local-kiwi-alien

Monday, 18 April 2016

ANTIQUITY IN OUR BACK YARD

Ancient ruins are literally everywhere in Greece. Every where you walk you are treading on the ruins of an  older civilization, probably roman or greek.

We live within sight of the ruins of the 520BC  temple to Poseidon, greek god of the sea, on the hill high above the sheltered harbor of Vagonia.  This whole area was a large port town straggling up the hill from the sea to the temple and it's sanctuaries.  All this is now hidden beneath the earth and the  ministry of archeology has forbidden building of any kind. 


Looking down from the temple on Poros to the harbor below
all this hillside would have been covered in dwellings -
now under the earth


an ancient picnic nook

what remains of the Temple to Poseidon




It's the same story all over the country.  Those with land in this area can keep chickens and put a caravan on the ground, pick their olives but are not supposed to even dig a hole in the earth. 

  Stories of burying ancient remains while digging  foundations, of finding gold coins and relics while plowing are so common and they are so true.  If you want to farm your fields or build your house you keep quiet about any finds and hide the evidence quickly, preferably under tons of cement.

On Poros and in the immediate surrounding area  there are:

- the remains of Poseidon's temple, where we have had many a great picnic.  Small grandsons enjoyed playing with their trucks in the ancient earth.  There is a piano concert held here every August full moon.  A Swedish archeology group comes every summer and spends a few weeks digging here.  We have some of the soil that has been removed in our garden.  Our neighbor has all sorts of marble columns and stones in her fields .

- the remnants of an ancient temple in the sea on the opposite coast.  
 
- at  the town of Troizina, mostly farm land now,  you can visit the ruins of a healing centre and temples, all that is left of a large city.  All the local schools have trips here and my daughters have visited some of the sites which are hidden in farmers' orchards.

- the stone and 'house' of Theseus who supposedly killed the minotaur in Crete.  Legend says Theseus lifted the huge stone at age 18 and retrieved the sandals and sword left by his father. 

- 2 beehive Mycenean tombs - in a farmers olive grove.

- acropolis and volcano of Methana.

- another temple on the crossroads to Methana, still being slowly excavated.

and they are all less than half an hour away.  A little further down the road there  are 4000 year old bridges and roads, Tyrins,  the birthplace of Hercules and a palace thought to have been built by giants.  The incredible and still used 2500 year old Epidavros theatre, castles, more theatres, stadiums, acropolises and the palace of Mycenae, home of Agamemnon who led the expedition to Troy to bring back Helen (of Troy).


the magnificent theatre of Epidavros
340 BC and still used for summer performances of
classical greek plays.  Holds up to 13,000 spectators.
The stone seats at night are still hot from a day in the blazing
sun.  They are also very hard.  Bring your own cushion.

Mycenean Bridge





In 2015 there were four major archeological finds -

- 2 skeletons dating from 3,800 BC were found entwined in a cave in southern Greece. 

- 3 acres of an underwater settlement were found with building foundations and paved roads.

- Linear B tablets were discovered in a newly found Mycenean palace near historical Sparta.  The palace had around ten rooms and there were large numbers of clay objects, swords, fragments of murals and figurines.

- a warriors tomb dating back 3,200 years with over 1400 objects, jewellery, weapons and gold vessels.

In all there were more than 150 excavations in 2015.

Greece, the home of Democracy -
it all began very UNdemocratically.  Less than 20% of the population were eligible to vote.  Excluded were women, foreigners and slaves.  Modern Greek women did not get the vote until 1952.  The dowry was not abolished until 1983 and it was the same year that The New Family Law finally gave women an equal say in family matters.

New Zealand women got the vote in 1893 and in 1919 could be elected to Parliament.







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