Where is Ypsipyli hiding? Chapter III – Two walks on the edge of time

Where is Ypsipyli hiding? Chapter III – Two walks on the edge of time

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Two walks, exploring the past and present of Lemnos, took place within the framework of Chapter III of the educational programme “Where is Ypsipyli hiding?” and the affiliated literacy action “On the Wings of the Butterfly. Lemnos through the eyes of children.”

On January 24, 2024, more than 120 children, accompanied by their educators, traveled to prehistoric Lemnos, to the archaeological site of Poliochni to see, hear and bring to life images of the distant past through their imagination, with the guidance of the archaeologist Georgia Tampakopoulou. Then, they reached Koukonisi, where they were informed by programme collaborators, philologist and director of the High School of Moudros Maria Papapanayiotou and social ethnographer Rafail Giannelis (MedINA), about the significance of the location, its heritage in the present, and the contribution of Lemnian archaeologists to the discovery and promotion of excavations on the islet.

During the walk, inspired by the “Bouleuterion” (assembly house) of Poliochni, students from the high school of Moudros read excerpts from Aristophanes’ Nefelles, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, and Papoutsos’ Justice of Firm Hand. The younger children, on their part, attempted to approach concepts such as public consultation and participatory processes: students from the Special Primary School of Kallithea and the 1st Primary School of Myrina exchanged views on the commons, encouraging their fellow students to make joint decisions.

On February 9, the schools visited the archaeological site of Kavirio, learning about its mythological dimension of the space, its layout, its connection to corresponding sanctuaries and mysteries, and its relationship with the neighboring city of Hephaestia. Information was provided by the collaborator of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Lesvos, archaeologist Mari Malama and Maria Papapanayiotou. The mythical queen, who has been leading our educational journey for three years, was honored during the walk: children from the 1st Primary School of Myrina and the High School of Livadochori moved their classmates and made them think by presenting, in the form of a stage reading, excerpts from Euripides’ Hypsipyle and Maria Lampadaridou-Pothou’s Hypsipyle, the queen of blood. The staff of the archaeological site warmly welcomed the children and distributed leaflets regarding the promotion of Kavirio.

The images from the walks came alive in the children’s memory, and with rich material from the topics and the literature of Chapter III, as developed in this year’s Guide for Educators, the activities continue with literature/creative writing, visual arts, podcasting, and intangible cultural heritage workshops, adapted to the age, skills and interests of the students.

In the frames of Chapter III of the educational program “Where is Ypsipyli hiding?”, Places & Traces collaborates with MedINA. 10 schools on Lemnos are participating: the 1st and 3rd Primary Schools of Myrina, the Primary School of Nea Koutali, the Special Primary School of Kallithea, the High Schools of Livadochori, Moudros and Myrina, the Senior High Schools of Myrina and Moudros and the Special Vocational Education Laboratory of Repanidi.