If I Were a Superhero….

As kids, we always get asked what we want to be when we grow up, but the other common question we seem to get is what do you want your super power to be? There tends to be a common theme of flying or strength or invisibility, but after being on the island of Paros, I’ve figured out my answer.

*que uplifting and dramatic music*

For millennia, the Cyclades have been a thriving cluster of islands that feed from tradition and culture. The current residents of the island have barely scratched the surface of everything that has not been documented, but some lucky Parians have unearthed centuries old artifacts that clue us into the history of Paros.

It’s quite crazy to think of everything that has been created over the years. From marble temples to stone houses to delicate ceramics, the hands of Parian artists and architects are astounding. Many of these creations will stay in the safely of the ground beneath our feet, but the archeologists of the islands work tirelessly to understand the civilizations that came before.

I had the opportunity to venture into the ancient ceramics studio that lies underneath a more recent house construction. From the moment I stepped in, I couldn’t help but wonder what all the different rooms were used for. Who were the potters that used this location as their studio? What other places are buried like this one?

As we created a 3D model of the space, I couldn’t help but try to imagine everything that this studio had seen. I came up with my own story for the space, but I wanted more.

The following day, I had the opportunity to revisit Stelios at Yria Ceramics, and I convinced him to teach me how to throw a pot. As I sat there molding this clay, I couldn’t help but think about the ancient ceramics studio. With each turn of the wheel, I had a better sense of what the people were doing in there, but I still had not unearthed the other mysteries that plagued my mind.

It was not until today, that I realized my super power that I wanted. It was one that seemed like it was just sitting right under my nose.

We traveled to Despotiko which houses an active excavation project led by some of the archaeologists of Paros. As we toured the grounds and watched the reconstruction of a temple for Apollo, I noticed how much uncertainty lies in the archaic constructions of the island. We barely even know where the grounds start and stop let alone what each of the buildings was used for.

These experiences lead me to the discovery of my desired super power—I want to be able to read the “minds” of these types of artifacts. I would love to be able to touch one of the stone walls and be transported back in time to see just how picturesque the sights were in the archaic times or hold a piece of a vase and watch it piece back together in its prime.

As of right now, if I ever get my super power, I plan to use it for good, but we will see what happens at the end of the trip. Also, for the curious bunch, my superhero name would be Renemann Summ (Because who doesn’t like a good math joke :)).

Written by Renee Cook