summer if I am able to get another chance. Thank you so much Brendan, Bryan and all the EBAPers for an unforgettable archaeological experience!

For the love of EBAP

Six weeks have passed and EBAP has come to an end. But I guess time flies when you're digging in the dirt, pottery washing, meeting amazing people and having all sorts of archaeological fun. With EBAP as my first excavation I had a limited idea of what to expect. But having gone through an enlightening experience sparked a love between archaeology and I. So I found it appropriate to give some tips on having this special kind of archaeological relationship.

1) Don't be afraid to ask
Like with dating, you can never know what something could be unless you ask questions to find out. When a new digger finds something out of the ordinary it's best to ask whether such a find is worth keeping or destined for the dirt pile. Inevitably there are deceiving gem-like finds that may sidetrack you from the true and worthwhile treasures of excavation... but don't let that discourage you because by asking questions you learn more about the attributes that make a find worth keeping and not waste time on the less significant.

2) Get a move on
In life, time seems to be one of the biggest impediments we have, so we have to make the most of it while we can... or as Brenden would say, "dig faster, more carefully!" In the archaeologically rich site of ancient Eleon, it was shocking to see one dirt-filled wheelbarrow after another being added to the site's heaping dump pile. By the end of the season a fair number of trenches were opened and older ones were dug deeper to the point of becoming difficult to enter. It just goes to show what can happen in a short period of time when hard working EBAPers are involved.

3) Learn to love
From EBAP my love for archaeology has sprouted and grown, but I must admit there were some parts that were harder to love than others. Being up and ready to head to site at 6am took a bit of getting used to and resulted in many van-ride breakfasts. But for digging and heat stroke purposes early starts couldn't have been better (not to mention allowing an extra half hour to nap in the afternoon). In the beginning pottery washing didn't seem too much of a task, although us EBAP newbies were warned that it would only get worse as the weeks progressed. And yes, the number of pottery bags worsened... but pottery washing also became a get-to-know-your-fellow-EBAPers session where we would tell stories, jokes and even formulate plans to open a chain of restaurants focused on Minyan ware and Greek cuisine.

4) Cherish every moment
Sad but true, all good things must come to an end. Although the EBAP 2013 season has come to a close I know in my heart that it won't be the last archaeological experience I take part in. I could not have picked a better dig to be my first because it was the perfect combination of great people, a beautiful country and interesting site that made it a phenomenal learning experience. Taking a stab at archaeological illustration was probably the biggest game changer during EBAP. I lost all sense of time once I had a pencil in hand and began drawing finds from the field. I could not be more thankful for the mentorship of Tina and for igniting my interest in illustration. And I am thankful for everyone in EBAP that made digging and cleaning up dirt all the more fun and for teaching me more than I knew about conservation and ancient pottery. I'm already anticipating the next time I'll get to unpack my trowel, gloves, and dig shoes and create more archaeological memories.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Trench Commandments

The Trench Commandments – Buzzard Style

1.       Though shalt heed none other than the TrenchMaster
2.       Keep your water bottle under your wing and thirst not
3.       Keep a cap on you crown lest you sizzle your synapses
4.       If you gotta-go, go, but you don’t guano go and leave a mess behind
5.       Keep your tail feathers off the walls lest ye knock down stones
6.       Keep you talons and your tools off the scarp lest ye crumble its perfect line
7.       Keep your naked claws off the charcoal samples for surely you will contaminate its ancient purity with your base pairs of DNA
8.       Peck a trench – not a hole … (unless the TrenchMaster tells you to dig out a pit)
9.       Peck with care for gouging goddesses and shattering their sacred vessels offendeth the TrenchMaster
10.   Keep one eye out for the flying picks of others and one on your own, lest you gouge or be gouged
11.   Expose not the treasures of the ancients to outsiders who may covet their beauty for the sake of a quick sale
12.   Fling not your dirt (or bones or shards) into the wrong bucket, lest you sorely grieve the TrenchMaster
13.   Pollute not your trench, your site, or your nest with your garbage and plastic for you will incur the wrath of your nestlings and neighbours
14.   Never trust a stone in a scarp without the blessings of the TrenchMaster … it can let you down and you will be sorely bruised.
15.   Keep your beak out of the Ozo bottle until the last shard is out of its bath
16.   Your pottery washing is not done until everyone’s pottery washing is done
17.   Never dis a purple idea … remember human flight was once a purple idea

