Field research in Lavrio on 17/03/2023: A journey into the past and into the future…
Field research in Lavrio on 17/03/2023:
A journey into the past and into the future…
On Friday March 17, 2023, the students of the Teachers Education Programme of Athens University of Economics and Business participated in a field research that was designed within the framework of the innovative action "Culture, Education and Entrepreneurship". Specifically, they visited the ancient theatre of Thorikos and Laurion, under the guidance of Dr. Vasiliki Brinia, scientific director of the innovative action and the program and instructor of the course, Mr. Georgios Tziros, mentor of the project "Culture, Education and Entrepreneurship" and award-winning economist-educator and representative of the educational-economic magazine "XENOPHON", Ms. Mary Belogianni, PhD philologist and director of the educational programs of “DIAZOMA”, Ms. Georgia Manolopoulou, PhD museologist and member of the Board of “DIAZOMA”, Ms. Elina Aggeli, architecture engineer, MSc in Museum Protection and member of D-HUB of “DIAZOMA” and Ms. Despoina Vaxevanidi, artist of Athens School of Fine Arts.
In the first part of the visit, the students studied the ancient theatre of Thorikos along with the guidance of Ms. Belogianni, paying attention to its unique ellipsoid shape and the cleaning mechanism of metals connected with the mining activity in the area since the ancient times. These observations were conducted in regards to the wider sphere of cultural history of the archeological site, its ancient temples, the ancient town of Thorikos and the primal business activity of Laurion, indicated by the first forms of business contracts found in relation to the commercial exploitation of the mine. The ancient theatre of Thorikos is supported by “DIAZOMA” (https://diazoma.gr/en/), an organization which protects ancient theatres.
Later on, the students toured the Laurion Technological Cultural Park (https://en.ltcp.ntua.gr/), with director Mr. Makis Chadoumellis. Firstly, they attended a presentation of Laurion’s long history of mining and metallurgy, starting in 3.000 B.C., for the creation of jewelry, art pieces and currency. In that era, a number technological innovations and strong presence in international trading were recorded. This activity decreased and in some periods even ceased to exist, for many centuries, until the arrival of a foreign businessman, John V. Serpieri (19th A.D.). Thanks to his capital and expertise (know-how), Laurion came back to life with its establishment as the first company town with industrial exploitation, introducing important innovations in Greece, such as electricity, despite the difficult working conditions in the mines and the battles of the unions of the working class. A special mention must be made regarding the role of the mines in the survival of the citizens of Laurion during WWII, through a secret exploitation of the mines and utilization of the revenues to feed the citizens. After WWII, Laurion met rapid industrial developed and attracted a number of investments, becoming a region full of factories. Laurion’s prime reached its end in the 80s, when the mine company permanently closed, as did other factories, leaving behind its facilities and reducing the city’s population by 30%-40%.
Mr Chadoumelis presentation continued with the current utilization of Laurion and the students were impressed by the variety of activities that take place in LTCP, which is protected by National Technical University of Athens. More specifically, in the scientific field, LTCP hosts exploratory and experimental laboratories, domestic and international competitions and in future will host the Greek Hypercomptuper. Also, it hosts cultural events and exhibitions, film productions, educational activities and student visits.
Then, the students had the pleasure to discuss with Mr. Pari Perakis, writer and creator of modern digital game “The Great Secret of Laurion”. A greek online adventure game with riddles for the history of Laurion, created in corporation with LTCP and the repertory “exorixi” (https://diazoma.gr/deltia-typou/the-great-secret-of-lavrion-ena-elliniko-online-paixnidi-peripeteias-me-grifous-gia-ta-spoudaia-mistika-tis-istorias-tou-topou-mas/). Mr. Perakis shared his experiences from his experience and the creative aspect of game.
Lastly, the team toured the city on the bus and then took a walk at the port, guieded by Mr. Manthos Kostas, architect and resident of Laurion. He explained situation of port’s utilization today, highlighted the touristic development and opinion for its development prospects was expressed. Then, the students explored in sub-groups the historic city center, informed by Mr. Manthos, and they observed the listed buildings mostly used hospitality.
Having experienced the field research in Laurion, in a nice and friendly atmosphere, the team gained knowledge about the city and found motivation and inspiration. The students are optimistic, look forward to utilize their knowledge for the benefit of Laurion and aim to present applicable, innovating business ideas.