New book on Humfry Payne presented in Athens

The New Acropolis Museum’s amphitheater was packed on Wednesday for the first public gathering it has hosted – the presentation of a book on the life and work of the English archaeologist Humfry Gilbert Garth Payne. Payne, who was born in 1902 and died in Greece in 1936, is best known for his excavations at Perachora, near Loutraki, published after his death in the work «Perachora: The Sanctuaries of Hera Akraia and Limenia.» He also worked in Corinth and Crete and on archaic sculptures found at the Acropolis in Athens. He was director of the British School of Archaeology in Athens from 1929 until his death of a staphylococcus infection at the nearby Evangelismos Hospital. Alexandros Mantis, director of the 1st Ephorate for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at the Acropolis, has written the book «Humfry Payne Ellados Periigisis,» which might be translated as «Humfry Payne: Explorations of Greece.» It is published by Phoenix Publications and sponsored by the Club Casino Hotel Loutraki. Four distinguished speakers were at the presentation: Michalis A. Tiverios, professor of classical archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki, Petros Themelis, professor emeritus of classical archaeology at the University of Crete, Ismene Trianti, emeritus professor at the University of Ioannina, and Dr James Coulton, formerly of the University of Oxford. Sotiris Protopapas, who was the head guard at the excavations at Perachora, gave a moving speech describing Payne’s activities. Many residents of Perachora and Culture Minister Antonis Samaras also attended. Payne’s tombstone at Mycenae bears the words: «Weep not for Adonis.»

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