After a wonderful breakfast of warm crossaints and other delicious food items at our lovely hotel in Pompeii, we got on the bus to go to Paestum! So many of us were excited to see the well preserved Greek temples that the bus was full of chatter and anticipation for the first hour (though some of us napped with music).
A quick coffee break preceeded our entrance into the ancient site, which was founded circa 600 BC as a secondary colony of a Greek colony known as Siberus (a colony that provides the origin for our word siberite, as pointed out by Aaron). Thus the city of Paestum would have undergone phases of construction with Greek, Samnite, and Roman influences throughout it's history.
The three best preserved temples are Greek Doric temples (Hera I, Athena, and Hera II). This was an opportunity for us to see how Greek temple design worked and how it evolved throughout time. Though they look very different than the many Roman temples we have seen so far, the Hellenistic influences that affect later Roman temple design are evident.
We also spent some time observing a temple off the agora/forum and understanding it's Greek and Roman influences. Additionally we observed the heroon, comitium, and swimming pool! The swimming pool was a bit strange because of a stonehenge-like labyrinth structure or platform of sorts that was in the “deep end ” of the pool.
After a lunch of panini's, coffee, gelato, and wanderings around ancient Paestum, we reconvened in front of the archaeology museum. Where we saw the diver's tomb wall paintings, the finds from the heroon (including bronze hydria and the remnants of honey), the triglyph and metope frieze that depicts mythological scenes, and many other interesting artifacts (such as the exquisite portrait of Livia upstairs).
Upon our exit from the museums, some of us found amusing flip books of famous paintings and postcards. We all boarded the bus engergetic with stories of the different things we saw in the museum. About half the bus became invested in an intense game of contact while the rest of us took well deserved naps. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our visit to Paestum and appreciated the opportunity to visit! Tomorrow our adventures in Pompeii begin!
'Til next time!
Photo (courtesy of Liz):
I’m so excited I’ve never seen a Greek Temple before!
Hard at work
Wait so where’s the door again?
9 columns along the facade?! What were the Greeks doing here?
Tomb of the Diver. But where was he diving?
So much to see … so little time!
We found the FSP puppy …. but Katelyn wouldn’t let us keep it 😦