Archaeologist Petros Themelis is visiting Australia to present a lecture on the Ancient City of Messene at the Hellenic Museum of Melbourne, on Saturday 29 June.

He will present his findings to the audience at a cocktail party held in his honour with a focus on Ancient Messene, an important Hellenistic Centre referred to as ‘the city of statues’, as many marvellous sculptures and artefacts have been excavated.

Founded in 369 BC when Epaminondas restored Messinians to their country, the site holds many narratives and secrets yet to be unearthed. Excavations have found an inexhaustible treasury, that continues to reveal its treasures.

The ancient city is situated at the foot of Mt Ithome near village of Mavromatti, with Professor Themelis at the helm of the massive excavation and restoration works.

Ancient Messene was a fully developed city with a strong social and political life. Over 15,000 artefacts have been uncovered thus far, including such treasures as the Asklepeon sculptures, the Sanctuary, the Agora, coins, funerary monuments, and ancient skeletal human and dog remains.

Professor Themelis has vast research and excavation experience in archaeology, including excavations in Thessaloniki, Pella, Vergina, Derveni and Stratoni of Chalcidike under the direction of Professors Photios Petsas, Charalambos Makaronas and Manolis Andronicos. He was Curator and Ephor of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at the Archaeological Districts of Elis Messinia, Attica – Euboea, Phocis – Aetolia and Acarnania. Past director of the Delphi Museum, he has also directed the excavation at ancient Eleutherna on Crete.

Currently, he is director of the excavation and restoration project of Ancient Messene on the part of the Archaeological Society at Athens, financed by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the European Community and private institutes.

In 2016 he was decorated with the ‘Grand Commander (‘Ανώτερος Ταξιάρχης’) of the Order of the Phoenix’ by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Messinian, Prokopios Pavlopoulos. In 2017 he was named honorary Professor of the University of the Peloponnese.

Tickets at $60 are available on line, through the Papaflessas Social Club Facebook Page