Knossos

Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 12 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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This is a koulouras, from the West Court of the First “Palace” of Knossos, 2000 to 1700BC.  It was used for storing grain and presumably had a cover, probably wooden, perhaps woven.

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West Court.

Knossos was first excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, in the first two decades of the twentieth century.  He named the Minoan civilisation after the legendary King Minos. If Minos actually existed, he was probably from an earlier period than the “Palace” of Knossos.

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West Porch, Corridor of the Procession.

The West Porch (foreground) had a double door and led to the long Corridor of the Procession.  That was named after a fresco on an adjoining wall showing a procession of people with gifts and also musicians.

There was a settlement at Knossos as early as 7,000BC.  The first “palace” though, dates from around 2000BC.  There were also other equivalent “palaces at various sites in Crete with the main other ones been at Phaestos, Malia and Khania.  In this period the “palaces” had different styles so they were probably independent.  Around 1700BC they were all destroyed by earthquakes and fire and the rebuilt.  Knossos was rebuilt to a higher standard and the others now followed the Knossos style, indicating Knossos had now become dominant.

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South House

This is from the New Palace Period of 1700 to 1450 BC, and reconstructed with three stories.  Evans reconstructions are controversial as they are often based as much on imagination as evidence.  A modern archaeologist would not duplicate his approach.

The Minoan civilisation survived tsunamis from the Thira eruption around 1550BC but that eruption and resulting climatic disturbance probably undermined it.  The Mycenaeans from the mainland took over in 1450BC.  There was widespread devastation at this time and subsequent rebuilding, though in a simpler style with less naturalistic art.  The “palace” and outlying buildings were then destroyed by fire around 1300BC.  There was little reconstruction after that and the site was abandoned by 1100BC, though it was later occupied by Greeks and Romans.  The Cretans were not wiped out by the Mycenaeans because the distinctive pottery pithoi persisted and it is now believed there was a joint culture after 1450BC.

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Same place, different viewpoint.  Some may wonder at the hyper-realistic sculpture in the open doorway  of a young woman in full colour and in modern dress with perhaps a brochure and wearing a wristwatch.  It may be difficult at this distance to establish definitively if this is a creation of Evans or an unrestored original work of Minoan art.

The Minoan civilisation had a maritime culture with extensive trade and also colonies or partner states in Rhodes, Thira and the Cyclades.  Knossos and the other “palaces” were not fortified, indicating a relatively peaceful society that was not threatened by external invasion.  There were weapons and armour though and there was no doubt conflict at times between regional centres.  There were also guard posts on main roads, indicating some existence of banditry.

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Evans called Knossos and other centres palaces but it is by no means clear exactly how they operated.  Functions may have included administration, trade, religion, politics and social activities.

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Cup-Bearer Fresco, South Propylæum.

The South Propylæum was originally part of the Corridor of the Procession as shown in this fresco, related to the fresco of the procession mentioned earlier.

There was hieroglyphic script in the First Palatial Period and this was replaced after 1700BC by Linear A script, mainly on clay tablets.  Neither of these have been deciphered and the language used is unknown.  After 1450BC, there was Linear B script and the language was Greek.

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Large pithoi (storage jars), South Propylæum, Postpalatial Period (1450-1100BC).

More is known of activities in Knossos after 1450BC due to writings in Linear B script which can be read.  The was a leader called the Wanax and the administration was concerned with land tenure, religion and textiles.  There were over 700 shepherds harvesting 50–75 tons of raw wool, woven by nearly 1,000 workers, and producing up to 20,000 textile items.  It is not known whether this may have differed before theMycenaeans took over in 1450BC.

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Piano Nobile.

The piano nobile is largely Evan’s creation.  He thought there would be first floor reception rooms like in a Italian Renaissance palazzo.  In the background it the Central Court, where bull-jumping and other activities would have occurred.  (I did not think to photograph this more directly).

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Bases of columns near the West Magazines, long narrow spaces for storing pithoi.

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Les Parisiennes.

When an early archaeologist saw this fresco, impressed by the sophistication of their attire, he exclaimes “But these are les Parisiennes!”.  (Sorry about the reflections).

We now see a succession of frescoes from the Hall of the Fresco Copies.  So these are not the originals,  held in controlled environments in museums.  I presume that the originals, usually fragmentary, would have been found in various locations in Knossos.

