Archaeological Days


There were two sites of archaeological interest on our schedule. The first, a museum, which starts chronicling the history of Sicily from about 300,000,000 years ago, had a display of great interest at the ticket counter. Stephanie and I agreed he was stunning. The whole museum was peppered (if that’s the word) with such students, perhaps working for a stipend as part of their studies. It was interesting to see a fine museum staffed with young people in casual clothing.

The progression of civilization on this large, historically significant island is hard to overstate, but I’ll do my best. Early settlers found flint to be a useful substitute for claws and saber teeth. An enlarged brain provided additional advantage that has since been abandoned by Trump supporters. One witnesses the progress of crude pottery taking on attractive shapes, then colors, then glazes. Attention to detail eventually gets to parts of the human form that assumes an enlarged place in human history.

I have always been curious about the black on terra cot genre that captivated the Greeks to the near exclusion of all else for a huge percentage of their glazed pottery. Has art ever been so lacking iconoclasts? Or did the potters see Prometheus and say, “fuck that.”

Eventually, the Romans dropped by, the roads got better, women are said to have gotten more attention, and anti-intellectualism bloomed in the bloody theatre. Archimedes was stabbed to death by a Roman guard who must have one too many axioms stuck up his ass. Thus, Syracuse declined for a while.

The museum was so large and intriguing that we left the outdoor ruins for another day. As I hope you agree, it was a day well spent.

A day at the actual site of the Greek and Roman ruins is hard to describe, but I have made a questionable attempt with the following video:

My thanks to Mozart for proving the only part of the audio that wears well on the ears. I can see all the flaws in this, but the pursuit of perfection (or even a 6th grade level of competence) would mean that I could never finish this blog.

Thanks to Die Entfuhrung aus den Serail, K. 384, Neville Marriner – Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, for not suing me. (I hope.)

The afternoon lunch, back on the island of Ortigia, was enjoyed in a courtyard restaurant, canopied with grape vines. 

, , , ,

One response to “Archaeological Days”

  1. I enjoyed your video and audio description of the amphitheater and the remarkable caves and surrounds. “Rick Steves, watch your back, Richard is coming.” When you recorded Stephanie reading a sign about the slaughter of 450 bulls, I temporarily shut down the progress of your video, fearing that Rod was about to toss his cookies, based on his expression at that moment. Fortunately for all of us, I over-reacted.

    And, what in the hell is an “iconoclast”? Rick would never attempt to embarrass his listeners with such an intimidating word, assuming a more popular substitute could do the trick.

    I really liked the video and the audio and Mozart’s accompaniment did enhance the experience. I assume this wasn’t necessarily his intent when he prepared this piece. If, however, royalties should be received I would suggest his relatives should share in the bounty.

    The location of your lunch and the pictorials are always appreciated. Especially as I try to plan for my next meal. I doubt it will be the same without the courtyard but Stella is pretty good in the kitchen.

    Thanks for sharing. Look forward to your next adventure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: