Akrotiri of Thera
Akrotiri, on the island of Santorini, is one of the most renowned prehistoric settlements in the Aegean. Post-flood habitation at the site dates from at least 6,000 years ago – the Late Neolithic period – well before the recently discovered Minoan civilization notably evolved in the region.
It was a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC that led to the demise of the peaceful yet enigmatic Minoans, their trade centres and administrative bureaucracy – and their bull worshipping culture.
Due to the fact it was buried in volcanic ash, researchers believe the site to be fabled Atlantis. The large extent of the settlement (20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storied buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, display advanced development and a great prosperity.
There have been many modern attempts to claim simply that the island(s) of Santorini was/were the location of Atlantis. This theory is short-sighted, due to the fact “Atlantis” grew out of the remnants of an even more ancient civilization, commonly referred to as Lemuria, or just “Mu”. Atlanteans enjoyed the benefits of their many towns, cities and seaports, and circumnavigated the world.
Thus, in Episode #3 we’ll jump across the Mediterranean to the Aegean Sea and look closely at the ruins of Akrotiri, and in particular at the evidence that pre-dates the Minoans and their fabulous culture. In this episode, we’ll also (critically) introduce astro-archaeology, the processional cycle of 26,000 years and especially the various twelve “ages” of the Zodiac, eg Age of Aquarius, Taurus, Pisces, etc., each one approx 2,160 years in length.
Remaining consistent in our branded approach, we note Akrotiri is quite diverse, showing us:
- Traditional history: Temple building, frescoes and Minoan bull veneration
- Legendary history: Atlantis, The Greeks and Plato
- Mythological history: Poseidon, King Minos and The Minotaur
- Alternative history: Edgar Cayce, ancient technology and energy crystals
We know that prior to being covered in volcanic ash, not to mention large chucks of the island being blown up and landing in the sea, Santorini was certainly inhabited by the late Neolithic era before the now-popular Minoans began to paint their lavish temples. The Minoans apparently arose during the Bronze Age, and the late Neolithic people existed 2000 years prior to them – 1000 years before the Egyptians; thus in the same time frame that Malta’s temples were erected.
Fragmentary wall-paintings at Akrotiri, the famous Minoan frescoes, in fact depict prosperous “Saffron-Gatherers”, who offer their crocus-stamens to a seated lady, perhaps a goddess; in another house two antelopes, painted with a kind of confident, flowing decorative, calligraphic line; the famous fresco of a fisherman with his double strings of fish strung by their gills; the flotilla of pleasure boats, accompanied by leaping dolphins, where ladies take their ease in the shade of light canopies.
Of most importance to our own intrepid researchers, though, is the discovery of “Linear A“, an undecipherable script used in ancient Crete, found on Minoan pottery at Akrotiri. Its decipherment is one of the “holy grails” of ancient scripts. A related script, Linear B, was deciphered in the 1950s by Michael Ventris as representing an ancient form of Greek. As the Minoan language itself is lost to the modern day, it is hard to be certain whether or not any given decipherment is the correct one; it is clearly open to interpretation.
One site that contains a large volume of ancient Linear A writings is found on Crete, at Agia Triada. It is nearby to where the (clay) Phaistos Disk was found in 1908, containing a curiously sophisticated pictographic writing. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of history.