What is known of Minoan art and religion indicate it was a culture with a much more prominent role for women than later cultures.  It is not known whether it was a matriarchal culture but one aspect must have been men going off in ships to trade and leaving women with a large role in running the homeland.

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The Bull-Jumping Fresco.

A feature of Minoan culture was bull-jumping, an initiation ritual for young men. The bull would presumably be charging at them and their task was to grab the horns, somersault over the bull and be caught by attendants.

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The fresco represents an octopus, it’s recreated from fragments (as you can see if you click on it for a larger view and look carefully) and the original is 3,500 years old or more but it could almost be modern art.

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This is nearby the Hall of the Fresco Copies, but I’m not sure exactly where.

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This shows something of the context.

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Prince of the Lillies Fresco.

This is a very fragmentary reconstruction by Evans at the South Entrance.  There are various opinions as to how it should appear.

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A set of stairs, now seemingly into the void.

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This is the North Entrance, seen from the side.

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Moving around, the actual entrance was just to the right.

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… and here is a closer view of what remains of the fresco.

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This is The Throne Room.

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A slightly different viewpoint.

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And the “throne”.

This is a wooden copy of a stone “throne” from an adjoining room.  The purpose of the room is unknown.  It may have been used for religious ceremonies but was unlikely to have been a throne room in the modern sense.

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Shrine of the Double Axes.

A stone double axe and votive clay offerings were fond here.

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Outside The Hall of Double Axes.

This was named by Evans after double axe signs carved into the walls of the lightwell at the rear.  Evans thought it was the King’s residence.

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Inside The Queen’s Megaron.

A richly decorated room that Evans though must have belonged to the Queen.  A small side-room is named the Queen’s bathroom due to ceramic fragments that he thought were remains of a bath.

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Outside The Queen’s Megaron.

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Pithoi from The Magazines of the Giant Pithoi.

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Pithoi from the Corridor of the Bays.

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North Lustral Basin

This leads down to a room at a lower level than the rest of Knossos that Evans thought was something like a cistern, used for purification ceremonies.  However, it is unlikely that there was water here and its purpose is unknown.

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Theatral Area.

This reminded Evans of later Greek theatres and he thought this may have been used for performances viewed by a standing crowd.

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The Royal Road.

So-named by Evans with his usual royalist preoccupation.  It continues on (under the modern road) to the Minoan town that eventually became Heraklion.

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References:

Thira to Heraklion

Thira (Santorini), to Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 12 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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We are now on the ferry on our way from Thira to Heraklion (in Crete).  Fortuitously, it is just after six o’clock and sunset is approaching so there are some special opportunities for long lens photography as we leave Thira.

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Cruise liner probably heading to Athens.  I think Oia is in the background.

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Picturesque vessel, I think a schooner.

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Probably part of Thira township at the top of the cliffs.

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Close-up of luxurious tourist accommodation atop the cliffs.

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Late light playing on the sea.

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It took me a while to work out.  At the bottom of the cliffs is not the port we came from, it’s the old port of Thira, with Imerovigli at the top.  You might need to click on the image to expand it to see, but there’s a road going down there and also a cablecar.

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The light is very different according to the direction you are looking.

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Towards the sun, sunset approaching.

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Akrotiri lighthouse with people in front of it to watch the sunset.

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These houses may be on Akro Aspronisi Point, near Akrotiri Lighthouse.

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The light is slowly fading away.

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Last view of Thira with darkness approaching.

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Venetian Harbour and the Koules Fortress.

Some hours later and we are now in Heraklion in Crete.  This is the view from our hotel room.

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We are now in Heraklion and for the next nine days we will be travelling around Crete, especially to remote places and ancient sires.

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An ancient building with the roof in need of repair.

This is also taken from the hotel the next day, from the balcony outside the dining room at the time of breakfast.  This also applies to the next four images.

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An old ruined boat fenced off beside the harbour.  I think I may have been told a story about it and I know exactly where it is but I can find no further information.

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The Venetian Lion on the side of Koules Fortress.

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The Venetian Harbour at Heraklion.

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Crete has had a long and varied history.  Humans were on Crete as early as 130,000 years ago (though not our subspecies).  Prehistoric animals included pygmy hippos, pygmy elephants, dwarf deer and giant mice. Remarkably, there have also been plausible though contested claims that footprints in rock in Crete were from a human relative 5.6 million years ago (which is not consistent with the conventional Out of Africa theory).