Monday, July 8, 2013

EBAP blog III: The Wagner Edition

We have reached the last week of our excavation at Eleon, and what I thought would be an excruciatingly long six weeks actually flew by and I'm going to be sad to leave. I could not have asked for a better first experience at archaeology and although I'm not opposed to finding out, I cannot imagine any other excavation being as fun and full of incredible people as EBAP is. I'd like to first thank Brendan, Bryan, Stephi and Vicky, for the opportunity and teaching me so much. To my beautiful roommates, thanks for being so chill and not using black magic on me in my sleep when I wake you up from my coughing fits. Sam and Roleen, I've never met two people who laugh more than I do and I can't wait for our outings in Victoria. To the Matt's: if you guys ever need an audience for your jokes, you know how to get a hold of me. To Stavroula, my Greek mom, for the great lunches and offering up her bed and pjs when I got sick. To Pep, thanks for being so awesome and a huge gentleman. This trip wouldn't have been the same without you, not just because we'd all be dying without sunshades. And finally, Biscuit, arguably the best stray in Dilesi. Although he is pretty disgusting when he's coughing up blood, I always enjoyed his company on our beach nights. I'd like to mention everyone but this is cheesy enough as it is; however, you're all fantastic. Between all the late nights, cheap beer, bumper cars, messing with the Americans, purple ideas and sunburns, I've learned a lot since being here. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm never going to be an expert on pottery or be the best digger. I do know that I'd like to learn more about bone analysis or conservation. My favorite find this year is nothing spectacular or particularly museum worthy, it is simply seeing a pottery sherd with a fingerprint on it. Digging in the dirt all day and finding hundreds of sherds makes the process somewhat redundant and impersonal. But seeing a fingerprint always reminds me that people lived their lives here and these objects were important to them in one way or another.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Field Trip

Yesterday after we had finished our lunch we went on a great field trip to three sites in Boeotia. We first went to Orchomenos to see the tomb of King Minyas. The tomb is a Tholos tomb although the top has collapsed so it is open to the sky. It is very similar to the tomb of Atreus at Mycenae since the tomb contains of small side chamber. The side chamber had a very interesting ceiling with intricate designs. We were given a short talk about the history of the tomb by fellow EBAPer Kyle. He told us that after the Romans conquered Greece, the tomb was used for Emperor Worship and that even Hesiod was worshipped here. After viewing the tomb we went to see the theatre which was next to it and then we walked around a small church that is made with reused stone from the older Greek structures.
The Tholos Tomb with a Roman altar
The wall at Gla
We ended our time in Orchomenos with an ice cream break to cool us all down. We then headed to the Mycenaean site of Gla. Gla was constructed when Lake Kopais was drained to provide protection for the farms in the Kopais Plain. The fortifactions are extremely large with the perimeter wall being 3000m in length. Another EBAPer, Max, told us information about the site. It is constructed on what had been an island on Lake Kopais and that it is possible to fit the both the sites of Mycenae and Tiryns within its walls and have space to spare. He also told us that the lake had reappeared in Classical times so the site was isolated on the island by the lake and it was only accessible by boat for most of the year.
The final location that we travelled to yesterday was the Sanctuary of Apollo Ptoon. Brian gave us a brief history of the sanctuary. It was an oracular sanctuary and because of that there were many tripod dedications. Other dedications that were discovered at the site included many Kouroi as well as some bronze swords with archaic inscriptions on them. He also explained to us that the excavations were never completed or fully published in part because the architect with the excavators lost all of their data. We then walked up the hill past the different levels of the sanctuary and we came to the remains of the temple which are hard to see since there is very little remaining. Beside the temple was a small spring that provided fresh water.
Sanctuary of Apollo Ptoon
We returned to Dilesi around 6:30 and many of us decided to have naps before dinner as the trip was very tiring after a long day of digging.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A: archaeologist smile. The sunburnt line found on one’s lower back after days of digging in the sun with a shirt that’s not long enough to cover a digger’s back while bending down. Friendliness of the smile depends on the person’s bending angle and size of shirt. Consult Neil for further inquiries on having an archaeologist smile.

B: Black Ram. The cheap rum found at the Bulgarian market. Lasts no longer than 2 days in the hands of EBAPers. Also the inspiration for Brandon’s nicknames: Black Ramage and Ol’ Black Joe (must hear Brandon and Joe talk in the same room for more clarity on the latter nickname).

C: cleaning pottery. A Monday to Friday routine that starts at 5pm after siesta time. Starts with bagging previously washed pottery and piling them on top of the unprocessed bags of sherds in the garden. Can often feel overwhelming, especially with the no-alcohol rule and when small votive cup sherds are involved… But with good EBAP company and power house cleaning all can be done with ouzo hour time to spare.

D: dumpy(saurus) level. The rugged wooden surveying station used to find Giulianna points’. Her points refer to elevations of features used in her trench drawings. 99% of the time manned by Kyle. Those on site should not be alarmed when he yells numbers, as he does not mean to in an aggressive manner. The antiquity of this object has created an eruption of jokes and has brought about the creation of a mythical figure, Don P.

E: extreme cars. Aka the bumper cars found at the Dilesi carnival. A great way to release any inhibited stress and/or anger. When EBAPers grab hold of the wheels a good time is always guaranteed. No mercy given.

F: frappes and caffeine in general. Often made and drank in the morning for the 6am departure time. The hip thing among EBAPers has been to drink morning coffees in Mason jars from My Market. During work sessions at Café Contigo, frappes are a good way to cool down and to get a splurge of caffeine in nap-deprived EBAPers (unless they decide to go the free chips route and order a beer instead).

G: Greek yogurt. Common breakfast essential for EBAPers. Found in almost every refrigerator. Often eaten with honey and/or fruit. Also used to make a face mask during the girl’s spa days. Dries up nicely and leaves skin smooth with a nice glow.

H: hill slope toilet. After the much contested IKEA storage closet toilet idea fell through the only washroom’ area available to EBAPers is the northern hill slope. Nice directive path and toilet paper present. Privacy minimally guaranteed. Must clean up after one’s self or Bryan will hunt you down.

I: ice cream. A refreshing treat to beat the heat. Hot spot in Dilesi: Byzantino. Where EBAPers are known to enter in crowds and order anything from pistachio, mastika and sour cherry and chocolate ice cream. Also became the common dessert to celebrate EBAP birthdays.

J: Joe’s sun shades. Can also be referred to as life-saving apparatuses out in the field. Made with metal rods, thick green mesh and rope. Not only mobile and easy to move, but also resistant to breaking in windy conditions. Reduces the likelihood of EBAPers getting heat stroke from the blazing hot sun.

K: Kyria Mamoni. Our most gracious host in Dilesi, allowing the craziness of EBAP reside in her apartments. Thankful for her hospitality and kindness from being greeted from her balcony. R.I.P. Mrs. Mamoni.

L: lunchtime. Arguably one of the best parts of the work day. When Stavroula is in charge of the menu anything is possible. From various legume soups, pastitsio, seasoned veggies, to hard-boiled eggs and tuna… lunch at Stavroula’s is always a meal to look forward to. And one cannot forget about the refreshing salads, fresh bread and ice cold water served at every outdoor lunch.

M: mosquitoes. The sneaky blood suckers of Greece. They manage to bite without you noticing them. Can leave scars on your skin even a year after being bitten. Consult Lauren for mosquito precautions and to learn about every possible method of trying not to get mosquito bites.

N: nighttime beach excursions. After a relatively late (by North American standards) and satisfying supper, beach time becomes a favourable pre-hit-the-bed option. Whether it’s taking a nice stroll, night swimming, or going as a big group to hang out with a few drinks in hand, the advantages of living by the sea are reaped by all.

O: ouzo hour. The time before 8pm dinners where EBAPers convene and drink. Snacks also present. Eg. Crusti Crocs, Fonzies, pumpkin seeds, Bulgarian pretzel sticks and Brenden’s famous popcorn. All drinks acceptable but ouzo always seems to be present, however must be prepared accordingly: first ouzo, then water, and then ice to top it off.

P: pep. Short for pepperoni found at the Bulgarian market. Also a nickname for the EBAP man known to eating excessive amounts of this sausage, Joe.

Q: questionable theories. Also known to EBAPers as purple ideas’. Such ideas often voiced by Giulianna, which usually pertain to the existence of Italian pizzarias in Ancient Eleon.

R: rainy days. The 2 days of rain in week 2 of EBAP, where such unusual weather conditions threw everyone’s schedule out of whack. Having the start time moved to 8:30 instead of 6:30 EBAPers knew it would be an unordinary work day. The days consisted of visiting the Schimatari museum, exploring the walls on site, hanging out and playing Anti-Monopoly in the Arma café, learning about archaeological illustration in the apotheke (storehouse), and with some EBAPers opening new trenches in the rain.

S: sitting tree. The largest bush-tree found on site where all tools and supplies are tarped and chained up at the end of the day. Also where EBAPers take refuge for shade during breaktime on the tarps.

T: trench tours. An essential practice during the work week which gives trenches the chance to show their fellow EBAPers cool finds, features and overall progress. Mostly given by trench supervisors but not unusual to have students give such tours, especially if being graded by Brenden.

U: unwanted discoveries. Such discoveries range from undiagnostic pottery sherds smaller than one’s thumbnail, surface finds around the site, and good looking/deceiving rocks. Discoveries of the sort differ from ones that are highly frowned upon to keep… such as excess amounts of tile, mud brick and Byzantine finds.

