The day I discovered a byzentine settlement

Byzentine 1
The view is beautiful. Tzaneria Bay, Kalamaki peninsula, the sea. Some day, someone is going to build a house here.

The land is for sale. The land owner has cleared all rubbish vegetation from the ground to make the place look more attractive. It is attractive. I am walking across the land, enjoying the view.

Byzentine 2

Then I notice something. At first sight, it looks like piles of stones. But the stones are placed in a too regular order to be there by chance. Then I realize that these stones seem to be a part of an old house, a house that is no longer there. I search more. I find more stones that seemed to have belonged to houses or stone walls. Then I find the first piece of pottery. And then more. And more.

“I think they are from byzantine times”, says Athina when I show her the pottery.  She is responsible for museums and archeology at the Municipal Office in Skiathos town. Byzentine times lasted more than 700 years, from around 500 AD to 1200 AD. I leave some pieces with her. I fill in a report. Once a year, experts come from the mainland to look at new archeological discoveries.


I go back to the slope. People lived here, maybe a thousand years ago. They had a similar beautiful view that we have from our house today. The men were fishing in the bay. Growing fruits and vegetables in the slope. The women were cooking. Children running around in the slope, playing. Laughter. They were people like you and me.  Just living in a different time.  Maybe some people lived all their lives here. A life that could be better. A life that could be worse.

And then, one day, disaster struck. What was it? An earth quake? War? Disease? We shall never know.

Maybe a thousand years from now, someone will find the ruins of our house. If they dig a little in the ground, they may find a frying pan. A broken wine bottle. Pieces of a plastic bucket.

The universe is immense. Time is indefinite. We exist here, in this place, in this microsecond of universal time. Take care of every moment. Enjoy life while you can.  A broken pot may last for a thousand years but your life will not..


2 thoughts on “The day I discovered a byzentine settlement

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