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Greek-Australian TV Star’s New Podcast Explores Schliemann Papers

Actor Thaao Penghlis at the ruins of Troy.
Greek-Australian TV star Thaao Penghlis, pictured above at the ruins of Troy, is launching a fascinating podcast about the life of Heinrich Schliemann, based on his diaries. Credit: Facebook / Thaao Penghlis Official

Greek-Australian TV star Thaao Penghlis of US long-running drama Days of Our Lives is launching a fascinating podcast about the life of Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist who, in the 19th century, brought back to light the greatest ancient Greek palaces mentioned by Homer.

Described as “a deep dive into the life of Schliemann,” Penghlis’ podcast, titled Lost Treasures, is inspired by the archaeologist’s documents and diaries known as the Schliemann Papers to which the actor gained exclusive access during a visit to Athens in the 1980s.

“Against all odds, Heinrich Schliemann proved that the myths of Troy and the myths of Mycenae really happened,” says Penghlis.

“For more than twenty years, my interest in this subject never waned,” he adds. “Two visits to Troy, five to Greece, I completed the journey. And I’m still wanting more.”

The podcast is set to premiere September 5th.

Thaao Penghlis’ passion for archaeology reflected in podcast

As a boy, acclaimed Greek-Australian actor Thaao Penghlis, who famously starred in Daytime TV’s Days of Our Lives since 1981 and in the Mission: Impossible TV series in the late 1980s, had always dreamed of becoming an archaeologist.

His dream was to one day unlock the secrets of the history of his Greek ancestors.

“But as my acting career took over, my interest in the subject was instead translated to taking journeys to the historical places that I explored with guides,” Penghlis comments.

Thaao Penghlis and Deidre Hall in Days of our Lives.
Thaao Penghlis has starred in Days of Our Lives since 1981. Above, he is pictured with co-star Deidre Hall. Credit: Facebook / Thaao Penghlis Official

Now, the star is the one playing the guide with his upcoming four-episode podcast, set to premiere in September 2023.

In a rollicking Mediterranean-hopping adventure, Thaao Penghlis’ Lost Treasures will explore the Iliad and the Odyssey through the amazing life of German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who changed history when he discovered the real-life locations and treasures in the epic poems.

The podcast will include three story chapters enhanced with immersive audio effects, and a fourth that features a reading from Penghlis about why he wrote the story and his inspiration and drive to do so.

“My purpose in telling these stories of lost treasures is to romance my audience, inspire them with the notion that ‘Gods of Men’ once walked in these lands of my ancestors,” he says.

Schliemann’s long-hidden documents and diaries

In the 19th century, Heinrich Schliemann rocked the academic world by establishing the real-life locations mentioned in the Iliad and the Odyssey. His discoveries include the glittering cache of gold and other artifacts linked to the Homeric King Priam at the actual site of Troy in modern-day Hissarlik, Turkey.

“The poems of Homer were part of the education I chose for myself, collecting knowledge from cultures that gave me a greater meaning and understanding of that path,” says Penghlis. “When I finally visited Schliemann’s gravesite, it brought me closer to him, like a long-lost relative that I grew to love.”

To research the podcast, Penghlis embarked on his own odyssey, gaining exclusive access to research materials, with a little help from his notoriety and playing a master-of-disguise Nicholas Black on 1980’s TV series Mission: Impossible.

“I had walked into the Archaeological Museum in Athens when an employee recognized me from Mission Impossible,” Penghlis describes. “He gave me a huge embrace and wanted to know what he could do to welcome me in Greece.”

Within minutes, Penghlis’ fan had set him up a meeting with the Greek Minister of Culture and an exclusive visit to the library containing sixty thousand pages of Schliemann’s documents and diaries.

“These materials took me to magnificent sites in Athens, Mycenae and Troy where Schliemann’s extraordinary finds changed the course of history and smashed the myths of ancient Greek heroes,” Penghlis concludes.

In a few weeks’ time, the actor’s followers will have the opportunity to join him on this journey through Thaao Penglis’ Lost Treasures.

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