Baa, Baa, Cretan sheep

This gallery contains 2 photos.

When driving around the island of Crete, one often comes across sheep or goats grazing. One can’t help wondering what food they find on the rocky slopes of the island’s mountains. When not grazing rocks, they may use the road … Continue reading


Hercules’s second labor: the Hydra

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Inspired by the graffiti I posted a couple of days ago, I thought I might say a few things about Hercules, the greatest hero in Greek mythology. As I’ve already said, he is one of my boys’ favorite heroes, and … Continue reading


A 5,000-year-old city under the sea

Not far from Sparta, Greece, is a beach with a small island across it, called Pavlopetri. The name has been given by archaeologists to a submerged, bronze-age city discovered there in 1967. The city is believed to have been inhabited from as early as 2,800 BCE and was contemporary to the Minoan and later the Mycenean civilisation.

Under 9-12 feet of water, lie buildings large and small , extending over several acres. Finds such as numerous pithoi (huge storage pots) show it to have been a busy commercial port, whereas many loom weights testify to the existence of a thriving textile industry. The city was permanently submerged approximately 1,000 years BCE for unknown reasons, possibly an earthquake or tsunami.

As it was never again inhabited, it lay undisturbed, which explains the excellent  preservation of its exquisite street layout and complex canal network. These have been reconstructed with the aid of sonar mapping and digital 3D techniques, to create an impressive visual recreation of a vibrant city, lost for centuries.

Watch the documentary, if you have the time, it’s really worth it.