Park Vision

The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project revealed an unparalleled opportunity to create a national heritage area in the Western Peloponnesos.

The goal of the proposed Parrhasian Heritage Park is to sustain an area of cultural significance, outstanding natural beauty and rich archaeological sites while encouraging local communities to continue living and working within the protected landscape.

This ‘living park’ mission objective encourages natural, cultural and scenic resources to be managed for both long-term vitality and use as an essential part of local livelihoods and traditions. Success for the park will mean the enhancement of local residents’ pride and sense of stewardship, support for ongoing cultural activities, increased economic strength in the region and the protection of the natural, archaeological, scenic and recreational resources for future generations. Park goals include:

  • To protect the unique vernacular features of the region that have developed over time to exemplify the Greek agricultural landscape.
  • To preserve and provide access to the areas of outstanding natural beauty found in the area, such as the Neda River gorge.
  • To highlight and protect significant archaeological sites including: the first Greek sanctuary to be recognized on the World Heritage List, the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai; one of the famous Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries, Mt. Lykaion, that features the only visible hippodrome in the Greek world, and an altar that may have been used over 5,000 years ago in the Sanctuary of Zeus.
  • To allow citizen and government collaboration on planning to share their concerns about localized needs.
  • To encourage economic growth associated with tourism, bringing an estimated one million new visitors to the area.
  • To establish guidelines for managing change in the region.
  • To protect the integrity of the existing cultural and natural landscape.
  • To support the traditional culture that exists in the modern day.
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The creation of the Parrhasian Heritage Park has been a collaborative effort between Greeks and Americans working towards a common goal. From the very beginning of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project in 2003 there was a strong awareness between the Directors of the project and the local community of Ano Karyes that the preservation of the surrounding mountainous landscape, with numerous archaeological sites, was of the utmost importance. The result has been the formation of a group of individuals that are working towards the creation of the first large scale heritage park in Greece, and one that will protect and unify aspects of Arcadia, Elis and Messenia.

A heritage park is unique in Greek park terminology and legislation because it encompasses the full range of typical park classifications including archaeological, natural, recreational, scenic, and cultural features.

Dr. David Gilman Romano
Co-Director and Field Director, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project & Director of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Initiative

A Park Unique to Greece

The proposed park would also do something that is not typical for other Greek parks; the boundary encompasses the towns, villages and agrarian areas that surround the major natural, cultural or scenic resources in an area. In doing so, it enables these communities to benefit most from their own surrounding resources.

This type of park is also different in that the local community itself leads in managing the park; typically a local organization made up of people from the region, including residents from towns and villages, business owners, farmers, as well as representatives from local, regional and national government. This coalition exists to oversee the creation, protection and success of the park.

In addition, a heritage park does not only protect the physical resources and landscape character of a region but also serves to promote traditional ways of life, local festivals, locally made products and strengthens community identity.

Community Involvement

A community workshop was held in Megalopolis, Greece in August 2010 to present the proposal for the park. The workshop was attended by over 200 members of the community, who enthusiastically demonstrated their support for the idea of the park. Based on the input from workshop participants, the following steps are instrument to the successful creation of the park:

  • The current planning effort to create the park is led by a university partnership between Greek and United States institutions, while also supported by local communities in the proposed park area.
  • A coalition will need to be created consisting of representatives from local communities, the local government, the archaeological service representing the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and key advisers from Greek and United States universities.


This initiative would not be possible without the encouragement, support and collaboration the local communities, Greek planning professionals, the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, working under the auspices of ΛΘ’ Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Tripolis, Arcadia, with the direction of and in collaboration with the The American School of Classical Studies at Athens.


† Professor Costa Cassios

Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography and Environmental Impact Assessment,, National Technical University, Athens

Principal Investigator, Landscape Ecology and Evaluation, Parrhasian Heritage Park


Mark Davison

Director of Historic Landscapes, Archaeological Mapping Lab,, University of Arizona

Principal Investigator, Historical Landscapes, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project & Parrhasian Heritage Park Initiative


Kyle Mahoney

Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, Swarthmore College, None

Director of Historical Research


Anastasia Panagiotopoulou

Former Ephor of Antiquities, E' Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Sparta (2004-2006), Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports

Former Director, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project


David Gilman Romano, Ph.D.

Nicholas and Athena Karabots Professor of Greek Archaeology, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona

Co-Director and Field Director, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project & Director of the Parrhasian Heritage Park Initiative


Nicholas L. Stapp, Ph.D.

Director, Geospatial Research - Archaeological Mapping Lab, University of Arizona


Ximena Valle

Director of Architecture, University of Arizona

Assistant Field Director for Architectural Studies, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project


Mary E. Voyatzis, Ph. D.

Professor of Anthropology and Classics, Emerita, University of Arizona

Co-Director and Director of Finds, Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project


Read how the Parrhasian Heritage Park and the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project have been featured in the global press.

Parrhasian Heritage Foundation organizes conference at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.


Protecting and Promoting the Values of the Cultural and Natural Environment in the Areas where Arcadia, Messinia and Elis Meet

Go to

Athens' Kathimerini Newspaper features article about the Park


The article chronicles the origins of the excavation that lead to the idea for the Park.

