“The city and citizens, which you yesterday described as fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality” -Plato
Continue reading Into the Myth of Atlantis and the Striking Similarities to Santorini.
Growing up in the mountains of Colorado I appreciate fresh, clean air. As I inhale, I greatly enjoy the crisp aromic air of Santorini. In general we take for granted the air we breathe in, we know that it’s oxygen, nitrogen with a little too much carbon dioxide sometimes, and some places are more humid than others. Otherwise most places we go we don’t have to worry about blocks of hot volcanic rock the size of small cars zooming through the air or breathing in high amounts of methane, carbon dioxide, liquid glass, and hot ash. During the cataclysmic Minoan eruption in 1613±13 BC the air here resembled the latter. Almost instantaneously the air went from out typical Santorini weather to being suffused with acidic gases, ash, pumice, and various rocks filling the sky above. As we went to various outcrops on the island we saw evidence of the massive amount of material that filled the sky’s that day 3600 years ago.
Continue reading Into the Air: a Sky Filled with Ash, Gas, and Glass
Before going to a foreign country many people research the areas they are interested in and then decide where they are going to stay and what they are going to do while they are there. Some people may look at the weather or go during a certain season so that it is the most enjoyable to them. Even fewer people will research and learn about the government of the country they will be staying in and its relationship with their home country. Continue reading Architects Who Built Their Own Death Traps
I went around Santorini asking locals and tourists how much they really know about the geologic dangers on the island. A young local boy told me “The old people tell us [stories of the island] and we forget, so we make up our own stories.” He had a decent idea about the island but didn’t know a lot about the active volcano nor the active fault line on Santorini. His friend confessed to me that he knew nothing about the island and felt as if he didn’t need to know. He explained “I work and sleep here, nothing else.”
Continue reading Prepare for the Unknown
I traveled across the world for the first time to Athens, Greece with my study abroad class. The day we arrived my eyes were opened as if I have been blind to the world my whole life. As I got off the metro, the initial element that caught my eye was the curbs that were paved with marble. Then, I saw more and more floors, buildings, and everyday uses composed out of marble. I couldn’t believe it.
As time went on, I learned that the common building material was marble and limestone, and without analyzing too well, I automatically assumed that everything was made of these two materials. I was proved wrong and enlightened when I visited the acropolis museum and I saw many structeres made out of other mediums.
Most statues and buildings were made with marble.
Yet some were composed out of other materials, such as bronze. Interesting enough, the ancient Greeks were actually known for their statuary in bronze. Bronze, which is 90% copper and 10% tin, has a lower melting point than pure copper and will stay liquid longer, allowing the artists to mold it at more ease. Copper came from Greece but tin had to be imported from other places, such as Turkey. Most bronze statues were melted down to reuse for other functions but marble copies were made in their place. This is why we have more marble statues than bronze statues.
Another interesting material used for statuary was this sandstone with chunks of seashells all throughout the material. It was eroded down harshly.
The museum had artifacts from other countries that the encient Greeks associiated themselves with. Here is a sphinx from ancient egypt sculpted out of granite. Through research I found many different sphinx that were carved out of granite as well, although limestone was most common.
As I walked throughout the museum I noticed that most vases and cups were made from clay.
I also found a clay bowl filled with shards of obsidian, a volcanic glass from rapid-cooling mafic magma.
To my amazement, I found a vase shaped from diorite, an intrusive ingneous rock from intermediate-categorized magma.
I found many cups, bowls, and vases molded from silver and gold. This added to widen the variety of materiald used to make every-day-objects.
I then found jewelry that was fabricated from gold as well. But how was this crafted with such detail?
Many gold jewelry was imprinted with stamps made from a gemstone called a “sealstone” (pictured) and other forms of molds.
Other necklaces and jewelry was created with agate. Agate was discovered by a Greek philosopher named Theophratus.
Lots of other decrotave materials were made from glass.
Every culture has its own unique cuisine, and it dates back to the very beginning of that country. For Greece, it dates back 4000 years and is a part of the history and culture of the country. Many of the ancient Greek foods are still present in the culture today; such as olive oil, white wine, wheat, and meat. I will be comparing the food in Greece today to how it was in the past, and how the food of a place can change within a culture. I will take you with me on a day’s worth of food in Athens, Greece.
At the start of the day we all have breakfast, traditionally, the Greeks had barley bread dipped in wine for breakfast, also served with figs or olives. Today a Greek breakfast usually consists of a pastry, such as the pastries pictured above, which can be sweet or savory, This is an example of how an old culinary custom can change within a culture through time.
Now it’s time for lunch. A gyro is currently common greek street food, it is made with some type of meat, tomatoes, onions, and a yogurt sauce wrapped with a piece of pita. The meat is grilled on a rotating skewer, cooked slow and long, which shows evidence of it from the Mycenaean Greek and Minoan periods. Gyros have also grown popular in other countries, which shows how one countries cuisine can influence another.
Many Greeks have coffee late in the afternoon. For many people, coffee is a necessity. The Greeks love their coffee, and have had their unique coffee since 1957. The frappe (pictured above) is a common coffee drink in Greece that is made from Nescafé, water, and sugar and has a thick layer of foam on top.
Now it’s time for dinner, or a pre dinner since most Greeks don’t eat dinner until nine at night. Pasta is considered to be a traditional Italian dish, with the first known record of it in 1154 in Sicily. But not many people know that in Greek mythology, it is believed that the god Hephaestus invented a device that made strings of dough. This was the earliest reference to a pasta maker.
At about nine or ten at night it is time for dinner. This is considered a more traditional Greek dinner, it consists of a Greek salad, yogurt sauce, dolma, spanakopita, gigantes Plaki, and bread. One of the foods in this meal that has been around since ancient Greece is dolma, which is grape vine wrapped rice. In Ancient Greece is was called fyllas. This shows how some of the first food eaten can still be a common meal in today’s society.
It is now about 2am, and to finish the day, a cup of gelato is the way to go. Gelato started in Italy but has since grown all over the world and is now a popular Greek dessert. Now the day is over and the day was spent eating amazing food in an amazing place.