Posts tagged ‘Archaeology’

Akrotiri Archaeology

Although not the most photogenic place in Santorini, I’ve had to include some images of our visit to the excavation site and museum of Akrotiri because it is without question one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

First discovered in 1967, the site is to Greece what Pompeii and Herculaeum are to Italy (buried and preserved by the cataclysmic volcanic eruption that collapsed the middle of the island and caused the Caldera that Santorin is famous for today). Akrotiri may not be as spectacular as the ruins at Pompeii, and it’s certainly not as well known, but it’s much older…..in fact it’s reputed to be the oldest urban settlement in Europe dating back approximately 3600 years.

What’s even more amazing is that the ruins uncovered so far are only a fraction of the whole site. The problem of course is that archaeological excavation on this scale and of this importance takes decades of painstaking work and huge amounts of money……..something at the moment the Greek governemnet is sadly short of.

© Mark Simms Photography (2018)

Skara Brae

Ever since I first heard about Skara Braesome 20 plus years ago (sitting in a dusty Archaeology lecture theatre at the University College of North Wales in Bangor) it has been on my list of places to visit. In fact it was one of the main reasons why we went on holiday to Orkney in the first place.

I knew that the 5000 year old remains of this once thriving little village were remarkably preserved and that the wealth of information gleaned from this site over the years, makes it one of the most important Neolithic monuments anywhere in the world. What I didn’t truly appreciate though, and I don’t think you can until you’ve seen it for yourself, is just how intact the dwellings, workshop and “streets” really are…..it isn’t difficult at all to imagine what this place must have looked like all those years ago and to put yourself in the place of one of its inhabitants as they went about their daily lives. 

I also didn’t realise the beauty of the location. The buildings that make up Skara Brae huddle together at one end of the magnificent Bay of Skaill, and on a sunny day it is easy to see why our Neolithic ancestors would have found this such an attractive place to settle. Having said that, on a stormy day in the middle of winter then I’m sure the character of the location would be transformed into something much more dramatic and inhospitable. After-all it was one such particularly violent storm in 1850 that revealed the remains of the village for the first time in about 4500 years.

The only slight downside of taking so many shots when you go away for a couple of weeks, is that it takes me so long to work my way through them all. Don’t get me wrong I quite like post-processing, I find it quite relaxing and therapeutic…..and it’s also fun to review the shots and relive the memories that they inspire. However I am slightly reluctant to get out and shoot any new stuff at the moment, because I know I have so many more Orkney images that I want to share.

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

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