The Mycenaean Foundation is dedicated to discover, preserve, and teach, thus bridging the past with the future, culture with nature, research with education with a strong focus on interdisciplinary and international collaboration.
The MELATHRON Center of the Mycenaean Foundation is located at Mycenae, in the northeastern Peloponnese, approximately 140 km (two-hour drive) from Athens, the capital city of Greece. The campus of the Center extends over three acres of land atop a hill at Mycenae overlooking onto the Argolic Plain and Gulf, with a breathtaking rear view to the Mycenaean citadel of Agamemnon. The stone buildings of the Center ('Melathron' and 'McCarthy House'), property of the Mycenaean Foundation, were built in 1967-1972 by the late Professor G. Mylonas to serve as the summer base of operations for the archaeologists and students of the Mycenae excavation team, and as an archaeology research center for Greek and foreign scholars.
The Melathron has been recently restored to its former glory. The buildings comprise 9,000 sq.ft. of living and work space, classrooms, offices, labs, computer rooms, the Wiener library and ceremonial Grand Hall, a central atrium surrounded by porticos, an open-air theatrical area on the hill slope suitable for classes and performances, as well as a unique, one-acre outdoor dig simulator for field training (currently under construction).
The Melathron American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae, Greece, has grown into an educational and research international hub that facilitates education and practical training, interdisciplinary faculty research, faculty-student research collaboration, and cultural immersion of foreign students in Greece. The Melathron Center provides a summer base of operations for the Mycenae excavation team, serves Greek and American scholars working in the region (availing the library, study rooms, lab and work space for archaeologists, students, technicians), hosts study abroad programs for foreign students, promotes public interest in humanities, arts, sciences through public lectures, seminars, workshops, colloquia, conferences, serves both the international academic community and the local communities in the wider region, and fosters Greek-American collaboration.
The Melathron Center at Mycenae, Greece, hosts every year the "Greek Odyssey" semester/summer study abroad program for undergraduate foreign students (http://acamycenae.org), a program accredited by the University of South Carolina ('school of record') and endorsed by the International University Alliance (IUA) and the Study In Greece (Official Portal of the Hellenic Republic). The academic curriculum includes interdisciplinary courses in classics, history, art, studio art, field archaeology, archaeology, geophysics, geoarchaeology, bioarchaeology, paleo-environmental studies, archaeometry, archaeoastronomy, cultural heritage management, and theatrical studies (http://acamycenae.org/curriculum). The Melathron Center has also hosted thematic short-term summer study abroad programs tailored for other institutions in the past (Dickinson College, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), and currently hosts two new study abroad programs in Greece: "Hermes: Global Studies in Ancient & Modern Diplomacy" for the Institute of World Politics, and "Nostos", a cultural immersion summer program for high school students of the Greek diaspora.
Our study abroad programs apply a holistic integrative educational model that transcends geographical, temporal, scientific or cultural borders, by combining theoretical learning with hands-on practical training, classroom with travel, education with cultural immersion, learning with critical thinking, interdisciplinary approach with international focus, thus engaging majors from all over the world and across the spectrum, sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and encouraging personal and academic growth for students. These study abroad programs offer an unparalleled experience for students to spend a semester or a summer in one of the most spectacular regions of Greece, study and travel all over mainland Greece and the islands, while doing hands-on archeological work and learning basic skills that will serve them regardless of major and career. The enthusiastic comments of participating students and senior administrators attest to the quality and effectiveness of our study abroad programs (http://acamycenae.org/greek-experience).
The Wiener Library of the Melathron Center will gradually expand to full capacity (20,000 volumes) aiming to become the largest archaeological library in the Greek provinces, with large library sections dedicated to related sciences (geology, geophysics, bioarchaeology, archaeoastronomy, environmental studies) and humanities (classics, history, literature, theatrical studies, art). The Wiener Library aims serves the academic community -archaeologists, scholars, and students working or studying in the Peloponnese- as well as the local communities of the wider region. Furthermore, the Wiener Library will be linked online with other libraries in Greece and abroad, sharing its database and digital resources (catalogued articles and books that will be digitized to readable pdf format and uploaded on a digital reading platform), which will be availed to registered online readers from all around the world.
The resources of the Wiener Library combined with the intensive field training in the dig simulator of the Melathron Center are offered to students from all over the world in semester-long or month-long courses that will provide the theoretical background and valuable hands-on experience, thus preparing them maximally for archaeological fieldwork worldwide. The innovative dig simulator of the Melathron Center (http://acamycenae.org/photo-gallery) features reconstructed ruins, portable finds, and reproduced actual stratigraphy of diagnostic archaeological contexts for ‘hands-on’ practical training in archaeological fieldwork, geophysical survey methods, and conservation (http://acamycenae.org/curriculum: Archaeological Training in Excavation and Underground Survey or A.TR.E.U.S.).
The Melathron Center will organize annually week-long intensive field workshops in the dig simulator, specially designed and targeted for archaeologists of the Archaeological Service to get training in the latest field methods, use of electronic equipment, and digital applications in archaeology.