Go to

Support and Sponsors

The Parrhasian Heritage Park initiative is grateful for the generous support of the following:

Local Support in Greece

  • Pavlos Geroulanos, Minister of Culture and Tourism
  • Demetrios Reppas, Minister of Infrastructure, Transportation and Networks, Member of Parliament
  • Antonis Samaras, Former Minister of Culture, Member of Parliament, Head of the Party of New Democracy
  • Demetrios Avramopoulos, Minister of Health and Social Services
  • Andreas Lykouretzos, Former Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Member of Parliament
  • Petros Tatoulis, Former Member of Parliament
  • Kostas Geitonas, Member of Parliament
  • Ulysses Konstantinopoulos, Member of Parliament
  • Elias Stasinos, President of the Arcadian Society of Letters and Art
  • Kostas Kolokas, President of the Administrative Council of Greek Hiking Societies, Tripolis
  • Arcadian Society of Hiking
  • Prefecture of Arcadia, Demetrios Konstantopoulos, Governor
  • Municipality of Megalopolis, Takis Bouras, Mayor
  • Municipality of Gortynos, Kostas Michopoulos, Mayor
  • Municipality of Phalaisias, Yiannis Phousekis, Mayor
  • Municipality of Andritsaina, Triphonas Athanasopoulos, Mayor
  • Municipality of Phigaleia, Yiannis Pipiles, Mayor
  • Municipality of Andania, Giorgos Diagoupes, Mayor
  • Municipality of Eira, Giannis Adamopoulos, Mayor
  • Patriotic Societies Union of Lykosoura, Kyriakos Karagiannis, President
  • Vastas Cultural Society, Photis Zois, President
  • Kastanochori Cultural Society, Elias Pavlopoulos, President
  • Lykaion Cultural Society, George Thomopoulos, President
  • Cultural Society of Ano Karyes, Arcadia, ‘O Lykaios Dias,’ Christos Koumoundouros, President
  • ΛΘ’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Tripolis
  • Z’ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Olympia, responsible for Elis
  • ΛΗ΄ Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Kalamata, responsible for Messenia
  • 25th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities of Corinth, responsible for Arcadia
  • 6th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities of Patras, responsible for Elis
  • 26th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities of Kalamata, responsible for Messenia and Patra
  • Archaeological Institute of the Peloponnesos
  • American School of Classical Studies at Athens


  • The Karabots Foundation in honor of Constance Chrisomalis Karabots from Anavriti, Sparta (which overlooks Mt. Lykaion) and Georgios Karambotsios of Malandreni, Argos
  • The Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • The Niarchos Program for the Promotion of Hellenic Culture, University of Pennsylvania
  • The 1984 Foundation
  • Institute for Aegean Prehistory
  • The Wallace Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Larry Adamson
  • Anonymous
  • Ms. Elizabeth T. Bates
  • Mr. and Mrs. Arch Brown
  • Ms. Susan W. and Mr. Cummins Catherwood, Jr.
  • Mr. J. Garfield DeMarco
  • Ms. Dorothy Dinsmoor
  • Ms. Betty Edmonson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Guy Ferro
  • Mr. Peter C. Ferry
  • * Ms. Susan Horsey
  • Mr. and Mrs. Edward K. Hueber
  • Ms. Nancy Jensen
  • Nicholas and Athena Karabots
  • Mr. Thomas Keating
  • Mr. Brian Kelly
  • Ms. Claire Kolins
  • Mr. Leon Limperis
  • Ms. Marty Lynch
  • Mr. Neil E. Matthew
  • Mr. John J. Medveckis
  • Ms. Annette Merle-Smith
  • Mr. Alexander Nagel
  • Ms. Sallie Naylor
  • Mr. and Mrs. Terry O’Connor
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Ott
  • Mr. James H. Ottaway, Jr.
  • Dr. George Papanicolaou
  • Mr. Daniel J. Peters & Dr. Annette Kolodny
  • Mr. Jeremiah Reedy
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Barton Riley
  • Mr. and Mrs. George Rosenberg
  • Dr. Peter Salamon & Ms. Patricia Morgan
  • Mr. Curtis Scaife
  • Ms. Cita Scott & Mr. Harry George
  • Mr. Sidney Searles
  • Ms. Heather Sigworth
  • Ms. Vasiliki M. Spier
  • Mr. Daniel Wachtler
  • The Karabots Foundation
  • Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project

Corporate Sponsors

  • October Films, UK
  • Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates
  • Gusto Creative
  • Main Line Endodontic Associates, PC

Institutional Sponsors

  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Group in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
  • University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Group in Ancient History
  • University of Arizona, College of Humanities
  • University of Arizona, International Programs
  • Hellenic Cultural Foundation of Tucson, Arizona
  • Hellenic University Club, Philadelphia
  • Hellenic University Club, Wilmington, Delaware

The Parrhasian Heritage Park initiative would not be possible without the support of its generous donors. Your gift helps to ensure that this initiative will continue to create Greece's first national park.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact Dr. David Gilman Romano by phone at (520) 621-5343, by fax (520) 621-2088, or by email