Ancient things. That’s what I’ve been thinking about, these past five days spent in Greece. So many ancient things.
New Orleans will celebrate its Tricentennial in 2018. Three hundred years seems pretty minor, compared to the 3,400 of recorded history within Athens (according to Wikipedia). Mykonos had inhabitants before the 11th century BC. Delos, a now-uninhabited island a short boat ride from Mykonos, was inhabited from the 3rd millennium BC.
It was fascinating to tour the ruins on Delos. For roughly 1,000 years before the Greeks deemed it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, it was a holy sanctuary to the goddess of the earth (according to Maria, our tour guide on Delos).
Certainly, much has changed in the intervening millennia. And much of it in just the past 100 years or so. But I’ve been thinking of all the things about human life that haven’t changed. Our needs, especially. Eating. Drinking, both wine and water. Shelter. Employment, to occupy our days and provide means to the eating and drinking and shelter. Entertainment. Companionship. Worship.
The details have changed, and access to all these things has become much easier for a great many of earth’s inhabitants. But really, it seems not much has changed about the needs themselves. Being a human in the 21st century, who would like to make entertainment her employment, I’ve been intrigued by the story possibilities of all these ancient things.
Like, why does “an ancient evil” sound so much more menacing than just plain old “evil?” I’ve been drawn to all the manifestations of the eye symbol I’ve seen while in Greece. On doorways, gates, on fighter planes I saw on the way to our hotel in Mykonos from the airport. A card I picked up from a gift shop tells me this: that use of the symbol dates back almost 3,000 years, and is supposed to ward off evil and bring the bearer good luck. So, apparently, it’s not just me—people have been worried about the bad gris-gris for a really long time.
Since pictures are worth (at least) 1,000 words, I never intended to get too long-winded with this post. So here are some photos from my time in Greece thus far: