The Aegean Sea, dividing Greece and Turkey, attracts not only tourists with its many colorful islands, but also scientists, since the secrets of ancient civilizations are hidden here.
The Aegean Sea, which washes the shores of two countries - Greece and Turkey - is known for its numerous picturesque islets.
Ancient civilizations and their traditions were born here. Hundreds, thousands of years passed and these civilizations disappeared. Now memories of them are just myths and legends. True, it should be noted that these are very beautiful myths and legends.
The ancient Greeks believed that the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite was born from the foam of the Aegean Sea. More precisely, the fallen into the sea of blood and the seed of the sky god Uranus, castrated by his own son Kronos.
Kythera island. Near its shores, according to myths, the goddess Aphrodite was born, but the island seemed to her too small for habitation.
The most beautiful of the goddesses was born near the island of Cythera in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula, but she considered it too small to live on it. Therefore, Aphrodite swam on a sea shell and sailed to Cyprus, which is located outside the Aegean Sea, where she decided to settle. For this she received the epithet Cypride.
According to another version, the sea wind carried her away from the coast of this island. In Cyprus, where the goddess walked, flowers and plants grew. Here Aphrodite was greeted by Ora - the goddess of the seasons, who crowned her with a golden crown and adorned her with jewelry.
In Cyprus, there is the sea rock Petra di Romiou, which is also known as the "Rock of Aphrodite", it is she who is considered the birthplace of the goddess.
Returning to the question of ancient civilizations, it is worth mentioning that the islands of the Aegean Sea lived three thousand years before our era. The famous Minoan civilization arose in acute Crete and later spread to Attica - the mainland of Greece. The legend of the Minotaur, a half-bull, half-man, is associated with her.
Theseus and the Minotaur, 1821 Photo: AiF / Victor Martov.
Modern scholars believe that the myth of Theseus, who killed the Minotaur, should be understood as an allegory. Theseus is a symbol of the Indo-European culture that penetrated these lands, and the minotaur is understood as the culture of the local people who revered the bull as a sacred animal. Just as Theseus defeated the Minotaur, so "the Indo-Europeans who came won a victory over the" peoples of the sea."
History of the Aegean Sea
This era was followed by the Cretan-Mycenaean civilization, which is also known as the Aegean. Many hundreds of years passed until the first Greek poleis appeared, and after them the ancient colonies, when the need arose to expand the trade sphere. Thus, Greek culture became the property of the entire Mediterranean region, and then influenced other peoples as well.
The islands of the Aegean Sea are "innumerable" - their number reaches one and a half thousand. Many of them have become famous over the centuries thanks to various works of art.
Milos is famous for the famous sculpture of Aphrodite (Venus) of Milo, Samothrace became famous thanks to Nike of Samothrace. Aphrodite of Cnidus, sculpted by the sculptor Praxiteles, glorified Cnidus. The Colossus of Rhodes is one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Rhodes. Lesvos was made famous by the legendary poetess Sappho.
Sculpture Venus de Milo.
The island of Samos has a direct connection with the legend about the Polycratic ring, which was told by the "father of history" Herodotus.
Polycrates, the powerful ruler of Samos, was the darling of Destiny - he always and in everything achieved success. According to the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, the gods are envious and can "punish" a too lucky person with a lot of troubles and hardships.
Thus, it is possible to say with certainty whether a person was happy in life only after his death. Polycrates tried to propitiate fate in advance. The king decided to give up the most expensive item that he had. When Polycrates went to sea on a ship, he took off a precious ring of extraordinary beauty from his finger and threw it into the water.
After a while, a certain fisherman gave Polycrates a large fish. The governor's servants found the very ring inside the fish. Friends of Polycrates learned about this and superstitiously moved away from friendship with a man to whom misfortune was prescribed by fate itself. After some time, the Persians conquered the power of Polycrates, and he himself was executed.
On the island of Fera, there is the so-called "Greek Pompeii" - the city of Akrotiri. Like its more famous "friend in misfortune", this settlement ended up under a layer of volcanic ash after a massive volcanic eruption occurred in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. e.
The island of Crete. The Minoan culture arose on it.
Archaeologist Spiridon Marinatos was the first to suggest a natural disaster that caused the decline of the Minoan civilization in Crete. From 1967 to 1974 he explored Akrotiri. He suggested that the volcanic eruption on the island of Fera led to the death of many Minoans and, accordingly, the decline of their culture.
The place where Atlantis sank
Another attraction of the Aegean Sea is the Cyclades Islands - an archipelago located near the southern shores of mainland Greece.
The Cyclades were located on the site of the passage of important sea trade routes at that time. Therefore, the islands became a kind of staging post for ancient sailors.
Scientists are investigating the "mysterious" question of the "Cycladic civilization" that existed on these islands for two millennia BC.
In particular, it remains unknown what is the origin of the "Cyclades" and what they called themselves. It is also unclear why the island's surplus of high-quality building material - marble and limestone - did not push the islanders to build lush buildings. Instead, the "Cyclades" had to almost huddle in modest houses on the steep hills.
The Kilkadian Islands, where the Cycladic civilization existed more than four thousand years ago.
At the same time, this civilization was able to create real objects of art, which to this day admire with their appearance. "Cycladic" sculptures have become a source of inspiration for the work of more than one contemporary artist.
Archaeologists have also found in the Cyclades fine jewelry, bronze, stone-cut products, and ceramics. These findings confirm that the “Cycladic civilization” appreciated and created truly real works of art from everyday trifles.
The ancient inhabitants of these islands made a wide variety of objects from stone - both ordinary pestles and mortars, and marble idols. Now these items have become a symbol of a vanished civilization.
The figures, dubbed "idols", range in size from a few centimeters to the full height of a person. They themselves represent stylized images of people. They combine harmony and a certain expression. However, whether these figures were really "idols" is currently unknown.
Almost four thousand years have passed since the disappearance of this civilization. Researchers suggest that between 2300-2200 BC. e. there was a sharp demographic decline. However, the reasons for this phenomenon have not yet been clarified.
Cyclades islands. The archipelago of Santorini - an integral part of the Cyclades is considered the place where the Atlantis described by Plato existed.
One of the constituent parts of the Cyclades Islands is the Santorini archipelago, which consists of five small islands. Some scholars are of the opinion that it is worth looking for the remains of the legendary Atlantis here.
Atlantis was described by the Greek philosopher Plato (428 or 427 BC. 348 or 347 BC) in his works Timaeus and Critias. The texts describe the island state and say that it was allegedly mentioned by the Athenian sage and legislator Solon (640 or 635 BC - approx. 559 BC), who in turn heard about Atlantis from the Egyptian priests … Plato believed that Atlantis perished due to a strong earthquake and flood.
Scientists have established that around 1627 BC. e. there was an explosion of the Strongila volcano.
Nothing remained of the volcano itself - it was completely destroyed, and the entire local population perished with it.