Sacrifices – libations
They sacrificed animals and offered their bones to the gods and those in feast ate the meat. They also made wine libations (wine-drinking until they got drunk). They left offers at the altar, valuable gifts, works of art, that were in accordance to the speciality and of the pilgrim.
The shepherds offered a bucked of milk, cheese, fruit, roses and the delicious and necessary, under these circumstances ‘Plakoundia’ (candy made from dough, I suppose, something like doughnuts that are still being made today in our villages).
It is believed that the Christian feasts of today are remnants of the feast that have reached us through antiquity.
Excavations carried out recently by P.Amandry and J.P.Michand in 1970-71 led to the Archaic and classical years 6th to 4th century BC.
These artefacts are small objects made from clay and copper. Phials, jewels with the shape of rosesor safety pin, buckles, a copper statue of a child and many asragals. A marble statue depicting Pan and an unusual clay offering of a wheel with images of Pan and the nymphs in cyclic dance. There are also two coins of god Pan, cut in Delphi in Roman years.
Andreas Tsouras divide the accessible area of the Korikio Andro in three sectors so that acquaintance with the written and physical location becomes easier. The names he have given to then are: "Great hall of Pan"- we see it when we first get inside and it is truly magnificent with its korikes, like chandeliers, hanging from its roof-, "Domicile of the nymphs" and "Limit of life and death".
Great Hall of Pan
On a bright spring morning of April 1989,says Andreas Tsouras, a fine Arahovite and good friend, teacher Elias Liakos, took me - for the first time - to the top of, according to Stravonas, holy Parnassus, to guide me around the Korikio Andro, famous since antiquity. I had baked and cooked in my memory its legend whose fame, instantly after my entry in it, collapsed to the darkness of reality. A heavy odour of goatsheep dung greeted me. My friend, a bright inquiring mind, a learned and simple man, could not, like so many other visitors, offer me anything more than the common glance.
Gradually I recovered from the brutality of the moment. My friend realises that something is happening to me. I felt chilly.
- Look! Look!, I tell him with a light nymph-possessed voice. Pan! Before my eyes! And truly, just opposite me, made of stalagmite, Pan guard of the fields, according to Euripides, for centuries buried in the ignorance of men, patiently silent and magnificent, inside the grand hall of the mythical palace, for the first time after millions of years and unknown to the same number of visitors, is revealed to the writer's sight and his amazed friend. The two of us, from now on, offer him to the fame of men, alive, real, the work of a famous stalactite on a similarly famous stalagmite - a work of centuries, untiring natural patience and luck - to the eyes of all visitors of this place which is the residence of gods, myth, legend; fairy and story.
II. THREE SHEPHERDS
To the left of Pan, the three shepherds who along with Pan «make a wall», separate the grand hall from the domicile of the nymphs, look like they are posing for a photograph.
The one on the left, incidentally, wears a long cloak.
III. SATYR'S HEAD
To the left, a dark stalagmite, also a stalactite's work of centuries, has formed the shape of a satyr, with the smile of his delighted insatiation.
IV. SHEEP'S HEAD
To the right, on going towards the exit, a lifesize sheep's head, detailed an very beautiful, is ready to put his nose, I guess, in a sink to drink water. It invites you to admire it.
Domicile of the nymphs
On entering the domicile of the nymphs, slightly to the right, a Seleinos protrudes, loaded with a sack of wine on his back while holding a loaf of bread under his left armpit.
As a follower of Dionysus he is, his figure seems to gaze at the wine-god in his great moods. Around and higher, shrouds of nymphs - with the Korikian nymph one standing out - laid down and forgotten, wave in time.
Limit of life and death
The ancients believed that through the caves there was a road by which one could communicate with Hades.
Such was the awe I felt when I reached the landmark where the light wears the night and vanishes in the darkness, free and unexplored.
The point, that is, where life delivers the stick to its destination.
When, climbing a little higher after the domicile of the nymphs, you sense the «limit of life and death», involuntarily you'll move a bit outwards.
Now, nothing else remains. Arm yourselves with ,your own vision and when you reach the Korikio Andro, high on Parnassus and when you live this announcement, make a libation inside the cave, a good work for the teacher from Arahova, Elias K. Liakos and the poet from Kyriaki Andreas S. Tsouras.
SOURCE: "Arahova Korikio Andro of Parnassos", writer Andreas Tsouras.