Akrotiri, Thera

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.

Antelopes Fresco, Akrotiri.

Antelopes Fresco, Akrotiri.

Spring Fresco, Akrotiri.

Spring Fresco, Akrotiri.

Spring Fresco, Akrotiri (detail with swallows).

Spring Fresco, Akrotiri (detail with swallows).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

Ship Procession Fresco, Akrotiri (detail).

There you are.

All images from Wikipedia Commons. 

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