V: vulnerable strays. Often cats and dogs around Greece. Fates of such animals vary but are usually grim unless they quickly learn survival skills or catch the attention of EBAPers which are much more sympathetic to strays than most Greeks. A favourite dog of this year being Biscuit.

W: water. Pronounced wah-ter (or wah-dur, depending on what kind of American you’re talking to). The quintessential thirst quencher in the hot Greek sun. Arguably the runner up next to beer. Mostly found in 1.5 or 2L plastic bottles on site and in most of Greece due to the lack of metal-less drinking water. Eg. Dirfy’s. The water brand often served at Bobby’s taverna. Named after Mount Dirfy, which can be seen across the water. Also known as the Dirf.

X: xenia. In the simplest terms means hospitality. Which doesn’t even come close to describing the way EBAPers have been treated in Boeotia. EBAP probably wouldn’t be the same without the hospitality of Mrs. Mamoni, tavernas around Dilesi and Stravroula in Arma.

Y: yoga. A good way to stretch out after all the movement and toil from digging in the field. Only one yoga session has occurred on site this season, but nonetheless memorable. To see pictures of Ancient Eleon yoga contact Morgan.

Z: zambili. Black rubber containers used on site to haul dirt, weeds and anything else needed to be brought to a wheelbarrow or western dirt pile. Come in various sizes and weights. Lighter zambilis often fought for by trenches since the 4 handled ones feel as though a bucket of tiles have initially been put into them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Old Buzzard Flies the Coop … And goes for the gold…

When in Greece do what Greeks have been doing for centuries. Go to Delphi in search of the gods, the gold, and the glory.  Warning! Unless you have your own set of wings beware of Greek bus schedules on-line and also of ticket collectors who assure you that by leaving a ½ hour late you can arrive at your destination ½ hr early).  On the up-side, if your feathers are looking a little bedraggled you may be able to convince a kindly bus driver to drop you off in Schimatari on the way home and flap down a taxi to take you back you your nest and skip the long scenic flight path back to Athens before turning around and coming all the way back again. But back to Delphi, home of Apollo and Athena Pronaia just down the hill a bit. It’s better to do the uphill climb early in the morning while it’s still cool. Start by perching on the path for a moment and admire the Roman forum.

 Start heading up.  This is what you came for … the Sacred Way and its grand statues. Ok, Ok … they are not really there anymore so just let your imagination take flight. The Corcyrean bull, the Trojan Horse and a flock of kings and queens. Keep circling up! Next are the ‘Treasuries’. Ok, only the Athenian one is still standing, but it’s very attractive specimen in spite of its hatchling size.  Sadly its gold and other treasures are long gone. Just before you come to it you will have passed by navel of the world, marked by an omphalos (a copy of the original) which looks like the top ½ of a pointy egg sticking up from the earth. Past the Athenian treasury is a Polygonal wall of stones that are fitted so closely together they resemble the surface of a fractured egg. In front of the wall is the Rock of Sibyl (just the rock – she too has flown the coop) and the Sphinx of Naxos (actually just the pedestal as the Sphinx is now perched in the Delphi Museum). The three columns in front of the wall are all that is left of the Athenian Stoa and as you get close to the corner if you squint closely you can see the writing on the wall behind it. 

Up and around the corner to the left is the Temple of Apollo with it Doric columns and imposing entrance ramp. Left of the entrance is the Acanthus Column of Dancers (OK, was – they too are now dancing in the air-conditioned comfort of the museum). To get the buzzard’s eye view of the temple continue up and around the theater just above the nose-bleed section and feast your eyes on the site.
From here you can see down to the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia below including the remains of the round Tholos Temple.  
If your feathers are not drooping too badly yet then to go up further still and check out the stadium where the Pythian Games were held.

The judges had their own special seating.

By now it time to head down and cool your beak in a fruity slushie then enjoy the A/C in museum in the heat of the day.
Here is the missing Sphinx of Naxos, as well some of the treasury friezes –  like this one showing the Assembly of the Gods and scenes from the Trojan war.
There are also the Twins of Argos who received a somewhat dubious honor from the gods by being killed for being good sons. Personally I would pass on that and just go with a few choice pieces of gold jewellery … certainly their seemed to be enough of it to go around.


A silver plaited bull wouldn’t be a bad gift either… even if a bit big for the nest.
Or the Acanthus Column of Dancers would make a lovely new perch and the Bronze Charioteer is an option as well … nice eyelashes!  

Oh well… since no one is making any offers of gold or winners statues I may as well go and get dressed for the Canada Day party. Even Buzzards have to get cleaned up once in a while.