Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Akrotiri Ruins

But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished...

-Plato, Timaeus

The ruins near the town of Akrotiri are what remains of a Bronze Age settlement of Minoans on Santorini. 

It was an advanced civilization, with plumbing, three story structures, and elaborate frescos.

Sometime around 1627 BC, this town was covered in volcanic ash. The ancient eruption on Santorini (then called Thera) not only covered this place in an ash that would stay in place for close to 4,000 years, it also may have led to the demise of an ancient civilization on Crete, to a change in dynasties in China, and to the birth of the story of Atlantis, the island that sinks beneath the sea.

Around Akrotiri, however, they may have seen the end coming. Unlike in Pompeii, there were no human remains under the ash that was excavated here beginning in 1967. There was also almost no gold jewelry left behind. The inhabitants near Akrotiri had most likely been evacuated, and took their valuables with them. What they did leave behind, though, was plenty.

Here was a storeroom, and in the containers would have been wine.

The remains of an ancient cellar.

A look in a doorway.

A stroll down the streets.

Time propped up beside.

Lives that walked under these same awnings, perhaps going inside for a drink to tame their thirst.

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