The Minoan civilisation was the earliest in Europe and lasted from 3500BC to 1100BC.  Crete was then taken over by the Mycenaeans and then the Dorians and became part of ancient Greek civilisation.  Rome conquered Crete in 69BC and it later became part of the Byzantine Empire.  The Arabs took over in 820 and established a piratical Emirate.  They built the town of Candia here which became the new capital of Crete and was later renamed Heraklion.  Byzantium took it back in 961 until the time of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 when the Venetians took over, after briefly contesting the island with the Genovese. 

The Ottomans took over in 1669 after laying siege to Candia for 21 years and the last Venetian outpost at Spinalonga fell in 1718.  Many Cretans participated in the Greek War of Independence from 1821 to 1829 but did not gain independence for Crete.  Despite many revolts, this did not happen until 1898, first as an independent state under the Ottomans (though occupied by the Great Powers) and Candia was remaned Heraklion at this time.  From 1908 it became part of Greece. 

The Moslem minority of Crete was repopulated to Turkey after the treaty of Lausanne in 1923.  Germany occupied Crete from 1941 to 1944 and there was fierce guerilla resistance from the locals.  There was civil war on Crete from 1947 to 1948, with an attempted Communist insurrection and the last two holdouts surrendered in 1974, 25 years after the last action on the mainland.

El Greco was from Crete (and from Candia) and Eleftherios Venezolos “Maker of Modern Greece”, the dominant Greek politician of the early 20th century, was also from Crete.

After breakfast and taking the preceding images, we headed off to the ancient Minoan city of Knossos (next post).

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Returning from Knossos, we left the rental car at the hotel and walked to the Museum of Archaeology (post after next).  On the way I paused at a couple of weathered doorways.

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We returned from the museum and later in the early evening went for a walk around the harbour.  These shells were for sale and Jools bought one.

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Fishing boats.

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Fishing nets.

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Fishing boats leading up to Koules Fortress (which was closed).

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This is in an area of Venetian dry docks and boat repairs.  The water was lapping in in those days.

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Later in the evening, a closer look at the mysterious old boat.  The name XAPAꓥAMΠOΠ may be a reference to Saint Charalampus, who lived during the reign of Septimus Severus.

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We were very fortunate that a band was playing Greek music in a park across from the hotel. I do not know the band’s name.  There was also a market at the same time.

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Thira Monochromes – Akrotiri and Pyrgos

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 12 October 2018.

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Akrotiri, Archaeology, Architecture, Belltowers, Black and White, Greece, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Akrotiri.

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In Megalochori, on the back-street route to Pyrgos.

Pyrgos – Bell towers and doors

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All remaining images from Pyrgos.

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Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

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View over centre of the island from Pyrgos.

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Thira Monochromes – Emporio and Oia

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 10-11 October 2018.

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Architecture, Belltowers, Black and White, Emporio, Greece, Landscape, Monochrome, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Oia.

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A musician busking on the headland before Red Beach.

Red Beach and Akrotiri Lighthouse

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Bell tower, tiny Church of St Nicholas.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse.

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Looking north-west from near the lighthouse.

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Looking up the south coast.

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Looking down from the caldera cliffs.

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Emporio.

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Pyrgos – Bell towers and doors

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 12 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

On our last day on Thira, we drove back from Perissa through Emporio to Pyrgos.  This was on the way, I think just past Emporio.  The structure at the top is obviously old, perhaps Venetian.  I couldn’t find it on Google Earth and can’t identify it.

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Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

We are now in Megalochori, on the back-street route to Pyrgos.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This image and the following ones are all from Pyrgos.

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They are generally aesthetic images rather than historic and need little description.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Pyrgos is a traditional village in the centre of the island, declared a protected settlement since 1995.  It was the capital of the island until 1800.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

One thing that caught my eye was the old doors.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

… or new and old in this case.

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Below is Perissa, where we had come from earlier.

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This is a view of Kamari, a bit further north than Perissa.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Agia Theodosia Church, at the highest point on the island.  We will see this popping up in several of the images below.

. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

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. Architecture, Art, Belltowers, Doors, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Pyrgos, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel A different bell tower.

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Looking towards the caldera, I think.

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We are now inside the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

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Looking towards the south end of the island, on the caldera side.

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Looking towards Oia.

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The centre of the island.

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Some of the ruins of the Venetian castle that once stood here.

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I think this is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from the outside.

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From here, we headed to the port where we dropped off the rental car and caught the ferry to Crete.

