We have been in Santorini for a total of 20 days, 480 hours, learning about the Santorini Volcano by day and dancing the night away. As our trip comes to an end, my mind is racing. Thinking about our first days in the field, creating stratigraphic columns with the sun beaming down on us and the sweat dripping down our faces. To our last field day roaming the Aegean Sea, traveling to Nea Kameni, and looking down into a dark-black hole, known as the drop-off of the caldera. I started to realize that I have been so focused on all the interior geological aspects that has made Santorini what it is today, that I haven’t had time to take in the exterior beauty of the island. I took a step back, closed my eyes, and let the views of Santorini wash over my body, getting the chills as I think of everywhere we’ve been. We have explored and hiked through a great amount of this island and it was filled with the most unique and breathtaking colors that you would have to see with your own eyes to get the feeling that I had. Continue reading “The Colors of Santorini”
On the first day in the field, our group walked down the road from our hotel to Fira Quarry. From the top of the trail, I had a great view of the size of the rock outcrops that extended all the way down into the mined out area, but from the bottom of the quarry I was staring up at 20 meters of Minoan eruption ash and pumice. The wall of rock that stood dauntingly above me made me think about why it stopped where it did and what happened to all the other material that once filled in the area we were standing in, and why it would benefit anyone to mine the pumice at the quarry. Continue reading “A Rock Solid Idea: Impermeable Cement”
After three weeks in Santorini, Greece, my homesick heart aches for the smell of pines, the Grand Canyon’s plateaus, and the queen, herself, the Colorado River. When I think of home, the ocean does not first come to my mind. I think of the river, which once carved through rock; the river that we so heavily depend on in the South West region of the U. S. for water and agriculture.
After tirelessly following a series of wooden hand-painted signs, which insisted that the Acropolis was ahead, a small group of us were on the verge of abandoning our search for the site when we ran into our instructors, Lisa and Alex (Fig. 1). Amidst the maze of tiny plastered homes, we followed them through narrow whitewashed hallways accented with magenta rugs and royal blue planter beds until we passed through the marble entrance of the Acropolis. Through staggered breaths, we began to realize the magnitude of our own unique purpose and place. Continue reading “The Sustainable Life: Ancient Greece”
As I walk up the last steps of the Acropolis, I stop and admire the beauty and grandness of it all. I do not take any photos at first. Instead, I marvel at all of the detail and imagine of all the extensive labor that must have been put into building this city. Every direction I turn has an astonishingly exquisite temple with a story behind it. I can envision the workers pouring their dedication into these temples, knowing that they used manual labor instead of technology. I can conceptualize what the Parthenon may have looked like before it started to deteriorate. I then started to wonder about every single detail of the Acropolis, from the base of it to its location, which is what made me want to research into it.
One of the first places I visited after arriving in Athens, Greece was the Acropolis ruins, carvings and statues at the Acropolis that where so detailed and unharmed for the most part. All of them were. There were many 2,000 year old made of marble which got me wondering how artists were able to carve such astonishing pieces the could withstand the test of time and still look as if they had been made yesterday.
Walking around the Acropolis Museum, only one word came to mind: candescent. Surrounding me, and throughout the whole museum, was the most beautiful white marble you could ever imagine. It gleamed bright white and nearly flawless in the sunlight and I honestly felt like I could have been standing right next to Hercules himself. For my whole life I’ve been enraptured by history and the Earth, and the Acropolis is a perfect example of where those two meet for everyone to experience. As I walked around the museum taking in all the incredible stone work and intricate details, my mind kept wandering to the story of the beautiful marble that was used to build one of the most famous monuments in history. Continue reading “Pentellic Marble: A Monumental Metamorphosis “
I see artists as true innovators and inventors, people with creative minds and free spirits. To create something that can move people to tears or to a revolution. The evolution of art has changed throughout the eras, but the creativity and rigidness behind it hasn’t. I can remember when I was younger, coming home to my mom standing over our stove making dye from cochineal bugs. It was a vibrant red color. She would use this to dye shirts, or an art piece in technical patterns and designs. When walking through the Acropolis museum, a display of colorful minerals popped out against the white backdrop of statues and marble walls; it explained how the Ancient Greeks used different colored minerals to paint a world of amazing structures and statues.
Four massive caldera-forming eruptions and 200,000 years later, the island of Santorini takes its modern and familiar shape. The pioneers of NAU in Greece have had the opportunity to observe and research first hand the most recent of these eruptions, and possibly the most significant: the Minoan. We have scaled the caldera rim at Cape Plaka, trekked to the top of Mt. Profitias Illias, hiked the entire northern region of the island to Oia, and explored the Akrotiri ruins just to get a glimpse into the past. When the entire island of Thera had been diligently and meticulously observed, we left to Nea Kameni, the resurgent shield volcano in the center of the caldera to explore some more.