On the occasion of Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day, the president of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Monday awarded three distinguished American archaeologists for their contribution to the study and promotion of Greek culture and civilisation.
In particular, she awarded the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix medals to Dr Jack L. Davis and Dr Sharon R. Stocker of Cincinnati University and the director emeritus of the excavation at Ancient Corinth run by American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Charles K. Williams.
The ceremony was attended by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, the director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Jenifer Weils and others of its staff, as well as the current director of the dig at Ancient Corinth, Chris Pfaff.
In her address, Sakellaropoulou noted that the medals were a way of honouring the value of philhellenism through the ages, in the framework of events celebrating the 200th anniversary since the Greek Revolution of 1821 that led to the foundation of the modern Greek state.
She pointed out that Drs Stocker and Davis were archaeologists of international renown and noted for the breadth and importance of their archaeological discoveries.
“Under their joint direction of the excavation at Nestor’s Palace in the region of ancient Pylos, the discovery of the Tomb of the ‘Griffin Warrior’ was crucial for a fuller understanding of Greek prehistory, enriching our knowledge about the interactions of the Mycenean civilisation and the other civilisations of the Eastern Mediterranean in the bronze age. The sum of the excavation work and archaeological research in the regions of Nemea, Kea and Messenia, as well as their knowledge of the prehistory of the Aegean islands, is an active contribution to Greek archaeology and contribute to the international promotion and presentation of Greek civilisation worldwide,” she said.
At the same time, the President also highlighted the work done by Dr. Williams during his 31 years in Greece, working on the dig at Ancient Corinth, making him among the world’s top archaeologists on ancient Greece, while she praised his love of present-day Greek customs, people and rural life, as well as his extensive charitable work and contribution to creating facilities for the archaeological finds in Ancient Corinth and for students, scientists and researchers visiting Greece.
In her concluding remarks, she stressed that all three American archaeologists “do not only offer their knowledge, their passion, their tireless diligence in the field of archeology. For them, the excavation adventure met the need of modern man to come into almost physical contact with the ancient Greek ideal and its aesthetic values… Their sincere and real connection with Greece, ancient and modern, and their discourse with the Greek spirit over the ages, give a measure of modern philhellenism.”
John Kittmer, has been bestowed today, 19 April 2021, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix by H.E. Mr. Ioannis Raptakis, Ambassador of Greece for his contribution in enhancing knowledge about Greece in the United Kingdom and reinforcing ties between our two countries. pic.twitter.com/UR8RkYtZ1j
— Greek Embassy UK (@GreeceinUK) April 19, 2021
Also on Monday, the Greek Ambassador in London Ioannis Raptakis awarded a Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix medal to John Kittmer, chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League, a Commander of the Order of the Phoenix medal given to Cambridge University Professor Paul Cartledge and a Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix presented to London School of Economics Professor Kevin Featherstone.