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Akrotiri

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 12 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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Akrotiri, Archaeology, Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Akrotiri is a town that was buried in ash and mud over 2.500 years ago.  It survived though buried because it is on the far south of the main island, on the opposite side to the caldera.  No bodies were found here, though there was the impressions of furniture in the volcanic ash, so the population was likely forewarned to evacuate.  (Some readers may remember my visit to Plymouth on Montserrat, a town that was buried in volcanic ash in 1997 and later inundated by a lahar.)

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Archaeological excavations are still ongoing.

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There is an extensive modern roof built to protect the ancient city.  It collapsed in 2005, just before completion, killing one visitor.  The site was closed and not reopened until 2012.

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There is a whole city here, with a central street, houses clustered around small squares and a sewage system.

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Some of the stonework is quite precise.

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In the fifth millennium BC, Akrotiti was a small fishing village and we visited the current equivalent of that port in the post Red Beach and Akrotiri Lighthouse, except that the modern shore line and water level may be quite different.

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In the third millennium BC, Akrotiri greatly expanded and frequent finds of foreign pottery speak of a thriving trade centre with links to Cyprus and Minoan Crete.

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This is the West House, adjoining triangle square.  It was a large well-constructed private residence with at least three stories.

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Hundreds of loom weights found in the ruins of this house, fallen from upper floors, attest to significant weaving activities there.

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The ground floor included store rooms, workshops, a kitchen and a mill with machinery for grinding grain into flour.  The first floor included a toilet and bathroom.  The house also included some remarkable frescos including the Flotilla Fresco, now housed in the Museum of Archaeology in Athens.  Unfortunately, when we were at that museum, we missed the mezzanine floor with relics from Minoan Crete and Thira.  However, I will have some frescos from Crete to show you in a later post.

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Triangle Square with the West House on the left.

Thira is prone to Plinian Eruptions (extremely explosive eruptions, producing ash columns that extend many tens of miles into the stratosphere and that spread out into an umbrella shape).  There have been at least twelve in the last 360,000 years.

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This is a representation of a view of pre-eruption Thira from the Flotilla Fresco, found in the West House.  It shows a maritime festival, with galleys rowing from a town on the left (on the current island of Thirasia) to a town on the right (in the current location of Oia).  There are many dolphins in the sea and the landscape on the right does not have the current high cliffs of Oia.

The much smaller inundated caldera of this time was left over from the Cape Riva eruption around 22,000 years ago.  the small central island slowly rose in the caldera from 20,000 years ago.  The view from the fresco is confirmed by stratographic archaeological evidence.

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The red outline shows the pre-eruption island.  According to Herodotus, at the time of the eruption, the island was named Strongyli (“the Round One” in ancient Greek).  Akrotiri is at bottom centre and Ancient Thera (previous post) at bottom right.  The two towns from the fresco are indicated with stars near the mouth of the small caldera.  There is no trace of them any more.

There were four phases to the historic eruption, within a fairly short time frame.  It was preceded by earthquakes and a light ash flow which may have allowed people to escape.  The first phase included deposits of pumice up to six metres thick.  In the second and third phases, the vent had migrated to underneath the old caldera so they were phreatomagmatic (ie underwater, like the recent Tongan eruptions; I bet you’ve never heard that word before).  The fourth phase included extremely hot pyroclastic flows.

Earlier eruptions built up a cone of tuff and the final eruption blew all that away and produced a huge tsumani that devastated the coast of Crete.  It was one of the largest eruptions of human history, four times larger than the Krakatoa eruption of 1883.  In 536AD a smaller eruption of unknown source (possibly Krakatoa) caused climate conditions that devastated Justinian’s Eastern Roman Empire for years afterwards.  So although the tsunami didn’t wipe out Minoan Crete, its climatic aftermath may have been a major cause of decline.

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Akrotiri slowly rises from the ashes.

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No cisterns have been found that collected drinking water from rain but the discovery of a different type of pipe to that used for sewage may indicate an aqueduct from Mount Prophitis Elias, near Ancient Thera.

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Perhaps this is a basin for washing grain, food or clothing.

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An ancient bucket, it would seem.

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Mortar and pestle.

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Excavations continue and some areas are roped off where archaeologists are working.  A house adjoining Triangle Square near West House is yet to be excavated for example.  Perhaps there are more frescos to uncover.

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Archaeologists at work.

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There are many pithoi, or large jars for storage.  they are generally in situ, though presumably they have been lifted out, cleaned or repaired, and replaced where they were.  The pithoi were used for storing water, wine, olive oil, grain or other vegetable products.

