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a three-week immersive exploration of the history, archaeology, and anthropology of the Cycladic islands in Greece

This cultural exploration aims to provide participants with an informed educational experience of modern and historical culture in the Cycladic islands. It is inspired by the ritual activities of the ancient cult of Apollo, which addressed many relevant aspects of Cycladic life; including lawfulness, medical and ascetic practices, prophecy, and poetry. These esteemed attributes defined the ideal of the kouros, the adolescent entering into adulthood and acquiring the social status of full citizenship. Adolescents underwent a long preparatory period (ephebia) during which they learned the Apollonian arts, in order to manifest in themselves the ideal kouros. Physically and symbolically removed from their communities (sometimes for months), they learned how to hunt with bow and arrow, how to sing and dance, how to use medical plants, and how to communicate with their patron deity in ecstatic meditations. The Diakron Institute’s “Cultural Exploration of the Cyclades” reinterprets these activities in the context of a contemporary educational experience. By learning about Greek language and history, by participating in the excavation of ancient artefacts and architecture, and by actively engaging in a modern interpretation of the religious experience of ancient Apollonian rituals, participants will cultivate a meaningful understanding of the life-style and culture of the Cyclades..

Summer 2018 - Present
Summer 2018 - Present
September 2018 - Present
July 2014 - Present
June 2012 - Present
September 2017
18 Nov. 2015
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Cultural Tour in Greece
a 7-day educational expedition about large carnivores, mountain ecology, and modern conservation in the European wild

This educational expedition offers enthusiasts of nature and ecology a guided opportunity to experience the wild, in Tatra National Park, Slovakia. Our participants will follow the fresh tracks of brown bears along cascading mountain streams, and through remote alpine valleys; quietly observe the interaction of a rich biodiversity of species, including beaver, three-toed woodpecker, nutcracker and Arolla pine; confront the critical role of ecological disturbances – avalanche, windstorm, insect outbreak, and flood – in mountain ecosystems; experience the magic of ancient forests with scientific precision and artistic spontaneity; and learn about the challenges and opportunities for modern conservation in Eastern European landscapes. Throughout the tour we will seek to challenge our relationship with nature and attempt to define a scientific, artistic and cultural baseline for comprehending the European wild.

Slovakia Eco-Tour
a 7-day Eco-Cultural expedition for the blind and the sighted to experience the red deer rut, wolf listening, and local Italian lifestyle

This eco-cultural expedition offers blind and sighted participants an opportunity to experience the multi-sensory interaction of the natural world and human cultural heritage, in the Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise National Park, Italy. Within an extensively-forested and mountainous landscape, our participants will listen to wolves in the outskirts of a medieval village; experience the emotional atmosphere of the deer rut in rural community gardens and remote corners of the park; encounter the timelessness of human-wildlife interaction in the ethnographic and archaeological history of a local community; explore the world of nature sounds with scientific precision and artistic spontaneity; and learn to identify animal tracks and tree species by tactile recognition. Gastronomic highlights will include wine and cheese tasting in scenic Villetta Barrea, a “historical meal” with dishes characteristic of different historical periods of Abruzzo, from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, and a succulent sampling of wild forest greens led by a local plant specialist. Join our expedition and immerse yourself in the extraordinary interaction of wildlife and human culture.

Abruzzo Tour
July 2014 - Present
Golden Jackal Expansion in Europe

The golden jackal’s Canis aureus range in Europe is expanding rapidly and populations are increasing. Historically restricted to the Mediterranean and Black sea coastal regions, jackals are now reproducing in most of Southeastern European and some Central European countries. Current population trends suggest that population expansion is far from complete. Golden jackals are expanding naturally and thus, cannot be considered alien nor invasive species in Europe. Understanding the species expansion patterns and causes are of prime interests to ecologists. Research on the golden jackal is led by Diakron Institute Executive Consultant Nathan Ranc and Miha Krofel as a collaboration between Harvard University, Fondazione Edmund Mach, and the University of Ljubljana.

Golden Jackal
June 2012 - Present
Sanctuary of Apollo Excavation on Despotiko
The Sanctuary of Apollo on Despotiko, in the Cycladic islands of Greece, was an ancient crossroads for devoted pilgrims and ambitious maritime merchants which dates as far back as the VII century B.C. After being lost to the elements, it was recently rediscovered and has been excavated by Dr. Yannos Kourayos, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, since 1992.
The Diakron Institute has participated in the excavation of the Sanctuary on Despotiko since 2012. Andrew Gipe assists with architectural documentation, producing plans, sections, and rendered drawings of archaeological evidence; actively collaborating with other architects working on site. Luigi Lafasciano works as a field archaeologist, teaching the stratigraphic method to students coming from Italian and foreign universities and giving tours of the site in English, Spanish, Italian, and French.
Sanctuary of Apollo Excavation
A History of Interdisciplinarity
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