Opening the "eyes" of Thera

They entered the large building of the settlement with anxiety and maybe some fear. Boys from the girls would seperately enter into a process unknown, possibly terrifying but from which, however, they would emerge more mature and ready to take on the responsibilities of their small community.

We slowly climbed up the ladder from the ground floor to the first floor and from there to the second. And from the nice pictures from the first level they will be continue alone into an enclosed place, surrounded by huge "eyes" with a menacing look.

Nobody is sure about the rituals of the young people at Akrotiri of Thera (Santorini). However the Ksesti 3 (Ξέστη 3), the government building with the densest mural and ritual objects (findings that have been revealed by the excavations), can "talk" to archaeologists. Especially now with the nearing completed recomposition of the wall from the upper floor of the building of at least five wall compositions that were decorated with scenes exclusively by blue and red spirals. Any progress in this area gives hints about how the people of that era expressed ther religion. 

The archaeologist Andreas Vlachopoulos explains that "the multifaceted mural program of this building is better known from an iconographic circle in a public building from time 2000-1000 BC in Agaio which serves as a new resource of information on the ritual and the use of this public space. All the paintings on the second floor depict colorful, geometric themes of rhombi and spirals, indicating the artisans' of Thira's high level of mathematical precision. The mural includes the blue spirals and repeats heart-shaped motifs which resemble huge pair of eyes projected through a red background. The the coils are uniform without any indication of windows or skylights. Perhaps that is to prove that it was not sunny room overlooking the sea or a tower, as previously assumed, but rather an introverted closed compartment with impressive and immersive mural painting”. 

In this area after he had made a trip to a scene of human activities and nature, the youngster arrived in a non-figurative world without gods, humans, animals, plants and other spiraling recurring motifs that covered all four walls in primary colors red, blue, yellow and black. 

Chief archaeologist Vlachopoulos interprets this "trip" : "In every initiation ceremony documented ethno-anthropologically and verified by the ancient Greek world, the most important stage of is the isolation of the young person, followed by the Ksesti 3 as building rituals that encapsulates events of natural and virtual environments. It would create the necessary space for the full or partial isolation of every new member of society of Thera”.


This article is a translation of an report by the Newspaper "To Vima"