Celebrating the call of the Argonaut

“The Argonaut,» a volume in honor of Professor Christos Doumas that contains original texts on the archaeology of the prehistoric Aegean written by 42 of his students from 1980 to 2002, was the drawcard for last Thursday’s gathering of personalities from the intelligentsia and from the media, as Kathimerini SA is the sponsor of the massive 754-page, lavishly illustrated volume. Young people, professors and leading academics packed Athens University’s Ioannis Drakopoulos amphitheater, which proved too small for the occasion. A renowned archaeologist, Doumas is director of the excavations at Akrotiri, Thera, which continue to bring unique evidence of Aegean civilization to light. The book, which also contains many pages by Doumas, is dedicated with obvious love to the professor, the teacher who knew how to speak to his students and pass on the torch of research and study of Aegean prehistory, the main subject he taught during his 20-year term. «You can judge a teacher by his pupils,» agreed all the speakers on the panel at the presentation of this fine edition, which contains the joy and pride in knowledge which they have acquired and now cultivate in their turn as academics, archaeologists, and his devoted students. The editors of this inspired collective work, his students Andreas Vlachopoulos and Kiki Birtacha, were present, as were another 40 former students. The speakers, Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, professor of history and archaeology at Athens University, Lefteris Platon, lecturer in prehistoric archaeology at Athens University, Christos Boulotis, Athens Academy researcher and a colleague of Doumas at Akrotiri, and Kathimerini columnist and Kathimerini SA board member Antonis Karkayiannis, spoke with a familiarity stemming from their admiration for Doumas’s work. Kathimerini SA President Aristides Alafouzos, from a Thera shipping family, attended with his wife Lena and friends from Santorini. There were many congratulations for Doumas and the book he inspired. Doumas was leaving for Princeton today for three months, taking with him «The Argonaut,» which gave him his journey as a teacher and an archaeologist, a journey that continues.