I don’t have anything in particular to say, so I’m going to show you something beautiful instead.
You’ve heard of Vesuvius, I’m sure, and how such a great destructive force of nature also managed to be a sort of macabre saving grace. Vesuvius is not the only ancient volcano which preserved, nearly miraculously, the world it ended. Much, much earlier, in the middle of the Mediterranean, a much larger eruption occurred: that of Thera, in 1627 BC.
Like Vesuvius, Thera buried the towns near it in volcanic ash, and preserved them perfectly – walls, streets, furniture, and – of particular interest – things like paint which normally fade.
This was the middle of the Greek Bronze age, so when it was rediscovered, Akrotiri – the best preserved settlement – became incredibly important for those wishing to understand the peoples and ways of life which preceded the Classical Era we know so well.
But it became famous for a slightly different reason: the wall-paintings preserved in some of its houses.
These I present to you largely without comment, because they are beautiful and incredible and more than 3500 years old, and I think need no explanation other than that.
There you are.
All images from Wikipedia Commons.