local-kiwi-alien

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Ruins, Ruins Everywhere

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


We live within sight of the ruins of the 520 BC  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 modern 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 from the site 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



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.


22 comments:

  1. Wonderful, while our "ancient buildings" are the Stone Store and Mission House in Kerikeri. As you know women got the vote a lot earlier.

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    1. Nz was first once again in women's rights. Always proud to be a kiwi..woman

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  2. Here, too, almost everywhere there are antiquities. When you want to build, you must first pass an inspection by the Antiquities Authority.

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    1. Another land full of history. I can see why the land should be inspected before someone builds. You never know what might be under the soil but here they dont even inspect. They stop you before you can even think of building. Which once again would be fine if they took the land and did some digging themselves. But on, there is no money for so much exploration. Let the people build homes!

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  3. I visited Poros many years ago, as I believe I have already mentioned to you. My husband and I stayed with a Greek family and visited many of those sites, including Poseidon´s temple, Epidavros and Mycenae amongst others. I fell in love with Greece then and have returned several times, mostly to Crete but I would love to see Poros again. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful and interesting place.

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    1. There is so much history around here, in the hills and down in the town. But what I love are the ancient roads and bridges and stone structures. Fascinating

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  4. Must be amazing to have so much history around you, we get excited over something built in the 1800's here!! No comparison! I guess Greece has a very patriarchal society and h as had for a long long time.

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    1. Hundreds or thousands of years. It's still intriguing.

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  5. Back in Sussex I heard of a farmer who's ploughman had unearthed some bits of Roman mosaic, and asked his boss what he should do. The farmer replied "Keep ploughing, and say nothing". I believe farmers everywhere would prefer Wheat to Archaeologists.

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    1. They've got crops to grow, mouths to feed, a livelihood to make. Of course they'll plough it all under. Unless its a stash of gold!

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  6. I guess you are always aware of the history where you live LA?

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    1. The greeks love their history and I am often lectured on it.

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  7. Isn't it great to have such a store of contact with the past, such a repository for imaging what went before. The flup side is the shackles it has imposed on living today. Would you ask for your house or church to stop any future generation from having a full life on that land? And we (and our ancestors) tend to live where the best land is; so can we tie it up in ways that no future generation can use it? I wonder if it e er crossed the minds of the people who built those ancient places?

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    1. Interesting. Often churches are built over more ancient temples or sacred sites. There are a few examples here. Maybe it was done on purpose. Back then they maybe could feel the energy which these places are supposed to produce and they did build to prevent future desecration. I doubt it's done that way any more though. Who's in touch with the energy of the land nowadays. Not those poor farmers or builders

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  8. What a fabulous place to live Linda.

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  9. Incredible. I couldn't imagine having land and not being allowed to dig into it (that's my main activity for about half the year - digging for one reason or another). -Jenn

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    1. They shouldn't even plant an olive tree in some places but everyone does of course. The thing is not to get caught

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  10. What an interesting place to explore

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    1. I'd love to explore more but my Greek other half is not interested in ancient ruins. He prefers modern sites, cafes and tavernas lol

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  11. Amazing. Yes, it's great to preserve the past but the land is also for the living so it's a shame it all has to be preserved. So much history everywhere, one of the reasons we loved travelling around Europe. That amphitheatre looks amazing and reminds me of a fantastic one we saw in Taormina, Sicily.

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    1. I wish our ruins were more impressive. The temple was destroyed when the stones were hauled away for house building.

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