Archaeology enthusiasts plan Marathon sword-and-sandal epic

ATHENS — Schinias Beach near Athens is no stranger to hordes in sandals flocking here every summer — but a group arriving next week is less interested in the area’s blue waters and seaside taverns.

A re-enactment of the Battle of Marathon is to be held here on September 10 to commemorate the historic Greek-Persian showdown in 490 BCE, with hundreds of participants in armour from around the world, organisers say

The three-day amateur event on the presumed battlefield, which has since been altered by soil erosion, will showcase Greek and Persian combat as well as dance, literature, crafts and cultural features from the Archaic period.

But the main feature will be a planned confrontation between the Greek and Persian ‘armies’, composed of up to 200 experimental archaeology fans.

“It has taken us three years to equip even that many,” says Christian Cameron, a Canadian novelist and former US navy career officer.

“Correct armour and weapons — not to mention period textiles and dyes — take hundreds of hours to make,” the 49-year-old organiser told AFP.

“Most people at Marathon will be wearing five to ten thousand euros ($7,200-14,500) worth of equipment, much of it made by hand,” adds Cameron, who intends to portray an unnamed Greek aristocrat.


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