John’s Blog

Kythera from above
Wednesday September 14th, 2011

I’ve been experimenting with imaging (photos & video) from many different perspectives – in the air, under the sea and lots of places in between.

Here’s some sample aerial work.

Streets of Chora
Friday August 26th, 2011

An experimental FPV (First Person View) video, down the narrow main street of Chora.

Paleokastro From Above

Sunday August 22nd, 2011

I’m back in Sydney now, time to progressively go through the thousands of photos and hours of video shot in Kythera.

Here’s a few aerial shots from my kite taken at Paleokastro.

Nordland Shipwreck, Diakofti

Saturday August 13th, 2011

We did a few dives on the Nordland this week.

It’s a wreck that sank in October, 2000, out the front of Diakofti in Kythera.

The wreck is still in one piece, with the bow rising high from the surface, down to a depth of around 30m at the stern.

This is how most people see the wreck. The following photos give an underwater perspective.

A view that few people get to see, looking at the Nordland from deep behind the stern

The hull is still in one piece, from the surface down to 30m

The bridge at the stern

Its' a huge wreck.

Underwater Kythera

Friday August 5th, 2011

I took my underwater camera for a swim through the sea caves at Paliopolis the other day.

Here’s a few sample shots. Will post more soon.

Progressing Quite Nicely

Sunday July 11, 2011

Things are progressing well, with bigger objects like parts of walls being discovered at the moment. We’ve had a number of members of the community with independent logistics join the project as weekly volunteers, which is nice and helps a lot. For example, a group of four high school history teachers from Sydney have helped out over the last five days.

In terms of moveable finds, coin which ‘may’ be related to the Dioscouri was found a few days ago, which is important as it’s believed that a temple to the Dioscouri existing in the area.

A coin possibly featuring the Dioscouri, Castor and Pollux

Speaking of temples, part of a column was used in the construction of a wall in Trench A, hinting that some sort of catastrophe may have taken place, leading to parts of a temple or other significant buildings being reused in construction at a later time.
Stay tuned, lots is going on. For those in Kythera, please come for a tour, they start at early each day, except Sundays, until July 27th.

Let the Adventure Begin!

Tuesday July 5th, 2011

2011 Paliokastro excavations are up and running!

It took a couple of days with brush cutters and chainsaws to clear the site of winter foliage, ready for even more excitement this year as we dig deeper.
A new trench was opened along part of the Southern fortification wall, which would have been a prime place for potential attackers to approach.

Here's the new trench opened up along what is thought to be the Southern wall. Lets see what might be down deeper, along the face of it.

Moving up the mountain a little, the first two trenches from last year are being widened and deepened, and are already starting to show promise.
The first trench is very interesting because it seems to have utilised more elaborate stonework than the adjacent building. We found what is believed to be a 2100-2200 year-old medical instrument in the first trench yesterday, a little more evidence suggesting that a building of importance once stood in that spot.

Here's the first trench that was opened up last year. What's thought to be a medical instrument was found in it yesterday, hinting that it was an important building.

The wall in the second trench is starting to look more substantial.

Further up the hill, a trench is being deepened outside Agios Kosmas, in an attempt to help solve the riddle of where the ancient temple to the Dioscouri once stood.
One theory is that Agios Kosmas may have been built on top of the ancient pagan temple. Another is that 2600 year old materials from the temple to the Dioscuori may have been moved when stone blocks and Doric columns were recycled by the Byzantines when building Agios Kosmas, approximately 720 years ago.
Why does all this matter? Because archaeology is a tool for discovering evidence to piece together history. Story telling in a way.

That’s why it’s so important to share the story with the public onsite, with dozens of people already attending site tours in the first few days.

This is what it's all about. Connecting with the community!

More FPV Experiments

Monday June 27th, 2011

I’ve been playing with more FPV (First Person View) angles, to ultimately create footage that makes it feel like you’re flying.

Until then, the experiments continue…

And another video, a bit like you’re in the scene. Next step here will be 3D.

Nice Documentary on Kythera

Friday June 24th, 2011

Here’s a nice documentary on Kythera (in Greek) referring to history, mythology, customs, music, dances, shipping, shipwrecks and migration.

Ellinon Dromena (ET3) Kythera | Part 3 from KYTHERA.GR on Vimeo.

Ellinon Dromena (ET3) Kythera | Part 1 from KYTHERA.GR on Vimeo.

Ellinon Dromena (ET3) Kythera | Part 2 from KYTHERA.GR on Vimeo.

Local Enthusiasm

Wednesday June 22, 2011

I went to the European Music Day in Kythera last night, held in Kapsali.

Apart from being a great a showcase for local talent of all ages and all arts, what was best about the event was how it the local community was so involved – particularly youth. Every kinotita (local progress association) from around the island supported the project. Groups from Agia Pelagia, Avlemonas, Mitata and Kalamos were acknowledged as supporters during the short period that I was there.

Local dancers performing

The event was held in the port area of Kapsali, with the Kastro providing an excellent backdrop. Kapsali was packed, with attendees from all over the island and bazaar-style stalls.

A crowd gathered around the stage, with others listening and viewing from restaurants around Kapsali, which were full.

There was a live stream of the event on the internet. Here is a shot from 1.30am, still going strong about 6 hours into the program.

The event was inspirational and inclusive – with acts ranging from children demonstrating martial arts, to performances from local schools, through a wide cross section of bands and artists, dancers and slide shows, all volunteered.

While in Kapsali, I took a look at resident artist, Daphne Petrohilos’ exhibition, which was also impressive.

Some of Daphne's current paintings

Daphne and her art. She's also working on a Paliokastro exhibition and one about the Parthenon Marbles (now in the British Museum) that sank on the Mentor ship off Kythera in 1802.

More information about her work is here:


Experimenting with Remote Mounted Cameras

Sunday June 19, 2011

I’ve been playing around with remote mounted cameras and the different perspectives time-lapse, fast motion and slow motion can provide. Lessons learned may help document and create a documentary of sorts regarding the dig.


Heritage is Something That Unites Us
Tues June 14th, 2011

We’re settling in after the epic journey from Australia, unpacking the 100+ kg of luggage and equipment I carted over. As usual, work was needed around Mum and Dad’s house at Agia Pelagia, after being locked up over winter. The yard needed clearing, plenty of cleaning, and getting the cars up-and-running etc.
Catching up with people in Potamos was nice on Sunday. On the way home we took a slight detour, where Dad showed me a different view of the Byzantine settlement of Paliochora, from across the gorge, looking back from the North-Western side.

Here's a view of Paliochora from on the North-Western side of the gorge.

This reminded me of something perhaps even more interesting than history and scenery, that heritage is something to share – across generations and with others descending from the same place. Quite powerful, considering how different each individual is, with varied careers, where they live, interests, beliefs and so on – but with something in common – ties to Kythera.

A unifying element has been noticeable in public presentations about archaeology that we’ve organised over the last six months – how a common background – and learning more about it, helps bring children together with grandparents, people with ties to the same villages, and Kythera in general.

On a different note, I’ve been experimenting in the area of aerial photography, getting ready to do a lot of this in July. Below are a few samples,from Agia Pelagia.

It’s time for lockdown mode over the next two weeks, to finish an edition of my magazine that wasn’t completed before departure.

The Agia Pelagia breakwall, showing Neos Kosmos on the left.

Here's a view showing more of the Agia Pelagia waterfront.

Another view of the breakwall. If you look closely, the black kite string is visible on the right, and me at the end of it.

And from a bit higher

One comment on “John’s Blog

  1. Yana on said:

    Love your blog John!!!

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