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Reference:   Constraining the landscape of Late Bronze Age Santorini prior to the Minoan eruption: Insights from volcanological, geomorphological and archaeological findings; Karátson, Telbisz, Gertisser, Strasser, Nomikou, Druitte, Vereb, Quidelleur and Kósikg; Journal of Volcanology abd Geotyhermal Research, 1 September 2020.

Perissa Beach to Oia

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 11 October 2018.

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Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Perissa, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

From Emporio, we headed to Perissa and here we are on the beach.

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We hoped to visit Ancient Thera, a ruined town that spanned many eras, potentially stretching back 11,000 years, but visible elements are mainly Roman and Byzantine.  The site was abandoned after an eruption of the volcano in the 8th century AD.

I wasn’t aware that there were opening times and we got there five or ten minutes too late.  There was at least half an hour before all visitors had to return and I tried to persuade the gate keeper to let us race up there and be back before that time but he wouldn’t budge.  So the above view of a wall at the top of a cliff was all we got to see.

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Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Perissa, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

I’m not sure exactly where this church belltower is.  Perhaps we are looking back at Perissa.

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This is the Chapel of Panagia Katefiani, below the Ancient City of Thira.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Perissa, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Back at Perissa Beach again and the yacht has probably moved.  We would have had lunch at the small town here.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Perissa, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel We have now gone back to the caldera side of the island and are somewhere above the Port of Thira, looking north.  in the distance, a cruise ship and a three-masted ship pass by while people lounge below on a house or hotel balcony.

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In the other direction, we see a catamaran and a ferry at the port.

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A catamaran is leaving port.

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Also a ferry, probably heading for Crete.  The ferry takes three and a half hours and the cat two.  The ferry is much cheaper and also takes cars.

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Donkeys returning from a hard day carrying tourists (some overweight) up the steep slopes from the port.  Picturesque and traditional they may be but there is controversy here about cruelty to the donkeys.

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Now it’s much later and we have returned to Oia and I have fought through the dense crowds to get a key position for sunset views at the point.  This is as far as you can go and we are in the ruins of a Venetian Fort, built to safeguard the island from pirates.  Some photographers kindly made room for me when I arrived.

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This image may look crooked but it’s actually not.  The eye is drawn to the island on the right rather than the faint horizon behind it..

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I am now looking back at the township of Oia, looking towards the north coast.  This is taken with a wide angle lens.

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This image and the next three are taken from the same viewpoint, looking at the township of Oia, with a long telephoto lens.  There are a couple in close communion holding beers at the bottom.

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This is one of the two windmills visible in the earlier wide angle view.  There is a light on in one of the rooms of the windmill and thirteen people at bottom right camped for a sunset view (though partly obscured by the watermark, even if you click for a larger view).

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This is the other one.  Only two people visible in this one.

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Still with the long lens.  St Sostis Orthodox Church at the top.  I make it twenty one people visible in this one.

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Back to the wide angle.  Looking south at the Township of Oia along the caldera coast.  It’s getting darker now.  this is a thirteen second exposure.

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Looking over the Venetian castle at the view across the caldera.  Fifty second exposure this time.

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Much later, after dinner and back across the road from where we were staying at the other end of Oia.

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Emporio

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 11 October 2018.

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From the lighthouse at the south end of Thira, we drove north and then headed towards the other coast, away from the caldera.  On the way, we stopped at Emporio, always one of my main planned points of interest for Thira.  It is a traditional village, the largest on the island, and the name refers to trade as it was once the main trading centre for the island.

There is little point trying to add captions for most of the images.  they are a visual feast of a wonderful urban microcosm.

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Architecture, Emporio, Greece, History, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel .

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There are two ways to take this sign.  One, you may be a pedestrian and should beware of others hooning around on motorcycles in the narrow laneways.  Alternatively, you may be on a motorbike and this is how you should do it.  Crouch down for better aerodynamics and ride really fast.

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Finally a few macro shots on the way out, probably near the church where we started from.

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Red Beach and Akrotiri Lighthouse

Thira (Santorini), Greece, 11 October 2018.

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Usually, the images in each post are chronological.  But this time even after adjusting for one camera being 20 minutes out from the other, the order still didn’t make sense.  Also, I took photos from similar places at quite different times in the morning.  So I’ve worked out where I took them from and grouped them by location.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is a view of the caldera coast of the main island, looking south, from just past the port of Thira.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

With an extreme telephoto view from the same location, you can see Caldera Beach and the same launch and catamaran.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Not the same catamaran, this one is much smaller.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Another view of the same coastline from further on.  You can just see some of the boats moored at Caldera Beach in the corner at the mid left.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Now we are past Caldera Beach and above it, looking north across the caldera.

