Tag Archives: SANTORINI

Amazing ancient artifacts of Santorini.

It’s been a while since we’ve had any excavation news from the Minoan Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri. But that doesn’t mean the archaeologists there aren’t still working away diligently. In fact, today I’ll show you how they’ve been continuing to expand our understanding of the ancient world.

You might be asking yourself: why Akrotiri, and not some other ancient city? Here’s a synopsis if you’ve missed my past posts.

In the Aegean Sea, the island of Santorini is probably best known for its Insta-friendly white houses, blue roofs, and breathtaking sunsets. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the island was once the site of one of mankind’s most significant natural disasters. Around 3,600 years ago, the Theran eruption destroyed a flourishing ancient culture. When excavations began here in the mid-20th century, archaeologists discovered an amazingly well-preserved city buried in volcanic ash, including two and three-story buildings. The settlement was incredibly advanced for the time, boasting structures with built-in sewage and water supply lines (I repeat: three thousand six hundred years ago!). Researchers have unearthed frescoes, pottery, furniture and numerous other artifacts attesting to the unbelievable cultural advancement of this ancient seaside society.

But when archaeology budgets were cut in Greece, excavations stopped due to lack of funding. Here and there some minor digging continued, but overall the project went into conversation mode. That’s where my obsession with the excavation begins, in 2006, when I first got acquainted with the settlement’s history. And when I put my mind to making the world a better place in some specific way, I get it done (or in this case, started!). So in 2016, lo and behold, excavations were resumed, after more than a decade, with our financial support! That’s how I ended up getting a chance to do a little digging myself, and dig I did! I even discovered a Cycladic statuette dated ~5,000 years old. Now every year we learn more and more about how the island’s ancient inhabitants lived.

So what were the highlights of 2019? There’s lots of fascinating progress to share in different areas:

Read on…

What’s in the box? A Cycladic surprise!

Γεια folks!

Once upon a time, there was an ancient civilization that lived on and around the Mediterranean island that is today called Santorini, part of Greece. But then that civilization just disappeared, and no one really knows for sure just where to. And that was before a catastrophic volcanic eruption wiped out all that remained of the civilization. I’ve already written on these here blog pages about this fascinating place (a few times a couple years back, and a bit earlier). Ancient legends, astonishing archeological discoveries, and unbelievable hypotheses and assumptions – that’s what this place is about.

More than 3600 years ago the Minoans lived here in a city made up of houses of three or four stories, with fully working plumbing systems. But ‘Minoans’ is the name given to them thousands of years after their disappearance; who they really were, what they called themselves and their island, what language they spoke and wrote, and so on – all that is still a mystery.

All that’s left of the ‘Minoan’ civilization is the ruins of their ancient city: houses and streets, most of which are still all under a thick layers of volcanic ash.

Well I think the above-mentioned is more than enough reason to carry out archeological digs here. And not just dig, but also restore and preserve all that’s already been excavated. And after nearly a year-and-a-half (not including the winter break) of work, something reeeaaal interesting’s turned up! Namely: earthenware boxes containing… hmmm – probably something very interesting… Here are these boxes:

So, what was inside them?

‘Nothing?’ Nope.

Turns out… – another earthenware box! But inside that… – no, I’ll save that for a bit later in this post…

Read on…

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Skaros: sad story, sensational sunset.

Flying around the world aplenty as I have a habit of doing, I find that – year after year, no matter where, and practically all the time – I come across all sorts of interesting stories about mankind. Sometimes they’re merry stories, but more often than not they’re sad. Why is that? I think it’s simply because throughout the whole history of humanity any upswing ended eventually turned in a downswing (or worse) – sometimes time and time again. But not only do upswings end in downswings; generally, sooner or later, all stories do.

So why all the negativity, you may ask. Well, I’ve just read the story of the ancient settlement-in-rock, Skaros, on the Aegean island of Santorini (where we’re helping out with the archeological digs). This rocky outcrop is part of an ancient ruined volcano – on the edge of the caldera. I’ve seen it many times, taken many a pic of it, and climbed up to its peak. But this here story I’ve only just heard.

Here’s Skaros:

Read on…

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