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A couple of the small boats moored off the beach.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel .

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

We have now driven a short distance to the south coast.  I can’t find a name for this little seaside village so i presume it is just part of Akrotiri, which is also a historic site we shall visit later.  The boats have just pulled up, spruiking customers to take on a tour to red, white and black beaches (but we didn’t have enough time).

Just to the left of the village you might be able to see part of the white outline of a tiny church.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is a wider view, taken a few minutes before, prior to the boats tying up at the wharf.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is an ancient boatshed.  You can also see it at the right of the previous image if you click for a larger view.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

The tiny Church of St Nicholas.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

The bell tower.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A musician busking on the headland before Red Beach.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A bit further on, here is a view of Red Beach (left distance) and the walk in.  We didn’t go any further.  We weren’t looking for a swim and there’s not much room on the beach anyway.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A view further over to the left.  This almost joins on the the photo of the musician but it’s not taken from quite the same place.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

The yacht was evidently a commercial cruise for sightseers.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Looking back towards where we came from.  The white building is Hotel Akrotiri and there are several boatsheds at the water’s edge.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

We’ve now driven back, and then further on to Akrotiri Lighthouse at the far south corner of the island.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A view from the other side.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Looking north-west from near the lighthouse.  The point is Akro Aspronisi.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A closer view.  What a view those houses on the point must have as the weather changes!

Do you think the white covering of the top of the island is snow or perhaps pumice from the eruption?

Actually no, it’s the houses which are all white.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A passenger hydofoil from Thira Port heading towards Crete.  The ferry is slower but a lot cheaper.

. Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A launch below the lighthouse.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A bit further around, this is looking up the south coast now, but where we were previously is beyond that point.  If you click for a larger image you can see Acro Beach Bar on the left, then White Beach (though mainly obscured) before the headland.

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Akrotiri Lighthouse, Greece, History, Landscape, Photography, Santorini, Sculpture, seascape, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Curious the things you can see.  I am reliably informed that this is not a relic from before the eruption, more than three thousand years ago.  For one thing, they didn’t have bicycles with pneumatic tyres then.

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Oia

Oia, Thira (Santorini), Greece, 10 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is the map of Thira, where we were to spend the next few days.  It is more commonly known as Santorini, which is the Byzantine name.  Thira is the Greek name and after all, it is in Greece.  The blue lines show our planned travel route, which should be pretty close to our actual route, because I had this route saved in our car GPS.  (You may like to click for a larger image and more detail).

You can see there is a kind of a great blue hole in the centre of the map.  This is the caldera of Thira.  It was dry land until the volcano exploded somewhere around 1650BC, causing no small inconvenience for the locals and also devastating the northern coast of Crete with tsunami.

We stayed in Oia, in the far north of the island, well known for its scenic vistas.  This post is for our first night on the island, in Oia.

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Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is looking back along the coast of the island.  The light would have been low and I have resisted any temptation to over-saturate or overly increase contrast in these images.  (Still, most people will be viewing these images on unprofiled screens which may not be entirely accurate).

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

We are now looking in the other direction, north towards the small township of Oia.  The island of Thirassia is in the distance (one island though it may appear as two).

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A wider view looking south that gives a good idea of the size of the caldera.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

There are many houses perched on the steep slopes of the cliffs, and inviting paths.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This would be a tempting place to loll in the sun in a hot day.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

This is just across the road from where we were staying.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

People we encounter while walking towards the north point of the island….

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel .

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel .

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

At the top is the Church of Panagia Platsani.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

Young woman contemplating the sunset.

This is much closer and 25 minutes later, but with a much wider angle lens.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

The lights of the town come on as the sun goes down.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

The island of Thirassia in the distance again.

. Architecture, Greece, History, Landscape, Oia, Photography, Santorini, Street photography, Thira, Travel

A vignette of the multi-layered settlement on the steep slope.

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Trivia Note:  30,000 images.

Following an update of my index of live music posts for the  first time in two years, there are now over 30,000 images either in this Blog or linked to from this Blog.  There are 17,000 images in the Blog (in 1,100 posts and with 430,000 words) and links to another 13,000 live music images (from 1,150 performances).